Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

GEOG379 Special Topic in Human Geography

Topics of current interest in human geography; tutorials, field and practical work as required.

Through this course students engage with key contemporary global/regional events, issues and changes through geographical lenses. Migrant workers are a global phenomenon as they work in many different countries, employment contexts and contribute hugely to economic and social development in the contemporary world. Some work transnationally crossing national borders, others are migrant workers in their own countries who travel for employment in other parts of the country.

Using a migrant worker lens we will be exploring a range of global contexts where workers, employers, families are all included whether as employees, labour brokers, ‘left-behind’ children as parents transmigrate or migrate internally to seek out better prospects and lives for their families.

Paper title Special Topic in Human Geography
Paper code GEOG379
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.

^ Top of page

GEOG 102 or 108 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music, Science

Students must contact the School of Geography prior to enrolling in this paper to discuss course content.


Teaching staff

Course Co-ordinator: Professor Tracey Skelton

Paper Structure

Key features of migration and migrant workers will be examined and explored from different geographical perspectives drawing upon social, cultural and political geographies. Different scales, space, places and geographies will be examined in different country contexts and employment landscapes.

Key topics will be formations of migration; the diverse roles of workers; gendered issues of migrant employment; displacement issues; family formation/deformation; complexities of transmigration; diverse vulnerabilities, risks and support for migrant workers; climate change and migrant workers.

Teaching Arrangements

Assessment – 60% Internal Assessment and 40% Final Examination

Internal Assessment – 30% Small Group Research Project and 30% Individual Assignment (selected from a range of set topics)
Final Examination – Answer two of four examination questions


A range of readings (textbook and journal) will be offered via eReserve.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised

Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Cultural understanding, Environmental literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.

Learning Outcomes

Students who successfully complete the paper will:

  • Examine contemporary events, issues and changes through geographical lenses
  • Explore a selection of contemporary issues in great depth
  • Apply geographical knowledge to specific contexts
  • Learn to co-operate and delegate learning and research tasks within through their peer-learning
  • Practice and develop skills in data acquisition from a range of sources
  • Conceptually frame data within scholarly debates and contexts
  • Present a set of coherent analyses and arguments from geographical perspectives determined by the topic area selected and the subsections within this
  • Produce a range of visual texts and written assignments.

^ Top of page


Semester 1

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16-22
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-14, 16, 18-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20
T2 Wednesday 11:00-11:50 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20