Why study A-level Geography?

As a subject which covers so many of the vital issues that affect the world of today, such as climate change, migration and natural hazards, there has arguably never been a better time to study Geography. With the mix of technical and social skills that they get from their studies, Geography graduates are highly sought after — in fact, according to the Royal Geographical Society, those who study the subject have some of the highest rates of employment.

Geography is one of the Russell Group universities' facilitating subjects — so called because choosing them at A-level allows a wide range of options for degree study.

What will you study within Geography A-level?

Geography can be divided into two main branches: Human Geography is a social science that studies how humans interact with the planet. Physical Geography is a branch of earth science, which looks at the natural elements of the world, including the atmosphere, land and oceans.

Specific content covered within A-level Geography may vary from school to school, and depending on the exam board followed. Within the Cambridge specification however, topics covered may include hydrology and fluvial geomorphology, atmosphere and weather, rocks and weathering, population, migration, tropical environments, coastal environments, hazardous environments, environmental management and global interdependence.

What skills will you get from studying Geography?

In particular, A-level Geography students develop their communication and team working skills as they often complete projects in groups. Research and analysis skills are also developed, including in IT, lab and fieldwork.

What careers can studying Geography lead to?

Popular careers for people with geography qualifications include surveying, conservation, sustainability, town or transport planning, waste and water management, environmental planning, tourism, and weather forecasting. The army, government, research organisations, law and business world also recognise the practical research skills that geographers develop.

Because geographers learn about human and population development, geography can be useful for jobs in charity and international relations too.

Top 20 universities for Geography and Environmental Science degrees
The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019

1 Durham University
2 University of Cambridge
3 University of St Andrews
4 University of Oxford
5 University of Bristol
6 Lancaster University
7 University of Glasgow
8 University of Exeter
9 University of Birmingham
10 = Aberystwyth University
10 = University of Leeds
12 London School of Economics and Political Science
13 Newcastle University
14 Loughborough University
15 University of Manchester
16 University College London
17 = University of Southampton
17 = University of Stirling
17 = University of Nottingham
17 = Royal Holloway, University of London

Below are real-life examples of some of the university degrees that studying A-level Geography, in combination with other subjects, can lead to.

Geography/ Economics/ Maths University of York Economics
Geography/ Economics/ Maths Oxford Brookes University International Relations
Geography/ Economics/ Maths/ Further Maths UCL Maths with Economics

For more details on the Geography A-level and syllabus, take a look at our dedicated factsheet.