Barcelona Field Studies Centre

Edexcel GCSE Geography Fieldwork Syllabus A: Field Study Options and Examples

Fieldwork in Edexcel GCSE Geography Syllabus A is examined through Topic 7 in Component 3 'Geographical Investigations: Fieldwork and UK Challenges'. There is a choice of one Physical Geography topic from 7A (Rivers or Coasts) and one Human Geography topic from 7B (Central/Inner Urban Area or Rural Settlements). The experience of fieldwork will help students to develop new geographical insights into the two contrasting environments required for this qualification and to apply their geographical knowledge, understanding and skills to these environments.

Edexcel require:
One environment must be chosen from a river landscape or a coastal landscape and one from a central/inner urban area or rural settlement. Fieldwork must be outside the classroom and school/college grounds. It does not have to take place in the UK necessarily, but the examination for this will always treat fieldwork within the context of the UK.

Barcelona Field Studies Centre offers relevant fieldwork that will be applicable to the context of the UK. Each fieldwork activity follows the enquiry process. There will be some preparation work and follow-up work required at school and materials will be provided to support this.

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.

Edexcel GCSE Geography A Field Study Options

Select at least one opportunity from a Physical Geography topic and a Human Geography topic, plus other opportunities to further your students' understanding as desired.

Physical Geography

Choose from either the River Landscapes or the Coastal Landscapes option.

1. River Landscapes Fieldwork Opportunity: River Tordera

Location

River Tordera – visiting four sites

Geographical enquiry (from the syllabus)

Investigation of change in a river channel

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. Students will develop their understanding of the implications of river processes for people living in the catchment area.

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Channel measurements: river velocity, width, depth, channel cross-sectional area, gradient, discharge 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

2. Coastal Landscapes Fieldwork Opportunity: Sitges Coast

Location

Sitges Coast

Geographical enquiry (from the syllabus)

Investigation of coastal processes through landscape evidence

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 human 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

Local geology map, local aerial map, map of dominant wave direction, local secondary data on coastal change

Human Geography

Choose one option from Changing City Environments or Changing Rural Environments.

1. Changing City Environments Fieldwork Opportunity: El Raval, Barcelona

Location

El Raval, Barcelona

Geographical enquiry (from the syllabus)

Investigating change in central/inner urban area(s)

Aim

To investigate how successful the urban regeneration schemes have been in the El Raval district of Barcelona

Description

Students will visit four sample zones to investigate the regeneration in the old inner city district of El Raval. Students will develop their understanding of the interaction between physical landscape features, the central/inner urban area and residents and visitors.

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Environmental quality survey, residential decay survey, perception survey, new business and economic activities survey, price of a convenience item

Qualitative

Annotated photographs, interviews with local stakeholders (e.g. shopkeepers, University students)

Secondary data provided

Local census data, aerial photos, local crime map, evidence of graffiti, local newspaper reports

2. Changing City Environments Fieldwork Opportunity: Pedralbes to El Raval transsect, Barcelona

Location

Transect from Pedralbes to El Raval, Barcelona

Geographical enquiry (from the syllabus)

Investigating change in central/inner urban area(s)

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. Students will develop their understanding of the interaction between physical landscape features, the central/inner urban area and residents and visitors.

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Environmental quality survey, land use survey

Qualitative

Annotated photographs

Secondary data provided

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

3. Changing City Environments Opportunity: 22@ New Technologies District, Poblenou, Barcelona

Location

Poblenou area of Barcelona

Geographical enquiry (from the syllabus)

Investigating change in central/inner urban area(s)

Aim

To investigate the urban rebranding strategies in the Poblenou district of Barcelona

Description

Students will visit the Poblenou district which has been transformed from an old industrial district with toxic beaches, to a centre for new technologies with a remodelled seafront. Students will develop their understanding of the interaction between physical landscape features, the central/inner urban area and residents and visitors.

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Environmental quality survey, land use survey, structured questionnaire

Qualitative

Annotated photographs, investigation of business functions, building observation

Secondary data provided

Historical images, local newspaper report

4. Changing Rural Environments Fieldwork Opportunity: Priorat

Location

Priorat

Geographical enquiry (from the syllabus)

Investigating change in rural settlements

Aim

To investigate the rural rebranding of Priorat

Description

Students will explore how Priorat has changed from being an area experiencing rural decline to a famous wine region with associated wine tourism

Primary data collection

Quantitative

Environmental quality survey, structured questionnaire, index of residential decay, perception survey, index of services and amenities, placecheck survey, method to measure flows of people within a rural settlement

Qualitative

Annotated photographs showing evidence of change, interviews with local shopkeepers

Secondary data provided

Census data, background information on change in Priorat including social and economic development, the construction of a wine technology park, the environment impact, immigration and village services

5. Changing Rural Environments Fieldwork Opportunity: Catalan villages

Location

Four contrasting Catalan villages in the Barcelona region

Geographical enquiry (from the syllabus)

Investigating change in rural settlements

Aim

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

Description

Students will visit four contrasting 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, method to measure flows of people within a rural settlement

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

Edexcel GCSE Geography A Example Fieldwork Programme

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

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

Edexcel GCSE Geography A 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: 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 data. The session will also set the context for the following day's fieldwork 

Evening meal

Day 3

Breakfast

Full day: Human Geography Fieldwork Opportunity

Select from El Raval, Pedrables to El Raval transect, 22@ in Poblenou, Priorat or Catalan villages

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

Select an additional study to enhance students' syllabus understanding (e.g. the alternative Physical Geography study to enhance students' understanding of processes)

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

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