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The Society is very pleased to see a statutory requirement for fieldwork, including a study of two contrasting areas, and the requirement that schools submit statements of compliance regarding fieldwork. The explicit requirements for the use of mathematics and statistics in geography is also particularly welcome.

Subject content in the new GCSE geography draws on the breath of the discipline and focusses on environmental, social and economic processes. For example, students will learn about the forces shaping the UK’s landscapes, the processes of climate change, the human influences on ecosystems and the role of globalisation.

Speaking this morning, RGS-IBG Director Dr Rita Gardner said: “The subject content combines the study of thematic processes with real places and offers very good progression from the National Curriculum and into A Level. The selected key topics will be exciting for pupils and are highly relevant to their lives.”

“This is a robust curriculum with an enhanced level of demand. It offers very good progression from the National Curriculum and combines the study of thematic processes with real places. Students awarded a GCSE in geography will have a sound understanding of the opportunities and challenges that face the world’s peoples, places and environments.”

The Society was involved in the latest Department for Education Expert Advisory Group for Geography in the National Curriculum and at GCSE. The Society is currently involved in the ALCAB A Level Review Group for Geography.


Notes to editors:

1. 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’. More details from

2. For further media enquires please contact the RGS-IBG Communications and Media Officer, Ben Parfitt on 020 7519 3019 or

3. See the Society’s full policy responses to recent National Curriculum, GCSE and A Level changes are available here: