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)
5. Name of Route/Pathway or Field Human Geography (major) + over 20 minor subject fields
6. UCAS Code Example: L8F8 - Human Geography (major) with Physical Geography (minor)
7. QAA Benchmarking Group Geography
8. Date of PS production/revision November 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

Human Geography is concerned with interpreting the creation and transformation of space, place and landscape from a wide range of economic, social, political and cultural processes. It is concerned to analyse these processesat different scales - local, national, international and global - and over varying time periods. The natural environment, too, provides a vitally important context for human activity and human geography is concerned to explain the social construction of nature and the cultural definition of resources and environmental problems.

There are two principal substantive themes in the Human Geography Field: the geography of economic change, and the interpretation of social and cultural landscapes. There are subsidiary themes in development studies and rural studies.

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 principles and practice of contemporary human geography as presented in the Field's principal themes: the geography of economic change, and theinterpretation of social and cultural landscapes; (G)
  2. the various human geographical processes actively changing the pattern, anddistribution of phenomena in the human environment; (G)
  3. the causes and consequences of changein the world from a human geographicperspective; (G)
  4. the philosophical development, and the contemporary debates and research foci, of the discipline. (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 coursework. A variety of coursework methods are used for example: essays, posters, reports, oral presentations, briefing documents and literature reviews.

Cognitive skills - able to: → Teaching, learning & assessment strategies and methods
  1. discern the connections and interrelationships between economic,social and cultural landscape development; (G)
  2. critically assess, evaluate and synthesise information, and foster a receptive attitude to new ideas and nurture a capability for critical thinking, informed judgement, and independent learning; (G & I)
  3. formulate and critically examine atheory, idea, hypothesis or problem whichis the basis of a human geographicaldissertation/project. (G & I)

Cognitive 'thinking' skills (5 - 7) are promoted and delivered via lectures, practicals, seminars, and group discussions, tutorials and group work. For dissertation/project work (7) students meet regularly with an advisor to discuss methodologies and practical work, however within dissertation/project work students should have an element of independence to experiment and test human geographic ideas and concepts.

Assessment - Cognitive skills (5 - 7) are assessed by coursework and examinations. Coursework may take a variety of forms including: essays, reports, 'sample' articles, briefing papers, field 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 'thinking' skills to the highest level.

Key skills - able to → Teaching, learning & assessment strategies and methods
  1. communicate ideas, principles and theories effectively by oral, written andvisual means; (G & I)
  2. collect and analyse statistical data, use and apply a variety of ICT tools; (G & I)
  3. carry out and complete a project from start to finish; (G & I)
  4. work effectively both in a team andindependently on a given human geographical project or task; (G & I)
  5. identify and set personal study goals, work independently and yet have an awareness of the needs of others. (G & I)

Key skills (8 - 12) are provided by the scheme wide compulsory modules at Level 1: Learning Development and Transferable Skills. Also, Human 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 (8 - 11) Numerical skills (9) 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 (9) 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 reports, posters, essays and other written and visual material. In addition students will present material in an oral presentation or via a viva voce examination. Student profiles and personal development planning (12) 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. assemble, analyse and summarise human geographical quantitative and qualitative information from various sources; (G & I)
  2. be aware of moral, ethical and safety codes of practice related to research activity; (G & I)
  3. maintain a life-long and life-sustaining geographical imagination: this implies an appreciation of the importance of human geographic knowledge and principles throughout life; (G)
  4. promote an awareness of the human geographical context of change. (G)

Subject specific skills (13 - 16) are acquired through fieldwork, class activities and dissertation/project work. In particular, learning to apply specific human 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 human geography.

Assessment of subject specific skills (13- 16) 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 human geographic concepts and principles in future life (15 - 16)

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 programme atthe 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 Human 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. (G & I)

In order to realise the aims of the Field, Major students of Human Geography will be expected to study specific identified compulsory and core modules at Levels I, II and III, see Field map. Compulsory modules provide a firm foundation in the field's academic themes, ensure subject coherence, and a progression of substantive material and skills. Similarly, the core modules direct students to study one or more of the field'sthemes; core modules offer choice within certain constraints. In addition, there are a range of optional modules at all three Levels. Skills teaching is provided in specific compulsory and core modules. In addition, manyskills will be further developed and practised in substantive modules.

In Level I students are introduced to the basic concepts and skills of human geography this includes an introduction of new perspectives or approaches to human geographical studies. Level I compulsory modules develop a firm basis in economic and social/cultural geography respectively, as well as basic qualitativeand quantitative analytical skills. Also, students have the opportunity to select one of two practical modulesthese allow students to develop their data collection, handling and analysis techniques. There is a range of optional modules students may take at Level I; these modules give breadth and depth to the study of human geography - some modules are 'borrowed' from cognate fields.

At Level II students are able to specialise in several of the key themes of human geography as well as further develop their practical analytical study skills. Students take two compulsory in fieldwork and research methods as well as two core modules from a suite of four thematic modules (see field map). These thematic modules develop one or more of the human geography themes established in Level I, for example EL221Social Change and Space consolidates student understanding of place and social identity, while EL222 Economic Change and Location extends student appreciation of economic processes. Optional modules at Level II give students an excellent opportunity to examine in depth concepts, topics and issues related to the principal themes of the human geography field. In addition to the recognised subsidiary themes of development studies and rural studies, students can create a sub-theme in heritage, and political policy.

By Level III students are able to deepen and increase their understanding of selected themes at the forefront of contemporary human geography. All students within the UMS are required to write a Dissertation, as a result all major human geography students will write a Dissertation acceptable to the field. Also at Level III human geography students will taking the compulsory module EL323 Society, Space and Social Science. In this module students critically engage with certain challenging key human geographical concepts and philosophies. The principal themes in Human Geography, and subsidiary themes are analysed in greater depth and detail at Level III through a suite of optional modules which are supported by the research activities of the teaching team. 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. In addition, EL398 Independent Study is located on the human geography Field map.

The following modules are compulsory for Major students: EL101: Environment and Society; EL121: Global Development Issues; EL122: People, Place and Change; EL201: Fieldweek; EL202: Investigative Methods; EL323: Society, Space and Social Science; HG333, Dissertation (double module)

Routeway for a student wishing to study the economic and social themes in Human Geography

Level 1: EL101: Environment and Society, EL121: Global Development Issues, EL122: People, Place and Change and EL125: Environmental Data Handling

Level 2: EL201: Fieldweek, EL202: Investigative Methods, EL206: Settlement Planning, EL221: Social Change and Space and EL222: Economic Change and Location

Level 3: HG333: Dissertation (double module), EL301: Development of Professional Skills in the Workplace, EL321: Local Economic Development, EL323: Society, Space and Social Science and EL324: Consuming Services.

Total: 15 modules

Routeway for a student wishing to study the landscapes and cultural theme in Human Geography

Level 1: EL101: Environment and Society, EL121: Global Development Issues, EL122: People, Place and Changeand EL126: Spatial Data

Level 2: EL201: Fieldweek, EL202: Investigative Methods, EL221:Social Change and Space, EL250: History of Modern Landscapes and SF04: Symbolic Landscapes

Level 3: HG333: Dissertation (double module), EL306: Heritage and Identity, EL323: Society, Space and Social Science, EL327: The Country and the City, EL348: Society, Landscape and Power and EL351: Holocaust Landscapes.

Total: 16 modules

Pre-requisites operate for the following modules:

Level 2 modules
EL201: Fieldweek

Level 1 Pre-requisites
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 human geography field; this is based on the rationale that all human 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 EL202: Investigative Methods, EL205: Concepts of Heritage, EL221: Social Change and Space and EL250: History of Modern Landscape.

For the Honours Degree students should:

For the Ordinary Degree students should:

12. Current Field/Course Map


Benchmarking and Programme Specifications

Page created 7 January 2002
GDN pages archived October 2007
GDN pages maintained by Phil Gravestock