International Baccalaureate

Field-course options tailored for the International Baccalaureate:






Standard Level

1 Core: Patterns & Change

3. Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability
Soils & Change
HABITAT RECOVERY (SUCCESSION) ON COLLIERY SPOIL -Investigating the effects of poor soil quality on upland vegetation, and the time it takes for recovery to occur. Nearby there are also opportunities to study soil structure, with examples of a podsol, a gleyed soil and a brown earth.  Locally there are also examples of peat erosion and restoration, and river bank erosion management -studies in these areas can be developed.
Sustainability & the Environment
SUSTAINABILITY IN THE BRECON BEACONS -Examples of sustainable development in the National Park, for use as case studies. How do the National Park Authority, conservation bodies, local communities and businesses “meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs”? The main focus is on tourism, however, the themes of energy and rural regeneration can also be included.
4. Patterns in resource consumption
Energy Consumption
RENEWABLE ENERGY IN SOUTH WALES -Comparing the impacts of energy production schemes, looking at hydroelectricity, wind power and/or opencast coal mining. In future, discussion of the  Severn Barrage is also a possibility.

2 Options

Option A: Freshwater —issues and conflicts
Drainage Basins & Flooding
HYDROLOGY AND FLOOD MANAGEMENT STUDY -Following the 1-in-50 year flood in 1979, defences were built in Brecon. This study looks at the characteristics of the upper catchment (in terms of valley shape,  channel morphology, competency and efficiency) and evaluates the Brecon Flood Alleviation Scheme.
Management Issues & Strategies
FLOODPLAIN MANAGEMENT: A CASE STUDY OF THE RIVER WYE -Investigating the impact and management of flooding in Hereford, looking at planning policy, the Catchment Flood Management Plan, the impact of recently-built defences, and measuring flood risk & severity in the city.
Option B: Oceans and their coastal margins
Coastal Margins
COASTAL EROSION AND MANAGEMENT – A study into coastal processes and landforms on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. Students assess current management and investigate alternatives, for comparison with the defences at Aberthaw power station
SAND DUNE MANAGEMENT – Visitor impact on Kenfig Nature Reserve, and management strategies, can be compared with the relatively under-visited Crymlyn Burrows
Option C: Extreme environments
Physical Characteristics
GLACIATION STUDY – A visit to the Brecon Beacons to sketch and/or map a range of erosional and depositional landforms including cirques, arêtes, pyramidal peaks, U-shaped valleys and different types of moraine, including Kame and Kettle, plus a selection of periglacial features. Current uses of the glaciated landscape are also discussed.
Option E: Leisure, sport and tourism
Leisure at the International Scale: Sport
THE IMPACT OF INTERNATIONAL SPORT: THE RYDER CUP -An investigation of the economic and environmental impact of the 2010 Ryder Cup in Newport.
Tourism at the Regional Scale
SUSTAINABLE TOURISM IN THE NATIONAL PARK -Investigating management strategies employed in the National Park to limit the impact of tourist activity, using a range of honeypot sites.
Tourism at the Local Scale
URBAN REGENERATION & TOURISM -using the Cardiff Bay area to explore the distribution of tourist resources and mitigation strategies.
Option G: Urban environments
Urban Populations
POPULATION CHANGE -Exploring the causes and effects of migration, using Abergavenny and villages in the Black Mountains. There are examples of urbanisation, suburbanisation, counter-urbanisation and urban sprawl.
Urban Land Use
URBAN INEQUALITY IN CARDIFF  – A comparative study of inner city, (includes studentification), suburban and urban-rural fringe areas, looking at residential quality, environmental quality and other socio-economic indicators
ABERGAVENNY CBD STUDY – A look at changes to shops and services, structure, movement patterns and sphere of influence. Data may be used to determine whether or not Abergavenny has become a clone town. This study also lends itself to studies of environmental quality and urban microclimates.
We are currently unable to provide fieldwork connected to the Higher Level Extension topics.