• Complete the fieldwork requirements for AS level students within physical and human environments.
  • Prepare AS level students for Section B of Paper 2: Geography fieldwork investigation and geographical skills, (physical and human) worth 25% of their total marks.
  • Cover a choice of physical geography specification content for AS fieldwork in 3.1 Physical geography.
  • Cover a choice of human geography specification content for AS fieldwork in 3.2.2 Changing places and 3.3.2 Contemporary urban environments.
  • For those going on to A level, this course will provide contextualised learning in inspiring real world environments to develop their geographical understanding for the A level examinations.

Example Timetable

Day 1

Morning

Arrive Midday
  • Students will be greeted by FSC staff, with a welcome talk followed by a brief tour of the Centre and the local area.
  • Outline of the Course
  • Allocation of wellies/waterproofs.

Afternoon

3.1 Physical Geography

Choose one from:

The Carbon Cycle as a Natural System

Students will immerse themselves in a local environment to explore carbon through a systems approach; providing a context for the fieldwork and the students’ place in the geography of carbon through setting a geological time-frame of carbon within the planetary system. They will trial the techniques used to investigate carbon flux and storage.

Coastal Systems and Landscapes

By considering the coast as a system that is constantly in flux to balance inputs, transfers and outputs, students will explore a coastal landscape and begin to appreciate the environment as a dynamic and constantly changing space.

Developing a Systems Approach to Water

An exploration of the importance of water to life on Earth, and how it is cycled in the planetary system on different spatial and temporal scales. This session will be given personal and local relevance through investigating inputs, stores and transfers in our own and the landscape system.

Glacial Landscape Systems and Processes

Developing a sense of place in an inspiring local environment, students will gain an understanding of glacial systems and their role in shaping the present landscape. They will also explore the chronology of events that have shaped the landscape, and the influence of physical factors on these events.

Evening

3.1 Physical Geography

Choose one from:

Carbon Calculator Data Collection and Collation

Students will develop an understanding of our place within the carbon cycle through investigating human activity which transfers carbon from the land into the atmosphere.

Data Analysis and Evaluation – Coasts

Students will process and present their field data, interpreting their fieldwork observations and using statistical techniques to analyse and draw conclusions. The findings will be set into the context of understanding ‘coasts as dynamic environments’, thus enabling students to apply a systems approach to their conclusions.

Data Analysis and Evaluation - Water

Data collected from the afternoon’s fieldwork will be collated, analysed and evaluated. The findings will be set into the context of understanding ‘water balance’ in a systems context, thus forming the foundation of the second day.

Landscape Interpretation

Students will use mapping and remote sensing to extend understanding of the present landscape through exploring the local and global physical factors influencing the glacial systems of the past.

Day 2

Morning and Afternoon

3.1 Physical Geography

Choose one from:

Change in the Carbon Cycle – Investigating Carbon in the Present Landscape

Students will investigate carbon in some of the most inspiring landscapes of the UK. They will develop, their thinking around, and experience of, the carbon system by investigating transfers, flows and storage of carbon at a plant and sere scale. They will carry out fieldwork to explore the role of processes such as photosynthesis, respiration, decomposition, combustion and sequestration in the carbon cycle.

Coastal Landscape Development

In this session students will visit the coastal landscape to gain detailed knowledge of the development of that coastline. By analysis of the character of their coastline they will to determine possible reasons behind the development of the landform features present and the links to the system processes already studied.

Water and Catchment Equilibrium

A local river catchment will be investigated to explore the patterns of water movement within the system, the catchment water balance or imbalance, and the resulting impacts of these on the physical and social landscape. This will build on students’ understanding developed from work on the first afternoon and will include opportunities to explore drought/water stress, sustainable water supply or flooding.

Glaciated Landscape Development - Uplands

A full fieldwork day where students explore an awe-inspiring post-glacial environment, piecing together the processes and chronology that has created the landscape they see today. Students will explore the impact of ice on the landscape, observing landforms such as corries, arêtes and terminal moraines, which have resulted from interactions between geology and erosional and depositional processes. Through direct observation and use of maps or aerial photos, students will gain knowledge of a number of glaciated environment landforms, including the processes that led
to their creation.

Evening

3.1 Physical Geography Data Analysis and Evaluation – Carbon or Coasts or Water or Glaciation

Using GIS and statistical tools to give meaning to the fieldwork data on both a global, local and personal scale, students will contextualise the data into the global picture of change, both natural and anthropogenic.

They will:

  • Process and present their data, using graphical and cartographical techniques
  • Analyse data using statistical techniques
  • Draw conclusions relating back to the original aims and objectives of the investigation
  • Review all the stages of the enquiry and how it might be developed further

Day 3

Morning

3.1 Physical Geography

Choose one from:

Carbon, Climate and the Future

The systems approach to investigating carbon will be taken into a local settlement to contextualise the role of human activity on carbon and climate. Through employing a range of fieldwork students will set out a post carbon vision for the settlement including suggestions for climate change mitigation strategies.

Coastal Management

Students will use their understanding of coastal features, processes and systems to focus on a local coastal management case study. They will consider possible sustainable approaches to coastal flood risk and erosion management and place these within a systems framework.

Human Impacts and Mitigation - Water

A local case study of land use change, a storm event, seasonal change, farming practice or water abstraction with relation to flooding or water supply will be used to investigate the role of human impacts in the water system. This case study will link the previous fieldwork with systems concepts of feedback and causality and will develop thinking around climate change impacts and mitigation.

Glaciated Landscape Development - Lowlands

Students will follow the path of a former ice flow into the lowlands to explore the features formed by glacial and fluvioglacial deposition. They will investigate the characteristics of sediments in depositional landforms, and the role of climate change and resource extraction, in their modification.

Afternoon

3.2.1 Changing Places or 3.3.2 Contemporary Urban Environments

Choose one from:

Knowing and Understanding Places

In this session students will explore and compare the role of direct experience with the way others represent place. The way we understand a place is also manipulated by a range of agents and students will examine the way we ultimately develop our sense of place through the analysis of a range of qualitative and quantitative data that look into these different ways ‘place’ is planned and communicated.

Urban Climate

This session will focus on a spatial study of the forms of two contrasting urban areas and processes of the local climate. Investigations could include the comparative temperature data in terms of heat island mitigation from GI or the effects of increased heat on the species diversity of similar habitat areas.

Sustainable Urban Growth

Students will investigate how sustainable urban growth is affected by sustainable planning and management visions which promote interconnected green spaces, multi-modal transportation systems and mixed-use development.

Urban Environmental Issues

Students will investigate how urban populations are growing and affecting the quality of the urban environment. Topics could include issues ranging from solid waste disposal, provision of safe water and sanitation, and injury prevention, to the interface between urban poverty, environment and health.

Skills Workshop: Qualitative Data /Information Analysis and Evaluation

This session is an opportunity for students to develop and apply qualitative data analysis techniques that will be invaluable in the interpretation of the days’ investigations. Students will be introduced to various methods of textual and image analysis using coding and concept mapping; geographical analysis skills that will be invaluable in interpreting outcomes of this contemporary, complex topic.

Day 4

Morning and Afternoon

3.2.1 Changing Places or 3.3.2 Contemporary Urban Environments

Choose one from:

The Dynamics of Changing Places

This session will develop both the students’ practical geographical skills during a range of data collection methods and their understanding of the concept of the character of a place and how this influences the character of the communities within it. Once a sense of character is examined, students will contextualise this within a range of scales of influence, from the regional to the global.

Issues with Urbanisation – Inequality

Not all those who live within a place experience the same level of wealth and equality. The reasons for how and why spatial patterns of economic inequality and cultural diversity vary in contrasting urban areas will be examined. Social and economic inequalities are common across all areas. They include differences in income, resources, power and status. There are two main ways to measure social inequality: inequality of conditions, and inequality of opportunities. Strategies to manage these issues will be addressed.

Urban Drainage

Students will investigate how urbanisation can affect the hydrology of an urban area. They will investigate how a local urban has used SUDS either to attenuate the water flow or to provide storage facilities, including considering the extent of the multiple benefits delivered, such as biodiversity, green infrastructure, climate change and community involvement.

Evening

Geographical Investigation Process: Presentation, Interpretation, Analysis and Evaluation

Students will follow a structured scientific investigation process to interrogate their data and identify and link aspects that construct the place’s character. This will enable students to contextualise their knowledge and develop their understanding of the complexities of the concept of place character and the importance of viewing place character from a range of perspectives and scales.

Day 5

Morning

3.2.1 Changing Places or 3.3.2 Contemporary Urban Environments

Choose one from:

Changing Places: Economic and Demographic Change

In the light of either economic or demographic and cultural change, students will complete a comprehensive study focused on an area in stark contrast to their previous studies. Having secured an understanding of place character and the dynamic agents of change, students will apply their theoretical understanding to a case study location, interpreting the change in character and lived experience through a range of innovative qualitative and quantitative data collection methods.

Urban Climate
Sustainable Urban Growth
Urban Environmental Issues

Afternoon

Depart at Midday

A final farewell from FSC staff as the students depart at midday

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

Added value of this course

  • Develop personal skills
  • Have fun
  • Be inspired by a passion for the subject
  • Build friendships

Why Choose FSC?

  • 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