Garin College Garin College

Level 2 Geography

Subject Description

Teacher in Charge: P. Bucknall.

Entry Guidelines
The best preparation for this course is to study NCEA Level 1 Geography, but this is not essential. Entry without meeting this can be discussed with the Teacher in Charge or Head of Faculty.

This course is focused on the complex and ever changing environments in which we live. The first part of the year looks at urban environments, whilst the latter half of the year focuses on the natural landscapes of the South Island high country.

Urban geography is contemporary, engaging and is rapidly becoming more important for New Zealand and the world as our population becomes increasingly urbanised and our cities and towns ever more crowded. This course focuses on introducing students to the principles and theories of urban growth and change through processes and patterns. We start with a focus on planning issues in Nelson before moving on to urban change and processes in the context of larger urban centres in New Zealand. We will conduct fieldwork to investigate processes of urban change in Wellington for our research standard.

The Natural environment of the South Island High Country will be the focus from late term 2 onwards in preparation for external examinations. We will cover the patterns and processes interacting to create and change the environment as well as the significance of the environments for different groups of people.

During the year students will develop geography skills from level 1 which will be assessed with their understanding of geographic concepts in the second external.

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 2 the specialism in this field naturally enables a student to progress on to Level 3 Geography.

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:


Social Science


Level 3 Geography

Career Pathways

Mining Engineer, Survey Technician, Outdoor Recreation Guide/Instructor, Surveyor, Urban/Regional Planner, Emergency Management Officer, Civil Engineer, Meteorologist, Geologist, Environmental Engineer, Environmental/Public Health Officer, Financial Adviser, Ranger, Landscape Architect, Geophysicist, Groundsperson, Primary School Teacher, Kaiwhakaako Māori, Market Research Analyst, Policy Analyst, Production Manager, Secondary School Teacher, Travel Agent/Adviser, Intelligence Officer, Geospatial Specialist

Contributions and Equipment/Stationery

Fieldwork costs:
3 day residential field trip to Wellington including ferry, accommodation and some meals: $300 to $350 depending on numbers on the course.


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.