Through Geography we learn about the world around us. We study the earth’s landscapes, peoples, places and environment. Geography helps us to understand the processes of the physical features of our planet and be aware of how human interaction shapes and manages these environments.

Whether you’re watching the news or flicking through social media, people and the environment are always the hot topics of the day.

Sustainability is the buzz word of the 21st century. The study of Geography helps students have a clearer understanding of this term and relate it to contemporary issues such as global warming, desertification, deforestation, loss of biodiversity, groundwater pollution and flooding

Learning through geography whether it’s formally in the classroom or experientially through fieldwork, enables our students to gain a more hands on approach to the environment as they prepare to be responsible citizens who manage our world in the future. Our geographers at Wellington College are well equipped in terms of their skills, knowledge and understanding making them highly employable and desirable in the workplace.

“So many of the world’s current issues – at a global scale and locally – boil down to geography, and need the geographers of the future to help us understand them. Global warming as it affects countries and regions, food and energy security, the degradation of land and soils from over-use and misuse, the spread of disease, the causes and consequences of migration, and the impacts of economic change on places and communities.”

Michael Palin (Former RGS-IBG President)

Key Stage 3

Year 8 (2 Periods) Year 9 (2 Periods) Year 10 (2 Periods)

1. What is geography?
2. How do I know where I am? (Map skills)
3. The Power of Water
4. 7.8 billion: are there too many of us?
5. Geology rocks

1. The World Around Us
2. Brazil: what is its biggest challenge in the 2020s?
3. Our wild weather and climate
4. Is the tundra disappearing?
5. Are we too connected? Globalisation and migration
1. Tourism: past, present and future
2. Murlough fieldwork
3. Do we know enough about volcanoes and earthquakes?
4. Are disasters really natural?
5. Are we wrong about Africa?

Following the Key stage 3 NI Curriculum for Geography, learning and teaching at Key Stage 3 in Geography develops the knowledge, understanding and skills of our students.

Geography develops pupils as individuals by:

  • helping them explore their sense of place and belonging, in relation to their own locality and the wider world;
  • enabling them to develop an appreciation for physical and human diversity and gaining some understanding of the needs and perspectives of others.

Geography develops pupils as contributors to society by:

  • helping them gain a sense of themselves as social beings and exploring how they relate to one another and their environments;
  • making them aware of values and lifestyles that are different from their own and helping them make reasoned judgements in relation to a wide range of issues.

Geography develops pupils as contributors to the economy and environment by:

  • helping them gain an awareness of our place in a changing local and global economy;
  • challenging them to explore the consequences of our interactions with the environment;
  • making them aware of the need for change to be sustainable and the importance of thinking globally, acting locally.

Pupils are encouraged to explore the world around them by completing investigations outside of the classroom. This includes a Year 10 fieldtrip to Murlough Nature Reserve and Newcastle. 


The GCSE Geography course involves the acquisition and application of knowledge and the development of both subject-specific and transferable skills. Following the CCEA specification, GCSE Geography students will:

  • take part in fieldwork to collect primary data;
  • explore the interrelationships between people and the natural environment;
  • investigate how physical and human resources are managed;
  • consider interdependence between countries and global issues; and
  • have opportunities to use geographical skills including technologies such as GIS.


Unit 1: Understanding Our Natural World
This unit covers the following themes:
Theme A: River Environments
Theme B: Coastal Environments
Theme C: Our Changing Weather and Climate
Theme D: The Restless Earth
External written exam (1hr30mins)
40% GCSE
Unit 2: Living in Our World
This unit covers the following themes:
Theme A: Population and Migration
Theme B: Changing Urban Areas
Theme C: Contrasts in World Development
Theme D: Managing Our Environment
External written exam (1hr30mins)
40% GCSE
Unit 3: Fieldwork Exam
Students bring fieldwork report and table of data into the exam
Answers based on their knowledge and experience of their fieldwork.
Fieldwork exam (1hr)
20% GCSE

Exam papers are made up of multi-part questions; the resource material used in each question may take a variety of forms, such as written text, statistical, and pictorial; students must carry out extended writing in some parts of each question.

For their Unit 3 examination pupils are required to carry out a fieldwork investigation outside the classroom. At the beginning of Year 12, pupils will collect primary data on the changing characteristics of the Crawfordsburn River.


The CCEA A-level Geography specification aims to:

  • develop a lifelong interest in Geography;
  • draw together knowledge, skills and understanding;
  • develop higher order thinking skills e.g. independent learning, creativity, thinking and problem solving;
  • apply knowledge to real world situations;
  • equip students to work with others;
  • give students experience of carrying out research;
  • help students develop their study skills and prepare them for university;
  • improve extended writing.

Students follow a course in both physical and human geography as listed below:

AS Level

AS1: Physical Geography Students will study human interaction in fluvial environments, human impact on ecosystems, and weather and climate including global weather issues such as El Niño and hurricanes. External written exam (1hr15mins)
16% A-level
AS2: Human Geography Students will study aspects of natural population change including the need for fertility policies, planning in rural areas, and the challenges posed in urban areas both in MEDCs and LEDCs. External written exam (1hr15mins)
16% A-level
AS3: Fieldwork Skills and techniques Students will take part in a primary data collection relevant to a chosen geographical issue. From this study students produce a table of data which will be submitted in their external examination. External written exam (1hr)
8% A-Level

A2 Level

A21: Physical processes, landforms & management Students will explore key themes within Geography, including the processes responsible for and challenges posed by earthquakes and volcanoes and the processes shaping our coastlines. External written exam (1hr30mins)
24% A-level
A22: Processes and Issues in Human Geography Students will have the opportunity to study cutting edge themes such as ethnic diversity and the need for sustainability in tourism. External written exam (1hr30mins)
24% A-level
A23: Decision Making in Geography Students will investigate real-life issues in a decision-making exercise. External written exam (1hr30mins)
12% A-Level

Fieldwork at AS level includes a residential study visit to Magilligan Field Centre where pupils get an opportunity to investigate a sand dune succession, a woodland ecosystem and collect the required data on changing river characteristics for their AS3 Fieldwork Skills and Techniques paper.  

At A-level pupils will also have the opportunity to attend Geographical Association lectures and student events at Queens University Belfast.


Geography inspires pupils to become global citizens by exploring their own place in the world, their values and responsibilities to other people, to the environment and to the sustainability of the planet. Geographers have many skills which are valued by employers. Geography teaches important life skills, personal learning and thinking skills (PLTS) and functional skills, as well as developing a critical way of thinking about the world. Employers are looking for quality people to invest in and Geography is a subject which explores the importance of the future.

Careers Information

The analytical and research skills gained from your geography degree are attractive to a range of employers

Job options

Jobs directly related to your degree:

  • Cartographer
  • Commercial/residential surveyor
  • Environmental consultant
  • Geographical information systems officer
  • Planning and development surveyor
  • Secondary school teacher
  • Town planner

Jobs where your degree would be useful:

  • International aid/development worker
  • Landscape architect
  • Logistics and distribution manager
  • Market researcher
  • Nature conservation officer
  • Tourism officer
  • Transport planner

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