Geography BA (Hons)
COURSE INFORMATION (2013 ENTRY)
3 years full-timeEngineering and Environment
Ellison Building, Newcastle City Campus
The first year of the course lays the foundation for your degree. You will take modules covering the range of human, physical and environmental geography. All our degree programmes place particular emphasis on fieldwork and we’ll take you on day and residential fieldtrips (current destinations include Edinburgh, the Lake District and Scottish Highlands, as well as local trips). You will be introduced to a variety of key skills you’ll use in subsequent years of the degree and in your future careers.
The second year builds on the first, and will anchor your developing research skills in more focused modules. At the centre of this year are our core modules:
Geographies of Global Change – this module examines globalisation. You’ll explore the increasing interconnectedness of the global economy, the influences of culture and religion on the changing character of cities, geopolitics of development and conflict, and investigate how tourism changes popular destinations for good and bad.
Social Geographies – in this module we are concerned with the ways in which social relations, inequalities and identities are (re)produced and distributed across space. You will investigate, amongst other topics, sexuality and gender, race and ethnicity, the spaces of retail and consumption, and issues of poverty.
Economic Geography – the state of the economy affects us all, and this module explains how the geographies of economic activity impacts our daily lives. We’ll study why certain industries locate in particular places, analyse the links between prosperous and under-development parts of the UK, investigate where our taxes go, and explain how the knowledge economy is changing how we live and work.
There is also a range of options choices in the second year which allow students to customize their degrees. You will continue to develop your skills, with a particular focus on how to understand and carry out research.
The majority of the final year is based on optional modules. Here students can specialise in the parts of geography they enjoy most. Option modules relate to staff research interests. Current areas of focus include:
• Geographies of (p)leisure
• Local and regional development
• Race and ethnic identities
• Migration and human rights
• World cities and globalisation
• The creative industries
• Public geographies, education and citizenship
• Communities and development
• Housing and town planning
• Urban morphology
• Retailing and consumer culture
Perhaps the most important third year module is the dissertation. Students chose any aspect of geography they are interested in and complete a 12 month original research project. This provides the opportunity to develop specific areas of interest in great depth. In recent years students have turned dissertations into high quality academic journal articles and written national newspaper pieces, held public exhibitions, informed public policy and found jobs off the back of their research.
The third year is also the place students can take career oriented modules. The optional Work Placement module gives students the chance to use the knowledge and skills they have learnt in a work environment. Students have recently completed short placements with local authorities, Northumberland National Park, the Geographical Association, renewable energy firms, charities, retailers and events organisers.
For those wanting a career in teaching, Geography in Education and Students into Schools offer opportunities to experience the teaching environment in local schools, and helps students develop PGCE applications. We have a strong track record of our students getting places on PGCE courses, and our graduates often provide places for undergraduates taking these modules.
For more information on modules click the ‘Modules’ tab at the top of the page.
LEARNING AND TEACHING METHODS
The range of teaching methods is diverse – you will learn in lectures, seminars, small tutorial groups, in dedicated IT and physical geography labs and online. You will tour Edinburgh, discover new aspects of southern Spain, venture through Amsterdam, and explore the Lake District or the Scottish Highlands. You can go on a work placement, and even spend a year overseas studying at a university in the USA.
Residential fieldwork is a key element of our programme and all students will go on three main field trips which are used to teach and practise specialist knowledge as well as developing independent, group work and communication skills.
Our programme and student experiences facilitate the transition from dependent to independent learning and as you progress you will find there is less reliance on formal scheduled teaching and more on guided independent study.
You will be supported throughout your degree by a guidance tutor who will provide you with one-to-one academic and pastoral support, enable you to develop your independent study skills and provide any other help and guidance you may need.
Over the course of three years you will take a wide variety of modules which are assessed by a range of methods. You will create visualisations to explain globalisation; write reflexive journals on your experiences of Spain and Amsterdam; complete reports on the changing dynamics of major cities; present historical geographies of Newcastle upon Tyne; explain the development of third world countries; create GIS maps; write critical reviews of books and journal articles; conduct your own piece of original geographical research and occasionally sit seen and unseen written examinations. As you progress through your three years the role of written examinations in the assessment of our modules declines with other forms of coursework assessment becoming more significant that are designed to develop transferable and employability skills.
Formative assessment and timely and constructive feedback are embedded within all our modules helping you to engage with assessment criteria, reflect critically on your own work, and deepen your understanding of the relationship between assessment and learning. You are encouraged to discuss your work with staff and we practice an open door policy to help facilitate that process. In the final year, you will receive particularly close supervision and one-to-one support as part of your dissertation.
We place a strong emphasis on enhancing the employability of our graduates through the development of transferable skills. Geographers develop a broad range of analytical, inter-personal, communication, technical, IT and presentation skills, equipping them to enter subject-specific as well as general graduate jobs across of a variety of challenging and exciting areas, such as local government and regional development agencies, the public and private sector, teaching in schools and trusts, financial services, retail, distribution and logistics, community development and social research as well as cartography, surveying, environmental issues and management.
You will be able to take advantage of our high standard facilities with modern lecture theatres, laboratories and IT suites, well stocked with specialised equipment and software, and a map room. We keep close contact with our subject librarians and information specialists, who are available to students in terms of specialist teaching sessions and support.
You will be taught by professional staff who are well known for the quality of their teaching and learning methods.
All our staff are engaged in academic and educational research in our respective specialist fields. They also often act as public consultants, activists or engaged citizens. We introduce new methods and modes of teaching, often through projects with students as peers with University or external funding.
The course is a stepping stone towards higher qualifications such as postgraduate study or research (MSc & PhD) and teacher training (PGCE). You could also continue your study at Northumbria University with an MSc in Disaster Management and Sustainable Development or a PGCE Primary with Geography.
People who looked at this course also looked at:
Northumbria University has taken reasonable care to ensure that the information published is accurate at the time of publication. However, the University gives no warranty or representation as to the quality, accuracy or completeness of the information.