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This module forms the essential foundation for any more advanced study of physical geography. It introduces the four main Earth systems: the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere and geosphere. It provides a sound understanding of the processes within each system, and of the interactions between them. The atmosphere section deals with flows of energy and moisture and their role in controlling climate over both space and time. The hydrosphere section focuses on the concepts of the hydrological cycle and main processes associated with the water fluxes. The biosphere section deals mainly with flows of energy and nutrients between Earth systems. The geosphere section introduces topics like the origin of Earth, the concept of plate tectonics, describes the distribution of different rock types and processes occurring in geosphere. In addition main properties and functions of soil, formation of different soil types across the world and changes of climate in the past, current and the future, proxies of climate change are included.
This module investigates hazardous aspects of Earth¿s natural environment and how society relates to them. Introductory principles include the definition of natural hazard, disaster, risk and loss, and approaches to reducing risk and managing disasters. Major types of natural hazard are studied in order to understand how they operate, where, and how frequently they are likely to occur. Hazardous consequences are explored, as well as how society can respond to hazardous events. Key aspects include discussion of primary and secondary hazards, prediction, forecasting and monitoring of hazards, and understanding how their harmful effects can be minimised. Natural hazards considered during this module include volcanic eruptions, earthquakes, tsunamis, wildfires, landslides, extreme weather events, flooding, avalanches and Mega Hazards. Lectures consider general principles as well as case studies. Practical classes reinforce concepts learned in lectures. The practical aspect of the work will culminate in a disaster management simulation day.
Rivers are important features of the landscapes of most climatic zones of the world. This module explores the hydrology and geomorphology of rivers and how they differ spatially and through time in response to climatic factors, human activities and climatic change. Topics examined include: the principles of river flow; methods of river flow measurement; river channel shape; meandering and braiding; drainage networks; sediment transport (as bedload, suspended load and dissolved load); river pollution; using sediment to identify the sources and history of erosion; and the impact of climatic change and land-use on flooding and water resource issues. Considerable emphasis is placed on practical work both in the field at local river sites and in the laboratory. An underlying theme of the module is the way geographers in the fluvial field have applied their theory and knowledge to understand and help to mitigate environmental issues and problems.
The module is concerned with identifying and defining geographical questions within the tropical rainforest environment of the Sabah, Malaysian Borneo and applying relevant geographical skills, knowledge and techniques to these questions. This fieldwork-based module focuses on the physical geography of wet tropical environments, hydrological and geomorphological processes, the nature and dynamics of tropical rainforest vegetation and ecology and the impacts of logging and conversion to agriculture, and particularly oil palm and current and predicted climatic change. Land policy and land management practices are a key theme. Some aspects of the human environment are also covered. The fieldweek module introduces students to all aspects of project work (identifying and defining geographical problems; formulation of aims, research questions and hypotheses; formulation of an appropriate research design to answer these questions; choice and use of field measurement techniques and field observation; data analysis and interpretation; oral presentation of findings; and structuring and production of academic written reports). A key aim is to prepare students to be able to undertake a final-year dissertation in physical geography. The module comprises preparatory meetings, a 14 day field course, which typically runs immediately prior to Easter, and 2 hours of analytical classes during Teaching Block 2 prior to submittal of project reports.
The dissertation is an original, substantive and independent research project in an aspect of Geography. It is typically based on approximately 20 - 25 days of primary research and several weeks of analysis and write-up. The end result must be less than 10,000 words of text. The dissertation offers you the chance to follow your personal interests and to demonstrate your capabilities as a Geographer. During the course of your dissertation you will be supported by a student-led discussion group and a staff supervisor, and you will also provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This support and supervision is delivered through the 'Dissertation Support' module, which is a co-requisite.
This module provides structured, student-led peer-group support and academic staff group supervision for students undertaking the 30-credit 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module. This support and supervision is assessed through the submission of a PowerPoint Poster in TB1 and the submission in TB2 of an individually composed, critical and reflective log of the 5 dissertation peer-group meetings and the 4 group supervisory meetings (with a verified record of attendance at meetings). Working within a supervised Student Peer Group, you will also have the opportunity to provide constructive criticism to fellow students undertaking related research projects, learning from their research problems and subsequent solutions. This module complements the 'Dissertation Report: Geography' module, which is a co-requisite.
This module provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their competence as a Geographer by undertaking a critical analysis of a wide variety of literature-based sources in order to develop a cogent, substantial, and persuasive argument. While the Dissertation in Geography normally focuses on the design and execution of an evidenced-based research project that assesses the capacity of students to undertake effective data analysis and interpretation, the purpose of this module is to assess the extent to which students are capable of engaging with the academic literature at the frontier of a particular part of Geography. Students select from a wide range of research frontiers in Human and Physical Geography that have been identified by the academic staff within the Department. Given that this module emphasizes student-centred learning, none of the frontiers will have been covered in other modules, although in many cases modules will have taken students up to some of these frontiers. However, to orientate students and provide them with suitable points of departure and way-stations, there will be a brief introduction to each frontier and a short list of pivotal references disseminated via Blackboard. (Note: The topic selected by you must not overlap with the subject of your Dissertation. If there is any doubt about potential overlap, this must be discussed with your Dissertation Support Group supervisor and agreed in writing.)
This module is only available to Geography students enrolled on a Joint Honours degree. In this module the student is required to conduct a piece of independent primary research culminating in a 6,500 word (maximum) dissertation report. Supported by a staff member as mentor the student is expected to invest 15-20 days conducting individual, primary research. The remainder of the hours will be spent on analysis and write-up of the dissertation. A pre-requisite to this module is the generation of a research proposal by the student (a standard proposal form will be provided) which must be approved by the Geography Board of Studies. This module is not available to Single Honours Geography students or visiting/exchange students.
The module examines the range and nature of humid tropical environments and landscapes and how they respond to climatic factors and climatic change. Section I focuses on the climatic and vegetational environments and their interactions. It focuses on the distinctive considers the Section II investigates hydrological and geomorphological processes within the humid tropical zone and the impacts of logging. Section III is devoted to climatic change and its forcing factors and their interactions with vegetation in the humid tropics at a variety of timescales. Section IV considers landforms and landscapes in the humid tropics, with Individual lectures focusing upon drainage networks; tropical karst, coral reef islands.
This module aims to explain and understand past, present and potential future changes in the Earth's climate and environment. It provides a broad approach to environmental processes and dynamics operating on land, in the oceans and in the atmosphere on a global and regional scale. Emphasis is placed on the evidence available for reconstructing past environmental dynamics, the implications for present-day processes, future predictions and likely impacts.