Edexcel Geography GCSE Syllabus A Geography Coursework Guidance
It is a requirement of the GCSE Subject Criteria for Geography
that all candidates should undertake geographical investigations supported by
fieldwork. This will involve a process of enquiry that demonstrates their
understanding and skills within a geographical context. Unlike the written
papers, there are no entry tiers for coursework. All candidates will be assessed
against the same criteria and will have an equal opportunity to show what they
Candidates are required to use ICT at various stages of their
investigation. See the section Incoorporating ICT in coursework below.
Designing and planning the coursework
Candidates are required to submit one item of coursework. It
must take the form of an investigation which will involve candidates in the
following stages of a geographical enquiry:
1 the planning of the topic for study can be developed
from observation, discussion, reading or previous study, and should be
approached in terms of aquestion or problem to be investigated, a
hypothesis to be tested, or a combination of these
2 the defining of the aims of the enquiry; the more
specific the aims, the more likely is the candidate’s attention to be directed
to the purpose of the enquiry and specific problems or questions arising from it
3 the planning and decision making about what data is
relevant to the study and how this data can best be obtained; the general format
and development of the study should also be agreed at this stage
4 the candidate should be able to demonstrate the skills of data
refining and presentation by presenting the material in a variety of forms
appropriate to the nature of the particular study, eg maps, diagrams and charts,
sketches and annotated photographs
5 interpretation and analysis, where the candidate
should consider the significance of the collected data, leading to a formulation
of conclusions relating to the original aims of the study.
• Candidates should avoid submitting coursework that is
either extremely brief or of great length. It is recommended that approximately
2000 words should be the maximum length.
Incorporating ICT in coursework
There are three important considerations relating to the use of
ICT in producing coursework:
• it must be used appropriately
• its use must enhance the investigation
• it should be properly integrated into the finished study (‘built
in’, not ‘bolt on’).
Candidates’ use of ICT is assessed in three of the five
coursework assessment criteria.
• It is assessed as part of Data collection. Candidates
should use ICT in some form as part of the overall data collection process. This
could be research supporting secondary data, collecting primary data, or
collating the data collected. Appropriate uses of ICT could include:
- researching related geographical theory from the Internet or
CD ROM, to help with the analysis and conclusions
- using satellite images (e.g. from ‘Window on the World’
- capturing images of the fieldwork on digital camera
- using data loggers to help with collection of, e.g. weather
- collating group data with the use of spreadsheet or database
• It is assessed as part of Data presentation. Appropriate
uses of ICT could include:
- printouts of spreadsheets in the form of tables, charts,
- annotated digital camera images
- graphics packages to plot river or beach profiles from data
collected in the field
- annotated maps and satellite images.
• It is assessed as part of Planning and organisation. As
part of this criterion, candidates will be assessed on the overall contribution
that ICT has made to the study, particularly the extent to which they have been
successful in using 1CT appropriately, and the extent to which the use has been
integrated into the finished study. Candidates should still be encouraged to
produce hand-drawn diagrams where this is likely to be the more effective method
- for example for annotated sketch maps.
The presentation of the completed investigation
• The completed coursework should consist of text supported
by relevant maps, diagrams, tables, photographs and other illustrations
appropriate to the nature of the enquiry. Video tapes, audio tapes and other
media may be submitted, but candidates should be advised that their use is no
substitute for the required text.
• The work should be submitted on A4 paper secured in a
simple, lightweight folder. Plastic wallets and ring binders should not be used.
• Centre and candidate names and numbers should be clearly
written on the front cover.