geographical-science/index

aos

Undergraduate - Area of Study

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All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered bySchool of Geography and Environmental Science
Campus(es)Clayton
CoordinatorDr Xuan Zhu (Levels one to three); Dr Stephen Legg (Honours)

Notes

  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Description

Geographical science investigates the evolving character of the Earth's biophysical and constructed environment in the past, present and future. It is concerned with spatial processes operating in the landscape such as atmospheric circulation, landform change, vegetation dynamics, human land uses, urbanisation, and economic activity. Geographical science includes interdisciplinary analysis that uses methods and techniques from social and physical sciences to find innovative solutions to environmental problems at different spatial scales.

Objectives

On completion of a major sequence in geographical science, students will have:

(a.) knowledge of:

  • the nature, practice, and application of geographical science
  • an advanced level of analysis and techniques in at least one area of geographical science, such as geomorphology, biogeography, climatology, soil science, urban and regional science, and geographic information science

(b.) an understanding of the:

  • characteristics of biophysical processes and interactions and environmental change
  • roles of human agency in the transformation of the Earth's surface
  • complex interdependence of human activities
  • spatial reorganisation of economy and society
  • rich diversity of geographical approaches concerning the interrelationships of place, people and environment

(c.) the ability to:

  • identify, describe, classify, measure, and systematically interpret phenomena through field and laboratory work in at least one area of geographical science
  • apply their acquired knowledge to new situations
  • formulate and test hypotheses, using relevant methods and techniques
  • communicate effectively by using written, oral, visual, and graphic forms for presenting data and analysis
  • critically assess and contribute to ongoing debates in at least one area of geographical science

(d.) attributes which enable them to:

  • behave in an ethical and professional manner
  • recognise the importance of critical thinking for underpinning practice
  • recognise the need to keep up with new research and developments in geographical science
  • leverage technological change for the benefit of society and environment
  • promote sustainability at different geographic scales.

Units

Level one

  • ATS1301 Australian physical environments: Evolution, status and management
  • ATS1309 The global challenge
  • ATS1310 Natural hazards and human vulnerability

Level two

  • ATS2545/ATS3545 Environmental hydrology
  • ATS2547 Cities and sustainability
  • ATS2548 Environmental policy and management
  • ATS2628 Power and poverty: International development in a globablised world
  • ATS2774 Understanding Australian landscapes: Soil-vegetation dynamics
  • ATS2776 Climatology: Land, ecosystems and the atmosphere
  • ATS2778 People and places: Social geographies of exclusion
  • ATS2779 Climate change and variability
  • ATS2780 Geographical analysis

Level three

  • ATS3259 Geographical information systems (GIS) for environmental management
  • ATS3281 Cultural landscape, environment and sustainability in Italy
  • ATS3283 Sharing prosperity: Geographies of work, regional development and economy
  • ATS3546 Environmental assessment and decision making
  • ATS3552 Remote sensing of the environment
  • ATS3553 Field studies in regional sustainability (subject to strict quota)
  • ATS3554 Resource evaluation and management
  • ATS3787 Research methods in geography, environment and sustainability
  • ATS3788 Soils, landscape and their management
  • ATS3790 Landscape processes
  • ATS3791 Environmental change: Past to future
  • ATS3887 Designing urban futures: Urban climate, water and adaptation

Sequence requirements

Minor sequence in geographical science (24 points)

Major sequence in geographical science (48 points)

  • ATS1310 and one of ATS1301 or ATS1309
  • ATS2780 and 6 or 12 points of level two ATS units from the list above
  • the remaining 18 or 24 points from the level three ATS units from the list above

Double major sequence in geographical science (72 points)

  • ATS1310 and one of ATS1301 or ATS1309
  • ATS2780 and 6 or 12 points of level two ATS units from the list above
  • the remaining points from ATS level two and level three units listed above, with at least 36 points at level three

Requirements for honours in geographical science

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which normally 18 points are from the level three units listed above.

Additional information

See coordinator details in table above.

Level one

The primary objective of the syllabus of units at level one is to introduce key concepts for understanding the reciprocal links between people and the natural world, and the spatial processes shaping economy, society, and environmental change. No prior studies in geographical science are required to begin study at level one.

A first-level sequence in geographical science consists of two semester units. In first semester, students enrol in ATS1310. In second semester, they may choose either ATS1301 or ATS1309. Students planning a comprehensive introduction to geographical science may take all three units.

Students in course 2340 Bachelor of Environmental Science (only) may substitute ENV1011 Planet earth and its environment: The cosmic connection and ENV1022 Australian physical environments: Evolution, status and management for level one units in any sequence in geographical science.

Level two

The syllabus at level two permits students to select from a variety of sub-fields in geographical science. The satisfactory completion of a minor sequence in geographical science equips students with an understanding of the complex interdependence of human activities and diversity of geographical approaches concerning the interrelationships of place, people and environment.

Level three

At level three, students elect to enrol in one or more of the main systematic fields which are intended to challenge them with appropriate advanced material and to intensify their familiarity with the purpose and practice of original research work. To obtain a major in geographical science, students would normally complete 24 points at level three.

Honours

In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the Science honours program relevant to their course of enrolment. See the entries for:

  • 2340 Bachelor of Environmental Science
  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours
  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)

Full details regarding the course structure for honours in this area of study are outlined in course 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science.

Relevant courses

Single degrees

  • 2340 Bachelor of Environmental Science
  • 0050 Bachelor of Science
  • 3520 Bachelor of Science Advanced with Honours
  • 1120 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)

Double degrees

  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 3537 Bachelor of Arts (Global) and Bachelor of Science
  • 1469 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • 3517 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 3711 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 1633 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Education
  • 4609 Bachelor of Environmental Engineering and Bachelor of Science
  • 0086 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Laws

Honours degrees

  • 0051 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science
  • 2188 Honours degree of Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program)