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Edexcel Geography B – Investigating Geographical Issues

An introduction to the course

GCSE Geography is engaging and relevant to today’s geographers. This qualification enables you to explore the world and all the incredible natural processes which occur in it. In addition, you will study the impact of human activity, investigate the changes we make to places and suggest solutions to improve the ecosystems in which we live. From the coastal bays and headlands through the scorching desert to the tropical rainforests you will build on your geographical knowledge. You will make decisions on how to improve places and improve quality of life. You will assess the response to hurricanes and earthquakes in Haiti and Japan. You will visit Birmingham to look at the quality of life in different parts of the city and evaluate regeneration strategies. As part of your physical Fieldwork you will travel to the coast at Hunstanton and investigate coastal processes and management. You will develop a variety of skills in decision making, working as part of a team, numeracy and research skills which are excellent skills for the future.

What the course involves - summary of elements/components/units and content

  • Paper 1: Global Geographical Issues – An in-depth study of natural hazards and our responses to them in the USA, The Philippines, Haiti and Japan. Secondly, you will investigate the impacts of globalisation in India and strategies for development. Finally, you will research the mega-cities of Lagos and Mumbai and consider the opportunities and challenges they face.
  • Paper 2: UK Geographical Issues – You will build powerful knowledge of the varied physical landscapes in the UK resulting from geology, geomorphic processes and human activity over time. You will look at home volcanoes and glaciers shape our landscape. Coastal change and conflict and River processes and pressures will enable you to practice your sketching skills and understanding of human and physical processes. The UK's evolving human landscape looks at the changing and varied human landscape of the UK, including the socio-economic and political processes that influence it. You will visit two contrasting environments and conduct fieldwork.
  • Paper 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions –You will investigate how people interact with the biosphere and gain knowledge of the global distribution and characteristics of large-scale ecosystems, you will explore why the biosphere is important to human wellbeing and how humans use and modify it in order to obtain resources like food and raw materials. Forests under threat is a detailed study of tropical rainforests and the taiga, looking at processes and interactions and issues related to their biodiversity and to their sustainable use and management. Finally, consuming energy resources is an opportunity to learn about renewable and non-renewable energy sources, its supply and demand, access and energy security issues, its sustainable use and management

How the course is assessed

Straightforward assessments that is accessible for all abilities – there are three externally examined papers that provide gradual progression in demand throughout the topics. Across all three assessments there is consistent use of 12 different command words so that students know what to expect.

  • 3 written exams – 1 hour 30 minutes and require the use of a calculator
  • Paper 1: Global Geographical Issues - 37.5% of the qualification 94 marks
  • Paper 2: UK Geographical Issues - 37.5% of the qualification 94 marks
  • Paper 3: People and Environment Issues – Making Geographical Decisions - 25% of the qualification 64 marks

Career opportunities:

Average Salary per year (2021)


Up to £60,000 +

Marine biologist

Up to £35,000 +

Nature Conservation Officer

Up to £37,000 +

Data Scientist

Up to £50,000 +

Quantity Surveyor

Up to £67,000

International aid and development worker

Up to £30,000 +

Tourism officer

Up to £28,000 +

Political risk analyst

Up to £70,000

Sustainability consultant

£40,000 - £60,000

Transport planner

£28,000 +

Logistics and distribution manager

Up to £45,000 +

Environmental consultant.

Up to £60,000

Geographical information systems officer.

Up to £40,000 +

Planning and development surveyor.

Up to £70,000

Primary / Secondary school teacher.

Up to £42,000

And many more


Employers include:

  • the armed forces
  • charities
  • the Civil Service
  • environmental consultancies
  • environmental protection agencies
  • information systems organisations
  • local government
  • Ministry of Defence
  • police service
  • private companies
  • And many more!

Post-16 opportunities

If successful in this course students could develop their knowledge and skills further by studying A-level Geography. A Geography GCSE and A-level is highly recognised by Russell group institutions and can then lead to degrees in the following:


  • Geography BSc (Hons)
  • Geography BA (Hons)
  • Art History and Geography MA (Hons)
  • Geography and Sport Science Bsc (Hons)
  • Biology and Geography MA (Hons)
  • Economic and Geography MA (Hons)
  • Geography and Sustainable Development BSC
  • Geography and Urban & Regional Planning BSc (Hons)
  • Geography and Mathematics BSc (Hons)
  • Geography and Statistics BSc (Hons)
  • Geography and Geology BSc (Hons)
  • And many more!


If you want to combine work and study while earning a salary, you could consider an apprenticeship. Which apprenticeships are available, and how you apply, depends on where you live. Find out more about apprenticeships across the UK.


  • BTECs are designed for young people interested in a particular sector or industry but who are not yet sure what job they’d like to do. You could study a BTEC at Level 2 or 3, either alongside academic qualifications or as part of a wider programme (such as an apprenticeship). You can also study a BTEC as a standalone course. There are over 2,000 BTEC qualifications across 16 sectors, including:
  • applied science
  • art and design
  • business
  • childcare
  • construction
  • engineering
  • media
  • health and social care
  • hospitality
  • ICT
  • land-based
  • performing arts
  • public services
  • sport
  • travel and tourism

Required resources/equipment for the course

For further information please contact

Miss Smith:

Mr Youmans:

Mr Green:

Mr Miller:

Link to the exam board and syllabus