East Timor Field Class

Subject GEOG30026 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

September, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 22-Sep-2016 to 03-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 14-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 15-Apr-2016
Census Date 07-Oct-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 28-Oct-2016

An enrolment quota of 25 students (in undergraduate and post-graduate offering) applies to this subject. For detailed information on the quota subject application process, enrolment deadlines and selection preferences, refer to the Faculty of Science website: http://science.unimelb.edu.au/students/course-planning-and-advice

Students undertake field trip experiences that will require them to be physically capable of undertaking outdoor field work in remote locations.

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: An intensive 14 day course with a 12 day field excursion (including 2 days international travel), 1 day pre-departure briefing and lectures, and 1 day post-field trip workshop.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Completion of 50 points at Level 2, including at least 25 points from subjects in geography, or permission from subject coordinator. This subject may be taken as a Capstone for the Geography major in the BA and BSc.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

One of the following: (Interested students who are unsure if they possess sufficient academic background are welcome to contact the coordinator for advice).

Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Dr Lisa Palmer



Subject Overview:

This subject consists of a 12 day field trip to East Timor in September with pre-departure information sessions in late June and a post-trip workshop in Semester two. The subject is designed to develop students’ understanding of the Asia-Pacific region and in particular of the complex geographies of small island and post-conflict states. Students will gain an in situ appreciation of the historical and contemporary issues relevant to East Timor and develop their empirical and analytical research skills while carrying out small group research into the impacts of conflict, climate and culture on social and economic development and the environment. While in East Timor, students will participate in a number of rural, urban and remote site visits during which time they will interact with local communities, civil society leaders, academics, government and aid organizations. The field trip will be under the supervision of the subject coordinators. Students are responsible for the cost of airfares, internal travel, accommodation and food.

Note this subject may be taken as the Capstone subject for the Geography major and all students completing this subject, whether this subject serves as the Geography Capstone or not, will be invited to present findings from their fieldwork at a special end-of-semester event, to which Geography staff will be invited.

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of this subject, students will have achieved the following objective:

  • An appreciation of the critical issues in post-conflict and small island state development;
  • An appreciation of regional landscape diversity and climate histories and the ways in which this influences social and environmental governance;
  • Familiarity with empirical research methods and cross-cultural fieldwork.

Original daily field notes completed during field trip due the last day in East Timor (20%). Group presentation at an all-day workshop (15 minutes; equivalent to 1,500 words) due the Friday before the non-teaching week of semester 2 (30%). A Research report and essay (2000 words) due the first Monday after the non-teaching week of semester 2 (50%).

Prescribed Texts:

Course notes and reading material will be supplied during the pre-teaching period.

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • ability to comprehend some of the current debates in the relevant fields;
  • software skills, such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel and more specialised software;
  • illustrate an understanding many of the key issues facing many of Australia’s near neighbours;
  • develop an understanding of small island state landscape and environmental issues;
  • oral presentation skills;
  • group field and research activities.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Environmental Geography
Science-credited subjects - new generation B-SCI and B-ENG.
Selective subjects for B-BMED

Download PDF version.