Geography - Year 13

Geography Overview

: Changing Places

This study of two contrasting places, one local and one international, focuses on people's engagement with places, their experience of them and the qualities they ascribe to them, all of which are of fundamental importance in their lives.

  1. End of unit assessment.

Investment from a business based outside of the area.


Make or become different.


Population structure in terms of age, gender and ethnicity.


Factors are the local, internal characteristics which create a place’s identity.


Exogenous factors are external influences on a place’s identity. They are caused by a place’s relationship with other places.


A geographic information system (GIS) is a framework for gathering, managing & analyzing data.


A small area in which individual features and details of the physical. and human aspects of geography can be investigated.


Refers to both the human and the physical characteristics of a location

Sense of Place

Cultural geographers, anthropologists, sociologists and urban planners study why certain places hold special meaning to particular people or animals. Places said to have a strong "sense of place" have a strong identity that is deeply felt by inhabitants.


Height of the land, relief (hills and mountains).

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Through developing this knowledge, students will gain understanding of the way in which their own lives and those of others are affected by continuity and change in the nature of places which are of fundamental importance in their lives.

Create a supportive community:

Students acknowledge the importance of changing places and engage with how places are known and experienced, how their character is appreciated, and the factors and processes which impact upon places and how they change and develop over time.

: Contemporary Urban Environments

This optional section of the specification focuses on urban growth and change which are seemingly ubiquitous processes and present significant environmental and social challenges for human populations. We examine these processes and challenges and the issues associated with them, in particular the potential for environmental sustainability and social cohesion.

  1. End of unit assessment

Relating to or denoting data that is associated with a particular location.


Relating to, or characteristic of a town or city.


Able to be maintained at a certain rate or level.


The geographical area drained by a river and its tributaries; an area characterised by all runoff being conveyed to the same outlet.

Munipical Solid Waste

Municipal solid waste (MSW), commonly known as rubbish in Britain, is a waste type consisting of everyday items that are discarded by the public.


Fog or haze intensified by smoke or other atmospheric pollutants.

Greenhouse gasses

A greenhouse gas is a gas that absorbs and emits radiant energy within the thermal infrared range. Greenhouse gases cause the greenhouse effect. The primary greenhouse gases in Earth's atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide, methane & nitrous oxide.


Present, appearing, or found everywhere.


Relating to time.


A set of data that describes and gives information about other data.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Engaging with these themes in a range of urban settings from contrasting areas of the world affords the opportunity for students to appreciate human diversity and develop awareness and insight into profound questions of opportunity, equity and sustainability.

Create a supportive community:

Study of this section offers the opportunity to exercise and develop observation skills, measurement and geospatial mapping skills, together with data manipulation and statistical skills, including those associated with fieldwork.

: Hazards

This section focuses on the lithosphere and the atmosphere, which intermittently but regularly present natural hazards to human populations, often in dramatic and sometimes catastrophic fashion. Areas of study include volcanic, seismic, storm and fire hazards and the different elements of managing and responding to these events.

  1. End of unit assessment

A danger or risk.


Large-scale processes affecting the structure of the earth's crust.


A sudden violent shaking of the ground, typically causing great destruction, as a result of movements within the earth's crust or volcanic action.


A mountain or hill, typically conical, having a crater or vent through which lava, rock fragments, hot vapour, and gas are or have been erupted from the earth's crust.


A long, high sea wave caused by an earthquake or other disturbance.


This is a violent type of mudflow or debris flow composed of a slurry of pyroclastic material, rocky debris and water. The material flows down from a volcano, typically along a river valley.

Forest Fire

A large, destructive fire that spreads over a forest or area of woodland.


Astorm with a violent wind, in particular a tropical cyclone in the Caribbean.


A system of winds rotating inwards to an area of low barometric pressure, with an anticlockwise (northern hemisphere) or clockwise (southern hemisphere) circulation; a depression.


A weather system with high barometric pressure at its centre, around which air slowly circulates in a clockwise (northern hemisphere) or anticlockwise (southern hemisphere) direction. Anticyclones are associated with calm, fine weather.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

By exploring the origin and nature of these hazards and the various ways in which people respond to them, students are able to engage with many dimensions of the relationships between people and the environments they occupy.

Create a supportive community:

Students are aware of the global and national significance of hazards and their primary and secondary effects. They are able to empathise with and support others.

: Water and Carbon Cycles

This section of the specification focuses on the major stores of water and carbon at or near the Earth’s surface and the dynamic cyclical relationships associated with them. These are major elements in the natural environment and understanding them is fundamental to many aspects of physical geography. This section specifies a systems approach to the study of water and carbon cycles. The content invites students to contemplate the magnitude and significance of the cycles at a variety of scales, their relevance to wider geography and their central importance for human populations. Areas of study focus on factors affecting the water and carbon cycles and their influence on climate and surroundings from tropical rainforests to rivers.

  1. End of unit assessment.

The variety of plant and animal life in the world or in a particular habitat, a high level of which is usually considered to be important and desirable.

Carbon cycle

The series of processes by which carbon compounds are interconverted in the environment, involving the incorporation of carbon dioxide into living tissue by photosynthesis and its return to the atmosphere through respiration, decay of dead organisms etc.

Creative Commons

Areas of the world that are not owned by any individual.


The cryosphere is the frozen water part of the Earth system. Beaufort Sea, north of Alaska. One part of the cryosphere is ice that is found in water. This includes frozen parts of the ocean, such as waters surrounding Antarctica and the Arctic.


The surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates.

Hydrological Cycle

The water cycle begins with the evaporation of water from the surface of the ocean. As moist air is lifted, it cools and water vapor condenses to form clouds. Moisture is transported around the globe until it returns to the surface as precipitation.


A hydrosphere is the total amount of water on a planet. The hydrosphere includes water that is on the surface of the planet, underground, and in the air. A planet's hydrosphere can be liquid, vapor, or ice.

Tropical rainforests

The tropical rainforest is a hot, moist biome found near Earth's equator. The world's largest tropical rainforests are in South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia. Tropical rainforests receive from 60 to 160 inches of precipitation that is fairly evenly


Water is a transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance, which is the main constituent of Earth's streams, lakes, and oceans, and the fluids of most living organisms. It is vital for all known forms of life.


Having all constituent parts linked or connected.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

An appreciation of the world and its interconnected nature.

Create a supportive community:

Working in collaboration in the collective commons.

: Coastal Systems and Landscapes

Here we focus on coastal zones, which are dynamic environments in which landscapes develop by the interaction of winds, waves, currents and terrestrial and marine sediments. The operation and outcomes of fundamental geomorphological processes and their association with distinctive landscapes are readily observable.

  1. End of unit assessment.
Beach profile

The beach profile extends from the offshore zone to the backshore zone. The beach itself forms from the nearshore to the backshore within the tidal range.


Where the land and the sea meet.

Coastal Topography

The shape of the coastline and its orientation to oncoming waves.


A biological community of interacting organisms and their physical environment.


The four ways that waves and tides erode the coast.


Coastal management is defence against flooding and erosion, and techniques that stop erosion to claim lands.

Sediment Cells

A sediment cell is a largely self-contained stretch of coastline. They are regarded as closed systems as sediment is not usually transferred from one to the other.

Sub-aerial processes

Sub-aerial processes refer to the processes of weathering and mass movement.

Tidal currents

The four ways that waves and tidal currents transport material.


Tides are caused by the gravitational pull of the moon and to a lesser extent the sun.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Knowledge and awareness of the UK and other coastlines and the interconnected nature and importance of them on a range of scales.

Create a supportive community:

Areas of study range from coastal processes and landscape development to the management of a variety of differing coastal zones, helping the learner to appreciate other communities and viewpoints.

: Global Systems and Global Governance

This section focuses on globalisation – the economic, political and social changes associated with technological and other driving forces which have been a key feature of global economy and society in recent decades. Increased interdependence and transformed relationships between peoples, states and environments have prompted more or less successful attempts at a global level to manage and govern some aspects of human affairs. Students engage with important dimensions of these phenomena with particular emphasis on international trade and access to markets and the governance of the global commons, such as Antarctica. Students contemplate many complex dimensions of contemporary world affairs and their own place in and perspective on them.

  1. End of unit assessment.

Belonging to or occurring in the present.


The branch of knowledge concerned with the production, consumption, and transfer of wealth.


The process by which businesses or other organisations develop international influence or start operating on an international scale.


The action or manner of governing a state, organisation, etc.

International trade

International trade is the exchange of capital, goods, and services across international borders or territories. In most countries, such trade represents a significant share of gross domestic product (GDP).


A particular attitude towards or way of regarding something; a point of view.


Relating to society or its organisation.


Relating to or using technology.


The action of buying and selling goods and services.

Transnational corporation

These are huge company that does business in several countries. Many TNCs are much richer than entire countries in the less developed world. Such companies can provide work and enrich a country's economy - or some say they can exploit the workers.

  • Spiritual
  • Moral
  • Social
  • Cultural
Develop the individual:

Students engage with important dimensions of global systems and governance with particular emphasis on international trade and access to markets and the governance of the global commons, such as Antarctica.

Create a supportive community:

Students contemplate many complex dimensions of contemporary world affairs and their own place in and perspective on them.