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School of Environment, Education and Development

Manchester's Museum of Science and Industry
BSc Geography with International Study

Study a course tailored to you at the university ranked fourth in the UK for Geography (Guardian University Guide).

BSc Geography with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Key Ideas in Geography

Unit code GEOG10191
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Geography
Available as a free choice unit? No


This course provides a starting point to the Geography degree. It provides a brief introduction to the history and philosophy of the discipline. The course will help situate others modules throughout the degree programme. A range of varied key ideas and concepts across the breadth of the discipline will be showcased by different physical and human Geography staff members. For example, indicative concepts include; space and place, scale, nature and processes.  


  • To introduce some key themes, debates and concepts that have shaped Geography as a discipline;
  • To describe and explain some of the principal philosophical and theoretical ways of ‘doing geography’;
  • To show how geographers have appropriated and reworked ideas from cognate disciplines;
  • To reflect upon the nature and aims of Geography as a modern university subject;
  • To demonstrate the distinctiveness and vitality of Geography;
  • To introduce the Geography@Manchester staff and their research. 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course unit, you should be able to:

  • Understand some of the key intellectual ideas that have preoccupied human and physical geographers in their research;
  • Appreciate that human and physical geography are linked yet distinctive academic fields;
  • Have some knowledge of the current state of Geography as a research and teaching subject;
  • Appreciate that Geography is related to ideas beyond the discipline;
  • To appreciate how Geographical knowledge can be applied to local and global issues.

Teaching and learning methods

The course unit will be delivered via a total of ten two hour lectures. These sessions will be supplemented by private study based on directed reading each week. Lecture sessions will draw upon a range of resources, including powerpoint slides, links to web resources, videos and core readings. Lecture sessions will include time for discussion and group activities. A comprehensive archive of all sources and links will be compiled on Blackboard site for the module.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

During this course unit, you will be encouraged to develop the following abilities and skills:

  • reading, learning and study skills;
  • critical thinking and reading through an engagement with current debates and research 
  • an ability to debate and discuss key issues within Geography and consider their wider relevance
  • essay writing

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Written exam 100%

Feedback methods

  • Feedback will be provided in the following ways during this course unit:

  • Verbal feedback through Q&A and discussion within lecture sessions

  •  Verbal feedback from Geography staff on any course unit issue through staff office hours

  • An online FAQ discussion board on Blackboard

  • Discussion of exam result with your academic advisor

  • Discussion of key concepts through Semester 1 tutorial programme. 

Recommended reading

Castree, N., Rogers, A., and Sherman, D. (eds) (2005). Questioning Geography: Fundamental Debates. London: Wiley-Blackwell.

Gregory, K. (2000). The Changing Nature of Physical Geography. London: Arnold.

Haines-Young, R.H. and Petch, J. R. (1986) Physical Geography: Its Nature and Methods. London: Harper and Row.

Hubbard, P., Kitchin, R., Barley, B., and Fuller, D. (2002). Thinking Geographically: space, theory and contemporary human geography. London: Bloomsbury.

Nayak, A. and Jeffrey, A. (2011) Geographical thought: an introduction to ideas in human geography Harlow, Pearson Education. 

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 80

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Ross Jones Unit coordinator

Additional notes


Two Hour Lecture. 


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