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Welcome to the Higher Geography Forum - HSN forum

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Welcome to the Higher Geography Forum

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#1 bred


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Posted 28 July 2005 - 04:29 PM

Welcome to the Higher Geography forum!

Please feel free to ask any questions you may have relating to the course. However, if you could search the forum first to check that your question has not already been answered that would be great. The Higher Geography Resources thread may also be of use to you.

If you have any suggestions for improving the Higher Geography forum please PM or email me.

Click here for the Higher Geography Arrangements Document

Click here for the Higher Geography Course Assessment Pack

Why Geography?

This course is designed to enable you to use geographical analysis to develop a detailed understanding of important aspects of the contemporary world. This involves studying the ways that people and the environment interact and examining the environmental issues that arise in a rapidly changing world. Throughout the course you will have the opportunity to develop a wide range of skills including research, evaluation and presentation, IT, mapping and statistics.

Entry to the Course

This is at the discretion of the school/college but you would normally be expected to have attained one of the following

Standard Grade Geography or another social subject at Credit level
Intermediate 2 Geography units or course
Intermediate 2 or Higher Course in another social subject or their Units

Course Outline

The course consists of three 40 hour units and 40 hours flexible time.

Geography: Physical Environments

The four sub-sections are –

Atmosphere: the characteristics and effects of the atmosphere on global and regional scales.
Hydrosphere: the hydrological cycle, fluvial landforms and landscapes.
Lithosphere: the development of regional landscapes, processes of slope formation.
Biosphere: soils, vegetation.

Geography: Human Environments

The four sub-sections are –

Population geography: demographic systems, population change, migration.
Rural geography: agricultural systems, rural landscapes, rural change.
Industrial Geography: industrial systems, industrial landscapes, industrial change.
Urban Geography: urban systems, functions and structures, urban change.

Geography: Environmental Interactions

This unit is divided into two groups each containing three applications. You will be required to study at least two applications, one from each group.

Group 1


Rural land resources.
Areal context - United Kingdom.

Rural land degradation.
Areal context – North America and either Africa north of the Equator or the Amazon Basin.

River basin management.
Areal context– either Africa or North America, including the detailed study of one river basin.

Group 2


Urban change and its management.
Areal context– two urban concentrations, one from a Developed country and one from a Developing country.

European regional inequalities.
Areal context– European Union, with particular reference to two member states, one of which must be the United Kingdom.

Development and Health.
Areal context– case studies from the Developing World.

Core Skills

H Problem Solving (Critical Thinking)
H Numeracy (Using Graphical Information)


The course is assessed by a combination of internal assessment by the teacher/lecturer and an external examination, set and marked by the SQA.


Successful completion of this course may lead to:

Advanced Higher in Geography
Higher in History, and/or Modern Studies and/or Classical Studies

A Scottish Group Award at Higher in Arts and Social Science

Education (HNC/HND/Degree); Employment in Animals, Land and Environment, Construction, Hospitality, or Catering and Tourism.

Geography is a Useful Degree!

The traditional careers for geographers, in teaching, surveying and town planning still exist but there are many new opportunities in both public and private sectors. In particular there are new openings in industry and commerce, and this sector is now the main employment destination of our graduates. Environment and "green issues" are high on the political and social agenda and geographers who have a qualification in another subject, be it biology, economics, environmental management, a language or computer science, will be well-placed to take advantage of new career opportunities. In addition, techniques of GIS (Geographical Information Systems), which combine the geographer's traditional skills with computing techniques, are finding increasing application in such fields as natural resource evaluation, transport and planning, and public sector resource management.

Employers recognise that Physical Geography graduates have a range of transferable skills including computer literacy, teamwork, problem solving and data handling, as well as specialised knowledge about the physical environment.

Traditional employment opportunities in such areas teaching, surveying and local government are still important but in recent years graduates have benefited from the huge number of new careers opportunities related to environmental issues.

In both public and private sectors environmental issues are high on the economic and social agenda, and Physical Geographers with a Dual Honours degree are well placed to provide the necessary skills and expertise. Resource management, geomorphological consultancy and environmental protection provide employment for many Physical Geography graduates, both in commercial enterprises and in organisations such as the Forestry Commission.

Further advice and information on these options is available from your subject teacher/lecturer, guidance teacher/adviser and careers adviser.

Not all geographers become teachers.

A glaciologist working in Alaska.

City planners shape the urban environments that more and more of us are living in.

A storm chaser films a supercell in the USA.

These are just a few examples of geography related careers.
And of course there's nothing wrong with teaching either!

Some famous people that studied Geography include Prince William and basketball great Michael Jordan.

Basketball great Michael Jordan graduated with a degree in Geography.

Geography degrees show employers you have a wide range of skills, and for this reason there will be various other non-Geography related fields you could work in if you so desire in the future. Alternatively, a joint-honours degree will also ensure that your options are kept open to a wide variety of career paths. Joint degrees with Geography and a variety of other subjects (e.g. History, Politics, Economics) are possible at many universities.

A good geography teacher can mean the difference between a class full of pupils with no desire to be there and a class full of enthusiastic geographers. However, if you don't think you have a good teacher, try not to let it put you off!

Maybe the course will even inspire you to continue your geographical studies outside of school. Geography can be fascinating. Naturally, the Higher Geography course only covers a select few geographical subjects and the detail of knowledge necessary is not very great. However, it gives a good grounding and you may well endevour to read more widely on the subjects within the course, and indeed subjects not in the course. This will put you in good stead for future geographical studies and for careers in a wide variety of fields.

At times the course content may seem boring, but the majority of topics can be interesting if the teaching or resources at hand are good. If you get involved in classes at school and/or threads in the HSN Higher Geography Forum you'd be surprised at how interesting, and relevant to our lives, Geography can be!

If you've not checked out Google Earth before I'd thoroughly recommend doing so:

http://earth.google.com/ - GE can be downloaded here. "Want to know more about a specific location? Dive right in -- Google Earth combines satellite imagery, maps and the power of Google Search to put the world's geographic information at your fingertips."

http://bbs.keyhole.com - Google Earth discussion forums. Placemarks and overlays are shared here, a place to discuss interesting places on GE.

Many of the images I have posted in threads in this forum are thanks to Google Earth/Digital Globe's satellite imagery.

Edited by bred, 19 January 2007 - 07:05 PM.

Please vote for me! (Brendan Howard, 5th from bottom, only 1 vote required): http://answers.polld...m/poll/2330393/

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