For pupils studying geography in S3, Intermediate Geography is taught instead of Standard Grade. Intermediate 2 is a rigorous and up-to-date course for the majority of pupils while an Intermediate 1 examination is also available for those who do not feel up to sitting a test at the higher level. Intermediate is taught together with Access 3, a non-examination course for pupils who would previously have sat Standard Grade at Foundation level. These students can, of course, also sit the Intermediate 1 examination if they wish.
All three courses contain the following three units:
- physical environments has a British Isles context and pupils study a selection of landscape types including glaciated upland, upland limestone, coastlines of erosion and deposition and rivers and their valleys. Case studies are chosen from Scotland and the rest of the UK
- human environments has a wider context and studies detailed examples from both developed and developing countries. Topics covered include world population distribution and change, urban geography, rural geography and industrial change
- environmental issues has a strong emphasis on global problems and their management and looks at the interactions between the physical and human environment. The two topics chosen for study are Development and Health and Environmental Hazards.
The units also require the development of ordnance survey mapwork skills and pupils are given a short refresher unit in this at the start of S3.