Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENVS100
Coordinator Dr P Williamson
Geography and Planning
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2019-20 Level 4 FHEQ Whole Session 30


To develop essential study and disciplinary skills required by Geographers, both for their current studies and future employment.

Introduce students to key approaches/concepts and ideas in Geography.

To help students identify and effectively employ appropriate sources of data and information.

Develop students' study skills and provide essential training for subsequent years Develop students' personal transferable skills.

To enhance student employability and make students aware of the key skills taught throughout the programme relevant to career and employability development.

To introduce the application of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS) to Environmental/Social Science.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) Ability to record field observations and ideas.

(LO2) Use IT tools to find accurate and up to date information.

(LO3) Undertake independent GPS data collection.

(LO4) Demonstrate basic GIS interpretation and analysis techniques.

(LO5) Plan and structure written work to University standard.

(LO6) Ability to critically evaluate academic publications.

(LO7) Prepare and deliver poster presentations.

(LO8) Awareness of the importance of early planning for employability enhancement.

(S1) Lifelong learning skills

(S2) IT skills

(S3) Communication skills

(S4) Teamwork



Semester One will include:

Two GIS practicals and one GIS lecture;

One lecture on referencing and plagiarism, plus a self-guided assignment;

A VITAL quiz (which students must pass to proceed to Year Two);

Residential fieldclass Tutorials based on the following structure:

Tutorial One (by end of week two)

Welcome and getting to know the group: differences between Geography at School/College and degree-level;

What is formative and summative assessment;

Reading : how to choose what to read; how to read/take notes.

Assignment for Tutorial Two:

Write a précis of TWO readings from your module reading lists [ formative ] (Max. 1 side A4 per précis) Bring printed copies of each précis to the next tutorial.

Visit the web resource (which provides a host of online material on citation, referencing and plagiarism). Spend some time familiarising yourself with the material availa ble here, in particular the sections discussed in this handbook under ‘Further help: Cite them Right’ (in the section on Referencing). Come prepared to discuss these sections in the next tutorial.

Tutorial Two (by end of week four)

Share readings.

Use précis to share and discuss readings and the art of note-taking

Why is referencing important?

Avoiding plagiarism (including discussion of web resource)

How to cite academic sources (books, book chapters, journal articles, reports, etc) (including discussion of web resource)

Assignment for Tutorial Three:

Bibliography [ formative ] Select a Geographical topic of interest (e.g., migration, flooding). Find an example of each source listed below and create a reference list for these sources:

Journal article;

Chapter in an edited book;

Book (authored, not edited);

Newspaper article Bring to your PDP meeting.

Note that there is a guide to referenci ng under the ‘Study Skills’ section of this handbook

How to submit assignments and receive feedback online [formative]

Visit the web resource

Here you can find downloadable guides to submitting assignments online using Turnitin and on viewing your feedback. There is also a series of short videos outlining some of the basics; watch each of these and come prepared to discuss in the next tutorial.

Tutorial three (by end of week six)

One-to-one PDP meetings:

PDP discussion: Academic and social settling in and first impressions of university life

Importance of extra-curricular activities Summer vacation placements

Progress towards employability

Personal goals and targets for academic year

Is there anything personal that the department should know about you, e.g. disability, difficulties?

Any questions or concern s you wish to raise, including regarding online submission and feedback

Feedback on bibliography

Assignment for Tutorial Four:

Essay [formative]

Write a c.1500 word essay on a topic agreed with your tutor (e.g. a past exam paper question). The essay should cite at least 3 acasemic resources and include a bibliography.Bring to your next group tutorial.

Note that there is a guide to writing essays under the ‘Study Skills’ section of this handbook.

Tutorial Four (by end of Week eight)

Self- and Peer evaluation of formative essays:

Read and provide written feedback on two or three of your peers’ essays; then re-read and self-evaluate your own essay

Tutor will retain the hard copies of your essay, and give written feedback by no later than your next tutorial.

Learning from feedback:

What is feedback, and what should you do with it? (Including thinking back to the videos you watched for tutorial three)

Writing essays workshop:

Planning essays

Academic writing style: constructing arguments

Critical reading: how to use your readings


Assignment for Tutorial Five:

1,500 word essay on selected theme (redraft of formative essay) [summative]

Upload your redrafted essay onto VITAL by the date set by your academic advisor.

[Tutor to provide written feedback]

Tutorial 5 (by end of week 10)

Generic essay feedback [5 mins]

Aspirational CV : [15 mins]

What is an aspirational CV and why this is important?

What will your CV need to look like by the end of Year Two to give yourself the maximum chance of success of achieving your post-University goals (e.g. getting a graduate job)?

Why is summer work experience important?

Exam technique [25 mins] Strategies for revising and writing essays under pressure

Assignment for tutorial six:

Create an aspirational CV [formative]

For your n ext tutorial, prepare an aspirational CV of the key ingredients you aim to have by the end of Year 2, in order to secure your post-University goals.

Semester Two will include:

Two GIS practicals and one GIS lecture;

One Careers Lecture;

Tutorials based on the following structure:

Tutorial Six (by end of week two)

Aspirational CVs

Compare Aspirational CVs with regards to both content and formatting

Discussion of internship application exercise.

As a group, select one of the internship opportunities, for which you will write an application (these will be available on Vital before the tutorial slot) . Discuss the requirements of the internship and what would make a good application.

Assignment for tutorial seven:

Mock internship application [summative]

Complete your mock internship application and submit onto Vital by the date set by your academic advisor. Your mark will come from your mock application.

Bring a printed copy to next tutorial.

NOTE: The application can be entirely fictitious, provided that it is plausible. Marks will be based on the use made of content and formatting.

Tutorial seven (by end of week four)

Mock shortlisting panel for internship

Each member of the tutorial group reviews each internship application.

Determine a rank of applications and which should be ‘shortlisted’.

Which applications were most effective?

Which elements let applicants down?

How might you use this exercise to improve your chances of a successful application?

Confidential summative feedback on your mock application will be provided by your academic advisor at a later date.

Assignment for tutorial eight:

Favourite readings

Identify your favourite reading to-date from each module you are taking. Come to PDP prepared to discuss.

Tutorial eight (by end of week six)

One-to-one PDP meetings:

Reflection on Semester 1 exam results

Progress check

Favourite readings

Career plans

Assignment for tutorial nine:

Critical review [formative]

For your next tutorial, write a brief (c.500 words) critical review of a recent journal paper, on a topic of your choice. Include a discussion of each of the questions listed as bullet points 1-6 under ‘Advice on reading academic papers’ in the ‘Study Skills’ section of the handbook.

Tutorial Nine (by end of week eight)

Discussion of Critical Reviews

Critical reading workshop:

How do you read academic journal articles?

How has your ability to understand papers developed over your first year?

How might you improve your reading technique?

Assignment for Tutorial Ten:

Self-reflection on transferrable skills.

Using the list of transferrable skills at the back of module handbook, consider:

Which general skills and attributes have you impro ved in Year 1?

How do these skills and attributes relate to the modules you have taken?

What skills are covered well?

What do you think might be missing?

Reflect on what strengths and weaknesses you have, in relation to these skills: Which skills are you most confident with? Which do you think you might want to develop?

Tutorial Ten (by end of week ten)

End-of-year tutorial

[Final tutorial with academic advisor]

Group self-reflection on the first year

Reflect on your first year as an undergraduate student: how have you adapted to the challenges of University life?

Discussion of strengths/weaknesses, and things to improve on

Group Self-reflection on transferrable skills:

Discuss the questions posed for your assignment for this tutorial

Exam technique revisited Lessons learnt from the first semester exams

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Lecture
Description: Lecture to full module group
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours (time spent away from the timetabled sessions but directed by the teaching staff): 4

Teaching Method 2 - Tutorial
Description: Small group tutorials with Academic Advisor
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Unscheduled Directed Student Hours (time spent away from the timetabled sessions but directed by the teaching staff): 10

Teaching Method 3 - Laboratory Work
Description: GIS practical workshops in computing suites
Attendance Recorded: Yes

Teaching Method 4 - Field Work
Description: Residential Field Class (2 days)
Attendance Recorded: Yes
Notes: Weekend field course

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours 7






Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 236


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Online test on academic referencing and plagiarism There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :S  10-15 questions         
Mock internship application There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Assessment Schedule (When) :weeks 18-20  Mock internship appl    15       
Tutorial essay There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Assessment Schedule (When) :week 10  Essay 1500 words    20       
Group-based Field Trip Poster & Presentation There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester 1  A3 poster and presen    15       
GIS Practicals There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. Assessment Schedule (When) :Semester 1 and 2  4 practical exercise    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.