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Subject Choice

Leaving Certificate

Geography

Career Zone
QQI
NFQ Level
Duration
2 Years

Summary

Geography is the study of people, their environment, and the interaction between the two. The course follows from Junior Cert Geography, and covers very similar topics (such as rocks, soils, oceans, population movements, map-reading, and economic activities) in a lot more detail. There are a large number of optional sections on the course, allowing students to focus on the sections of the course which they like.

What kind of student might Geography suit?

  • Students considering further study in areas such as geography, economics, environmental science, or politics.
  • Students who achieved solid results for Junior Cert Geography.

Recommendations/Tips

  • Students must think abstractly and in 3-D (Be careful about studying Geography if you have any problems with this).
This subject builds skills and knowledge that are particularly useful for careers in the following Career Sectors:

Grades Awarded

Marks Distribution 2018:

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 19294 students who sat the Higher Level Geography exam in 2018.

Listed below are the percentage distributions of marks from the 4658 students who sat the Ordinary Level Geography exam in 2018.

 

Explore Marks Distribution for all Subjects:

Course Overview

Geography is a very popular subject choice. Up to 20% of the final grade is achieved before sitting the actual examination by completing a report on a geographical investigation - this is a great advantage for students.

Course Content

The syllabus is divided into 4 main units. All students study the Core Units 1-3 and Elective Unit 4:

Core Unit 1 -  Patterns and processes in the physical environment
This unit examines the relationship between the tectonic cycle, the rock cycle and the processes of landform development.

Core Unit 2 -  Regional geography
This unit examines how economic, human and physical processes interact in regional settings.

Core Unit 3  - Geographical investigation and skills
This unit encourages the development of skills in handling spatial information leading to the completion of an individual geographical investigation.

Elective Unit 4 - Patterns and processes in the economic environment
This unit examines patterns in economic development and the growth of a single interdependent global economy.

Higher Level
Students taking the Higher Level also study Optional Unit 6 Global Interdependence. This unit examines the interdependent nature of global economic, social and political processes and challenges the differing views of development

Geographical skills
The teaching and application of skills is integrated into each of the units where appropriate
- Map and aerial photograph interpretation
- Satellite imagery
- Figure interpretation
- Census of population data
- Weather maps and data.

Exam Structure

 Exam Structure

Leaving Certificate Geography is assessed at Ordinary and Higher level in ascending order of difficulty. There are two assessment components:

  1. Written Examination (80%)
  2. Geographical Investigation Report (20%)

Students complete two questions on the core units, one question on an elective unit, and one question on an optional unit.

Subject content:

1.   Patterns and processes in the physical environment
2.   Regional geography
3.   Geographical investigation

Two Elective Units (pick one)

4.  Patterns and processes in economic activities
5.  Patterns and processes in the human environment

Four Optional Units (pick one; higher level only):

6.  Global interdependence
7.  Geoecology
8.  Culture and identity
9.  The Atmosphere-Ocean environment

The teaching of geographical skills is an important element of the course; students are encouraged to improve their ability to gather information (from map-reading, statistics, charts), present information (using diagrams, maps, and writing), and evaluate information (separate fact from opinion, make informed judgements, propose sensible solutions to problems). These skills are assessed in the Geographical Investigation.

Career Possibilities

Geography can be studied at third level as a science subject, or as an arts subject.

It is useful in a wide variety of careers such as cartography, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), town planning, environmental science, engineering, travel/tourism, meteorology/weather forecasting and in global/development work.

Visit Geographical Society of Ireland  - Careers in Geography

Career Guidance

Subject Group: Social

These subjects explore common issues faced by all people living in society. They develop the skills and knowledge used to manage personal resources and guide human behaviour.

Required for 3rd Level?

TCD accepts geography as a science subject for entry into both the science and pharmacy faculty.

This subject is not an essential requirement for any courses in the CAO system.

Interviews

What subjects did you take in school and how have these influenced your career path?

Rachel Berry, Pharmacist

For GCSE I studied Maths, Additional Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Physics, Geography, English Language and Literature and German.

For A-Level I took Maths, Chemistry and Biology. I chose these subjects primarily because I was good at them and also because I enjoyed them. The school I attended was very academic and I always knew my future career would involve science of some description so the choices I made were logical.

I do regret not continuing on with art, although at the time I wasn't sure I could spare the time to commit to an extra subject that wasn't really going to come in useful. I guess you just have to weigh up costs and benefits. I found it very helpful to have a good grasp of statistics and pure maths as these topics came up quite alot during the pharmacy degree.

If you are thinking of taking a degree in pharmacy make sure you look at the admission requirements in good time as they can be quite specific and I know the grades are increasing every year so you need to be sure you are capable of making the grades.

... View Full Interview

Niamh Briggs, Garda
I took all the mainstream subjects along with French, Biology, Geography and Business Studies.

... View Full Interview

David Fleming, Sub Lieutenant - Navy

For my Leaving Certificate I took the subjects, French, Geography and Business. Prior to applying for my cadetship I found out that I required a Science subject which I took up in my Leaving Certificate. 

A lot of my training and education through the Navy todate has been Maths and Science based particularly Physics. If I had a choice again I would have gone down this line in school to give me a better foundation. The subjects I chose just made everything slightly harder.

... View Full Interview

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