Garin College Garin College

Level 3 Geography

Subject Description

Teacher in Charge: P. Bucknall.

Entry Guidelines

The best preparation for this course is to study NCEA Level 2 Geography. Entry without meeting this can be discussed with the Teacher in Charge or Head of Faculty. It has been demonstrated that success in Geography is possible for students new to the subject at this level.

It is not uncommon for students who have studied Geography at level 1 to return in level 3. This is obviously less desirable than continuing through all three levels but it does have the benefit of providing a core understanding of the concepts, skills and assessment formats in the subject, enabling many who return to achieve very well.

Study of Geography at level 3 continues students’ development of geographical skills and their understanding of important concepts and ideas that have been learnt in level 1 and 2. Skills in research, spatial pattern analysis, cultural and natural processes, statistical and mapping skills and analysis of contemporary issues all form part of this course.

Students will study a global topic, such as tourism, before focusing on conducting their own primary geographic research incorporated into a residential field trip over 3 days. The remaining internal is an analysis of the major international geographic issue of forced migration either by war, persecution or global warming.

The first of the external assessments is the culmination of the skills learnt through the course as demonstrated through analysis a given environment. This paper seeks to examine how well students have developed their skills and, crucially, how well they can identify the appropriate skills to complete the analysis. The final external is the most challenging and advanced, requiring in depth understanding of a cultural process, such as tourism, and how it is responsible for shaping and changing an environment, such as Queenstown.

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.

The University of Auckland, New Zealand’s top ranked university both by Times Higher Education and QS Rankings, views level 3 credits in Geography just as desirable as any other subject that can be studied in NCEA. Geography is one of the 14 approved subjects that the University of Auckland use to calculate rank scores for admission to all of their courses. It is also one of the six courses that are required for some of the university’s most popular courses, including Bachelor of Health Sciences, Architecture and Commerce. For more information on this, see

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 about future pathways and careers in Geography is available on this document:

Possible Alternative Standard

A.S. 91432 v2 Geography 3.7 - Analyse aspects of a geographic topic at a global scale - 3 credits

Student voice will be considered when deciding whether to assess for this internal as an alternative to one of the externals currently listed.


Social Science

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

Cost: $300 to $350 for 3 day field trip for the research standard AS91430


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.