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GEO1096 : Geographical Skills

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Simon Tate
  • Other Staff: Miss Rachel Duffy
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


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

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion430:00120:00Assessment preparation
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching221:0022:00Seminars
Guided Independent StudyProject work110:0010:00Group work assessment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Drop-in surgeries, PIP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study134:0034:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

To facilitate the transition to university, the majority of the module is taught in-person, 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.

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
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 (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 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