BA Geography with International Study

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Tutorials and Critical Book Review

Course unit fact file
Unit code GEOG12011
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


The purpose of GEOG12011 is to help you settle into university life in Manchester and to teach you the fundamental skills required to learn Geography at the university level. Your tutorials support your other Year 1 core modules in human and physical geography. The tutorials will teach you all the fundamental skills that you will need for your University degree, such as reading and note-taking, essay writing, referencing, critical thinking, plagiarism, time management, revision techniques, teamwork, independent work, and communication skills. Each week there will be something to do, such as preparing for an essay, not least reading for your lectures – don’t forget, for every hour of lecture contact, we expect at least 2-3 hours of independent study. In addition, you will read and critically analyse a geographical text, and present your analysis to an audience of your peers at the end of the unit in a group presentation.

Note that tutorials run through the whole year. In Semester 2 the unit code for your tutorials is GEOG12012.


  • Acclimatise students to Geography at Manchester and University.
  • Develop general study skills, including academic referencing.
  • Build skills in essay writing and written arguments.
  • Develop oral contributions, arguments, and gain experience in presentations.
  • Explore ideas, theories, and concepts from compulsory course units.
  • Learn to work individually and within groups.Develop critical thinking skills through an in-depth understanding of a geographical text.

Teaching and learning methods

Tutorials are group sessions where discussion is the key to sharing ideas and developing geographical knowledge. A key expectation is your engagement and preparation; you will learn a lot more if you really participate in the sessions. There will be lots of opportunities to receive personalised feedback and reflect upon your performance, both in tutorials and in the one-to-one Academic Advisory sessions. You will meet with your group and Tutor in a regular timeslot during most teaching weeks. Tasks will vary as the semester progresses, but you will be expected to come to each tutorial prepared for discussion with your peers, and Tutors may set you small pieces of homework between sessions. You will be set a mix of individual tasks and group work, for example the critical book review presentation.

Tutorials are partly student-led, so will be tailored to assist your academic performance wherever possible – if you would like to spend a little more time on referencing, for example, just ask your Tutor. You will also be assigned Peer-Assisted Study Session (PASS) Mentors, and will meet with them regularly through the semester.

Course and assignment information will be made available on Blackboard or from your Tutor. All essays will be submitted via Blackboard.

Knowledge and understanding

  • Consolidate knowledge and understanding of your course units through both oral and written work.

Intellectual skills

  • Source, select, and cite appropriate academic material.  
  • Demonstrate the use of a range of key university skills such as referencing, reading and note-taking, essay writing, time management, revision techniques, and examination skills.
  • Display critical thinking, evaluation, and reflection skills.

Practical skills

  • Source, collect, analyse, and use information.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Be more confident about your contributions to tutorial discussions and have developed oral presentation skills.
  • Understand how to work effectively in a team.
  • Exhibit self-directed learning.

Assessment methods

Assessment task                         Length               How and when feedback is provided      Weighting  

Essay 1 (Physical Geography)     900 words              Mark and written feedback via Turnitin         33%
                                                                                   + verbal individual feedback in class

Essay 2 (Human Geography)      900 words              Mark and written feedback via Turnitin         33%
                                                                                  + verbal individual feedback in class

Critical Book Review (CBR)        10 mins                  Brief Q&A following presentation;                  33%
Presentation(Groups of 5)         (2 mins per               written feedback and mark after
                                                 group member)          presentation

Recommended reading

  • Bowen, G., Maibauer, B., Kraus, M. et al. (2015) ‘Two massive, rapid releases of carbon during the onset of the Paleocene–Eocene thermal maximum’. Nature Geoscience 8, pp. 44–47.
  • Alley, R.B. (2016) A heated mirror for future climate. Science, 352 (6282), pp. 151-152
  • Berg, L. and Longhurst, R. (2003) ‘Placing masculinities and geography’. Gender, Place and, Culture, 10(4): pp. 351-360. 
  • Braedley, S. (2014) ‘‘Accidental’ health care: Masculinity and neoliberalism at work’. In Braedley, S. and Luxton, M. (eds.), Neoliberalism and Everyday Life. Montreal: McGill-Queens University Press, pp. 136-162.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Tutorials 16
Independent study hours
Independent study 84

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ross Jones Unit coordinator

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