Geography students- what do you actually Do? Watch

JZ24
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#1
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#1
Hi everyone,
I’m thinking about studying geography at uni, based on that I liked it at a-level, but I’m not sure about some stuff to do with it. Can anybody doing geography now help with the questions I’ve got?
How much maths is involved with physical geography? There hasn’t been much at as level, but what about uni?
Is there much reading to do in it? Is it mostly books or journals/ stuff online or stuff given out in lectures?
What is the “spatial” aspect which seems to be on all the university prospectuses and how does it fit in with everything?
Is there any way I can find out more about what I will actually be studying and doing, like essay titles and sample essays, esp for human geography?
Thanks!
0
reply
Bulbasaur
Badges: 15
Rep:
?
#2
Report 4 years ago
#2
Hey, I've finished my first year of Geography so hopefully these answers are useful!


(Original post by JZ24)
How much maths is involved with physical geography? There hasn’t been much at as level, but what about uni?
You'll likely do some work on statistics (in both human and physical geography) in each year of study. This isn't overly difficult though, to be blunt.

In physical geography you'll want to be able to understand some equations - this is to explain physical processes in a mathematical way. These tend to be quite basic equations though that don't go beyond what is taught at GCSE/AS level. You often don't have to actually 'do' any maths, but just to be able to state equations in exams for extra marks. That said, some people largely ignored the equations and it didn't matter. It does depend a lot on the area of physical geography though. With climate in particular you'll want to have some understanding of the equations involved.

Next year as part of my glaciology module we'll be creating a numerical model for a glacier, on a computer. So it can get mathematical at times. That said, you don't need to have studied maths at A level. So overall the maths isn't very hard and there isn't an awful lot of it, but it is there.

Is there much reading to do in it? Is it mostly books or journals/ stuff online or stuff given out in lectures?
Depends on the uni. Generally geography has fewer lectures and requires a fair bit of reading. For physical geography it'll be journal or textbook based generally, whereas for human geography there's a lot more meaty books, but we still use journals a lot here too. You'd use a combination of online and library-based resources. Lectures will provide much of the information you require but not all of it - reading beyond them is essential for a good mark in your exams, particularly in the later years of your degree.

What is the “spatial” aspect which seems to be on all the university prospectuses and how does it fit in with everything?
Simply put, the 'spatial' bit is the lens through which geographers work. Geography overlaps with lots of other subjects but it's this persistent emphasis on analysing the world spatially that makes it unique.

Is there any way I can find out more about what I will actually be studying and doing, like essay titles and sample essays, esp for human geography?
University websites are very helpful for this sort of thing. The first year is likely to be quite broad and gives you only a brief look into all the different topics you can study in geography, with more specialisation in years 2 and 3. One thing I will say is that the topics will probably feel more familiar in physical geography (though of course it will be more advanced) as human geography becomes a lot broader with regards to other social sciences at degree level. Some of the human geography is quite abstract and can sometimes feel redundant, I thought. Still enjoyed it though. I'll just list a few topics that I studied last year with their respective essay titles to give you a flavour of what it's like:

Human geography
Historical Geographies of globalisation: 'When did globalisation begin?' (2000 words)
Urban Geography: 'To what extent do global cities, such as London, depend on the migrant division of labour and why?' (1500 words)
Society, Environment and Sustainable Development: 'Is it possible for development to be sustainable?' (2000 words)
Economic Geography: '‘Globalizing economies are as much about culture and performance as they are about expanding markets’. Discuss.' (1500 words)
Geopolitics: 'Everyday geopolitical reasoning ‘operates through the active simplification of the complex reality of places in favour of controllable … abstractions’. Discuss this claim'. (2000 words)

Physical geography
The Earth (tectonics): (1) 'Explain and describe the nature of climatic change that can follow large explosive volcanic eruptions' (1500 words); (2) 'Critically assess the possible connections between mountain building and global climate change' (1500 words).
The Cryosphere (Glaciology): 'How much are glaciers and ice sheets contributing to global sea level rise?' (2000 words)
Atmospheric processes and climate: 'Describe the three cell model of the atmosphere and explain how it impacts on day to day weather' (this was a question I answered in one of my exams).
Biogeography: 'With the use of examples, explain briefly what is meant by the term net primary productivity, and examine the factors that help to explain global differences in net primary production.' (1500 words)
Oceans and Coasts: 'With respect to examples, discuss the effect that an increase in sea level can have on coastal morphology and why this impact varies geographically ' (1500 words)
Quaternary Environments: 'With reference to examples of paleological evidence, evaluate the relative importance of internal and external forcing mechanisms as controls on Quaternary climate.' (2000 words)

Hope this helps! If you have any other questions don't hesitate to ask
0
reply
JZ24
Badges: 0
Rep:
?
#3
Report Thread starter 4 years ago
#3
Bulbasaur, thanks for all this, particularly typing out all of those essay titles, it clears a lot of stuff up!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

University open days

  • Solent University
    Postgraduate and Professional Open Evenings Postgraduate
    Mon, 25 Mar '19
  • Cardiff University
    Undergraduate Open Day Undergraduate
    Wed, 27 Mar '19
  • University of Portsmouth
    Postgraduate and Part-Time Open Evenings Postgraduate
    Wed, 27 Mar '19

Where do you need more help?

Which Uni should I go to? (149)
18.63%
How successful will I become if I take my planned subjects? (79)
9.88%
How happy will I be if I take this career? (135)
16.88%
How do I achieve my dream Uni placement? (114)
14.25%
What should I study to achieve my dream career? (78)
9.75%
How can I be the best version of myself? (245)
30.63%

Watched Threads

View All