GEOG 308 : Geopolitics and Indigenous Rights


2022 Semester One (1223) (15 POINTS)

Course Prescription

Examines Indigenous peoples as agents of geopolitical change. Introduces colonial/decolonial geographies to demonstrate the geopolitical implications of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. Key themes include: territory and geopolitics; Indigenous identities, subject-formation and intersectionality; Indigenous knowledges, rights and political agency; and, Indigenous relationships with non-Indigenous peoples.

Course Overview

To expose students to postcolonial/decolonial and Indigenous geopolitical theories about territory, power and agency. This course will provide students with a critical understanding of territory and geopolitics; Indigenous identities, subject-formation and intersectionality; Indigenous knowledges, rights and political agency; the politics of settler societies; and, Indigenous relationships with non-Indigenous peoples. We use case studies from throughout the world and encourage students to apply key ideas in their chosen examples.

Course Requirements

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II Restriction: GEOG 312

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. Explain how Indigenous rights connect to the local and the global context (Capability 1 and 2)
  2. Critically evaluate the relationship between Indigenous and western knowledges (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  3. Analyse the place of Indigenous peoples as agents of geopolitical change (Capability 1, 2 and 6)
  4. Critique and communicate complex geopolitical issues that affect how Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples interact (Capability 2, 3, 4 and 5)
  5. Engage with multiple ways of seeing and valuing the situated knowledges of peoples and their places (Capability 2, 3 and 6)
  6. Demonstrate the ability to envision a decolonised future which centres indigenous rights (Capability 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6)


Assessment Type Percentage Classification
Essay 20% Individual Coursework
Tutorials 30% Group & Individual Coursework
Final Exam 50% Individual Examination
Assessment Type Learning Outcome Addressed
1 2 3 4 5 6
Final Exam

This course does not contain plussage.


The School of Environment (ENV) Tuākana Programme focuses on encouraging Māori and Pacific students to achieve their full academic potential. Māori and Pacific students are encouraged to contact Kimoro Taiepa ( if you would like more information about joining the programme.

Key Topics


Special Requirements

Tutorials are required in this course.

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 24 hours lectures, approximately 20 hours for reading accompanying the lectures, and 8 hours of tutorials. This leaves 98 hours to complete the coursework and study for your exam.

At a 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 6, 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.

Delivery Mode

Campus Experience

Delivery conditions for onshore students under COVID Alert Level 1 or lower:
  • Attendance is expected at scheduled activities including tutorials and lectures.
  • Lectures will be available as recordings. Tutorials will not be available as recordings.
  • Attendance on campus is required for the exam unless advised otherwise.
  • The activities for the course are scheduled as a standard weekly timetable.
  • This course is not available online to students resident offshore.

Learning 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.

  • Course materials are made available in a learning and collaboration tool called Canvas which also includes reading lists and lecture recordings (where available).
  • Course texts: there is NO set textbook for this course. This course has made a commitment to reduce costs where possible for students. All readings are electronically available through Reading Lists on Canvas. Thus University publishes the reading list once the semester begins. The required reading should be completed after 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 strongly urge you to take personal responsibility for your own learning, and increase your understanding and appreciation of the subject by following up lecture material with your own study programme.
  • At a minimum, you are expected to complete the required readings as part of your course workload (additional readings can be recommended by staff upon request). Best practice is to attend the lecture first then read the required reading. Try to do this as close to the lecture time as possible when the information is still fresh. You should only be spending about an hour per reading. Each lecture usually has one required reading or two short required readings. 

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.


Other Information


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 308 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
  • ReferenCite – this web resource provides guidance on correctly acknowledging sources of information:
  • For the purposes of this course, 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. Quotes without “quote marks”, even if there is an in-text citation, are plagiarised!

Class Representatives

Class representatives are students tasked with representing student issues to departments, faculties, and the wider university. If you have a complaint about this course, please contact your class rep who will know how to raise it in the right channels. See your departmental noticeboard for contact details for your class reps.



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.


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

GEOG 308 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.


Learning Continuity

In the event of an unexpected disruption, we undertake to maintain the continuity and standard of teaching and learning in all your courses throughout the year. If there are unexpected disruptions the University has contingency plans to ensure that access to your course continues and course assessment continues to meet the principles of the University’s assessment policy. Some adjustments may need to be made in emergencies. You will be kept fully informed by your course co-ordinator/director, and if disruption occurs you should refer to the university website for information about how to proceed.

The delivery mode may change depending on COVID restrictions. Any changes will be communicated through Canvas.


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 students may be asked to submit 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. In exceptional circumstances changes to elements of this course may be necessary at short notice. Students enrolled in this course will be informed of any such changes and the reasons for them, as soon as possible, through Canvas.

 Please note:
  • This page is designed to provide information for non-enrolled students. Please see Canvas two weeks prior to the start of semester once enrolled. The key document is the Course Guide under modules.
  • For non-BSc students (such as Bachelor of Arts or Global Studies), please ignore the above link to the Graduate Profile: Bachelor of Science. Unfortunately this link cannot be removed. This is a social science course. The capabilities for this course were mapped to the University of Auckland Graduate Profile not the Bachelor of Science Graduate Profile: 
  • The learning outcomes are mapped to the University of Auckland Graduate Profile themes (erroneously identified as capabilities rather than themes in this Outline due to technical glitch). The learning outcomes of this course seek to deliver either all or part of the identified University of Auckland Graduate Profile theme(s).
  • Information provided above was correct on the 11 October 2021.
Published on 26/10/2021 03:44 p.m.