THE PROGRAMME SPECIFICATION

The results of learning (programme outcomes) have been referenced to the Draft Geography Benchmarking Statement (G) and the institution's policy for skill development (I).

1. Awarding Institution/Body University of Gloucestershire
2. Teaching Institution University of Gloucester
3. Programme Accredited by: N.A.
4. Final Award BA (Hons) / BSc (Hons)
5. Name of Route/Pathway or Field Geography (major) + over 30 minor subject fields
6. UCAS Code Example: F8BP - Geography (major) with Sport and Exercise Science (minor)
7. QAA Benchmarking Group Geography
8. Date of PS production/revision December 2000

Outcome statements have been referenced to the Geography Benchmark Statement (G) and the institution's policy for skill development in the undergraduate module scheme (I).

9. Main educational aims of the scheme or field

Geography seeks to analyse people-environment inter-relationships at a time when human activities are transforming the atmosphere and surface of the Earth at an unprecedented rate and scale of change. The processes involved and problems created are occurring in an unequally interdependent world shrunken in distance and time, enabling a globalisation in knowledge, understanding and response to such processes and problems.

Geography aims to focus on the integration between Human and Physical Geography with an opportunity to emphasise studies in either the human or physical environment. The human side of the discipline concentrates upon relationships between nature, culture and landscape, and between region, place and locality at varying spatial and temporal scales. The physical geographical aspect of the discipline draws upon a wide range of earth, environmental and social sciences to examine the dynamics of natural systems over space and time.

The main aims are:-·

10. Programme outcomes - the route/pathway/field provides opportunities for students to achieve and demonstrate the following learning outcomes.
Knowledge and understanding of → Teaching, learning & assessment strategies and methods
  1. the geographic concepts, theories and values for a holistic study of the relationships between natural and human environments at a variety of spatial and temporal scales; (G)
  2. the key human and natural features of contemporary environmental issues and geographic hazards; (G)
  3. the response of natural systems to human impact in the context of present and past environments; (G)
  4. new developments in geographical research and competing environmental philosophies. (G)

Core knowledge and understanding (1 - 4) is acquired via lectures, practicals, seminars, fieldwork, and guided independent study, while more 'advanced' knowledge and understanding (4) is also obtained by independent study, seminars and specific group work.

Assessment - Knowledge and understanding (1-4) is assessed via examination (seen and unseen) and through a variety of coursework assignment methods.

Cognitive skills - able to: → Teaching, learning & assessment strategies and methods
  1. critically examine and review both primary and secondary source geographic information, and possess the capacity to comment on the value, quality and accuracy of that information; (G)
  2. make a reasoned judgement based upon the application of key geographical concepts and knowledge to the analysis of a variety of data; (G)
  3. initiate, design and execute a piece of project work; arrive at a set of results and conclusions for the work and evaluate the process of inquiry. (G)

Cognitive 'thinking' skills (5 - 7) are promoted and delivered via lectures, seminars, fieldwork, practical laboratory and workshop activities, Web site work, group discussions, tutorials and group work. By Level 3 students producing a dissertation/project (7) have an element of independence to experiment and test ideas, however dissertation/project students meet regularly with an advisor to discuss methodologies and practical work.

Assessment - Cognitive skills (5 - 7) are assessed by coursework and examinations. Coursework may take a variety of forms including: essays, reports, posters, 'sample' articles, field and laboratory notebooks, literature reviews and seminar papers. Examinations provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to structure a clear, concise reasoned argument and analysis of an issue in a limited time period. The execution of a dissertation/project (7), and an optional independent study, at Level 3 allows a student to demonstrate his/her proficiency in cognitive skills to the highest level.

Key skills - able to → Teaching, learning & assessment strategies and methods
  1. gather and synthesise statistical data, apply and use discipline specific ICT tools; (G & I)
  2. work both independently and in a team; (G & I)
  3. communicate and organise work and study effectively and possess good time-management skills; (G & I)
  4. discuss, debate and negotiation with staff and other students such that students express their own views and ensure that their personal perspective and opinion of a topic or issue is appreciated and understood; (G)
  5. self-confidence and the ability to identify and set personal study goals. (G)

Key skills ( 8 - 12) are provided by the scheme wide compulsory modules at Level 1: Learning Development and Transferable Skills. Also, Geography modules at all levels aim to encourage students to work independently and in groups with the aim of presenting material in interesting and varied forms (9 and 11) Numerical skills (8) are introduced at Level 1 and further developed in subsequent Levels dependent on a student's chosen routeway through the Field. All students develop their information technology skills (8) throughout their time at College; there is an ICT routeway through the Field.

Assessment of key skills (8 - 12) is via coursework: the submission of a wide variety of written and visual material. Students have the opportunity to negotiate certain aspects of their coursework. In addition students will present material in an oral presentation or via a viva voce examination. Student profiles and personal development planning are used to monitor not only academic work performance but skill acquisition through the degree programme.

Subject specific skills - able to: → Teaching, learning & assessment strategies and methods
  1. an ability to gather, analyse and synthesise quantitative and qualitative geographical information; (G & I)
  2. the capacity to be conversant with health and safety issues and appreciatehow such matters influence practical work; (G & I)
  3. self-awareness of change in society and the environment; a student should be an informed citizen and promote understanding of the geographical context of change. (G)

Subject specific skills (13 - 15) are acquired through fieldwork, class activities and dissertation/project work. In particular, learning to apply specific geography skills is obtained via case studies and practical work. At Levels 1 and 2 students are given detailed guidance concerning subject specific skill activity to ensure that they have a firm grounding in the relevant skills and an awareness of the safety and ethical key skill issues (14) as they relate to geography.

Assessment of subject specific skills (13- 15) is through coursework, the submission of reports, notebooks and examinations. Students should make reference to skill acquisition in examination answers via a critical appraisal of a technique. The dissertation/project at Level 3 and final year reports should illustrate student competence in subject skills and demonstrate their ability to promote geographic concepts and principles in future life (14)

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

The programme is offered in full-time and part-time mode. Students may enter, interrupt or leave a programmeat the end of any Level of study; student 'mobility' must comply with the institution's set procedures: satisfactionand completion of the necessary requirements and administrative procedures.

Students study two Fields in either major:minor or joint combination (Major: Minor = Major: 15 + 5 modules, Joint = 10 modules in both Fields). The modular programme allows students to structure their programme of studywithin certain prescribed limits. Major and joint students in Geography should satisfy Scheme and Field requirements at each Level to allow them to graduate with their designated degree title, see details below and onthe Field map. Compulsory modules at Level 1 and 2 are pre-requisites for certain Level 2 and 3 modules, see below. All Optional modules give students the opportunity to construct detailed 'pathways' of their choice withinthe Field, see examples below. Fields are underpinned by a common compulsory 'skills' programme (2 modules)at Level 1(I). The module: Development of Professional Skills in the Workplace is designed to allow students to undertake a wide range of types of work experience dependent on the required outcomes and to improve understanding of the relationship of their major or joint Field to the external employment arena. (I)

Level I introduces basic concepts and skills of geography. In Level I there are four core modules: two with a human geographic focus and two with a physical geography focus. Students have to study two of the four core modules and normally they take one from human geography and one from physical geography. In addition, a student must study a techniques module with a choice of one of three modules. There are also four optional modules available to Geography students. These modules give students the opportunity to deepen their individual understanding and appreciation of environmental concerns. Thus, by the end of Level I a Geography student will have acquired knowledge and understanding of human geography and physical geography theory and concepts. Students will also have gained experience in some key technique skills, in particular all Level I Geography students should have obtained skills in data collection, handling, analysis and interpretation.

At Level II, a student studies the compulsory modules EL201: Fieldweek, EL202: Investigative Methods and EL224 Environmental Hazards. The latter examines the physical and human dimension of contemporary hazards; hazard impact, management, control as well as consequences are critically analysed. Students will extend their competence in quantitative and qualitative data analysis techniques via this module. At Level II Geography students have the option to concentrate their studies in a variety of environmental and geographic areas of study. Students can also choose to specialise in one of the Field's other themes for example: a specific aspect of the human geography or physical geography, change over time and space at a variety of scales, or environmental management or rural land management. With this flexibility Geography students are able to tailor their programme of studies to their specific needs and interests. In addition, module EL231 Geographical Information Systems gives students the opportunity to develop certain technical skills. Thelist of optional modules at Level II is presented on the Field map.

All Level III Geography students will write a Dissertation. The Dissertation is a major indicator of Honours ability, and the Field places great emphasis on this independent piece of work. In addition, students will take the compulsory module EL325 Environmental Issues in Geography. In this module students critically engage with certain key environmental/geographical concepts and philosophies and it is a capstone module for the Geography Field. Also, Level III offers a suite of optional modules supported by the research activities of the teaching team. The principal themes in both human geography and physical geography can be studied, as well as modules in allied areas of investigation. Students can also extend their expertise in the application of IT skills to geoscience. The module EL301 Development of Professional Skills in the Workplace provides students with an excellent opportunity to acquire work experience which will utilise and develop their existing practical and theoretical skills. All modules available to the Geography student at Level III are shown on the field map.

The following modules are compulsory for Major students: EL101: Environment and Society; EL201: Fieldweek; EL202: Investigative Methods; EL224: Environmental Hazards; EL325: Environmental Issues in Geography; GE333, Dissertation (double module).

There are several routeways in Geography these include: People-environment inter-relationship; Economic and Social Geography; Development Studies; Hydrology and Ecological Geography; Quaternary Geography and Landscape studies or ICT.

Routeway for a student wishing to study People-environment inter-relationship

Level 1: EL101: Society and Environment, EL121: Global Development Issues, EL124: Earth and Atmosphere Systems, EL125: Environmental Data Handling and EL126: Spatial Data.

Level 2: EL201: Fieldweek, EL202: Investigative Methods, EL224: Environmental Hazards, EL228:Environmental Impact Assessment, EL230: Early Human Landscapes.

Level 3: GE333: Dissertation (double module), EL301: Development of Professional Skills in the Workplace, EL325: Environmental Issues in Geography, EL330: Pollution, Prevention and Control and EL375: Derelict and Contaminated Lands.

Total: 16 modules

Routeway for a student wishing to study cultural and ecological approach to landscape analysis

Level 1: EL101: Society and Environment, EL122: People, Place and Change, EL124: Earth and Atmosphere Systems, and EL125: Practical Environmental Investigation

Level 2: EL201: Fieldweek, EL202: Investigative Methods, EL224: Environmental Hazards, EL227: Ecosytems, EL228: Environmental Impact Assessment and EL250: History of Modern Landscapes.

Level 3: GE333: Dissertation (double module), EL325: Environmental Issues in Geography, EL338: Biogeography, EL348: Society, Landscape and Power and EL354: Conserving Valued Environments.

Total: 16 modules

Pre-requisites operate for the following modules:

Level 2 modules
EL201: Fieldweek
EL250: History of Modern Landscape

Level 1 Pre-requisites
EL101: Environment and Society
EL101: Environment and Society
Level 3 modules
HG333: Dissertation
EL325: Environmental Issues in Geography
Level 2 Pre-requisites
EL202: Investigative Methods
EL101: Environment and Society (Level 1)

There are a limited number of pre-requisite modules in the geography field; this is based on the rationale that all geography students study a set of compulsory and core modules which provide the essential curriculum of the field and establish a platform for further study in key field themes - students have choice within set boundaries defined by the field. Many modules have one or more named modules which are recommended as prior study. For example, the Level 1 module EL101: Environment and Society is recommended (preferred) as prior study for EL205: Concepts of Heritage, EL229: Local Environmental Action.

For the Honours Degree students should:

For the Ordinary Degree students should:

12. Current Field/Course Map


Benchmarking and Programme Specifications

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GDN pages archived October 2007
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