BSc 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
Offered by Geography
Available as a free choice unit? No


The purpose of tutorials are to help you settle into university life in Manchester and to teach you the fundamental skills required to learn Geography at 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 career, such as essay writing, referencing, critical thinking, plagiarism, time management, and so forth. 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 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 of 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 teaching process 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 personalized 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 most teaching weeks. Tasks will vary each week, but you will be expected to come to each tutorial prepared for discussion with your peers. The work might involve working in smaller teams within the tutorial, and certainly in the case of the critical book review.  In between your tutorials, your tutor may set you small pieces of work such as time management exercises or preparing for your essay. In study weeks you will have work to complete, but you will not have a tutorial or any other lectures. 

Tutorials are largely 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

  • Be more confident about your contributions to tutorial discussions and have developed oral presentation skills.
  • Source, select, and cite appropriate academic material.

Practical skills

  • 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.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Display critical thinking, evaluation and reflection skills.
  • Source, collect, analyse and use information.
  • Understand how to work effectively in a team.
  • Exhibit self-directed learning.
  • Present to an audience as part of a team.

Assessment methods

Assessment task


Weighting within unit (if relevant)

Essay Plan or short-piece of writing


Essays (x2) relating to human and physical geography core units

Critical Book Review Group Presentation




1500 words each


15 minutes + 5 minutes for questions from the audience



33% each



Feedback methods


  • Extensive verbal feedback through Q&A, discussion and interactive activities within tutorials;
  • Detailed written feedback on all of your submitted work;
  • Formative feedback both written and verbal during the tutorials;
  • Verbal feedback on any tutorial issues – academic or pastoral – through emailed consultation or office hours;
  • One-to-one meetings with your tutor;

          Detailed written feedback on the book review presentation.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 10
Practical classes & workshops 10
Tutorials 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 60

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ross Jones Unit coordinator

Additional notes




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