Geographical Thought

Subject GEOG30003 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 1, Parkville - 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: Contact Hours: Lectures and Tutorials
Total Time Commitment: Not available
Prerequisites: Usually 25 points of first year geography or the discretion of the subject coordinators.
Corequisites: N/A
Recommended Background Knowledge: N/A
Non Allowed Subjects: Students who have completed 121-228 Critical Human Geography or 121229 Geographical Thought are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry. The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website:


Prof Barbara Downes, Prof Ruth Fincher



Phone: 8344 9323

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.

Objectives: N/A

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: N/A
Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

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 (both pre-2008 degree and new degrees), 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 Science
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Geography
Geography Major
History && Philosophy of Science

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