The University of Southampton

GEOG1007 Skills for Population and Geography

Module Overview

The module seeks to equip first year students will be core geographical skills, both intellectual and practical, that are necessary for a successful undergraduate career in Geography. Staff / tutors: Dr Julie Vullnetari (JV) Dr Darja Reuschke (DR) Prof Ann Berrington (AB) Dr Fiifi Amoako Johnson (FAJ) + PGR support

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Facilitate students’ transition as independent learners between A-level and university level study • Provide students with a common foundation to identify and effectively employ appropriate sources of data and information in geography and demography • Develop students’ key geographical and general skills that are essential for studying at university • Inspire students to think critically and reflect on their own learning.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Employ key study and learning skills in geography and demography
  • Identify, locate and effectively use appropriate geographic and demographic information sources, including books, journals and online resources
  • Collect, analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources, including from secondary and local field data
  • Build a reasoned and sustained argument, whether in written or verbal form
  • Select appropriate methods for the collection, analysis, and presentation of data from both primary and secondary sources
  • Synthesise and present research findings effectively in report format
  • Reflect on their own learning
  • Articulate and communicate ideas effectively and with confidence using a variety of means such as essays, reports, research posters and presentations
  • Work as part of a team as well as independently.


Lectures in the following core skills: 1. 1. Academic Integrity (Plagiarism and Referencing) 2. Writing at University (focus on essays and research reports) 3. Using lectures effectively 4. Effective reading and note-taking at University (including critical reading and questioning sources) 5. Critical thinking (including building arguments) 6. Understanding feedback at University 7. Working in groups 8. Presentation skills (research poster design and presentation) 9. Revision and exam skills at University 10. Research design and ethics 11. Qualitative and quantitative research methods – data collection and analysis.

Special Features

1. This is a core module for the Population and Geography programme. As such, students need to pass it (40% of mark) and it cannot be compensated by another module. 2. Local fieldwork in Southampton providing opportunity to practice geographical skills in the field.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

13 x 1 hour lectures 5 x 1 group tutorials 1 x 2 hours computer lab 1 day local fieldwork 5 hours on-campus group work around fieldwork 1 x 1 hour poster preparation session 1 x 3 hours poster presentation session 1 x 1 hour employability talk Weekly drop-in sessions for assignment advice and feedback (Weeks 1-11) Responding to email queries, and through Blackboard discussion forum Lectures offer initial guidance and highlight the increased expectations of university learning. Tutorials are intended for students to develop their problem solving and other skills, to discuss further with an experienced member of staff any particular lecture material they are finding difficult to understand. Fieldwork: non-residential fieldwork in Southampton, accompanied by on-campus group work to analyse the data collected, read around the topic and prepare the research poster to be presented later. Computer workshops: they provide a platform for practical hands-on introduction to quantitative methods. Progress monitoring: • Lectures, group tutorials, assignments • Mid-term and end-of-module feedback • Module moderation

Independent Study116
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Knight, P.G. and Parsons, T. (2003). How to do your Essays, Exams and Coursework in Geography and Related Disciplines. 

Kneale, P. E. (2011). Study Skills for Geography, Earth and Environmental Science Students. 

Pinch, S. (2002). Southampton. Cities. ,19 , pp. 71-78.

Kneale P. (2003). Study Skills for Geography Students: A Practical Guide. 

Other. Other readings will be required for the fieldwork topics, to be identified in the module guidebook at the start of the semester. The module has a Blackboard (BB) page to share information and resources about this unit. An e-copy of this handbook as well as other teaching resources (including e-copies of the lecture slides) will be available for download via BB.


Assessment Strategy

In order to pass the module, students must obtain an overall mark of 40% or above. No particular elements must be passed in addition to this requirement.


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (2000 words) 40%
Poster Presentation 20%
Report  (2000 words) 40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Essay/report  (2000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Travel Costs for placements

Related to local fieldwork in Southampton.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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