Geography: Future Study & Careers
Geography can be successfully combined with a range of other subjects; effective subject combinations could lead to the following areas of employment and further study: Geology, Meteorology, Geophysics, Surveying, Journalism, Banking, Tourism,Planning, Publishing, Teaching, Architecture, Cartography, Archiving, Environmental Health, Ecological Science, Coastal Management, Forestry, Land Policy, Topographic Science, Navigation, Quarry Engineering, Resource Management, Tourism Management and Zoology.
Geography Degrees include fieldwork (at home or abroad) and further development of Geographical Techniques, Statistical testing and ICT skills. Many courses also include an industrial placement for the third year of a four year course.
S1 and S2
Geography in S1 involves introducing pupils to physical geography through the topics of weather and rivers. Pupils continue to develop their geographical skills by completing a weather enquiry on micro climates around the school. This involves the collection of primary data using weather instruments, before processing and analysing their results. Having learned about the formation of depressions, pupils will then study weather hazards. Pupils will then study the journey of a river from source to mouth before completing their own enquiry on the River Tees.
S2 Geography introduces pupils to human geography where they study a unit on Japan, an economically developed country. This unit explores a range of geographical themes including population distribution and density in relation to topography, chloropleth mapping, plate tectonic theory, a case study of an earthquake, industries in Japan, trade, and the Japanese environment.
In contrast, pupils then go on to tackle a unit on Brazil, an example of a less economically developed country. The unit encompasses a range of geographical themes including development indicators, population density and distribution, population pyramids, the push and pull factors of migration, the tropical rainforest, development of the tropical rainforest and the consequences of this development both local and global. Latterly, pupils have produced a geographical enquiry comparing the development of Japan and Brazil. This piece of work investigated many of the themes that were covered within both units.
In S3, pupils study Geographical Skills over the following units: Physical Environments, Coastal Landscape, Weather, Glaciated Landscapes, Global Issues, Development and Health and Environmental Hazards.
In S4, pupils cover topics such as The Human Environment, Rural Geography, Urban Geography and Population and Development, followed by an assessment assignment. The task will be supervised by the teacher under controlled conditions and assessed externally by the SQA.
Geography at Higher is challenging and exciting two-unit course. The external examination contributes to 66% of the overall grade and the assessment assignment is worth 33%.
Core topics of Unit 1 include Lithosphere, Hydrosphere, Biosphere, Atmosphere, Rural, Urban and Population. Pupils study two Environmental Interactions: River Basin Management and Development and Health.
Unit 2 takes the form of an assignment. Pupils develop a number of key skills: interpretation and analysis; using maps in association with photographs, field sketches, cross sections/transects; research skills including fieldwork; gathering, processing, interpreting, evaluating and synthesizing; interpreting, presenting and analysing numerical and graphical information (statistical, graphical or tabular); map skills.
A field work opportunity on rivers is provided by the department.
The purpose of the Advanced Higher course is to consolidate pupils’ understanding of the changing world and its human and physical processes. Opportunities for practical activities including fieldwork will be essential parts of this course; this allows pupils to interact with and better understand their environment.
With growing awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment and scarce resources, the study of Geography fosters positive lifelong attitudes of environmental stewardship, sustainability and global citizenship. At Advanced Higher, S6 pupils will gain the knowledge and skills which will enable them to effectively engage with challenging issues in their local communities and wider society.
Through the course of the year, pupils will:
- Understand the ways in which people and the environment interact in response to physical and human processes
- Study spatial relationships to develop a balanced and critical understanding of the changing world
- Acquire a geographical perspective on environmental and social issues and their significance
- Further develop skills of independent research, fieldwork, analysis, synthesis, evaluation and presentation further develop skills and techniques to collect, extract, analyse and interpret information to explain geographical phenomena using appropriate terminology
- Further develop expertise in the use of maps, diagrams, statistical techniques and written accounts
Curricular Activities and Extracurricular Clubs
- Field Trip to Loch Lomond to collect data for use in the assessment assignment.
- Biannual S3-S4 Trip to Iceland.
- Expedition to the Carrick Hills to collect river data (the Sauchrie Burn is used).
- Ayr urban study.
- Residential course at the Kindrogan Field Centre.
- Cross curricular History and Geography trip to Stirling.