Module Catalogue 2023/24

GEO1096 : Geographical Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Simon Tate
  • Co-Module Leader: Dr Matej Blazek
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Code Title
GEO1010Interconnected World
GEO1018Geographical Analysis
GEO1020Introduction to Physical Geography
GEO1103Quantitative Geographical Analysis
Co Requisite Comment

Core modules for L701, F800 and FH82 students in stage 1 (GEO1010 AND GEO1018 or GEO1103 AND GEO1020)

Module teaches study skills that are (a) specific to L701/F800/FH82 students and (b) adopts an experiential learning style which teaches study skills by using examples relevant to other stage 1 core modules.


The overall purpose of this module is to help new undergraduate L701, F800, and FH82 students gain the skills required to transition from school into university, and subsequently into the graduate job market. To do so, there are three key aims:

The first aim of this module is to help new undergraduate L701, F800 and FH82 geography students to make the transition from the styles of teaching and learning used in schools to those used in universities. It does this by helping students to acquire the study skills and transferable skills that they need to successfully complete stages 2 and 3 of their degree.

The second aim of the module is support students in developing skills necessary to monitor and maintain their own wellbeing as well as the wellbeing of others. This includes the recognition of the available support.

The third aim of the module is to encourage students to begin to think about possible graduate careers, to encourage students to reflect critically upon their current CV and to identify what employability skills and work experience they will need to acquire before the start of stage 3. In so doing, the module will make links between the study skills required for a degree and the transferable/employability skills required by graduate recruiters.

Outline Of Syllabus

1.       Key wellbeing skills: wellbeing, care and self-care, available resources, self-reflection.
2.       Key study skills: time management, note-taking, Library and information orientation, reading and writing, argumentation, critical thinking
3.       Key employability skills: CV and cover letters, competency questions, internships/work experience job interviews

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By successfully undertaking this module students will:

•       understand the differences between the styles of teaching and learning used in schools to those used in universities.
•       understand the study skills required to successfully complete their degree programme.
•       understand the different assessment types used throughout their degree programme.
•       understand key elements of wellbeing and the importance of personal wellbeing.
•       be able to reflect critically upon their current CV and to identify what employability skills and experiences they will need to acquire before the start of stage 3.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Intended Skill Outcomes (maximum 4000 characters):

By successfully undertaking this module students will:

•       have demonstrated that they recognise different sources of support available at the university
•       have demonstrated that they can and self-manage time effectively.
•       understand the importance of self-reflection and taking responsibility for their own learning.
•       have demonstrated that thy can take effective notes.
•       have demonstrated that they are able to search the Robinson Library for books and journal articles.
•       understand what plagiarism is and how to avoid it.
•       have demonstrated that they can use the Harvard system of referencing.
•       have demonstrated that they understand the requirements of the mark scheme for geography.
•       have demonstrated that they can structure a coherent argument in essays.
•       have demonstrated that they can evaluate and criticise information and ideas.
•       have demonstrated that thy can write coherently.
•       have demonstrated a high level of competence in the use of a range of IT applications.
•       be able to reflect critically upon their current CV.
•       be able to identify opportunities for the development of employability skills and work experiences.
•       understand the importance of being able to demonstrate transferable skills on graduate job application forms and at interviews.
•       have demonstrated that they can undertake personal reflection and use it for further personal and professional development

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion330:0090:00Assessment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture21:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00Seminars
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Drop-in surgeries
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study178:0078:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

To facilitate the transition to university, the majority of the module is taught in small seminar groups, on a weekly basis. The small group format assists with the induction of students into the University by (a) helping to promote the early establishment of friendships on the course; and (b) by ensuring that each student is known by sight and by name by a seminar leader with whom they have weekly contact.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M20“University orientation” exercise
Essay1M401500 words, option to choose a physical or human geography topic. Will be first submitted as a formative assessment with mock mark.
Portfolio2M40Employability portfolio: CV, covering letter, employability action plan
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MIdentical essay as for the summative assessment. Students will be able to draw on the formative feedback.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

In effect, the module has two "substantial" assessments:

The first assessment is a short, low-stakes problem solving exercise asking students to demonstrate their awareness of the existing services and resources at the university, including Library, information skills, wellbeing support, EDI issues and support within the School. This short assessment will serve to demonstrate students’ familiarity with university infrastructure and key principles underlying the university life - all essential pre-requisites for success throughout stage 1. Pastorally, it is also useful to have this assessment early in the first semester as it gives the DPD / Senior Tutor early data on students who might need additional support to settle into their degree.

The first substantial assessment is an academic essay, with students having a choice of either physical or human geography topic. The essay will be first submitted as a formative assessment (draft) with full feedback provided. The formative version will be the first academic essay written by this cohort of students and will be crucial for their confidence in completing other pieces of academic work.

The second substantial assessment addresses the careers and employability learning objectives. Students will prepare a career portfolio applying for a fictional graduate work experience opportunity (including written CV, competency questions and cover letter). It is useful to have this block of teaching and assessment in stage 1 semester 2, as it allows students to think through the steps they need to take in stage 2 to become employable by stage 3.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2023/24 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2024/25 entry will be published here in early-April 2024. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.