Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Edexcel GCSE Geography Syllabus A Unit A3 (core): The Economic World

Key Ideas Content Content detail

3.1 People work in different economic systems. These vary spatially and over time


• The relative importance or primary, secondary and tertiary industries in countries at different states of development.

• The change in relative importance of the sectors over time within countries at different states of development

• The meanings or the terms, and examples or activities within each category; how importance varies, and reasons for the differences.

• How importance has changed, and reasons for the changes.

3.2 Farming systems show different characteristics. All farming systems have been experiencing change

• Characteristics of farm systems

- intensive/extensive

- commercial/subsistence

- arable/pastoral

- organic.

• The broad physical, economic, political and human factors affecting a farmer’s choices.


• A study of intensive wet rice farming in an LEDC and a study from the EU to consider changes affecting farm systems.


• The meanings of the terms listed. These should be set in the context of the studies chosen below.

• The impact of physical factors (eg, soil quality, relief rainfall), economic factors (eg cost of land, distance from market), political factors (eg, quotas and subsidies) and human factors (eg, perception of opportunities, tradition).

• For each study, the relevant physical and human factors influencing the system, and the relevant changes affecting it (eg, scientific advances including HYVs and chemicals, and land reform in LEDCs, increase in farm/field size and the influence of government policies, including diversification, subsidies and set-aside, in the EU.


3.3 The location of industry changes over time


• In MEDCs

- the broad physical, economic, political and human factors affecting the location of secondary industries

- recent changes in the UK

- a study of one modern high tech industry to consider the specific factors affecting its location.

• In LEDCs:

- the nature of the formal and informal sectors

- a study of the factors attracting one trans-national corporation to a particular country.

• Broad factors include transport, labour, energy, raw materials, government influences and quality of the environment. The use of OS and sketch maps and photographs to investigate locational factors. The specific requirements of the high tech industry in relation to these factors.

• The differences between the sectors, and typical activities. The informal sector could include beach sellers and shoe shiners.

- A case study is required only for the TNC: Fiat in Betim, Brazil.