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Study information

Study Skills for Human Geographers

Module titleStudy Skills for Human Geographers
Module codeGEO1309
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Dr Laura Smith (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This foundation module is an essential toolkit for your undergraduate degree. It will raise your awareness of your role within the learning process, ease your transition to University-level study and independent learning, and provide a range of specialist and generic skills. Through small group tutorials you will focus on key study skills, peer-to-peer discussion sessions and group work, and independent learning activities. The study skills you learn will complement the approaches and ideas used in parallel first year modules (particularly GEO1316 Concepts in Geography and GEO1315 Methods in Geography) as well as lay the foundations for successful study throughout your entire degree. The tutorials are also a place for on-going discussions about other modules and other academic affairs.

This is a compulsory and non-condonable module for the BA Geography programmes.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims:

  • To provide you with an essential tool kit of study and learning skills required for your undergraduate degree.
  • To raise awareness of the role that you play in the learning process
  • To facilitate your development as an independent learner and to provide a range of specialist skills.

Through active participation in the module, the aim is that you will further develop the following academic and professional skills:

  • working independently (developing your skills in self-awareness and self-assessment, taking initiative, evaluating what information or support you need and where best to find it)
  • time management (managing time effectively individually and in a group)
  • managing structure (identifying key demands of the task, setting clearly defined goals,  conceptualising central issues within the task, developing strategies to ensure individual progress)
  • collaboration (respecting the views and values of others, taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work, maintaining group cohesiveness and purpose)
  • problem solving (developing own ideas with confidence, identifying and using appropriate sources of information, selectively collecting and collating appropriate information)
  • the application of critical analytical skills in relation to a range of key local issues

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Use key study and learning skills in human geography
  • 2. Demonstrate reflexivity about your learning and transition to higher education

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. Analyse and synthesise information and recognise relevance
  • 4. Develop a sustained and reasoned argument and evaluate and articulate weaknesses in the arguments of others
  • 5. Use knowledge derived from research journals, text and other media to support arguments and to reference sources appropriately

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Communicate ideas effectively and fluently by written, oral and visual means in a manner appropriate to the intended audience (e.g. via essays, presentations and short reports)
  • 7. Undertake independent/self-directed study/learning (including time management) to achieve consistent, proficient and sustained attainment
  • 8. Reflect on the process of learning and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses
  • 9. Work as a participant and leader of a group and contribute effectively to the achievement of objectives

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • Introduction to University learning
  • Avoiding plagiarism and assessment
  • Reviewing literature
  • Library use and how to build effective library research skills
  • Academic writing
  • Revision and exam skills
  • Employability
  • Critical reading, questioning sources
  • Critical thinking and building arguments
  • Presentations
  • Review and priorities

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching11Group tutorials (11 x 1 hour)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Lecture
Scheduled Learning and Teaching1Online library induction and effective library research tutorials
Guided Independent Study47Researching and writing summative assessments
Guided Independent Study47Preparing for tutorials and formative group assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 11500 words1, 3-7, 9Written
Group presentation 5 minutesAllWritten
Essay 21500 words1, 3-7, 9Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 3351500 wordsAll1-9Written
Essay 4351500 wordsAllWritten
Group presentation305 minutesAllWritten
Online plagiarism test (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module; there is no limit to the number of times you can take the test)030 minutes1Online embedded

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 3Essay 3AllAugust Ref/Def
Essay 4Essay 4AllAugust Ref/Def
Group presentationPresentation slides and text individual presentationAllAugust Ref/Def
Online plagiarism testOnline plagiarism test1August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to re-submit the relevant assessment. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bonnett, A. (2001) How to Argue. A Student’s Guide. Harlow: Prentice Hall
  • Clark, G. and Wareham, T. (2003) Geography@University. London: Sage
  • Dixon, T. M. (2004) How to Get a First: The Essential Guide to Academic Success, London: Routledge
  • Kneale, P. (2011) Study Skills for Geography, Earth and Environmental Science Students. London: Hodder Education
  • Kneale, P. (1999) Study Skills for Geography Students: a practical guide. London: Arnold
  • Moon, J. (1999) Learning Journals: A Handbook for Academics, Students and Professional Development, London: Kogan Page

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Human geography, study skills, group work, essay writing, reflective learning

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date