Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Edexcel AS/A Level GCE 2016 Geography Fieldwork

AS Level Component Dynamic Landscapes Dynamic Places
Weighting 50% 50%
Marks 90 90
Key areas of Content
  • Section A: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Section B: Glaciated Landscapes and Change or Coastal Landscapes and Change
  • Section A: Globalisation
  • Section B: Regenerating Places or Diverse Places
Optionality Optionality in Section B Optionality in Section B
Skills Topic-specific Fieldwork skills
Fieldwork One fieldwork question in Section B One fieldwork question in Section B
Synopticity 3 synoptic themes: Players, Attitudes and Actions, Futures and Uncertainties 3 synoptic themes: Players, Attitudes and Actions, Futures and Uncertainties
Question styles Multiple choice, short answer, open response, resource questions Multiple choice, short answer, open response, resource questions
A Level Component Dynamic Landscapes Dynamic Places Resource Booklet Independent Investigation
Weighting 30% 30% 20% 20%
Marks 105 105 70 70
Key areas of Content
  • Section A: Tectonic Processes and Hazards
  • Section B: Glaciated Landscapes and Change or Coastal Landscapes and Change
  • Section C: Water Cycle and Water Insecurity; Carbon Cycle and Energy Security
  • Section A: Globalisation; Superpowers
  • Section B: Regenerating Places or Diverse Places
  • Section C: Health, Human Rights and Intervention or Migration, Identity and Sovereignty
Geographical issue within a place-based context that
links to the three synoptic themes and is rooted in two or more of the compulsory content areas.
From any unit
Optionality Section B Optionality Optionality in Sections B and C None
Skills Topic-specific Topic-specific Fieldwork skills
Synopticity 3 synoptic themes: Players, Attitudes and Actions, Futures and Uncertainties
Question styles Short open, open response, resource-linked questions Short open, open response, resource-linked questions Short open, open response, resource-linked questions Project 3000-4000 words

Our field studies for the new Edexcel 2016 AS and A Level GCE Geography courses cover the Fieldwork and Geographical skills, including data manipulation and statistics, that students need. We support students in the development of their Independent Enquiry Question, choice of methodology and the carrying out of their Primary Data collection. Students will be provided with links to secondary data, including census information, newspaper articles and local websites and blogs.


We provide schools in advance with:

  • a fieldwork methodology student 'tool kit' of sampling and statistical methods and example worksheets tailored to our range of field studies
  • detailed background to our studies
  • links to census data and other relevant research material
  • a list of the syllabus themes that link to the studies.

A typical A Level group will undertake 2/3 human and physical studies that lend themselves to a wide range of hypotheses linked to the syllabus themes. Students then develop their own Individual Investigation titles.


Edexcel AS level (8GE0)

Fieldwork skills will be assessed through one question within the Glaciated or Coastal Landscapes options. The specific elements of fieldwork which are required within AS Level Geography are outlined in the Fieldwork Skills tab.


Students will use a variety of relevant quantitative, qualitative and fieldwork skills to:

  • investigate geographical questions and issues
  • interpret, analyse and evaluate fieldwork data and evidence
  • construct arguments and draw conclusions in relation to their own fieldwork experience


Fieldwork is required to be undertaken for at least 2 days including both human and physical geography.


Edexcel A Level (9GE0)

Assessment of fieldwork skills will be within the Investigative Geography component only. The specific elements of fieldwork which are required within A Level Geography are outlined in the Fieldwork Skills tab.


Students will use a variety of relevant quantitative, qualitative and fieldwork skills to:

  • investigate geographical questions and issues
  • interpret, analyse and evaluate data and evidence
  • construct arguments and draw conclusions.


Fieldwork is required to be undertaken for at least 4 days including both human and physical geography.


The descriptions in the table below specify the level of independence required by students at different stages of their investigation.

Investigation stage Level of independence In Practice
Exploring focus Collaboration allowed. Students may discuss together, and with their teacher, ideas and research for appropriate geographical questions. Students have a free choice of investigations focusing on any of the compulsory or optional content and they may be provided with a range of themes from the specification. Research literature should be referenced within the written report.
Title of the investigation, focus of investigation (sub-questions), purpose of investigation. Independent work Students must provide a clear justification and contextualisation of how their enquiry will help them to address their title and explore their theme.
Devising methodology and sampling framework Collaboration allowed Students may collaborate when planning and selecting methodologies / sampling strategies
Primary data collection Collaboration allowed Primary data collection may be carried out individually or in groups.
Secondary data collection Independent work Students select secondary sources of data on their own.
Data/information presentation Independent work Students select and use appropriate data presentation methods on their own.
Data analysis and explanation Independent work Students select and use appropriate data analysis techniques and independently interpret and analyse the results.
Conclusions and evaluation Independent work Students evaluate the findings of their investigation and reach a balanced and supported conclusion on their own.

Edexcel AS Level Geography requires students to:
1. identify appropriate field research questions, based on their knowledge and understanding of relevant aspects of physical and human geography
2. undertake informed and critical questioning of data sources, analytical methodologies, data reporting and presentation, including the ability to identify sources of error in data and to identify the misuse of data
3. understand how to observe and record phenomena in the field and be able to devise and justify practical approaches taken in the field, (including frequency/timing of observation, sampling, and data collection approaches)
4. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of how to select practical field methodologies (primary) appropriate to their investigation
5. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of implementing chosen methodologies to collect data/information of good quality that is relevant to the topic of investigation
6. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the techniques appropriate for analysing field data and information and for representing results, including GIS, and show ability to select suitable quantitative or qualitative approaches and to apply them
7. apply existing knowledge and concepts to identify, order and understand field observations
8. show the ability to present and write a coherent analysis of fieldwork findings and results in order to justify conclusions as well as to interpret meaning from the investigation, including the significance of any measurement or other errors.


Edexcel A Level Geography requires students to:
1. research relevant literature sources and understand and write up the theoretical or comparative context for a research question
2. define the research questions which underpin field investigations
3. demonstrate practical knowledge and understanding of field methodologies appropriate to the investigation of core human and physical processes
4. observe and record phenomena in the field and devise, implement and justify practical approaches taken in the field, including frequency/timing of observation, sampling, and data collection approaches so that good quality data/ information can be collected
5. demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the techniques appropriate for analysing field data and information and for representing results, including GIS, and show ability to select suitable quantitative or qualitative approaches and to apply them
6. demonstrate the ability to interrogate and critically examine field data in order to comment on its accuracy and/or the extent to which it is representative, and use the experience to extend geographical understanding
7. show the ability to write up field results clearly and logically, using a range of presentation methods and apply existing knowledge, theory and concepts in order to understand field observations and make a well argued case
8. evaluate and reflect on fieldwork investigations, explain how the results relate to the wider context and show an understanding of the ethical dimensions of field research.

Edexcel A Level Geography Independent Investigation Option A

Edexcel A Level Geography Independent Investigation Option B

Edexcel Field Study Options Study Location Specification Themes
Tectonics
Volcanic landforms and landscapes Garrotxa Physical processes impact on the magnitude and type of volcanic eruption. Social and economic impacts of tectonic hazards.
Earthquake landforms and landscapes Garrotxa Physical processes impact on earthquake magnitude and focal depth.
Glaciated Landscapes
Field studies under development Pyrenees Glacial landforms create a number of distinctive landscapes in upland and lowland areas that can be used to study the extent of ice cover.
Coastal Landscapes
Sand dune vegetation succession Gavŕ sand dunes Vegetation is important in stabilising sandy coastlines through dune successional development.
Beach morphology Sitges Different wave types (constructive/destructive) influence beach morphology.
Sediment profiles Sitges Different wave types (constructive/destructive) influence beach sediment profiles.
Rates of recession Sitges Rates of recession are not constant and are influenced by different factors both short and longer term.
Coastal landscapes Sitges Erosion and deposition create distinctive coastal landforms.
Coastal management Sitges Hard engineering schemes directly alter physical processes and systems. Soft engineering approaches attempt to work with physical systems and processes. Policy decisions (No Active Intervention, Strategic Realignment and Hold The Line, Advance The Line) are based on complex judgements.
Globalisation
Impact of de-industrialisation Barcelona The global shift has created winners and losers for people and the physical environment.
Regenerating Places
Changing functions and characteristics over time El Raval, Barcelona Over time, places have changed their functions and demographic characteristics. Reason for changes in a place might be explained by physical factors, accessibility and connectedness, historical development and the role of local and national planning.
The changing economic and social characteristics of the 22@ New Technologies District 22@ New Technologies District, Barcelona Regional and national influences, and international and global influences have shaped the characteristics of place.
Economic and social inequalities (urban) Barcelona Urban areas have significant variations in both economic and social inequalities.
Economic and social inequalities (rural) Priorat Rural areas have significant variations in both economic and social inequalities.
Conflicts in the lived experience of place El Raval, Barcelona Conflicts can occur among contrasting groups in communities that have different views about the priorities and strategies for regeneration.
The need for regeneration El Raval, Barcelona There is a range of ways to evaluate the need for regeneration.
Urban regeneration El Raval, Barcelona There are often tensions between groups that wish to preserve urban environments and those that seek change. Urban regeneration strategies include retail-led plans, tourism, leisure and sport.
Rural regeneration Priorat Rural regeneration strategies include tourism, leisure and public/private rural diversification.
Urban rebranding El Raval, Barcelona There are a range of urban rebranding strategies intended to make urban places more attractive to investors.
Rural rebranding Priorat There are a range of rural rebranding strategies intended to make rural places more attractive to tourists and visitors.
Success of urban regeneration El Raval, Barcelona Urban regeneration can be assessed using measures of income, poverty and employment both within areas and by comparison to other more successful areas. Social progress can be measured by reductions in inequalities both between areas and within them. Regeneration is successful if it leads to an improvement in a range of economic, social, demographic and environmental variables.
Success of rural regeneration Priorat Rural regeneration can be assessed using a range of economic, social, demographic and environmental variables in a rural area.
Urban regeneration stakeholders El Raval, Barcelona Different stakeholders will assess urban regeneration success using contrasting criteria.
Rural rebranding stakeholders Priorat Different stakeholders will assess rural regeneration success using contrasting criteria.
Diverse Places
Variation in population characteristics El Raval, Barcelona Different levels of cultural diversity in places can be explained by social clustering.
The changing economic and social characteristics of the 22@ New Technologies District 22@ New Technologies District, Barcelona Regional and national influences, and international and global influences have shaped the characteristics of place.
Inner city perceptions El Raval, Barcelona Some urban locations are perceived as undesirable due to high crime rates, low environmental quality, population characteristics and reputation based on quantitative data but also due to lived experience and media representation.
Suburban and inner-city contrasts Pedralbes and El Raval, Barcelona Suburban and inner-city areas are perceived differently by contrasting demographic groups (by age, ethnicity, life-cycle stage).
Rural area perceptions Priorat Some rural locations are perceived as undesirable by residents and/or outsiders because of remoteness, limited social opportunities, limited range of services, high transport costs, population characteristics and reputation based on quantitative data but also because of lived experience and media representation.
Variations in rurality Village Change in the Barcelona Region Rural areas are viewed in different ways: from very remote areas to retirement villages and commuter villages.
Representations of place El Raval, Barcelona The use of statistical evidence to determine whether people have a positive or negative image of a place. How different representations of a place could be used to influence the perception of cultural and demographic issues and conflict.
Levels of segregation El Raval, Barcelona Diverse living spaces in urban areas have social characteristics that reflect ethnicity and culture in terms of distinctive retail outlets, places of worship and leisure.
Changes to diverse places can lead to tension and conflict El Raval, Barcelona Different community groups, local and national governments and TNCs may make changes to land uses that create challenges and opportunities for local people and their lived experience of place. There are frequent tensions over the diversity of living spaces, especially between long-term residents who seek continuity and recent in-migrants who may seek change. Changes to the built environment will bring benefits to some groups but can provoke hostility from other groups that perceive migrants as a threat to their culture. Migrants may experience a sense of social exclusion.
Evaluating urban change El Raval, Barcelona The urban changes that have taken place can be judged using a range of economic, social, demographic and environmental variables.
Urban change stakeholders El Raval, Barcelona Different stakeholders will assess the success of urban changes using contrasting criteria.
Evaluating rural change Priorat The rural changes that have taken place can be judged using a range of economic, social, demographic and environmental variables.
Rural change stakeholders Priorat Different stakeholders will assess the success of rural changes using contrasting criteria.
Water Cycle and Water Insecurity
Flash flooding: causes, impacts and management Flash Flooding Surpluses within the hydrological cycle can lead to flooding, with significant impacts for people. Human actions can exacerbate flood risk.
Carbon Cycle and Energy Insecurity
Woodland carbon sequestration Mas Mel, Calafell Terrestrial primary producers sequester carbon during photosynthesis.

AQA AS/A Level GCE 2016 Geography Fieldwork Edexcel International AS/A Level 2016 Geography Fieldwork OCR AS/A Level GCE 2016 Geography Fieldwork WJEC AS/A Level GCE 2016 Geography Fieldwork AS/A Level GCE 2016 Syllabus Comparisons