Higher Student Guide
The purpose of Geography is to develop the learner’s understanding of our changing world and its human and physical processes. In the 21st century, with growing awareness of the impact of human activity on the environment and scarce resources, the study of Geography fosters positive life-long attitudes of environmental stewardship, sustainability and global citizenship.
What Will I Be Learning?
The course is made up of three units:
- Physical Environments
- Human Environments
- Global Issues
In addition to this you will need to complete a piece of independent research which includes fieldwork. This work will be assessed and counts towards your final grade.
The topics you will study in physical environments are:
You will develop and apply knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions at work within physical environments. Examples from Scotland, the UK and across the world will be used as case studies. This unit will have a focus on mapping skills.
The topics you will study in human environments are:
You will develop and apply knowledge and understanding of the processes and interactions at work within urban and rural environments. Examples from developed and developing countries across the globe will be used as case studies. This unit will have a focus on research skills.
You will study two of these global issues:
You will develop and apply knowledge and understanding of significant global geographic issues which demonstrate the interaction of physical and human factors and evaluate strategies adopted in the management of these issues. This unit will have a focus on using numerical and graphical information.
We will be completing a few fieldtrips to help give you a better understanding of what we have learned in class. You will also use the information collected to complete a report that will be used as a basis for your SQA assessed assignment.
How Will I Be Assessed?
Progress will be monitored throughout and will take the form of formal written assessments, peer and self-assessments, presentations and creative writing tasks. Homework will be issued on a regular basis to extend learning beyond the classroom and enhance the activities that are completed in school. These will often take the form of past paper or exam style questions.
How Do I Pass Each Unit?
You will need to show that you meet the standards for the course. You will be given unit assessments that, if you answer well, will show that your work meets the ‘unit outcomes’ for each unit. You can find all of the unit outcomes at the end of this booklet.
How Do I Pass The Course?
You will need to pass all unit outcomes for each of the three units (Physical Environments, Human Environments and Global Issues).
The course assessment consists of a question paper and an assignment.
The question paper is 2hrs 15mins long and is marked out of 60 (66% of the total mark for the course assessment). There are four sections, Physical Environments (15 marks), Human Environments (15 marks), Global Issues (20 marks) and application of Geographical Skills (10 marks). There will be an element of choice in the exam so you need to read the instructions very carefully. You will sit a prelim which will replicate the format of the final exam to help you.
In addition to the course exam you will need to complete an Assignment which is a write-up of a piece of independent research, completed under exam conditions, in 1hr and 30mins and assessed externally out of 30 marks (33% of the total mark for the course assessment).
The final award will therefore be marked out of a combined total of 90 marks and graded A to D.