The Edexcel International GCSE Geography course is designed for use in schools and colleges. It is part of a suite of qualifications offered by Edexcel. The course will engage you in the process and concepts of geography and enable you to use geographical skills, technologies, enquiry and analysis.
The study of geography is of vital importance in a changing world and this course will assist you in developing an appreciation of the differences and similarities between the environment, human societies and cultures. The study of Geography will also develop an appreciation of the importance of the location of places and environments, both locally and globally. By studying Edexcel International GCSE Geography will also assist you in your understanding of people's responsibilities as global citizens and the ways in which you can contribute to a future that is both sustainable and inclusive.
Key subject aims
This course in Edexcel International GCSE Geography enables students to:
• apply and build on the fundamental building blocks of geographical knowledge
• actively engage in the process of geographical enquiry to develop as effective and independent learners and as critical and reflective thinkers with enquiring minds
• develop their knowledge and understanding of geographical concepts and appreciate the relevance of these concepts to our changing world
• develop a framework of spatial awareness in which to appreciate the importance of the location of places and environments from a local to global scale
• appreciate that people have different views of, and attitudes to, the world, its environments and its issues
• develop and apply practical geographical enquiry skills
• undertake geographical investigations that include both primary and secondary data collection and presentation, analysis and drawing conclusions
• develop and apply their learning to the real world through fieldwork
• develop their awareness of global issues and recognise the need for a sustainable future.
This course is made up of 120–140 guided learning hours (GLH).
Key features and benefits of the qualification
• It adds an international dimension to the study of geography.
• It encourages practical enquiry skills that underpin knowledge and understanding of geography.
• Assessment is through one externally-assessed examination.
• It provides a solid basis for progression to GCE AS and Advanced qualification
• in geography, or equivalent qualifications such as BTEC Nationals in Travel and Tourism and land-based subjects.
Overview of content:
Section A – The Natural Environments
Section B – People and their Environments
Ecosystems and rural environments
Section C – Global Issues
Globalisation and migration
Examination Paper code: 4GE0/01
Externally-assessed through a 2 hours 45 hour examination paper, set and marked by Edexcel.
Availability: June series.
First assessment: June 2011.
The single tier of entry will contain a variety of question types, such as multiple choice questions, short and extended answer questions, graphical and data questions and practical enquiry questions.
The total number of marks available is 150.
Section A – The Natural Environment
• Different types of hazard (climatic, tectonic).
• The global distributions, causes and characteristics of: tropical storms, volcanoes and earthquakes.
• Methods of monitoring weather conditions. Global and regional, Mapping the global distribution of recent hazards.
• Identifying the scale of natural disasters and their short-term and long-term impact in countries at different levels of development.
• Reasons why people continue to live in areas at risk from hazard events. Regional and small (local)
• Predicting and preparing for hazards (education, early warning systems, shelters, defences).
• Coping during hazards (evacuation, mitigation).
• Consequences of hazards: short-term (emergency aid an disaster relief); long-term (risk assessment, rebuilding, review and adjustment, improving prediction and preparation).
• The hydrological cycle: characteristics, stores and transfers.
• Features of a drainage basin: watershed, source, mouth, channel
• The hydrograph (discharge, base flow, storm flow) and river regimes: factors affecting them (precipitation, temperature, water abstraction, dams).
• Processes: weathering and mass movement; erosion and deposition. Factors affecting these processes (stream velocity, slope, geology).
• Formation of valleys, interlocking spurs, waterfalls, meanders, oxbow lakes, flood plains and levees.
• The uses of water: agriculture, industry, human hygiene and leisure including the reasons for a rising demand resulting in areas of water
• surplus and water shortage.
• Reasons for differences in water quality. Sources of pollution
• (sewage, industrial waste, agriculture). Managing the supply of clean water (dams and reservoirs; pipelines; treatment works).
• Flooding: causes (intensity of rainfall, snowmelt, steep slopes,
• impermeable surfaces, human activities) and control (construction of spillways, embankments).
Section B - People and their Environments
Ecosystems and rural environments
• Biomes and their global distributions.
• Ecosystems and their components: rocks; soils; climate; vegetation; fauna; key ecological processes and concepts (adaptation, succession, zonation, food webs, biodiversity).
• The nature of the temperate grassland biome and its agricultural use. Global, national and small (local)
• Characteristics of rural environments: employment; population size and structure; land use (including quarrying, recreation and tourism); accessibility; conservation.
• The farm as a system. Different types of farming: arable/pastoral; commercial/subsistence; intensive/extensive and ways of raising agricultural production (eg irrigation, glasshouses, genetic engineering, High Yielding Varieties).
• Causes and consequences of food shortages and attempts to tackle these problems. National and regional
• Low income country rural settlement changes: farming changes (eg move to cash cropping); rural-to-urban migration and its impact.
• High income country rural settlement changes: new economic activities; rural
• The nature of urbanisation (including suburbanisation and counter-urbanisation); the factors affecting the rate of urbanisation and the emergence of mega-cities.
• Mapping of the changing global distribution of mega cities
• The problems associated with rapid urbanisation including congestion, transport, employment, crime and environmental quality. Global and small (local) Investigating change in environmental quality survey. Urban environments can be characterised by the distribution of different land uses and of people of different economic status and ethnic background.
• Reasons for factors encouraging similar land uses to concentrate in particular parts of the urban area (eg locational needs, accessibility, land values).
• Consequences of different land uses, eg the distribution of different socio-economic and ethnic groups, accessibility.
• Implications of rapidly developing urban areas in low income countries, eg shanty towns (squatter settlements, location, growth, problems and mitigating strategies including self-help). Small (local) changes occur as urban environments age and the needs of people change.
• The nature of, and reasons for, the changes taking place at the edge of high income countries (eg retail complexes, business parks and industrial estates). The ‘greenfield’ versus ‘brownfield’ debate.
• Areas of social deprivation and poverty in HIC cities: symptoms and locations. The changing fortunes of inner-city areas.
• The roles of decision makers (planners, politicians, property developers and industrialists) in urban regeneration and rebranding.
Section C – Global Issues
Globalisation and migration
• Globalisation is making the nations of the world increasingly interdependent. Major movements of people are both a cause and a consequence of this interdependence
• The rise of the global economy (growth of production and commodity chains) and the factors encouraging it (trade, foreign investment, aid, labour, modern transport and information technologies).
• The global shift in manufacturing and the reasons for this(labour costs, resources, profiteering).
• TNCs: organisation; role as key players in the global economy; benefits and costs to countries hosting TNCs. Global, national and small
• The growth of global tourism and its causes (increased leisure, the package holiday, modern transport, marketing).
• The impact of mass tourism on the environment, economy and people of destination areas.
• Attempts to make tourism more sustainable (ecotourism). Global, national and small.
• Migration – a component of population change; international migration; net migration.
• Types of migration (voluntary versus forced); the push-pull factors affecting migration.
• Managing migration – refugee and asylum-seeker issues: the case for controlling migration flows.
Practical Geographical Enquiry
Throughout this course, you will need to acquire a range of geographical skills through fieldwork and linked practical exercises.
Fieldwork is integral to the enquiry process that underpins the qualification.
The Field Studies Council (FSC) and Ofsted (2011 subject report) both support the view that good and regular fieldwork motivates learners and enhances their understanding of geography.
There is also evidence that fieldwork encourages a higher than average take-up of academic qualifications.
Fieldwork and enquiry skills should include:
Pre-fieldwork planning – designing a fieldwork investigation, as per the qualification content
Primary field skills – undertaking a field investigation; the need for sampling, data collection and recording techniques
Presentation, analysis, conclusions and evaluation skills – using the range of data presentation techniques; analysis of data and drawing.
The exam paper is an externally assessed examination paper lasting 2 hours and 45 minutes.
Summary of table of assessment
Paper 1 Paper code: 4GE0/01
• Externally assessed
• Availability June series
• First assessment: June 2011
• The assessment of this qualification is through a 2-hour and 45-minute examination paper, set and marked by Edexcel.
• The single tier of entry will contain a variety of question types, such as multiple-choice questions, short and extended answer questions, graphical and data questions and fieldwork questions.
• The total number of marks available is 150.
• The paper will be a question and answer booklet and students have to answer:
– two questions from a choice of three in Section A
– two questions from a choice of three in Section B
– one question from a choice of three in Section C.
• Each question is worth 30 marks.
Assessment Objectives and weightings% in I
Recall, select, and communicate their knowledge and understanding of
places, environments and concepts
Apply their knowledge and understanding in familiar and unfamiliar
Select and use a variety of skills, techniques and technologies to
investigate, analyse and evaluate questions and issues
This qualification supports progression to:
• GCE in Geography
• GCE in Geology
• GCE in Environmental Sciences
• GCE in Travel and Tourism
• GCE in Leisure and Recreation
• BTEC Nationals in the land-based sector
• further training or employment.
Online Learning Documentation, Online Resources and Tutor support for 1 year.
Payment by Instalments
Students are able to pay course fees in monthly instalments. Click here to download our instalment plan.
Your course is delivered online via the Oxford Learning On Campus website.
In the student 'On Campus' area you are also able to take part in the student chat room and forums as part of our online student community.
After enrolling online you will receive your username and password to access the On Campus area within 3 working days.
Students are required to arrange and pay for their examinations and manage the course work element if the subject requires this. Students must check the relevant examination board website for further information and final examination sitting dates for the specification.
Materials and support provided by Oxford Learning.
A paper copy and Kindle copy of course materials are also available to purchase in the online enrolment process.