Why choose Geography?

Geography tackles the big issues: 

  • environmental responsibility
  • global interdependence
  • cultural understanding and tolerance
  • commerce, trade and industry.

The world in which we live is likely to change more in the next 50 years than it has ever done before. Geography explains why, and helps to prepare us for those changes. It is about the future and encourages flexible thinking. The transferable skills which it fosters are an asset in a complex world. Geographical study provides a firm basis for life-long learning. Geographers possess the skills that employers look for. This is partly because the subject combines a knowledge of science and an understanding of the arts.

Geographers can:

  • handle data and analyse material
  • ask questions and find answers
  • make decisions about an issue
  • organise themselves and think creatively and independently.

Geographers are:

  • good communicators
  • spatially, socially, economically and environmentally aware
  • problem solvers
  • good team players
  • computer literate
  • well rounded, flexible thinkers.

Key Stage 3

In the lower school, girls study a wide and varied curriculum, touching on the principles of both Human and Physical Geography. Girls experience off site fieldwork in all years of the lower school, and are encouraged to take a dynamic and proactive approach to their learning. Girls study a wide variety of topics including Hydrology, Plate Tectonics, Global Fashion, Tourism and Sustainable Development.

This year in UIV we are also excited to be offering two units in the Humanities lessons, which girls will do in addition to their core Geography classes. In the first session with us they will look at various phases of migration to the UK. The second unit will be an examination of human rights.


Geography is a very popular and successful subject at GCSE. The new GCSE course (OCR B – Geography for Enquiring Minds) offers the opportunity for girls to investigate the relationships between people and their environments in a variety of contexts. It engages girls through discussion and debate and aims to raise their awareness and interest in a broad range of major geographical issues. Topics to be studied will include the UK in the 21st Century, Sustaining Ecosystems, Global Hazards and Resource Reliance. Fieldwork is at the core of learning at GCSE, and we hope to offer the girls the opportunity to conduct detailed residential fieldwork in Dartmoor in 2024.

A Level

Geography is one of the most popular options at A Level at St Mary’s.  It challenges the more able while also making an excellent link between the Sciences and the Arts.  The department offers the excellent OCR A Level course which has units that allow a balance between key physical and human topics, that provide students with the knowledge, understanding and skills for further study at higher education or for employment.  It engages candidates with fascinating contemporary Geographical themes including Disease Dilemmas, Geomorphological Systems and the Hazardous Earth, whilst also equipping students with advanced transferable skills.  Students develop mastery of statistical, graphical and ICT skills as assessed elements of the course. Fieldwork skills are also assessed though an in-depth fieldwork investigation and this investigation is expected to be along the Dorset Coast in 2023. 

To view the footage taken from a previous A Level Dartmoor Fieldtrip, please click here.   

Mr Dan Curran (Head of Geography)