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Study information

Geography Tutorials

Module titleGeography Tutorials
Module codeGEO1414
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Dr Jo Browse (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module facilitates your adjustment from A-level to degree-level. Not only will you encounter different forms of learning like lectures and seminars, you will also have to complete different forms of formative and summative assessment. To help you in this process this module is designed to guide you to becoming a smarter independent learner in higher education. The module is aimed at developing you in ways of knowing and learning in geography at university by enabling you to acquire a range of specialist and generic skills, including reading critically, presenting theoretically complex ideas and essay writing. This module is predominately tutorial-based in small groups of students, but also includes independent self-directed study. Tutorials are both directed (i.e. tutor-led and focusing on one or more ‘critical skills’ including locating learning resources, critiquing the arguments of others and essay writing) and peer-to-peer (i.e. offering you an unmoderated opportunity to explore issues which emerge from other parts of the stage 1 Geography programme). These skills are the first step towards you undertaking research inspired inquiry-led learning (RIILL) at the University and will introduce you to the research background of the members of the Geography department. Additionally, this module introduces key skills important to employability.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This is an introductory module exclusively for first year students, which aims to:

  • Raise your awareness of the role you must play in the learning process.
  • Facilitate your development as an independent learner.
  • Introduce you to key texts in geography
  • Direct your acquisition of a range of specialist and generic skills, including critical reading and essay writing.
  • Prepare you for employment after graduation by facilitating your application for and completion of a work placement during the module

In many of the sessions, themes will be led by research journals and you will be encouraged to critically assess the definitions of  human and physical geography. Continual reference will be made to how the skills you learn will help you through your degree and beyond into the ‘real world’.

Through attending tutorial sessions and completing the assessments, you will work towards developing or enhancing your employability through the acquisition of the following academic and professional skills:

  • problem solving (linking theory to practice, responding to novel and unfamiliar problems),
  • time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group),
  • collaboration (taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work),
  • self and peer review (taking responsibility for own learning, using feedback from multiple sources).
  • self promotion and presentation

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Review the basic concepts and principles driving the evolution of human and physical environments
  • 2. Assess, with guidance, the reciprocal relationship between physical and human environments
  • 3. Evaluate, with guidance, the significance of different spatial scales upon the study of human and physical environments
  • 4. Explore the diverse sources used to produce geographical knowledge

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Describe essential facts and theory across a sub-discipline of the environmental sciences
  • 6. Identify critical questions from the literature and synthesise research-informed examples into written work
  • 7. Identify and implement, with guidance, appropriate methodologies and theories for addressing specific research problems in geography
  • 8. Deploy, with guidance, established techniques of analysis, practical investigation, and enquiry within geography
  • 9. Describe and begin to evaluate approaches to our understanding of environmental sciences with reference to primary literature, reviews and research articles

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 10. Develop, with guidance, logical and reasoned arguments with sound conclusions
  • 11. Communicate ideas, principles and theories using a variety of formats in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 12. Collect and interpret appropriate data and undertake straightforward research tasks with guidance
  • 13. Evaluate own strengths and weaknesses in relation to professional and practical skills identified by others
  • 14. Reflect on learning and working experiences and summarise personal achievements

Syllabus plan

After an initial series of introductory and preparatory meetings, the programme comprises alternating directed-tutorials and peer-to-peer discussion groups with employability sessions. Tutorial and discussion groups will comprise approximately six students while employability sessions will comprise the entire cohort. A precise syllabus is not possible due to the necessarily responsive nature of a tutorial-based module, but the following topics/activities will be explicitly covered in directed tutorials;

  • The nature of geography: What is geography?
  • Critical skills 1: reading
  • Critical skills 2: writing
  • The nature of geographical knowledge
  • Critical skills 3: revision and examinations
  • Critical skills 4: self-assessment
  • Crtical skills 5: employability

This module is predominately tutorial-based. It also includes undertaking independent self-directed study and simple research tasks. Tutorials are both directed (i.e. tutor-led and focusing on one or more ‘critical skills’ including located learning resources, critiquing the arguments of others and essay writing) and peer-to-peer (i.e. offering you an unmoderated, but monitored, opportunity to explore issues which emerge from other parts of the stage 1 Geography programme, articulate personal views on geographical issues and communicate effectively). All ‘directed-tutorials’ are task-centred and require preparation (i.e. reading).. Feedback is given to you in the form of written and oral comments. You will be expected to apply for and complete a work placement during the module with the support of the careers zone.

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 Teaching 10Tutorial sessions (fortnightly)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 12Employability lectures (fortnightly)
Guided independent study88Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments
Placement40Work placement

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1000 wordsAllWritten

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
Essay501000 words1-12Written/oral
Work placement reflection essay502000 words13-14Written/oral

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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
EssayEssay1-12August Assessment Period
Work placement reflection essayWork placement reflection essay13-14August Assessment Period

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 resit the failed assessment. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Clark, G. and Wareham, T. (2003) Geography @ University, (London, Sage).
  • Kneale, P.E. (1999) Study Skills for Geography Students: a practical guide, (London, Arnold).
  • Northedge, A. (1990) The Good Study Guide, (Buckingham, Open University Press).
  • Race, P. (2003) Practical Tips for Students, (Oxford, Blackwell).
  • Rogers, A., Viles, H. and Goudie, A. (2003) The Students Companion to Geography (2nd Edition), (Oxford, Blackwell).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Critical reading and writing, reflexivity, employability

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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Last revision date