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GCSE geography on the rise for eleventh successive year.

The number of students studying geography GCSE has continued to rise, with 289,351 candidates in England, Wales, and Northern Ireland schools in 2022; a 2.7% increase on the candidate numbers from 2021 (281,741). This is the eleventh successive annual increase in candidate numbers for geography GCSE with geography.

Commenting on geography’s sustained growth in popularity at GCSE, Society Director, Professor Joe Smith, said:

“The Society congratulates the students receiving their grades today, which are testament to their hard work under exceptional circumstances and the support of their teachers, parents, and other carers.

“There has never been a better time to study geography. It gives young people a vital overview of the world's people, places, and environments, combines the natural and social sciences, and explores key issues and inter-dependencies at different scales. No other subject can claim such a unique place in the curriculum.

“The post-pandemic world will contain additional uncertainties from climate change and energy security to regional inequalities and a competitive job market – so knowing where studying geography can take you is important. The good news for students considering their next steps today is that choosing geography opens the door to a wide range of options for further study and careers – while one in five A Level geographers who go on to university take geography degrees, others study subjects ranging from business to biosciences to law.

“Geographers are also sought-after employees with above average graduate employment and salary prospects. In short, it is a subject that is not only relevant to the real world, but also one you are more likely to enjoy studying before securing a well-paid job.”



Notes to editor

  • For further media enquiries please contact the Society’s Press Officer, Lucy Preston, on +44 (0)77 1478 3126 or  

  • The Royal Geographical Society (with the Institute of British Geographers) is the learned society and professional body for geography. Formed in 1830, our Royal Charter of 1859 is for 'the advancement of geographical science'. Today, we deliver this objective through developing, supporting and promoting geographical research, expeditions and fieldwork, education, public engagement, and geography input to policy. We aim to foster an understanding and informed enjoyment of our world. We hold the world's largest private geographical collection and provide public access to it. We have a thriving Fellowship and membership and offer the professional accreditation 'Chartered Geographer’.