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GEOG101 Physical Geography

An introduction to the geographic study of the Earth’s environmental systems, with particular emphasis on energy, landforms, vegetation, surficial materials and water. Includes laboratory studies, tutorials and field work.

Physical Geography is the study of the natural environment that promotes the understanding of the interactions between social, earth and physical science. A particular characteristic of Physical Geography is that it is "hands on" and concentrates on the real world, and to study the real world requires specific skills like mapping, remote sensing, data collection, field work and communication skills.

In GEOG 101 we will introduce you to the diverse physical environment and in practical sessions introduce skills that will enable you to apply your theoretical knowledge to real world problems. The skills learnt in this course are those used by researchers and professionals in many disciplines.

Paper title Physical Geography
Paper code GEOG101
Subject Geography
EFTS 0.15
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 1 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,141.35
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

Course Co-ordinator: To be Advised

Dr Todd Redpath
Dr Sarah Mager
Dr Ralf Ohlemüller

Teaching Fellow: Ben Varkalis

Paper Structure

Lectures cover four modules:

  • Geomorphology
  • Climatology
  • Hydrology
  • Biogeography

Assessment is 60% internal (on-going during the semester) and 40% external (final examination).

Teaching Arrangements

Four lectures and One 3-hour laboratory per week.

One half-day field trip during the course, where you will undertake observations and measurements of some aspect of the natural environment.


An Introduction of Physical Geography and the Environment. 4th Edition, edited by Joseph Holden (2017), Pearson

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Communication, Critical thinking, Environmental literacy, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the paper you should:
  • Have a well-developed understanding of the content, key concepts and themes in contemporary Physical Geography
  • Be familiar with and able to apply basic methods of study and techniques of analysis in Physical Geography
  • Be able to analyse critically and communicate your analysis effectively using both oral and written media
  • Be well prepared to progress to 200-level papers in Geography and to apply geographic perspectives in other subjects you may be studying

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Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22
Tuesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16, 18-22
Wednesday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22
Thursday 09:00-09:50 9-14, 16-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P2 Monday 14:00-14:50 9, 21
Monday 14:00-16:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P3 Monday 18:00-18:50 9, 21
Monday 18:00-20:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P4 Tuesday 10:00-10:50 9, 21
Tuesday 10:00-12:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P5 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 9, 21
Tuesday 14:00-16:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P6 Wednesday 10:00-10:50 9, 21
Wednesday 10:00-12:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P7 Wednesday 14:00-14:50 9, 21
Wednesday 14:00-16:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P8 Wednesday 18:00-18:50 9, 21
Wednesday 18:00-20:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P9 Thursday 10:00-10:50 9, 21
Thursday 10:00-12:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P10 Thursday 14:00-14:50 9, 21
Thursday 14:00-16:50 10-11, 13-14, 18, 20
P11 Friday 10:00-10:50 9, 21
Friday 10:00-12:50 10-11, 13, 16, 18, 20