THE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

1. Awarding Institution/Body University of Lancaster
2. Teaching Institution Edge Hill College of Higher Education
3. Programme Accredited by: University of Lancaster
4. Final Award BA (Hons)/ BSc (Hons)
5. Name of Route/Pathway or Field Geography (Single Honours/Major)
6. UCAS Code L801 BA/G; L800 BSc/G
7. QAA Benchmarking Group Geography

8. Main educational aims of the scheme or field

The main aims of the Geography programme are:

9. Intended Learning Outcomes

The programme provides opportunities for students to achieve and demonstrate the following general learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding of:

  1. the interconnections between space, place and time in geographical studies at a variety of spatial scales
  2. geographical principles, concepts, theories, definitions and terminology
  3. how ideas of space, place and landscape inform a critical understanding of the nature of difference within the human world
  4. the various social, economic, political and cultural processes actively impacting on the human world in space and place, and over time
  5. the patterns, processes, interactions and changes in the Earth's physical environments at various scales
  6. the relationships and interactions between human society and the environment

Core knowledge and understanding (1-6) is acquired through lectures, small group teaching, seminars, practical workshops, fieldwork and directed independent study. A foundation knowledge and understanding of the range of approaches, concepts and theories of Geography is gained at Level 1. As students progress through Level 2 and Level 3 they would be expected to develop a greater depth of knowledge and understanding of a selection of the key themes covered by the learning outcomes (1-6). Assessment of knowledge and understanding (1-6) is through examination (advanced notice and unseen papers), class tests and coursework including essays, project reports, portfolios, group presentations and seminar performance.

Intellectual skills to be able to:

  1. assemble data and text from a variety of sources and discern, establish and evaluate connections and interpretations
  2. analyse, synthesise, summarise and critically evaluate geographical information and literature
  3. identify problems and propose solutions
  4. construct and support a reasoned argument, as well as being able to evaluate and understand the arguments of others, and to communicate weaknesses in these where appropriate
  5. communicate an independent viewpoint about geographical issues

Intellectual skills (7-11) are promoted through lectures, laboratory practical classes, practical workshops, seminars, and small-group workshops. The development and application of these skills is particularly apparent in the core modules Geographical Enquiry (Level 1), Techniques in Geographical Research and Advancing Geographical Information (both Level 2) and the Dissertation (Level 3). Assessment of intellectual skills (7-11) is by examinations and coursework. Examinations provide students with an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to structure a clear, concise analysis and reasoned argument of an issue in a time constrained period. The dissertation at Level 3 also provides an opportunity for the student to demonstrate their level of proficiency in thinking skills.

Subject-specific skills to be able to:

  1. collect and record geographical data/information by observation, questionnaires, focus groups, measurement and the use of instruments and/or techniques in the field and the laboratory
  2. apply a range of techniques for the analysis of geographical data and interpret the outcomes
  3. effectively present geographical information using a range of specialised approaches
  4. design a research project, apply an appropriate methodology, and present the findings in an appropriate format

Subject-specific skills (12-15) are developed through practical work including laboratory practical class activities, practical workshops and fieldwork. A planned programme of skills teaching at Levels 1 and 2 is provided by the core modules Geo-communication, Geographical Enquiry, Techniques in Geographical Research and Advancing Geographical Information. A wide range of specific practical skills is also developed in option modules at Level 2 and Level 3. Students are also made aware of the importance of health and safety in relation to laboratory practical work and fieldwork. The dissertation at Level 3 provides the student with an opportunity to apply some of the skills they have developed, as well as new skills in some cases, with a certain degree of independence. Assessment of subject-specific skills (12-15) is through coursework (including project reports, portfolios, oral presentations, poster presentations, project design exercises) and the dissertation (15). Although practical skills may not be tested directly, the level of student competence in particular practical skills may be gauged from the quality of data presented in the various types of coursework described above. Students should be able to demonstrate acquisition of skills through a critical appraisal of a technique in coursework and examinations. The dissertation should demonstrate student competence in subject-specific skills.

Key skills to be able to:

  1. effectively communicate geographical concepts and information for a diverse audience through oral, written and visual media including essays and reports, oral and visual presentations, seminars and discussions, electronic media and extended writing such as a dissertation
  2. work effectively both in a group and independently on a given geographical task or project
  3. apply numerical skills to geographical information, and interpret and use the outcomes of this analysis
  4. use ICT competently and effectively to analyse, present and communicate geographical information
  5. study and learn independently

Key skills (16-20) are promoted and developed in some form in all the Geography modules at all levels. A number of modules place a specific emphasis on key skills development. Study skills development is central to the Level 1 tutorial programme. The use of ICT (19) is the main focus of the core modules Geo-communication (Level l) and Advancing Geographical Information (Level 2), and the option modules Earth Observation Systems (Level 2) and Geo-information (Level 3). Students further develop these skills in a number of other Level 2 and Level 3 option modules. Geography modules at all levels encourage students to work independently and interactively within groups (17). Students acquire and develop a range of presentation and communication skills (16)throughout the course with the aim of presenting material in a range of interesting and varied forms. Numerical and quantification skills (18) are introduced at Level 1. They are further developed in the core Techniques in Geographical Research module at Level 2, and other optional modules at Level 2 and 3 depending on a students' pathway through the programme. Assessment of key skills is through coursework and examinations at all levels. Specific key skills are assessed in the following types of coursework: group presentations, Powerpoint presentations, poster presentations, project reports, database construction and chart presentation exercises, seminar discussions and oral presentations. Progress in developing key skills is recorded in the students' Personal Learning File.

10. Route/Pathway/Field requirements, levels, modules, credits and awards

Students follow one of two schemes, either Single Honours or MajorlMinor. In both schemes at Level 1 students take 90 credits (6 x 15 credit modules) of Geography plus 1 other minor subjects, of which they take 2 x 15 credit modules from each subject. At Level 2/3 in the Single Honours scheme students normally take 240 credits (120 credits at each Level). This includes 60 credits of core modules (2 x 30 credit modules) of Geography at Level 2 together with 60 credits (4 x 15 credit modules) of Geography option modules. At Level 3 students study one 30 credit core module and 90 credits (6 x 15 credits) of Geography option modules. In the Major/Minor scheme students normally take 180 credits (3 x 30 credit core modules; 6 x 15 credit option modules) of Geography plus 60 credits (4 x 15 credit modules) from their minor subject at Level 2/3. Optional modules in Geography at Levels 2 and 3 give students the opportunity to construct detailed 'pathways' of their choice within the two schemes (i.e. Human Geography or Physical Geography specialist; or a generalist route). Both schemes have a common compulsory skills programme at Level 1 and at Level 2, and the dissertation at Level 3.

Credit Level 1

Compulsory Core Modules

Introducing Human Geographies
Earth Surface Environments
Environment and Society
Geo-communication
Geographical Enquiry
Developing Employability and Careers Management

Credit Level 2 Potential awards: Diploma of HE
Compulsory Core Modules
Optional Modules

Techniques in Geographical Research
(30 credits)

Advancing Geographical Information
(30 credits)

Environmental Resource Management
Population and Health
Sustainable Development & Environment
Cities in Transition
Geomorphology
Biogeography
Soil Science
Environmental Issues
Earth Observation Systems

Credit Level 3

Potential awards: BA/BSc (Hons)1
Compulsory Core Module
Optional Modules
Dissertation (30 credits) Countryside Management
Heritage Landscapes
Space, Culture, and Technology:
Postmodern Geographies
Modern Historical Geographies
Global Tourism and Citizenship
Popular Culture of South Asia
Climatic Change
Coastal Zone Environments and Management
Snow and Ice Environments
Environmental Change
Environmental Hydrology
Geohazards
Geo-information: Systems, Sources and Applications


1 Where a student has completed more than 120 credits of science modules at level u3, either from Geography or from designated science miners, they are awarded a BSc. Where a student has completed less than 120 credits of science modules at Level 2/3, either from Geography or designated science miners, they are awarded a BA A student who has completed 120 credits of science and 120 credits of non-science modules at Level 2/3 is allowed to register their preference for BA or BSc.


Benchmarking and Programme Specifications

Page created 15 May 2000
GDN pages archived October 2007
GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock