In contemporary society, issues such as urbanisation, population, development and environmental quality are increasingly important. These and other related themes that express the major concerns of our times reflect the consequences of spatial decisions. Conducting analyses at the local, regional, national and international scales, geography examines the spatial processes and the perceptions of humans, as well as the inter-relationships between the human and natural environments. The questions “where?”, “why?” and “how?” are central to geography. The former introduces the issues of location and of spatial choice and the latter two signify that modern geography is not content merely to describe but that it also seeks to explain.

Geography is at the interface of the humanities and the sciences. It examines the manner in which people live, are distributed and interact with their environment. It also has an applied dimension: through the critical evaluation of spatial processes it helps decision-makers in planning and development at a variety of scales. It also plays a crucial role in fostering international understanding and respect for different cultures.

The aim of the geography programme at both higher and standard level is to: promote a global perspective and international understanding through geographical education; encourage an appreciation of the role that geography can play in the analysis of contemporary issues at a variety of scales; develop an appreciation and concern for the diversity of the natural environment and an understanding of human and physical processes; promote a respect for different cultures through an understanding of their development and their inter-relationships; develop an appreciation and understanding of the spatial patterns of physical and human features in the environment; and to understand and apply the tools and techniques of geography.

Geographic skills are integrated throughout the course. 

Part 1: Core theme – patterns and change (Standard Level 40% / Higher Level 25%)

There are four compulsory topics in this core theme.

1. Populations in transition
2. Disparities in wealth and development
3. Patterns in environmental quality and sustainability.
4. Patterns in resource consumption

Part 2: Optional themes (Standard Level 35% / Higher Level 35%)

Two optional themes are required at Standard Level

Three optional themes are required at Higher Level.

There are seven optional themes; each requires 30 teaching hours.
a. Freshwater – issues and conflicts
b. Oceans and their coastal margins
c. Extreme environments
d. Hazards and disasters – risk assessment and response
e. Leisure, sport and tourism
f. The geography of food and health
g. Urban environments

Part 3: Higher Level extension – global interactions (Higher Level only – 20%)

There are seven compulsory topics in the Higher Level extension.

1. Measuring global interactions
2. Changing space – the shrinking world
3. Economic interactions and flows
4. Environmental change
5. Sociocultural exchanges
6. Political outcomes
7. Global interactions at the local level
Fieldwork (Standard Level 25% / Higher Level 20%)
Fieldwork, leading to one written report based on a fieldwork question, information collection and analysis with evaluation.



Year 11 and 12 - VCE

Year 10

Timbertop - Year 9

Middle School - Years 5 to 8