VCE Geography

There has never been a more exciting time to study Geography!  Geographers are highly employable and have many options for their careers, such as: Diplomatic Service,  Architecture, Property Management, Climatology, Meteorology, Wildlife Management, Forestry, Education, Emergency Services, Cartography, Civil Aviation,  Agriculture, Urban Planning, Tourism and Recreation.

Student Perspective

Students in Unit 3&4 Geography say:

“Geography broadens your mind to what’s happening in the world and gives insight into how others around the world live and how the Earth is ever-changing either due to natural or human causes. It answers a lot of questions that may be asked as to why certain changes are occurring, provides information on the future and how humans all around the world can work together to care properly for our Earth.”

“I love doing Geography because we get to learn and discuss about a large variety of topics that are all crucial in today’s world.”

“Geography is relevant to all that goes on in the world and connects to so many other subjects!”

“The hands on fieldwork was great and I loved working closely with a particular site over time to develop a final report that I was proud of.”


Unit 1:    Hazards and disasters

In this unit students undertake an overview of hazards before investigating two contrasting types of hazards and the responses to them by people.  The nature of this unit allows for the study of recent hazards and disasters.

Types of Hazards include

  • geological hazards, such as volcanic activity, erosion, earthquakes, tsuamis, landslides and avalanches
  • weather, climate and water hazards, such as droughts, floods, storms, storm surges and bushfires
  • biological hazards, such as infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, animal transmitted diseases, water borne diseases, and plant and animal invasion such as blackberries and cane toads in AustraliaSakurajima_at_Sunset
  • technological hazards, which are human induced and exacerbated hazards, such us oil spills, air pollution, radiation leaks, flooding primarily caused by land clearances, epidemics caused by poor living conditions and hazards caused by current climate change such as rising sea levels or increased intensification of weather events.


Areas of Study
1. Characteristics of hazards

2. Response to hazards and disasters

On completion of this unit the student should be able to:
•    Analyse, describe and explain the nature of hazards and impacts of hazard events at a range of scales.
•    Analyse and explain the nature, purpose and effectiveness of a range of responses to selected hazards and disasters.


Fieldwork is a compulsory element of Unit 1.  Fieldwork for Unit 1 will include a visit to a relevant site, such as the Port of Melbourne, Marysville, or a the recovery site of a recent disaster.

air-pollution black-saturday


  • Fieldwork Report
  • Case Studies
  • End of semester examination

Unit 2:   Tourism

Areas of Study
In this unit students investigate the characteristics of tourism, with particular emphasis on where it has developed, its various forms, how it has changed and continues to change and its impacts on people, places and environments. They select contrasting examples of tourism from within Australia and elsewhere in the world to support their investigations.

Students will investigate tourism on an international scale through case studies such as Mt Everest in Nepal, Kenya, Cruise tourism in the Pacific and Fiji, or Mass tourism in Europe.  The focus for our study of domestic tourism in Australia will be on Cradle Mountain in Tasmania, and Victorian tourism, including Phillip Island.

1    Characteristics of Tourism
2    Impact of Tourism

On completion of this unit the student should be able to:

  • analyse, describe and explain the nature of tourism at a range of scales.
  • analyse and explain the impacts of tourism on people, places and environments and evaluate the effectiveness of strategies for managing tourism.


  • Folio of Tasks
  • Fieldwork Report
  • End of semester examination

Fieldwork is a compulsory element of Unit 2.  Fieldwork for Unit 2 will be undertaken at a site relevant to Victorian tourism, such as Phillip Island or the Melbourne CBD.


Unit 3 and 4 Geography can be studied at Year 11 or at Year 12

Unit 3:    Changing the Land
This unit focuses on two investigations of geographical change: change to land cover and change to land use. Students investigate three major processes that are changing land cover in many regions of the world: deforestation, desertification, and melting glaciers and ice sheets.  At a local scale students investigate land use change using appropriate fieldwork techniques and secondary sources. They investigate the scale of change, the reasons for change and the impacts of change.

VCE Geog U3 - land VCE Geog U3 - land green VCE Geog U3 - ice




Areas of Study
1.  Land use change

2.  Land cover change

On completion of this unit the student should be able to:

•    analyse, describe and explain land use change and assess its impacts
•    analyse, describe and explain processes that result in changes to land cover and discuss the impacts and responses resulting from these changes.


Fieldwork is a compulsory element of Unit 3.  Students will undertake fieldwork to an urban site which has recently undergone land use change, or will undergo land use change in the near future.  Possible sites of investigation include the Burwood Brickworks residential development or the Metro Rail Tunnel site at City Square.

Unit 4:  Human population – trends and issues
In this unit students investigate the geography of human populations. They explore the patterns of population change, movement and distribution, and how governments, organisations and individuals have responded to those changes in different parts of the world.  Students study population dynamics before undertaking an investigation into two significant population trends arising in different parts of the world.

Areas of Study
1. Population dynamics
2. Population issues and challenges

On completion of this unit the student should be able to:
analyse, describe and explain population dynamics on a global scale.
•    analyse, describe and explain the nature of significant population issues and challenges in selected locations and evaluate responses.


Assessment for Units 3 & 4

•    Units 3 & 4 must be completed as a pair of units, they may not be completed separately.  Assessment is through a combination of School Assessed Coursework and the end of year examination.
•    Internal assessment is completed by: a fieldwork report; a series of tests with structured questions; analysis of geographic data.
•    50 per cent of assessment is internal through four School Assessed Coursework (SACs) and 50 per cent is through the end of year examination.

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