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Year Ten Unit Three: Physical landscapes in the UK

This unit is made up of Section C of Paper 1 of the AQA GCSE Geography specification.  Students begin by looking at an overview of the physical landscapes, before studying coastal and river landscapes in detail.



Knowledge acquired:

AQA GCSE Geography specification:

  • Range of the UK’s diverse physical landscapes
  • Processes shaping the characteristics of the UK’s coasts and rivers
  • Different strategies that can be used to manage coastlines and rivers from the effects of physical processes

Skills developed:

  • To be able to analyse a range of data relating to physical landscapes and the processes affecting these and be able to use this data to compare and evaluate.
  • To be able to analyse maps and diagrams to describe and explain physical processes, characteristics and the impact of managing these landscapes.


  • Ability to understand geographical concepts and processes relating to the UK’s physical landscapes and how these can be managed in a number of ways.

Links to previous study (where applicable):

  • Links to Living in the UK and Flooding studied in Year 7
  • Links to Rivers, Coasts and Glaciation, studied in Year 8.
  • Links to Weather and Climate, studied in Year 9 and in Unit 1 of Year 10.

Links to future study / the wider world (where applicable):

  • Links to Section B of Paper 3 (Physical fieldwork investigation)
  • Link to A Level e.g. AQA A Level – Coastal systems and landscapes



Number of Lessons:

Sequence of lessons:  Approx. 21 lessons (some lessons take longer than one hour to complete)

UK Landscapes

Coastal Landscapes

River Landscapes

  1. The UK’s relief and landscapes
  1. Wave types and characteristics
  2. Weathering and mass movement
  3. Coastal erosion processes
  4. Coastal deposition landforms
  5. Coastal landforms at Swanage
  6. Managing coasts – hard engineering
  7. Managing coasts – soft engineering
  8. Coastal management at Lyme Regis
  1. Changes in rivers and their valleys
  2. River processes
  3. River erosion and deposition landforms
  4. River landforms on the River Tees
  5. Factors increasing flood risk
  6. Managing floods – hard engineering
  7. Managing floods – soft engineering
  8. Managing floods at Banbury

Main resources:

  • OUP GCSE Geography Textbook for AQA: Pages 88 - 130
  • Teacher-prepared PowerPoint activities for each lesson.
  • GCSEpod clips for each component.

 Method(s) of assessment: 

  • A number of exam style questions (4 – 12 marks) assessed during the topic.
  • End of topic tests at the end of ‘Coastal Landscapes and ‘River Landscapes’
  • Assessed as part of June Mock in Year 10.
  • Final assessment: assessed within Paper 1 (sat in May of Year 11).

Use of assessment result(s):

  • Used to identify areas of weakness in terms of knowledge and skills.  Addressed throughout the remainder of the course.