Skip to main content

Module

GEO1096 : Geographical Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2020/21
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Matej Blazek
  • Lecturer: Dr Robert Shaw
  • Other Staff: Miss Rachel Duffy
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

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 and the awareness of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion aspects.

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, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, self-reflection, group dynamics and work
2.       Key study skills: time management, note-taking, Library and information orientation, reading and writing, argumentation, presentation skills
3.       Key employability skills: CV and cover letters, competency questions, job interviews

Teaching Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials121:0012:00Pre-recorded lecture material
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion430:00120:00Assessment preparation
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities17:007:00Careers events participation, synchronous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching141:0014:00In-person seminars, synchonrous
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Individual tutorials, synchronous
Guided Independent StudyProject work110:0010:00Group work assessment
Guided Independent StudyReflective learning activity16:006:00Individual tutorials and self-reflection preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00Drop-in surgeries, synchronous
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study125:0025:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

All lectures will be pre-recorded and delivered online. With three exceptions (4 hours in total), all will be delivered by the module leader. The lectures will deliver general material and information about the module organisation.

The small group teaching will take place in person when possible (due to safety reasons). In total, there will be 14 small group (cca 10-12 students) classes, 6 delivered by personal tutors, and 8 by TAs. Two of those will be non-timetables and will take place during the induction weeks. In addition, there will be 4 individual meetings (3 with personal tutors and 1 with TAs). This format brings together the pastoral support in Stage 1 (as personal tutor process will be integrated within the module) and the importance for the staff to identify and respond better to students’ transitional needs. 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 to a member of staff with whom they have weekly contact. The module will provide in-person teaching.

In addition to (approximately) weekly small group sessions, there are a variety of other teaching methods listed which reflect the module’s aim of covering a diverse range of study skills in preparation for stage 2.

Assessment Methods

Please note that module leaders are reviewing the module teaching and assessment methods for Semester 2 modules, in light of the Covid-19 restrictions. There may also be a few further changes to Semester 1 modules. Final information will be available by the end of August 2020 in for Semester 1 modules and the end of October 2020 for Semester 2 modules.

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
Essay1M301,200 words, option to choose a physical or human geography topic. Will be first submitted as a formative assessment with mock mark.
Portfolio2M30Employability portfolio: CV, covering letter, employability action plan, pre-recorded job presentation
Report2M20Group project: reflection on studying Geography at the university, 1,000-word report.
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

The first assessment will be a 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 assessment will serve to demonstrate students’ familiarity with university infrastructure and key principles underlying the university life.

The second 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 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 third assessment addresses the careers and employability learning objectives. Students will prepare a career portfolio responding to a fictional job, including written (CV, cover letter) and performed (pre-recorded job presentation) materials. The assessment will also introduce students to presentation skills, but due to the nature of the academic year and the importance of digital technologies, the presentation will be pre-recorded and delivered online only.

The fourth assessment addresses student’s skills in group work and their ability to reflect fully on their university experience, including aspects of wellbeing and prospects beyond graduation. Working in small groups, the students will be asked to prepare a short report in plain language reflecting on the student experience, addressing key challenges and prospects, with personal illustrations.

Reading Lists

Timetable