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Unit information: Geographical Practices 1 in 2015/16

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Unit name Geographical Practices 1
Unit code GEOG15030
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Mayhew
Open unit status Not open



All other units in year 1 BSc/MSci Single Honours Geography

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides a foundational introduction to some of the key perspectives and skills used in human and physical geography. The unit comprises two elements: Geographical Concepts and Field Skills and Tutorial Work. Geographical Concepts provides an introduction to the nature and history of Geography as an intellectual enterprise, examining both the earlier history and recent developments, as a basis for understanding developments in both human and physical geography. Field skills needed in Physical Geography are introduced and applied in a 3-day field course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The aims of this Unit are:

  • To encourage study, discussion and debate of the history of geographical practices.
  • To develop practical skills in physical geography through fieldwork.
  • To develop learning, writing and presentation skills through weekly small-group Tutorials

On completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  • Present a history of geographical practices, some of the reasons for key changes and the debates which surround them.
  • Discuss methods and processes of geographical knowledge construction within the discipline.
  • Apply essential fieldwork techniques in physical geography, execute field experiments, have expertise in the use of appropriate scientific field equipment and apply statistical and computing techniques that have been introduced in laboratory practical classes.
  • Participate in group discussion and presentations; write well-structured essays and organized report/writing skills; be able to give individual presentations to small groups.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Analytical and interpretative skills
  • Problem definition
  • Knowledge construction
  • Planning
  • Project management
  • Group work and discussion

To complement learning within the first year geographical methods unit

Teaching Information

Lectures, Practicals and Fieldwork, Tutorials/Seminars

Assessment Information

Extended essay: 50 Fieldwork Report: 50

For the extended essay, a 2500 word assignment is set and students must analyse three from a list of selected “classics” in geographical writing

Students work in groups on three separate projects during the three days of the field course. They are assessed on the basis of oral presentations at the end of each day of the field course.

Reading and References

1. Clifford NJ & Valentine G (eds. 2003) Key Methods in Geography, Sage, London. (B3 KEY) ISBN: 9780761974925

2. Clifford, N, Holloway SL, Rice SP, Valentine G (eds. 2009) Key Concepts in Geography (2nd ed) Sage, London. (B1 KEY). ISBN: 9781412930222

3. Johnston RJ & Sidaway JD (2004) Geography & Geographers (6th edn.), Arnold, London. (N JOH). ISBN: 9780340808603

4. Livingstone, D (1992) The Geographical Tradition, Blackwell, Oxford. ISBN: 9780631185864

5. Matthews, JA, and Herbert, DT (2008) Geography: A Very Short Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN: 9780199211289