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Unit information: Key Concepts in Human and Physical Geography in 2021/22

Unit name Key Concepts in Human and Physical Geography
Unit code GEOG10003
Credit points 40
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Ed Atkins
Open unit status Not open



GEOG10004 Introduction to Quantitative Geography; GEOG10002 Geographical History, Thought and Practices

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The aim is to provide an integrated, overarching introduction to a broad range of Human and Physical Geographical concepts and processes that will equip students with the skills and knowledge to both select and carryout Geography units in later years. The unit is designed to teach different aspects in different ways and to encourage students to make and explore links between elements within and between Human and Physical Geography.

Key aspects of Physical Geography to be covered include:

  1. Atmosphere
  2. Freshwater
  3. Ocean
  4. Earth and Life on Earth.
  5. Changing Ice

Key aspects of Human Geography to be covered include:

  1. Inequality – comprising a broad introduction to social, political, population, urban and development geography
  2. Cultural Geography
  3. Historical Geographies of Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  1. Identify and understand physical processes operating in different environments and over different time and space scales;
  2. Identify and understand the stores and fluxes within different environments;
  3. Describe the mechanisms by which different environmental/landscape processes take place;
  4. Undertake simple calculations of fluxes, perform simple laboratory and computing experiments, write scientific reports, manipulate data and plot appropriate graphs;
  5. Grasp key concepts and themes pertinent to human geography;
  6. Mobilise a set of case-studies that relate to environmental, historical, economic, social and cultural geography.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and oral communication
  • Numerical and analytical
  • Problem solving
  • Critical reasoning

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • practical and/or field work; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete laboratory practical and/or field work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Information


  • A topic brief (25%). [ILOs 1-6]
  • A physical geography online, multiple choice exam at the end of TB1 (10%). [ILOs 1-3]
  • A physical geography online, multiple choice exam at the end of TB2 (15%). [ILOs 1-3]
  • A 2000-word essay on an area of Human Geography (25%). [ILOs 5-6]
  • A 2000-word essay (25%) requiring the students to integrate different aspects of the unit. [ILOs 1-6]


Students will also take the following formative practicals:

  • Atmosphere;
  • Rocks and soils;
  • Oceans;
  • Darcy's Law;
  • Biosphere;
  • Practical on one or more areas of Human Geography.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOG10003).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.