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The Waid Academy

Higher Geography


The Higher Geography course presents learners with the opportunity to learn more about the world they live in and to study issues which affect their lives and those of others. Learners will acquire learning and social skills through the study of 4 underlying themes

The Physical Atmosphere:

The Global Heat Budget

Redistribution of energy by the atmosphere and Oceanic Circulation

Causes and impact of the Intertropical Convergence Zone


Hydrological cycle within a drainage basin

Interpretation of Hydrographs

The features found within rivers and their valleys


The formation of erosion and depositional features in glaciated and coastal landscapes.

The land uses and conflicts that occur within a glaciated landscape


Properties and formation processes of Podzol, Brown Earth and Gley soils.

The Human Environments Units


Methods and problems of data collection

Consequences of population structure

Causes and impacts relating to forced and voluntary migration


The impact and management of Rural Land Degradation related to the Amazon Rainforest


Aspects of urban change including: housing, transport, industry, retail, leisure.

The management strategies employed

The impact of management strategies


Recommended Entry

National 5 Geography. However, pupils who have a B pass or above in English and another Social Subject (History or Modern Studies), will be eligible for entry to Higher Geography.

Global Issues

Development and Health

Validity if development indicators

Differences in levels of development between developing countries

A water borne disease – Malaria: Cause, impact and management

Primary Health Care strategies

Climate Change

The Cause, impact and solutions to Climate Change

Evaluating the effectiveness of the strategies to combat Climate Change


Mapping skills including the use of Ordnance Survey maps:

Research skills including fieldwork skills:

Interpreting presenting and analysing numerical and graphical information


The Course assessment is graded A–D. The grade is determined on the basis of the total mark for all Course assessments together, these include:

Component 1 = An external exam: 160 marks (73% of total mark) Component 2 = An assignment; 30 marks (total 190 marks)

Component 1 – 2 Question Papers:

Paper 1 – 1 Hour and 50 Minutes Physical Environments and Human Environments

Paper 2 – 1 Hour and 10 Minutes Global Issues and Application of Geographical Skills.

Component 2 — Assignment – to be submitted to the SQA for external marking.

The assignment will have 30 marks (27% of the total mark). The assignment Component of the Course assessment will have a greater emphasis on the assessment of skills than the question paper. The other marks will be awarded for the demonstration of knowledge and understanding. Learners will produce the evidence for assessment from the results of their research, in no more than 1 hour and 30 mins and under controlled assessment conditions, which will be done in time to meet the submission date set by the SQA.


With the growing awareness of the impact of human activity upon the environment and scarce recourses the study of Geography fosters positive life-long attitudes of environmental stewardship, sustainability and global citizenship. The Higher Geography course provides an entry qualification for study in further and higher education and for entry into a diverse range of occupations and careers, such as:  Environmental consultant; Civil Servant; Architect; Surveyor;

Geographical Information Systems specialist; Lawyer; Journalist; Coastal Engineer, Weather forecaster; Flood protection manager; Tourist information officer; Travel writer.