University of Sydney Handbooks - 2021 Archive

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Study in the discipline of Geography is offered by the School of Geosciences in the Faculty of Science. Units of study in this major are available at standard and advanced level.

About the major

Geography is the study of earth as the home of people. As the need to find solutions to issues of environmental degradation and sustainability, population change and globalisation have become more challenging, the skills and knowledge of geographers have come to the forefront.

Through a geography major, you will study the interactions between earth, environment and society. This involves consideration of such issues as climate change, population growth, hazards and environmental management. You will have the opportunity to go on field trips to overseas locations and to rural and urban parts of Australia, and participate in tutorial debates about such issues as global inequality and poverty. You will also engage in computer-based analysis of geographic data, and on-line discussion boards and interactive education techniques.

Requirements for completion

The Geography major and minor requirements are listed in the Geography unit of study table.

Contact and further information


T +61 2 9351 2912

School of Geosciences
Room 348, Madsen Building F09
University of Sydney NSW 2006

Dr Daniel Penny
T +61 2 9351 6464

Example pathways

Human Geography Pathway (major)
GEOS1X01 Earth, Environment and Society, GEOS1X02 Introductory Geography
GEOS2X21 Environmental and Resource Management, GEOS2X23 The Geography of Cities and Regions
GEOG3888 Integrated Geographical Practice, GEOS3X20 Urban Citizenship and Sustainability and/or GEOS3X24 Global Development and Livelihoods and/or GEOS3X53 Asia-Pacific Field School and/or SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project

Physical Geography Pathway (major)
GEOS1X01 Earth, Environment and Society, GEOS1X02 Introductory Geography
GEOS2X21 Environmental and Resource Management, GEOS2115 Oceans, Coasts and Climate Change or GEOS2X16 Earth Surface Processes
GEOG3888 Integrated Geographical Practice, GEOS3X09 Coastal Environments and Processes and/or GEOS3X14 GIS In Coastal Management and/or GEOS3X03 Environmental and Sedimentary Geology and/or SCPU3001 Science Interdisciplinary Project

Learning Outcomes

Students who graduate from Geography will be able to:

  1. Exhibit a broad and coherent body of knowledge of geographical concepts, history and subfields within its context as an academic discipline and acknowledge the contested and situated nature of geographical understanding.
  2. Integrate a deep understanding of geographical concepts and principles to describe processes that shape environments and societies.
  3. Recognise the co-constitutive nature of social and biophysical phenomena and apply this understanding to a range of social and environmental issues.
  4. Generate, analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative data from biophysical and human environments, with specific competencies in geospatial techniques.
  5. Work competently, confidently and safely in field and laboratory environments.
  6. Communicate geographical perspectives and knowledge effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences using appropriately selected written, oral and visual means.
  7. Apply geographical principles creatively, critically and appropriately to specific spaces, places and/or environments.
  8. Resolve geographical questions by ethical means, applying evidence-based knowledge and appropriate research techniques, including those associated with field work.
  9. Contribute effectively as a member or leader of diverse teams, working with consideration of cross-cultural perspectives within collaborative, interdisciplinary contexts.