What is Geography?

Our world is constantly changing in both a physical and human sense. Geography looks at the agents that shape the landscape we live in and how humans have become an integral part of this fascinating place. It is vital that as humans we understand how fragile the Earth can become and look at ways of protecting it in the future.

The Geography department aims to increase your knowledge and understanding about the physical and human environment around you. You will also develop many useful skills such as mapping, gathering of data and presentation techniques. Fieldwork trips are an essential part of our courses and give you a chance to get out into the real world and see the Geography around you for yourself!

What is taught in the BGE?

In S1 at Viewforth High School, pupils experience Social Subjects in the form of an integrated course. Meaning they are taught an introduction to all three Social Subjects; Geography, History and Modern Studies by one teacher. The main focus of the S1 course is to make sure pupils are confident in the basic skills of each of the three subjects. In Geography pupils learn about the three different types of Geography; Physical, Human and Environmental. They are introduced to basic map skills including symbols and 4 figure grid references. For History pupils learn how to identify primary and secondary sources, organise events into chronological order and identify the usefulness of different sources of information. Lastly the Modern Studies component gets pupils to consider a key skill of considering information and making a decision. Pupils develop these skills whilst learning about two separate projects; Viewforth High School and Edinburgh.

S2 Geography

Pupils will visit the Geography department three times as part of a rota system with the other two Social Subjects; History and Modern Studies. Pupils will continue to build on their skills acquired from S1. The pupils will study the following topics during S2

  • Natural Hazards
  • Scotland’s Physical Landscape
  • Environment and Environmental Protection
  • Development

S3 Geography

Pupils can opt to pick Geography during their S3 course choice meetings. Geography is offered as a core or enrichment subject. The content taught in both units is discreet but often can be easily linked.

If pupils pick Geography in S3 as a core subject they can expect to study the following units;

  • Farming and the Environment
  • Urban
  • Population
  • Climate Change and enquiry

If pupils pick Geography in S3 as an enrichment subject they can expect to study the following units;

  • Weather and climate
  • Energy and Sustainability
  • Transport
  • Trade and Power

Pupils who choose to study Geography beyond S3 can sit exams at both National 5 and Higher level

National 5 Geography

Pupils who take National 5 Geography will study the following topics;



Global Issues



Environmental Hazards




Glaciated Upland areas


Higher Geography

Pupils who take Higher Geography will study the following topics;



Global Issues



Global Climate Change



Development and Health




Geographical careers

Studying Geography has a direct relevance to careers such as cartography, landscape management, emergency management, environmental consultancy and the leisure and tourism industries. However, Geography also provides you with many basic skills that are useful in a huge range of careers. More and more Geography graduates are now finding themselves in jobs that include banking, advertising, the media, business management and the armed forces. These careers require a whole range of general skills that Geography helps you develop such as the collection and analysis of data, problem solving skills and some general knowledge of the world.