Edexcel Certificate/iGCSE

Field-course options tailored for the Edexcel Certificate/iGCSE Geography:

Section

Topic

Fieldwork

Section A — The natural environment and people

River environments
RIVER STUDY -An investigation into downstream changes in river channel processes and characteristics on an upland river in the Brecon Beacons. This study also investigates the landforms and the processes affecting them at different points along the course.
HYDROLOGY & FLOOD MANAGEMENT -Either Brecon, Monmouth or Hereford may be used as an example of flooding and flood defence schemes. To help in the understanding of the fluvial processes involved in flooding and its prevention, this may be coupled with measurements of a natural river channel.
FRESHWATER POLLUTION -studying the impact of urban areas, including industrial zones, on water quality in the local river, using biological and physical indicators.
Coastal Environments
COASTAL PROCESSES & MANAGEMENT -An investigation into the processes and resulting landforms on the Glamorgan Heritage Coast. This is a coastline which is affected by both cliff retreat and localised flooding/storm damage. Students are also introduced to the current defences at the site and encouraged to evaluate their suitability in the short and long-term.
CONFLICTS ON THE COAST & SAND DUNE MANAGEMENT -Alternatively fieldwork may focus on the impact of visitors on Kenfig National Nature Reserve. The fieldwork can be coupled with a talk by a warden at Kenfig National Nature Reserve, dealing with conflicts and threats on the coast (both from recreation and economic development) along with management issues.

Section B — People and their environments

Economic activity and energy
INDUSTRIAL CHANGE -By working in the old industrial region of the South Wales valleys we are able to cover themes of industrial location, impact of industrial decline, impact on a population of changing industry and the role of TNC’s.
Ecosystems and rural environments
We are able to lead fieldwork on the ecology and management of a variety of habitats including woodland, moorland, colliery spoil, sand dunes and freshwater.
RURAL STUDY -We work in a variety of villages in the local area – the specific village(s) used depends on the focus of the investigation. Themes covered include, suburbanised village, commuter village, the impact of tourism on the rural economy, village services – relating to level of rurality, and declining villages.
FARM VISIT -This short visit may be incorporated into the rural study or chosen as a separate half-day activity. We visit a farmer in the National Park who talks through issues such as diversification, use of technology in farming, the role of the national park, the role of government/ EU funding and countryside stewardship. (N.B. the farm we normally use for this fieldwork charges a small fee per group).
Urban environments
URBAN STUDIES -the local towns offer an ideal opportunity to study environmental quality, land-use zones, change and planning issues, using transect to characterise the nature of the urban area.
INEQUALITIES IN AN URBAN AREA -During this study students consider reasons for, and consequences of, population movement within Cardiff. Socio-economic and environmental indicators are used to compare the different areas of the city visited. (Also relevant for Topic 9)

Section C — Global issues

Globalisation and migration
TOURISM -A study of the environmental impact and management of tourism in the National Park, which may include;
–  an investigation of footpath erosion and trampling on Pen-y-Fan, the highest mountain in South Wales, and how the site has been managed to minimise the impacts.
– A visit to the Mountain Centre (one of the National Park visitor centres), including a talk from a warden.
– A visit to Llangors Lake (and village), which is a ‘honey-pot’ in the Brecon Beacons National Park, as well as a SSSI. Here we look at the conflict between visitors and conservation.