Geographical Thought

Subject 121-307 (2008)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2008.Search for this in the current handbookSearch for this in the current handbook

Credit Points: 12.500
Level: Undergraduate
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2008:

Semester 1, - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 25 points of first year geography or the discretion of the subject coordinators.
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
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:


Dr Rachel Hughes & Dr Fraser MacDonald
Subject Overview:

This capstone subject is concerned with the history and philosophy of geography and is designed to introduce students to key debates, both past and present, on the nature and scope of geography as an academic discipline. It therefore sets out an essential context for understanding contemporary research in human and physical geography. The early origins of the subject are traced back to the revolutionary intellectual climate of Enlightenment and empire, a time when geographical knowledge constituted a form of both scientific enquiry and military intelligence. The major episodes in the history of geography - from Darwinism to postmodernism - are discussed in relation to wider political and cultural developments. Specific topics covered include the history of exploration; the relationship between human and physical geography; and the role of geography in the nation-state. Students who complete this subject will be able to think critically about different schools of geographical thought; be able to evaluate theoretical concepts from geography and elsewhere; and be able to demonstrate an understanding of the dynamic and contested nature of the discipline.

Assessment: An essay of 3000 words 65% (due at the end of semester), practical presentation comprising oral performance 10% (during the semester) and literature review paper of 1000 words 25% (due mid-semester).
Prescribed Texts: None
Recommended Texts:

Information Not Available

Breadth Options: This subject is a level 2 or level 3 subject and is not available to new generation degree students as a breadth option in 2008.
This subject or an equivalent will be available as breadth in the future.
Breadth subjects are currently being developed and these existing subject details can be used as guide to the type of options that might be available.
2009 subjects to be offered as breadth will be finalised before re-enrolment for 2009 starts in early October.
Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • acquire critical reading skills;

  • be capable of thinking, writing and speaking in the theoretical terms;

  • gain written communication skills;

  • develop presentation skills.


This is a capstone subject. Students who have completed 121-228 Critical Human Geography or 121229 Geographical Thought are not eligible to enrol in this subject.

Students enrolled in the BSc (pre-2008 degree), or a combined BSc course (except for the BA/BSc) may receive science credit on the completion of this subject.

Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Science
Diploma in Arts (Geography)
Graduate Certificate in Arts (Geography)
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Geography)

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