Skip to content

A NSW Government website

Welcome to the NSW Curriculum website

NSW Curriculum
NSW Education Standards Authority

11–12Geography 11–12 Syllabus

Record of changes
Implementation from 2024
Expand for detailed implementation advice


Geography is the study of places, people and environments, and their interrelationships, and integrates knowledge from the natural sciences, social sciences and humanities. It develops students’ sense of curiosity about the places, environments and cultures that make up our world, enabling them to be more attuned to its diversity and complexity. Geography promotes understanding of the role of natural systems and human activity in shaping the world and how they may vary from place to place.

Integral to the discipline of Geography is the investigation of spatial patterns and distributions across the Earth’s surface, at varying scales of study. Geography considers how different processes and influences interact to form and transform particular places, environments, and natural and human phenomena. It involves inquiry into the ways in which people, places and environments are interdependent, and the nature, rate and extent of change that is shaping our world. It has a critical role to play in proposing options and evaluating responses to contemporary challenges, many of which are increasingly global, to inform effective long-term management.

Geography provides students with the opportunity to investigate the sustainable environmental management practices of communities, including those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples, and other Indigenous Peoples. These sustainable practices have been developed and implemented with an understanding of the need for the interdependence of natural systems and people.

The study of Geography requires students to understand and apply geographical tools and the concepts of place, space, environment, interconnection, scale, sustainability and change, to make sense of their world. As a discipline, Geography values inquiry methods, ethical practices, critical analysis, reasoning, statistical literacy, holistic thinking, consideration of context, and spatial awareness. Fieldwork, in all its various forms, is central to geographical inquiry as it enables students to develop their understanding of the world through direct experience.

The study of Geography enables students to seek credible information and evidence, consider and evaluate differing views, and express their own ideas and arguments. It encourages students to reflect on their relationship with and responsibility for the world, as active and informed citizens, and the role that individuals, communities, organisations, corporations and governments can play, collectively, in maintaining the ecological processes on which human wellbeing and all life depend.