Undergraduate Course: The Nature of Geographical Knowledge (GEGR09012)
|School||School of Geosciences
||College||College of Science and Engineering
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The course examines the history and contested nature of what counts as knowledge in geography. It deals with how geographers have investigated and understood the world in the past, and how they do so now, and considers the implications of those histories and practices. The course asks questions about the construction of geographical knowledge in terms of trust and epistemology and of the bases to truth claims in, for example, geographical fieldwork.
Please note this is a core course for students on the Geography Degree Programmes, and Sustainable Development (Geography Pathway). This course is open to all university students, however priority will be given to the degree programmes listed here.
The primary aim of this course is to engage participants in current and historical approaches to geographical knowledge, including the methods used to acquire this knowledge and communicate it.
Topics include: the intellectual origins of geographical inquiry; the power and authority which underpin particular versions of geography and science; the notion of "expertise"; the question of what counts as "knowledge" and "science"; the nature of theory, evidence, and explanation; space, time, and the politics of those concepts; feminism and knowledge; the multiple natures of contemporary geography.
Students on this course will gain a broad knowledge of geographical theories, engaging in debates about the intellectual history of geography as an academic discipline through tutorials and formative feedback during the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 11,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8,
Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Degree essay (40%) and exam (2 questions) (60%).
Degree Essay (40%) of 1500 words (not including bibliography) and exam (2 questions) (60%)
Overall mark for the course (i.e. degree coursework and examinations) of at least 40.
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||The Nature of Geographical Knowledge||2:00|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Understand the ways in which geographers construct geographical knowledge
- Assess the philosophical approaches and ideas used in thinking about the situated nature of geographical knowledge
- Assess the merits of different claims to geographical knowledge
- Present and defend reasoned arguments on the nature of knowledge in geography
- Understand the "scientific method" and associated critiques.
|There is no single text which covers the course's entire scope, but the following books each contain useful material. A wide variety of readings will be provided via Learn.|
1. Clifford N, S. Holloway, S. Rice and G. Valentine 2009 Key concepts in Geography. London, Sage.
2. Johnston, Ron J., and James D. Sidaway. Geography and geographers: Anglo-American human geography since 1945. 6 ed. London: Arnold, 2004. [GF13 Joh.]
3. Livingstone, David N. The geographical tradition: episodes in the history of a contested enterprise. Oxford: Blackwell, 1992. [G80 Liv.]
4. Martin, Geoffrey J. All possible worlds: a history of geographical ideas. 4th ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2005. [G80 Mar.]
Dictionary of Human Geography (eds. Johnston R, D Gregory, G
5. Dictionary of Human Geography (eds. Johnston R, D Gregory, G Pratt and M Watts, Blackwell, 2000) contains many useful definitions of key terms.
6. Inkpen, Robert and Wilson Graham (2013) Science, Philosophy and Physical Geography, 2nd ed. London: Routledge
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
||Students will be able to demonstrate skills in researching, assessing, presenting and defending reasoned arguments on the nature of knowledge in geography.
Students will also be able to demonstrate an ability to acquire and apply specialist knowledge.
Finally, students will be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
|Course organiser||Prof Charles Withers
Tel: (0131 6)50 2559
|Course secretary||Miss Sarah Mcallister
Tel: (0131 6)50 4917
© Copyright 2015 The University of Edinburgh - 18 January 2016 4:04 am