Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Cambridge IGCSE Geography Fieldwork

Barcelona Field Studies Centre offers a range of field studies which will support students undertaking the Cambridge Geography IGCSE. The studies will also help develop students' knowledge and understanding of a broad range of geographical concepts included in the specification content.

Specification Requirements

Cambridge IGCSE offers the option for students to undertake Component 3 (Coursework) or Paper 4 (Alternative to Coursework). For either option, students must understand the geographical route to enquiry. Students also need to know a range of case studies - field studies can add to their case study portfolio in a memorable way.

Barcelona Field Studies Centre offers a range of fieldwork opportunities which relate to the subject themes in the Cambridge IGSCE specification. You can also include additional studies to maximise students' experience of learning syllabus content through real-world situations.

If you opt for a 'Taught' course, an evening follow-up session will be included. This will review the day's fieldwork activities and assist students to analyse and evaluate their findings.

Component 3: Coursework

Students following the 'Coursework' option will undertake fieldwork in order to test a hypothesis. They must produce one coursework assignment, set by teachers, of up to 2000 words. Centres must submit proposals for candidates' coursework in advance for approval by Cambridge International. Coursework assignments may be based on physical geography or human geography or on an interaction between physical and human geography. Coursework must be clearly related to one or more of the subject themes - see 'Field Study Options' for relevant field studies available in Barcelona. The focus of assignments can be common to all candidates at a centre but they do not have to be.

Barcelona Field Studies Centre offers studies which meet the seven-stage 'route to geographical enquiry' (as outlined in the specification). There will be some preparation work and follow-up work required at school and materials will be provided to support this.

Paper 4: Alternative to Coursework

In Paper 4, candidates are set a series of tasks on issues relating to one or more of the syllabus subject themes. Questions test the methodology of questionnaires, observation, counts and measurement techniques, and involve testing hypotheses appropriate to specific topics. Questions also test processing, presentation and analysis of data. To prepare for the paper, students should follow the route to geographical enquiry.

Undertaking fieldwork will provide students with practical experience of the geographical route to enquiry, and the opportunity to develop their enquiry skills and gain first-hand practical experience of fieldwork methodologies.

Cambridge IGCSE Field Study Options

Cambridge International states that coursework may be based on physical geography or human geography or on an interaction between physical and human geography, and that coursework must be clearly related to one or more of the subject themes. The tasks set in Paper 4 also relate to the subject themes.

Barcelona Field Studies Centre offers a range of fieldwork options relating to the subject themes.


Subject Themes

Human Geography Theme 1: Population and Settlement

1. Settlements (rural) and service provision (1.5): Four Contrasting Catalan villages

Location

Four contrasting Catalan villages in the Barcelona region

Aim

To investigate the socio-economic changes in a selection of Catalan villages

Description

Students will visit four villages located between 40 and 115 kilometres from Barcelona to investigate if Cloke's index of rurality can be applied to villages in the Barcelona region

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Environmental quality survey, price of a convenience item, index of services and amenities, structured questionnaire, investigation of transport links

Qualitative

Annotated photographs showing evidence of change, interviews with businesses (e.g. shopkeepers), evidence of change and cohesion/conflict and function

Secondary data provided

Local census data, newspaper report on Spanish rural change, topographic maps and aerial photos of the villages

2. Urban settlements (1.6): Pedralbes to El Raval transect, Barcelona

Location

Transect from Pedralbes to El Raval, Barcelona

Aim

To investigate change in urban land use and environmental quality

Description

Students will visit six sites on a transect from the suburbs to the inner city in Barcelona

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Environmental quality survey, land use survey

Qualitative

Annotated photographs

Secondary data provided

Census data on average family income by district, map of distribution of foreign nationalities in Barcelona, health inequalities data

Human Geography Theme 3: Economic Development

3. Tourism (3.4): Sitges and Calafell

Location

Sitges and Calafell

Aim

To compare the relative success of tourism, in its various forms, by employing the Butler Model

Description

The study involves visiting both towns and collecting data at five comparable locations in each town. These are the old historic core, the sea front, an area of historic buildings, a major shopping street and an entertainment street. Data will be collected at each site and later used to compare the two towns in relation to the Butler Model

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Sustainable tourism management index, perception survey, index of services and amenities, environmental survey, bipolar evaluation

Qualitative

Photographs

Secondary data provided

Historical context on the development of tourism in Sitges and Calafell

Physical Geography Theme 2: The Natural Environment

4. Rivers (2.2): River Tordera

Location

River Tordera: visiting four sites

Aim

To investigate changes in river channel characteristics from source to mouth

Description

Students will visit four sites on the River Tordera to investigate how the river changes as it moves from source to mouth

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Channel measurements: river velocity, width, depth, channel cross-sectional area, gradient and bed load

Qualitative

Annotated field sketch and digital photographs to show channel changes

Secondary data provided

A GIS topographic map and data for study catchment

5.Coasts (2.3): Sitges Coast

Location

Sitges Coast

Aim

To investigate beach profile and sediment characteristics

Description

Students will undertake a shoreline-to-cliff foot/sea-wall transect to investigate coastal processes and form. This study will also support understanding of a retreating coastline, the coast as a natural system and its processes, coastal landforms and potential conflict at the coastline.

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Beach profile: length, height and slope of beach

Sediment: size and shape of material along the transect

Qualitative

Annotated field sketch of coastal features and digital photographs to show variations along a stretch of coast

Secondary data provided

Coastal sediment budget, local geology map, map of dominant fetch, beach replenishment costs, historic map overlays

Other Field Studies

These studies will provide an opportunity for students to deepen their knowledge and understanding of other areas of the syllabus.

6. Earthquakes and Volcanoes (2.1): Garrotxa Volcanic Natural Park

Location

Garrotxa Volcanic Natural Park

Syllabus content

Causes of volcanic and earthquake hazards, including the role of plate boundaries and hotspots.

Reasons why people continue to live in areas at risk from hazard events.

Description

There are a number of locations which you can choose to visit including volcanoes, historic lava flows, an active fault line, volcanic quarries and a volcano museum.

Cambridge Geography IGCSE Example Fieldwork Programme

The programme outlines an example Cambridge Geography IGCSE Fieldwork Programme for four days. Further information on each of the fieldwork opportunities can be found in the above details.

This is an example programme - all programmes are fully customisable and there are other activities which can be added to your stay.

Cambridge Geography IGCSE Example Fieldwork Programme

Day 1

Arrival in Barcelona

Airport pick-up and 2.5 hour orientation tour of the city

Evening: Welcome, briefing on Health and Safety and context setting for the following day's fieldwork

Evening meal

Day 2

Breakfast

Full day: Human Geography Fieldwork Opportunity

Select from Catalan villages, Pedrables to El Raval transect or Sitges and Calafell

Evening: Two-hour follow-up session to review the day's fieldwork activities and support students in analysing and evaluating their data. The session will also set the context for the following day's fieldwork

Evening meal

Day 3

Breakfast

Full day: Physical Geography Fieldwork Opportunity

Select from River Tordera or Sitges Coast

Evening: Two-hour follow-up session to review the day's fieldwork activities and support students in analysing and evaluating their findings. The session will also set the context for the following day's fieldwork

Evening meal

Day 4

Breakfast

Full day: Additional Field Study

La Garrotxa Volcanic National Park or another theme-related study from those listed above

Evening follow up session, as appropriate

Evening meal

Day 5

Departure and airport drop-off

For further information or if you have an enquiry, please contact us

Course availability

Prices 2019

Prices 2020

Provisional bookings

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