KE3004 - Transition Skills and Fieldwork in Geography and Environmental sciences

What will I learn on this module?

Through KE3004 Transition Skills and Fieldwork in Geography and Environmental Sciences, we aim to support you to develop a range of skills which will be critical to your progression from your foundation degree onto your subsequent undergraduate programme. As part of this shift in academic culture, you will be encouraged to take increasing responsibility for your own learning, and through the development of reflective practice and feedback, you will develop ways of monitoring your own academic performance and progress.

You will learn and develop the key intellectual skills and personal attributes required for effective study in geography or environmental sciences and future graduate employment. Specifically, the module will cover: managing the transition to university life; key skills, such as time-management, academic literature search, essay writing, referencing, communication and presentation skills, field-observation and team-work; and how geographical and environmental perspectives inform our understanding of contemporary real-world issues.

How will I learn on this module?

The introductory lecture will set the scene for the module delivery, assessment and its integration with your wider study programme. In the early weeks of the module, you will participate in two field trips. They will develop your team-work skills and field observation techniques and introduce some local geographical and environmental issues.

Interactive workshops will explore key aspects of the process of transition from further to higher education, including academic expectations, ideas around criticality and factors influencing your levels of engagement and motivation. During weekly group tutorials, you will interact with a small group of your peers- around 10 - 15 students from your foundation degree programme- and your designated personal tutor. Discussions will focus on student-centred activities relating to the above topics and assessment tasks, including formative feedback and how best to feed this forward into future assessments in this and other modules. You will also have an opportunity at least once to meet individually with your personal tutor to reflect on your academic progress, performance and future plans. Your personal tutor will also be your first line of support should you experience any personal difficulties which may impact on your studies.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

As part of the induction process in the Department, you will be assigned to a dedicated personal tutor who will offer academic and pastoral support throughout your Foundation Year. Your tutor will also lead your group and individual tutorial sessions, guiding you through the subject content, overseeing the assessment and feedback process, and monitoring and supporting your performance and progress. They will support your transition from a largely teacher-centred, passive approach to learning in a further education context, to a more active and reflective student-centred approach to learning in a higher education context.

Your class materials will be further supported by on-line resources available via the module Blackboard site, including an interactive reading list. You will also have access to University-wide resources available via the University Library website. Your personal tutors have an open door policy during normal working hours, and are responsive to communication via e-mail to support your learning.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO 1: Outline key academic issues of relevance to your subject discipline.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 2: Develop and apply a range of skills and practices (e.g. written prose, citation & referencing, oral presentation, field observation and independent research) that enable you to cope effectively with the demands of academic study at HE level.
• MLO 3: Communicate effectively to diverse audiences using a range of formats and media, recognising the need to justify your own opinions and to challenge your own thinking and the thinking of others.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO 4: demonstrate the capacity for sustained independent work and the ability to work with others effectively as a member of a team.

• MLO 5: Value curiosity, collaboration and analysis as keystones in the creation of new knowledge and practice and establish good working relationships with staff and fellow students.

How will I be assessed?

The summative assessments on this module are a field work notebook (40%) and an essay (60%). These assessments address different aspects of all five MLOs.

You will be given a notebook at the start of your field visit exercises, and you will use this notebook to record observational notes, reflections, and annotated field sketches during and after the fieldtrips. Your notebook will be assessed following a set scheme of marking provided by tutors (40%).

The essay (60%) will be set by your tutor and relate to a contemporary issue in Geography and Environmental Sciences. You will get the opportunity to submit a draft version of your essay to get formative feedback from your tutor before your summative submission. Your final submission will be assessed using the department’s essay marking criteria under the guidance and supervision of your tutor.





Module abstract

In this module, you will develop the key intellectual skills and personal attributes required for effective study. This will be largely achieved through engagement with your dedicated Tutor who will provide academic support throughout your study. They will lead group and individual tutorial sessions, guiding you through the subject content, overseeing the assessment and feedback process, and monitoring and supporting your performance and progress.

Teaching and learning activities will give you the foundation you need for more substantive study at degree level. The module will be delivered through an introductory lecture, a series of induction activities, two local fieldtrips, interactive workshops, and weekly tutorials. You will also have access to a range of learning resources, including electronic reading lists, made available via the module eLP site. The module will be assessed by a field notebook (40% of the module mark) and an essay (60%).

Course info

UCAS Code F920

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full-time followed by a further 3 years full-time study or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing.

Full time Courses starting in 2023 are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but may include elements of online learning. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to flex accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with additional restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors, potentially to a full online offer, should further restrictions be deemed necessary in future. Our online activity will be delivered through Blackboard Ultra, enabling collaboration, connection and engagement with materials and people.


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