Contemporary Geographical Thought

Subject GEOG90018 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 9 (Graduate/Postgraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 3 hr per week: 2 hr workshop, 1 hr attendance at School seminar series
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours



Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

An undergraduate degree with a major in Geography, or equivalent (e.g. Environmental Studies)

Non Allowed Subjects:

Students who have completed the following subject, or equivalent, are ineligible:


Students enrolling in this subject are ineligible to enrol in:

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:


Assoc Prof Russell Drysdale


Subject Overview:

This 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, as well for understanding the nature of interdisciplinary research. 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. Students will also gain insights into a selected issue at the leading-edge of contemporary geographical research. Finally, via a seminar diary, students will critically evaluate how contemporary geographic research is communicated via research seminars within the School and, where relevant, in other schools/departments of the university.

Learning Outcomes:
  • To understand the current directions of research programs in geography
  • To gain some grounding in the history, philosophy or scope of the discipline of geography
  • To be aware of the methodological principles underlying those research programs;
  • To know the central findings of those research programs
  • To obtain knowledge in some of the cutting edge contemporary issues in geographical research.
  • Geography and Philosophy Essay (2500 words) due end of week 7 (50%)
  • Contemporary Issues Essay (2000 words) due end of week 10 (40%)
  • Seminar diary (500 words) due end of week 12 (10%)
Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • To demonstrate advanced literature research skills.
  • To demonstrate advanced oral and written communication skills.
  • To demonstrate the ability and self-confidence to comprehend complex contemporary geographical debates and concepts.
Related Course(s): Master of Science (Geography)
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Master of Science (Ecosystem Science) - Discipline Elective subjects

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