VCE Geography

This information is based on the study information provided by VCAA.


Through studying Geography, students develop knowledge and skills that enable them to understand the complex interactions of their world from a spatial perspective. They learn to participate effectively as global citizens in the sustainable use and management of the world’s resources.

VCE Geography enables students to examine natural and human phenomena, how and why they change, their interconnections and the patterns they form across the Earth’s surface. In doing so, they develop a better understanding of their own place and its spaces and those in other parts of the world. These spatial perspectives, when integrated with historical, economic, ecological and cultural perspectives, deepen understanding of places, environments and human interactions with these.

Course Objectives

This study is designed to enable students to:

  • Understand and apply geographic concepts including place, scale, distance, distribution, movement, region, process, change, spatial association and sustainability to develop their ability to think and communicate;
  • Develop a sense of wonder and curiosity about people, culture and environments throughout the world;
  • Use a wide range of geographic techniques such as mapping, graphing, photographic interpretation, digital maps and technology;
  • Undertake field work investigations to gather and interpret data and to produce a report that includes geographic techniques; and
  • Communicate information effectively and in a variety of ways.


This study is made up of 4 units:

  • Unit 1: Hazards and Disasters
  • Unit 2: Tourism
  • Unit 3: Changing the Land
  • Unit 4: Human Population – trends and issues

Unit 1

In this unit students undertake an overview of hazards before investigating two contrasting types of hazards. Students examine the processes involved in hazards, including their cause and impacts, human responses to disasters and efforts to manage disaster events. A wide range of hazards can be studied including geological, meteorological, biological and technological hazards.

Unit 2

In this unit students investigate the characteristics of tourism, with a particular emphasis on where it has developed, how it has changed and its impact on people, places and environments. Students will investigate contrasting examples of tourism from within Australia and elsewhere in the world. The growth of tourism at all scales requires careful management to ensure environmentally sustainable and economically viable tourism.

Unit 3

This unit focuses on changes to land cover and land use. Students investigate three major processes that are changing land cover in many regions of the world: Deforestation, desertification and melting glaciers/icesheets. At a local scale, students will conduct fieldwork to investigate an area of recent land use change.

Unit 4

In this unit students investigate the geography of human populations and explore the patterns of population, change, movement and distribution globally. Students will investigate two significant population trends arising in different parts of the world. Many factors influence population change, including the influence of government policies, economic conditions, wars and revolutions and hazard events.


The completion of Year 10 Geography and/or Global Awareness will provide students with a good background for VCE Geography. There are no prerequisites for Units 1, 2 and 3. Students must successfully complete Unit 3 to progress to Unit 4.


Units 1 and 2

Individual school decision on levels of achievement.  Assessment includes:

  • Field work
  • Recording and reporting of data collected in the field
  • Data processing and presentation  –  maps, graphs, annotated visual displays
  • Research reports
  • Written responses
  • Tests and examinations

Unit 3

  • Outcome 1 – On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyze, describe and explain land use changes and assess its impacts.
  • Outcome 2 – On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyze, describe and explain processes that result in changes to land cover and discuss the impacts and responses resulting from these changes.

Unit 4

  • Outcome 1 – On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyze, describe and explain population dynamics on a global scale.
  • Outcome 2 – On completion of this unit the student should be able to analyze, describe and explain the nature of significant population issues and challenges in selected locations and evaluate responses.

School assessed coursework and examination.

  • Unit 3 school assessed coursework (25%)
  • Unit 4 school assessed coursework (25%)
  • Units 3 and 4 examination (50%)