Level 1 Geography

Student log in is currently disabled. It will open in term 3 for Course Selection.

Please contact deans with any queries

Subject Description

Teacher in Charge: P. Bucknall.

This entry level course introduces students to the issues, concepts, ideas and skills that geographers study. The course will be developed around the Big Ideas and Significant Learning and will include focus on the tectonic processes relevant in our local and national environment as well as fundamentals of other natural processes such as hydrology and climate. Human and cultural contexts will be explored through migration, demographic change and local decision making. These contexts will allow students to anlyse perspectives and decision making here in Aotearoa New Zealand.

The new Significant Learning and Geography skills kete bring a more up to date focus on data analysis to reflect the ease with which spatial data is collected and shared across many disciplines. The course will use data connected to earthquake related disaster preparation as well as data collected from other natural and cultural environments locally and further afield. Students could also study skills in the developing field of spatial analysis in a number of contexts.

Students with a keen eye for patterns and a flair for analysis will enjoy this course. All participants will gain a solid grounding in geographic concepts that will enable them to develop communication, computer and analytical skills as well as develop numeracy and literacy skills in an exciting and contemporary context.

This course will include learning opportunities that create a foundational knowledge of the subject, as intended by the revised NCEA Level 1. The Big Ideas and Significant Learning will be the focus and this can then be assessed through the new Achievement Standards. Students will be offered assessment opportunities for a selection of these standards based on their progress through the course and how ready they are. It is expected that all students will be able to attempt three NCEA Level 1 assessments throughout each course for around 15 credits. Kaiako (teachers) are looking forward to developing exciting and engaging courses around these features as well as assessments from the new standards in time for implementation in 2024.

Future Pathways:

Geography provides students the opportunity to learn a wide range of useful skills for the workplace and tertiary study. Many courses and employers value the broad communication, computer, research and analytical skills that geography students are experienced in.

At Level 1 the basic skill development and familiarity with concepts will naturally enable a student to progress on to Level 2 Geography. Skills learnt in Geography will also be beneficial across many other subject areas including Science, Maths, English and of course the other social studies subjects.

NZ Curriculum Guide for Geography - Career Pathways:

There are many types of positions that fit well with geography qualifications. A geography job is any work that focuses on location.

Geographers work in a wide range of fields, from:

  • urban and regional planning
  • industrial location and marketing
  • environmental monitoring and resource management
  • community development at home and abroad
  • as researchers, analysts, consultants, technologists and planners.

The ability to work with data is becoming increasingly important in geography, due, in large part, to technological advances. For example, much of our information about where things are located comes from satellites that continuously beam coordinates to global positioning devices on Earth.

Government and commercial satellites greatly increase the accuracy and amount of geographic data available. At the same time, new Geographic Information System (GIS) software can process those data with greater speed and flexibility. This technology creates new career possibilities for people who understand geography and who can process and use geographic information.

A few geography jobs are based almost entirely on the study of location. Remote sensing specialists, photogrammetrists, and surveyors gather data about where things are on Earth. GIS analysts review these data and sometimes use them to make maps. And planners help to determine where buildings and roads should be located.

Many maps rely on photographs or other data taken from airplanes, jets, and satellites. Remote sensing specialists oversee the collection of this information and interpret satellite images. Photogrammetrists interpret the more detailed data from jets and planes.

Further information and reading is available on this document:


Career Pathways


An individual course will only run if sufficient students are accepted into the course.

All approvals for courses through this system are subject to satisfactory achievement in remaining internal standards and external examinations. Course Confirmation Day will run at the start of next year, where final approval for each course will be confirmed.