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Learn more about geography

Why study this subject?

Geography at AS level is a balance of both human and physical units. The physical topics include water and carbon cycles, hazards and coastal systems.The human topics include global systems and global governance and contemporary urban environments.

In both units you will be expected to plan and take part in a range of fieldwork investigations in the local area and further afield. There will also be the option to take part in residential fieldwork. Recent visits have included Spain, Lesotho, Sorrento and Iceland.

The use of ICT to develop geographical knowledge, skills and understanding is an important aspect of the course. To develop GIS (geographical information systems) skills we use professional standard digital mapping software (ArcView and ArcGIS online) and mobile devices out in the field. By studying AS/A Level Geography you will develop as a highly skilled, critical thinking, independent learner; key attributes that make geographers highly employable.

We will be following the AQA AS and A-Level course which can be viewed here: geography/as-and-a-level

The department was awarded the prestigious Geographical Association – Secondary Geography Quality Mark (SGQM) in recognition of the excellent geographical experiences on offer at Howell’s School, Llandaff.

Which Examination Board?


Does the AS count towards the A Level or is it a standalone qualification?

The AS is a standalone qualification. It does not count towards the A Level. You can opt into the AS qualification if you choose to drop this subject at the end of Year 12.

How will you be assessed?

Paper 1: 2 hours 30 minutes (40% of A Level),

Paper 2: 2 hours 30 minutes (40% of A Level).

Coursework Investigation – 3,000-4,000 words (20% of A Level) – marked by teachers, moderated by AQA.

What is the outline content over 2 years?

Year 12

  • Coastal systems and landscapes
  • Changing places
  • Hazards

Year 13

  • Water and carbon cycles
  • Global systems and governance
  • Resource security

Coursework Investigation (for A Level only)