Barcelona Field Studies Centre

WJEC AS/A Level GCE 2016 Geography Fieldwork

AS Level Component Changing Landscapes Changing Places
Weighting 60% 40%
Marks 120 80
Key areas of Content Section A: Changing Landscapes Either Coastal or Glaciated Landscapes
Two compulsory structured questions with data response
Section B: Tectonic Hazards
One compulsory structured question with data response and two extended response questions
Section C: Challenges in the 21st Century
One compulsory extended response question drawing on both Components 1 and 2, with resource material
Section A: Changing Places
Two compulsory structured questions with data response
Section B: Fieldwork Investigation in Physical and Human Geography
Three compulsory structured questions with data response on fieldwork and the learner's own fieldwork investigation
Optionality Optionality in Section A Optionality in Section B
Skills Topic-specific See Fieldwork skills
Fieldwork Fieldwork questions in Section B
Synopticity
Question styles See Key areas of Content See Key areas of Content
A Level Component Changing Landscapes and Changing Places Global Systems and Global Governance Contemporary Themes in Geography Independent Investigation
Weighting 20.5% 27.5% 32% 20%
Marks 82 110 128 80
Key areas of Content Section A: Changing Landscapes
Either Coastal or Glaciated Landscapes
Section B: Changing Places
Section A: Global Systems
Water and Carbon Cycles
Section B: Global Governance: Change and Challenges
Processes and patterns of global migration and global governance of the Earth's oceans
Section C: 21st Century Challenges
Section A: Tectonic Hazards
Section B: Contemporary Themes in Geography
Four optional themes:
  • Ecosystems
  • Economic Growth and Challenge: India or China or Development in an African Context
  •  Energy Challenges and Dilemmas
  • Weather and Climate
From Components 1 and 2 or the optional themes in Component 3
Optionality Section A Optionality None Section B optionality
Skills Topic-specific Topic-specific Fieldwork skills
Synopticity
Question styles Two compulsory structured, data response questions and one compulsory extended response question in Sections A and B Sections A and B: two compulsory structured, data response questions and one compulsory extended response question
Section C: One compulsory extended response question drawing on both Components 1 and 2 with resource material
Section A: one compulsory extended response question
Section B: two essay questions chosen from the four optional themes
Project 3000-4000 words

Our field studies for the new WJEC 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.

WJEC AS level

Fieldwork skills will be assessed in Section B: Fieldwork Investigation in Physical and Human Geography. 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.


WJEC A Level

Assessment of fieldwork skills will be within the Independent Investigation 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 six stages of the enquiry process

The enquiry process forms the framework for application of the fieldwork and geographical skills. Knowledge and understanding of the six stages will be developed overall through the fieldwork and each of the days undertaken may focus on some of the aspects of the six stages; that is all the geographical skills involved in the enquiry process need not be undertaken on the fieldwork days. The aim should be to build by the end of the fieldwork a holistic understanding of the six stages.

Sequence and enquiry
questions
Geographical skills
1. Context and planning – what is the geographical enquiry process? Prepare to investigate a geographical question in the field; make and justify decisions on the task including data collection methods and how to use them; define and refine the research question(s) that underpin the context of the field investigation; risk and ethical issues.
2. Data collection – how is data and information (evidence) collected? Acquire field data (primary) and relevant literature (secondary data / information) pertinent to the research question; observe and record in the field and understand the theory / context for the research question, using quantitative and qualitative methods and field (primary) and secondary data / information.
3. Presentation and display – how is the collected data and information presented? Process a range of field and any relevant secondary data / information using quantitative and qualitative methods in order to lead to appropriate analysis.
4. Analysis and interpretation of findings – how can the evidence be analysed? Interrogate (interpret and analyse) data / information from field (primary) data, and, as relevant, secondary data / information; describe patterns, trends, relationships; apply knowledge and understanding of geographical knowledge, concepts and processes and theory to specific evidence collected to understand field observations.
5. Conclusion – what conclusions can be drawn and how do these relate to the initial aim of the enquiry? Synthesise findings to draw conclusions based on evidence and theoretical research.
6. Evaluation of the whole investigation – what evaluative techniques should be applied to the enquiry process? Critically reflect on every stage of the whole investigation in order to appreciate the strengths and limitations of the primary and secondary data, links to original question; note strengths and limitations (accuracy, validity and reliability) and anomalies and /or errors or misuse of data; evaluate the methodology including, if relevant, sampling techniques; suggest improvements for further research.

To prepare for each of their fieldwork activities, learners should be given opportunities to:

  • pose geographical questions
  • consider appropriate data collection methodologies
  • design survey strategies before they go on field visits.

In considering and collecting appropriate raw data / information collected in the field (primary data / information), learners should be guided to observe and record by:

  • taking measurements and surveys, including questionnaires, observations and interviews
  • making images, including field sketches and photographs
  • obtaining raw census material
  • obtaining information from GIS.

Learners should also be guided towards sampling techniques, coding, timing and frequency as appropriate. In order to understand the theoretical or comparative context of their research question(s) learners also need to be guided to collect secondary information as appropriate. After their various fieldwork activities, learners should be given opportunities to:

  • consider appropriate methods of data / information presentation
  • reflect on their fieldwork findings by processing data
  • analyse patterns and trends and draw conclusions
  • evaluate techniques and the various fieldwork activities.

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.

WJEC AS Level Geography

Geographical skills in equal weighting of quantitative and qualitative skills are required for GCE AS learners and the following list indicates those selected for study for Components 1 and 2 in this specification. All the skills need to be addressed within Components 1 and 2 but not all will apply to fieldwork.

AS Level Quantitative skills to collect data through numerical measurements

1. Cartographical information:

  • longitude and latitude
  • map coordinates including grid references and area references
  • distance and area
  • direction
  • scale

2. Number and statistical calculations:

  • sampling, including random, stratified, systematic and the ability to identify sources of error in data, measurement errors and misuse of data
  • totals
  • percentages
  • fractions, proportions and ratios
  • data sets (small to large) including crowd-sourced and big data (characterised by volume, velocity and variety)
  • frequencies
  • densities
  • scales of measurement
  • measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode)
  • measures of dispersion (range, inter-quartile range)
  • measures of correlation, including a scatter plot, estimated lines of best fit and Spearman Rank

3. Cartographic and graphical material:

  • isoline and isopleth maps
  • choropleth maps
  • dot maps
  • flow diagrams and maps
  • proportional symbols
  • graphs, including scatter, line, bar, triangular, logarithmic, bipolar
  • pie charts
  • population pyramids
  • cross-sections and long profiles
  • rose / star / radial diagrams
  • Lorenz curve

4. Digital and geo-located data:

  • geospatial technologies including aerial photographs, digital images, satellite images, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), databases
AS Level Qualitative skills to collect data through non-numerical techniques

5. Cartographical information for:

  • landscape system identification
  • land-use identification
  • risk assessment

6. Cartographic and graphical material:

  • mental maps
  • GOAD plans
  • Ordnance Survey maps (1:25 000 and 1:50 000)

7. Digital and geo-located data:

  • geospatial technologies including aerial photographs, digital images, satellite images, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), databases
  • field sketches

8. Textual and visual sources:

  • interview material including coding
  • images
  • factual text
  • discursive / creative material
  • oral histories

WJEC A Level Geography

Geographical skills in relation to both an equal weighting of quantitative and qualitative skills are required for A level learners and the following list indicates those selected for study for all components in this specification. All the skills need to be addressed within these components but not all will apply to fieldwork.

A Level Quantitative skills to collect data through numerical measurements

1. Cartographical information:

  • longitude and latitude
  • map coordinates including grid references and area references
  • distance and area
  • direction
  • scale

2. Number and statistical calculations:

  • sampling, including random, stratified, systematic and the ability to identify sources of error in data, measurement errors and misuse of data
  • totals
  • percentages
  • fractions, proportions and ratios
  • data sets (small to large) including crowd-sourced and big data (characterised by volume, velocity and variety)
  • frequencies
  • densities
  • scales of measurement
  • measures of central tendency (mean, median, mode)
  • measures of dispersion (range, standard deviation, inter-quartile range)
  • measurements of concentration, including location quotient
  • ratios including dependency ratio and Gini-coefficient
  • indices including ecological footprint, HDI
  • measures of correlation, including a scatter plot, lines of best fit and Spearman Rank
  • inferential statistics, including Chi-square

3. Cartographic and graphical material:

  • isoline and isopleth maps
  • choropleth maps
  • dot maps
  • flow diagrams and maps
  • proportional symbols
  • graphs, including scatter, line, bar, triangular, logarithmic, bipolar
  • pie charts
  • population pyramids
  • cross-sections and long profiles
  • rose / star / radial diagrams
  • kite diagrams
  • Lorenz curve

4. Digital and geo-located data:

  • geospatial technologies including aerial photographs, digital images, satellite images, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), databases
A Level Qualitative skills to collect data through non-numerical techniques

5. Cartographical information for:

  • landscape system identification
  • land-use identification
  • risk assessment

6. Cartographic and graphical material:

  • mental maps
  • GOAD plans
  • Ordnance Survey maps (1:25 000 and 1:50 000)

7. Digital and geo-located data:

  • geospatial technologies including aerial photographs, digital images, satellite images, geographic information systems (GIS), global positioning systems (GPS), databases
  • field sketches

8. Textual and visual sources:

  • interview material including coding
  • images
  • factual text
  • discursive / creative material
  • oral histories


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