The number of students studying geography GCSE in 2019 is the highest in 18 years, with 8,749 more candidates sitting the exam in the UK than in 2018 – a 3.5% increase on last year and the 8th successive annual increase.
The 2019 GCSE results, published today by the Joint Council for Qualifications, show 265,169 students sat geography GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (256,420 in 2018), making the subject the sixth most popular at GCSE level.
Commenting on the sustained growth in popularity of geography at GCSE, former President of the Royal Geographical Society (with IBG), Sir Michael Palin, said:
“I’m delighted to hear that the geography GCSE numbers have risen yet again. This not only highlights the hard work of teachers and students, but must surely reflect the fact that a knowledge of geography is an essential tool in understanding the enormously consequential and dizzyingly rapid changes our planet is going through. Geography is the one subject that looks at the whole story.”
Steve Brace, Head of Education at the Society added:
“Young people are entering an environment of high tuition fees and a competitive job market, so they rightly want to know where geography can take them beyond school and university. For all students considering their next steps today, remember that national statistics show undergraduate geographers are more likely than almost any other students to enjoy and complete their degree, and that geographers experience above average rates of graduate employment and earnings (up to 10% more than the average for female geographers).
“In short, geography is a subject that is not only relevant to the real world, but also one you are more likely to enjoy, secure a job through and earn a reasonable wage with.”
Notes to editors:
For further media enquiries, interview requests and photographs, please contact Lucy Preston, the RGS-IBG’s Press Officer, at email@example.com or 020 7591 3008.
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’. www.rgs.org