GEOG 102 : Geography of the Human Environment


2020 Semester Two (1205) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Examines the relationships among personal geographies and global geographies of uneven development, economic, environmental and socio-cultural change. Using a variety of examples from New Zealand and the world we illustrate the connection between local places and global issues.

Course Overview

Human geography is a diverse discipline that examines the complex relationships among people, communities and the places in which we live. This course introduces geographic approaches to environmental, economic, cultural and social practices and processes in Aotearoa  New Zealand and beyond. What are their impacts on patterns of human development, socio-cultural change and environmental transformation at local, national and international scales? Geographic processes and outcomes are explored through a discussion of environmental justice, uneven development, geographies of the built environment and cultural landscapes.

GEOG 102 is a required course for Geography majors in a BA and BSc.

Course Requirements

No pre-requisites or restrictions

Capabilities Developed in this Course

Capability 1: Disciplinary Knowledge and Practice
Capability 2: Critical Thinking
Capability 3: Solution Seeking
Capability 4: Communication and Engagement
Capability 5: Independence and Integrity
Capability 6: Social and Environmental Responsibilities
Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this course, students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate an introductory understanding of the breadth and depth of human geography (Capability 1)
  2. Critically evaluate theoretical geographical ideas using place-based case studies (Capability 1 and 2)
  3. Perform reflectively and reflexively, ethical behaviour within academic practice (Capability 2 and 5)
  4. Investigate, critique and resolve complex geographical problems in Aotearoa and beyond (Capability 1, 2 and 3)
  5. Actively work to organise, negotiate and synthesise geographical knowledge (Capability 1, 2 and 4)
  6. Engage with diverse stakeholder positions by distinguishing multiple ways of seeing and valuing situated knowledges (Capability 1, 2 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Tutorial Exercises (3) 16% Individual Coursework
Short Essays (2) 24% Individual Coursework
Exam 60% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Tutorial Exercises (3)
Short Essays (2)
Tutorials 1, 2 and 5 are associated with short-answer assignments (4, 6 and 6%, respectively)
Tutorials 3 and 4 are associated with short essays (12% and 1000 words each)


As part of the University-wide Tuākana community, the School’s  Tuākana Programme aims to provide a welcoming learning environment for, and enhance the success of, all of our Māori and Pacific students. We are led by the principles of tautoko (support) and whanaungatanga (connection), and hope you find a home here at the School. Students who have identified as Māori and/or Pacific will receive an invitation to our online portal that introduces the programme, the resources we have available, and how you can get involved.
This course is supported by a designated Tuākana tutor with appropriate knowledge of the course material. They will lead group study sessions and be available for additional assistance throughout the semester. More information about and contact details for Tuakana will be released through the course's Canvas pages.

Key Topics

The course is organised around three modules:
  1. Reconciling Environment and Development (9 lectures);
  2. Geographies of the Built Environment (8 lectures);
  3. Cultural Geographies and the Environment (8 lectures).

Learning Resources

Course texts: there is NO set textbook for this course. All readings are electronically available through Talis Reading Lists that can be accessed from the course's Canvas pages. Ideally, the required reading should be completed before the relevant lecture. 
Lectures provide a comprehensive introduction to the topics to be examined but your grade will be greatly enhanced by reading widely and critically. We urge you to take personal responsibility for your own learning, and increase your understanding and appreciation of the subject by reinforcing lecture material with your own study programme.
At a minimum, you are expected to complete the required readings as part of your course workload, but staff have also provided lists of additional readings that can be accessed through Talis and Canvas. Try to complete the required reading as close to the lecture time as possible when the information is still fresh. You should only require an hour per reading. 

Special Requirements

No prior knowledge of Geography is required.

Workload Expectations

The course is designed with a budget of 150 hours of a student’s time. This conforms to the University and the Ministry of Education guidelines for a 15 point course. There are 28 hours of lectures, approximately 24 hours for reading accompanying the lectures, five hours of tutorial preparation and five hours of tutorials. This leaves 88 hours to complete the coursework and study for your exam.  

At University level students must manage their own workload. Please be aware that poor time management is a key cause of student anxiety. There are key crisis points, such as Week 5, 7 and 10, when assessment due dates often overlap in multiple courses. Please try and be proactive and plan to avoid this by completing your course work as early as possible.

Digital Resources

Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).

Please remember that the recording of any class on a personal device requires the permission of the instructor.

The lectures will be recorded, but please do not rely on this as sometimes technology can fail or be of poor quality. For example, student questions/discussion can be difficult to capture in recordings. Lecture recordings should not be used to replace lecture attendance. We have noticed a strong correlation between those who regularly attend the lectures and those who do well in the course! 

The recordings will be made available on Canvas within 3 working days of the lecture. PDF lecture handouts for each lecture presentation will be made available at a minimum the night before the lecture on Canvas if you wish to download them to take notes during the lecture.

Please note: in past semesters, technical difficulties meant that some students were not able to access lecture recordings during the exam period. Please make sure you listen to any missed lectures as soon as possible.


The content and delivery of content in this course are protected by copyright. Material belonging to others may have been used in this course and copied by and solely for the educational purposes of the University under license.

You may copy the course content for the purposes of private study or research, but you may not upload onto any third party site, make a further copy or sell, alter or further reproduce or distribute any part of the course content to another person.

Academic Integrity

The University of Auckland will not tolerate cheating, or assisting others to cheat, and views cheating in coursework as a serious academic offence. The work that a student submits for grading must be the student's own work, reflecting their learning. Where work from other sources is used, it must be properly acknowledged and referenced. This requirement also applies to sources on the internet. A student's assessed work may be reviewed against online source material using computerised detection mechanisms.

You must not have previously submitted your GEOG 102 coursework in this or any other subject.
Please note:
  • It is the student's responsibility to read and adhere to the University's policies, which can be viewed at:
  • Staff encourage students to work together but do not share electronic copies of your coursework. Enabling another to cheat is also a form of academic misconduct
  • Referen©ite – this web resource provides guidance on correctly acknowledging sources of information:
Because the short essays and tutorial assignments are brief, no coursework should contain quoted material (quotes will not be marked). When critically engaging with academic sources, we want to see your understanding of these sources. All coursework must be paraphrased (put in your own words) with the appropriate in-text citation. 

Inclusive Learning

All students are asked to discuss any impairment related requirements privately, face to face and/or in written form with the course coordinator, lecturer or tutor.

Student Disability Services also provides support for students with a wide range of impairments, both visible and invisible, to succeed and excel at the University. For more information and contact details, please visit the Student Disability Services’ website at

GEOG 102 strives to be a safe, inclusive and equitable space that supports the University of Auckland's commitment to Zero Tolerance for Discrimination. See the inclusive learning link on the Canvas Syllabus Page for further information.

Special Circumstances

If your ability to complete assessed coursework is affected by illness or other personal circumstances outside of your control, contact a member of teaching staff as soon as possible before the assessment is due.

If your personal circumstances significantly affect your performance, or preparation, for an exam or eligible written test, refer to the University’s aegrotat or compassionate consideration page:

This should be done as soon as possible and no later than seven days after the affected test or exam date.

Student Feedback

During the course Class Representatives in each class can take feedback to the staff responsible for the course and staff-student consultative committees.

At the end of the course students will be invited to give feedback on the course and teaching through a tool called SET or Qualtrics. The lecturers and course co-ordinators will consider all feedback.

Your feedback helps to improve the course and its delivery for all students.

Student Charter and Responsibilities

The Student Charter assumes and acknowledges that students are active participants in the learning process and that they have responsibilities to the institution and the international community of scholars. The University expects that students will act at all times in a way that demonstrates respect for the rights of other students and staff so that the learning environment is both safe and productive. For further information visit Student Charter (


Elements of this outline may be subject to change. The latest information about the course will be available for enrolled students in Canvas.

In this course you may be asked to submit your coursework assessments digitally. The University reserves the right to conduct scheduled tests and examinations for this course online or through the use of computers or other electronic devices. Where tests or examinations are conducted online remote invigilation arrangements may be used. The final decision on the completion mode for a test or examination, and remote invigilation arrangements where applicable, will be advised to students at least 10 days prior to the scheduled date of the assessment, or in the case of an examination when the examination timetable is published.

Please note:
  • This page is designed to provide information for non-enrolled students. Please see Canvas once enrolled.
  • The capabilities for this course were mapped to the University of Auckland Graduate Profile:
  • Information provided above was correct on 1 July 2020.
Published on 04/07/2020 12:15 p.m.