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BA Geography / Course details
Year of entry: 2023
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Course unit details:
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 2|
|Offered by||School of Environment, Education and Development|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
What is Physical Geography and what does it mean to be a Physical Geographer? The Earth is an ever-changing system and driven by dynamic processes and remarkable events. Currently the planet faces many challenges - climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, natural hazards, land use and management, declining resources to name a few.
Building on the themes introduced in Semester 1 (e.g. GEOG 10401 Environmental Processes and Change), we will explore the role of Physical Geography in tackling some of these ‘grand challenges’ and discover how geographical research is expanding our understanding of key processes.
After an introductory lecture, the course will be delivered through a series of thematic lectures focusing on a specific topic each week. A range of Physical Geography staff members will teach on the course, each giving a week’s lecture and associated reading on specialist and timely research themes. Previous lectures have covered: wildfires, radioactive contamination, global biodiversity, landslides, flooding, and dust in the environment.
- To gain a robust understanding of fundamental Physical Geography processes.
- To understand the range of scientific approaches used in Physical Geography.
- To relate these concepts and approaches to a range of case studies from leading researchers in the Geography department.
- To explore the role of the Physical Geographer in an ever-changing world.
Teaching and learning methods
The course is primarily lecture-based. Each week the two-hour lecture will include class discussion and activities. Students will be expected to complete assigned readings between lectures. A high level of attendance is expected and will ensure that you are well supported for the course assessment. The module will be supported by a compressive Blackboard site including extended reading, supplementary materials, and online resources.
Knowledge and understanding
- Demonstrate a scientific understanding of a range of physical geography processes.
- Recognise the different approaches and methods of investigation in Physical Geography.
- Demonstrate your knowledge of Physical Geography through use of key case studies.
- Recognise potential areas for your own future research e.g. dissertations.
- Verbal formative feedback through Q&A, discussion sessions within the lecture courses;
- Individual verbal formative feedback on a wide range of issues via consultation hours;
- Feedback on your progress with practice exam questions;
- Feedback on exam performance in second year academic advisor meetings.
Readings will be assigned from a range of sources and each week there will be a dedicated list of essential reading. Wider reading is essential in order to do well in the final examination.
A useful text for the course:
Holden, J. (ed.) (2008) An Introduction to Physical Geography and the Environment. Harlow: Pearson.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Assessment written exam||2|
|Independent study hours|
|Emma Shuttleworth||Unit coordinator|
|Gareth Clay||Unit coordinator|