The Advanced Higher Geography programme was carefully developed in order to meet the requirements of Curriculum for Excellence. Led by our expert tutors in our field sites, students will gain transferable knowledge and skills.

All sessions will follow the geographical inquiry process and build on students’ geographical investigative skills.

The course will integrate key cross-curricular themes such as learning for sustainability and continue to build on the four capacities, placing students in an unfamiliar environment in which they work together to solve problems, take part in group presentations and positively impact on the environment.

GIS will be integrated into investigations, such as GPS to locate study areas and landscape features. We will also follow up investigations using GIS techniques.

Example Timetable

Day 1


Arrive Midday
  • Students greeted by FSC staff.
  • Welcome talk and Centre tour.
  • Pre-course meeting with FSC staff and teachers.
  • Allocation of wellies/waterproofs.


Soil Catena Investigation

Investigate the relationship between soil characteristics down a slope and vegetation, collecting biotic and abiotic primary data including soil pH and % moisture. Sampling strategies will be discussed and implemented.


Follow-up Session

Analysis of soil samples, data presentation, Spearman’s rank correlation coefficient and evaluation

Day 2

Morning and Afternoon

Coasts: Physical and Human Gathering and Processing Techniques

We will visit the coastline of Cumbrae to carry out a variety of human and physical gathering techniques. The context of the investigation is ‘How Millport’s coastline is changing over space and time’. Fieldwork techniques include beach profile analysis, pebble analysis, environmental quality survey, questionnaire and interview.


Follow-up Session

Data presentation, analysis, and evaluation.

Day 3

Morning and Afternoon

Follow Up: Coasts

Students will be guided through a wide range of data presentation and analysis techniques appropriate to the data collected on the previous day.

Hydrological Cycle Investigations

Around the centre grounds, students will investigate aspects of the hydrological cycle including interception rates in different vegetation types- woodland and scrub land, with an uncovered collection as a control. Infiltration rates will be measured in grassland and woodland. Storm hydrographs on land uses including concrete, bare soil and grassland.


Follow-up Session

Students will graph their data and draw conclusions about how land use impacts the hydrological cycle and flood risk.

Day 4

Morning and Afternoon

Urban Investigation: Tourism in Largs (transport required)

An introductory session introduces students to the maps, stakeholders, land uses and conflicts that are found in the local area. We then travel to Largs to investigate how tourism has shaped this west coast town, covering human gathering and processing techniques. The impact of tourism will be assessed using pedestrian surveys, environmental quality surveys, questionnaire/interview, land use mapping, and traffic survey.


Follow-up Session

Students will write up their methodology, display and analyse their data to make valid conclusions on Largs’ regeneration.

Day 5


Depart After Breakfast.
  • Review of the course.
  • Signposting further actions and opportunities with the FSC and beyond.
  • Final farewell from FSC staff.

Please note: to ensure safe and quality learning experiences for students, the timetable may alter depending on weather conditions and local factors at centres.

Added value of this course

Develop skills

  • Communication | Resilience | Independent thinking | Leadership
  • Numeracy | Literacy | Investigative skills | Observation

Enhance Knowledge

  • Ask questions.
  • Apply knowledge in the real world and make links.
  • Make sense of new places and understand our place and role within this.


  • Have fun | Make friendships | Connect with nature

Why Choose Field Studies Council?

  • Expert tuition by fully trained staff

  • Stunning locations across the UK

  • Outstanding curriculum knowledge

  • Rigorous health and safety procedures

  • Support before and after your visit

  • Free places for visiting staff