Geography Higher

Course Outline

The course is made up of three units:

Unit 1: Physical Environments

Atmosphere: global atmosphere and climate

Hydrosphere: global water cycle with detialed study of river features

Lithosphere: selected British landscapes and their formation

Biosphere: natural vegetation change, ecosystems and soil types

Unit 2: Human Environments

Population: population structure, migration and change

Rural: land-use change and management

Urban: change and management in LEDCs and MEDCs

Unit 3: Global Issues

River Basin Management: case study of a major river management scheme

Development and Health: world case studies of development, health and disease.

Course Assessment

The course assessment will consist of a question paper and an assignment and will be graded A-D.

The question paper for Higher Geography will be worth 160 marks. It will be carried out under exam conditions and marked by SQA. It will test knowledge, understanding and skills with greater emphasis on knowledge and understanding.

For the assignment, pupils will research a topic in class and at home. They will then write up a report under exam conditions and this will be sent to the SQA to be externally marked. It is worth 30 marks.


There will be regular homework in the form of exam style questions, and also the revision of course notes and class work.

Entry Requirements

Pupils should have attained, or expect to attain, a pass at National 5 in Geography or another Social Subject. Pupils that do not have these entry requirements are welcome to discuss choices with Mr J McAuley.

A pass at National 5 in English is advantageous.

Progression Path

Pupils who achieve a Higher pass (ideally a grade A or B) at the end of S5 are encouraged to take Advanced Higher Geography in S6. 

Additional Information

Geography is a ‘bridge’ between the Arts and Sciences and Higher Geography is recognised as a valuable qualification by universities. A background in Geography is also useful in a wide range of careers, including work in environmental sciences, civil engineering, marketing and design, tourism, surveying, planning and architecture, teaching, conservation, transport, the civil service, agriculture, geophysics and many other career paths.

For further information please contact - Mr J. McAuley, PT Geography.