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GEOG102 Human Geography

Human Geography as a discipline covers a wide field of study and is anchored on a number of keys concepts which underlie the five modules which will be presented in this course. These key concepts are space, place, mobility, scale and temporal change. These concepts are dealt with in a variety of different ways within Human Geography, but they include the following common understandings:

  1. Space: domains, settings or geographic areas of human interactions and activity.
  2. Place: specific or distinctive sites of meaning and interactions, as understood both by the individuals and communities inhabiting those human places, and also by outsiders.
  3. Mobility: the transfer of people, ideas and material good between different spaces and places.
  4. Scale: different geographical levels of our understanding of space and place – from individual bodies and personal location through household, village, city, country and continent to the level of the whole world. In geographic thought, the continuum from the ‘local’ to the ‘global’ is a common point of reference.
  5. Temporal Change: the change in activities and places over time.

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An introduction to human geography which emphasises population, cultural and human behavioural issues, resource and economic development and settlement systems. Includes laboratory studies, tutorials and field work.

Human Geography is the study of human activity within different spatial settings. It is concerned with different patterns and processes in human behaviour, meanings and interaction within social, economic, political and cultural environments, and focuses on human-spatial relations within different places at local, regional, national and global scales.

Human Geography examines the crucial relationship between people and the environment thus offering students the skills, knowledge and values to work on many real world problems. The skills learnt in this course are those used by researchers and professionals in many disciplines.

Paper title Human Geography
Paper code GEOG102
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,110.75
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science
Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Professor Etienne Nel

Teaching Fellow: Ben Varkalis

Paper Structure

Lectures cover four modules:

  • People, urbanisation and the economy
  • People, place and power
  • People, power and territory
  • People, food and sustainability

Assessment is 50% internal (on-going during the semester) and 50% external (final examination)

Teaching Arrangements

Three lectures and one tutorial per week.


Textbooks are not required for this paper: a course reader can be purchased from the University copy shop or accessed from the Central Library.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete this paper will:

  • Have a good understanding of the content, key concepts and core sub-disciplines in contemporary Human Geography
  • Be familiar with, and be able to apply, basic methods of study and techniques of analysis in Human Geography
  • Be able to interact and communicate effectively as a member of a small group
  • Be able to analyse critically and to communicate your analysis effectively, both orally and in writing
  • Be well prepared to progress to second-year papers in Geography and to apply geographical perspectives in other subjects you may be studying

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
M1 Monday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Tuesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Monday 14:00-14:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T2 Monday 15:00-15:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T3 Monday 16:00-16:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T4 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T5 Tuesday 15:00-15:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T6 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T7 Wednesday 10:00-10:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T8 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T9 Wednesday 12:00-12:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T10 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T11 Wednesday 15:00-15:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T13 Thursday 10:00-10:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T14 Thursday 11:00-11:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T15 Thursday 12:00-12:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T16 Thursday 14:00-14:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41
T17 Thursday 15:00-15:50 29-30, 32, 34, 37-38, 40-41