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The University of Southampton

GEOG2030 Exploring Physical Environments: Overseas Fieldcourse

Module Overview

This module introduces students to field-based Physical Geography research and includes an overseas field component. It gives students hands-on experience at collecting data and the opportunity to practice techniques to analyse and present the data collected.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gain knowledge and understanding of the development of ideas in scientific enquiry
  • Collect primary scientific data.
  • Pursue knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way.
  • Develop meaningful scientific hypotheses
  • Collect and manipulate geographical data
  • Structure discussion of key themes in physical geography into a reasoned argument
  • Demonstrate critical awareness of issues surrounding the collection of 'data' of various types relevant to the study of geography
  • Identify appropriate research techniques and methodologies for investigation in Physical Geography
  • Understand the limits of geographical research and strategies for addressing such limitations
  • Effective presentation of geographical research using a scientific structure.
  • Gain knowledge and understanding of research design, including appropriate use of hypothesis testing in Physical Geography
  • Gain Knowledge and understanding of methods used to collect data in the sub-disciplines of Physical Geography
  • Gain Knowledge and understanding of appropriate data manipulation and interpretation techniques for primary field datasets
  • Knowledge and understanding of planning and executing a piece of Geographical research using a scientific format.
  • Marshall and retrieve material from libraries, public records and internet resources
  • Integrate primary and secondary data sources to support a reasoned scientific argument
  • Participate in group discussion and research planning.
  • Conduct independent/group fieldwork.
  • Conduct independent reading, writing and revision.


This module will introduce you to physical geography associated with an overseas field location (e.g. Tenerife, Northern or Southern Spain, etc.). Introductory lectures will include material on the geomorphology and landscape, biogeography and climate of the field area. Introductory lectures on how to design and present a field research project will also be delivered, along with some field briefing and techniques training sessions. The main part of the teaching will be undertaken on a week long, residential overseas field course. During the course you will have several orientation and introductory group days where you will be exposed to different landscapes and interpretation techniques. These will be followed by data collection in small groups. The final day of the trip will be dedicated to data analysis and will culminate in the presentation of preliminary results.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The majority of the teaching is undertaken overseas at the field site, with some preliminary lectures and workshop/lab sessions to help students prepare for their field projects. Learning is through primary data collection and analysis, whilst in the field.

Independent Study70
Total study time150



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1200 words) 30%
Group Oral Presentation 20%
Research poster  () 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Individual research report  (3000 words) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: GEOG1010


To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

GEOG2039Concepts and Methods for Environmental Management
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