What's in the National 4/5 course?
The course is taught under the headings of Physical Geography, Human Geography and Geographical Global Issues. Topics studied include:
- Climate Change
The Geography course will also provide pupils with valuable skills such as map reading, and it will develop your capacity to access, analyse and use information to assist you in having a greater understanding of our world.
What's in the Higher Geography course?
There are 3 units, studied over the course of the session:
Atmosphere: Why are the poles colder than the equator? Why doesn’t the equator continue to get hotter and the poles colder and colder? What is causing global warming, and how can we stop it?
Hydrosphere: There is a set amount of water on the earth’s surface, it never changes! How does water get from the sea into our taps? What effect do floods have and how can we predict them?
Lithosphere: What are the processes affecting our landscape? How will global warming and sea level change affect our coastlines?
Biosphere: How do biological processes affect human activity in different places?
Population: Why is global population out of control and how can we stop it? Why will today’s 16 year olds have to work until they are 75?
Rural: How does human activity in the countryside differ across the planet?
Urban: How are our cities changing and why? What are the problems and how can we solve them?
Industry: How has industry changed over the years and why? How can we help areas with high unemployment?
Development & Health: Why are some areas more developed than others? How do we know? How can we help countries to develop? What diseases do people suffer from in developed and developing countries?
River Basin Management: Why do some countries dam rivers? What makes a good site for a dam? What are the effects of a dam on the hydrological cycle? What are toe social, economic, environmental benefits of controlling a river and adverse consequences?
If you are successful in your Higher Geography, you may wish to continue your geographical career into S6 and study Advanced Higher:
The course consists of three compulsory 40 hour units plus 40 hours flexible time.
Geographical Methods and Techniques (40 hours)
This unit enables you to build on the skills and methods which are developed throughout the Geography curriculum from S1-S6.
Skill area – fieldwork survey/measurement and recording techniques:
In this section of the unit you are required to undertake fieldwork in at least two areas, one of which must come from group 1 and one from group 2.
1. Physical Topics – some examples are
- morphological mapping
- slope analysis
- soil profiles and characteristics
2. Human Topics – some examples are
- rural land use mapping
- urban land use mapping
- traffic, pedestrian and environmental quality surveys
Skill area – statistical awareness:
In this section you are required to carry out calculations involving statistical techniques such as
- sampling - random, systematic, stratified
- graphical presentation of data
- descriptive statistics.
Skill area – production and interpretation of maps and diagrams:
In this section you are required to present and analyse information using a variety of maps and diagrams. Areas of study include:
- design and layout of maps
- interpretation of Ordnance Survey maps
- topographic analysis based on Ordnance Survey maps.
Geographical Study (40 hours), 40% of grade
In this unit you are required to plan, research and analyse a topic in depth and present your findings in a report not exceeding 25 pages.
Geographical Issues (40 hours), 30% of grade
This unit deals with the analysis of key geographical issues from the Applications unit of Higher Geography. You will produce an essay based on a issue that you find interesting and evaluate for and against the issue.
Your Study and Issues essay make up 70% of your grade, with 30% assigned to an external exam by SQA.