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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Geography Fieldwork: Foundations (Human): Cape Town (GEGR09016)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis is a 10 credit residential field course that will provide human geography students with valuable insights into:
1) The historical geography of Cape Town within its national and international context- from the legacy of the Dutch East India Company to that of apartheid
2) The contemporary processes driving economic, social and urban inequality in the Global South, and the effectiveness of policies designed to reduce such inequalities
3) The politics of representation in the city, focussing on power struggles over the portrayal of influential people (e.g. Mandela) and major events (e.g. District Six) which have shaped the spaces and places in which Capetonians live; and
The emphasis of the course is on research methods and research design, and students will receive foundational instruction and undertake group project work in order to acquire the necessary skills and knowledge for their senior honours year.
Course description This is a week-long residential field course in human geography for 3rd year single honours geography students. The field course is designed to build on and extend the more theoretical work already encountered in pre-honours human geography courses. As well as teaching students about the fascinating geography and history of Cape Town and South Africa, the course will introduce students to research design, data collection and data analysis in field settings. In addition to providing some captivating case studies on a wide variety of human geographical issues, the field course emphasises the development of field research skills in human geography. The course will therefore focus on important methodologies currently practised in many subfields of human geography (e.g. surveys, interviews, observation, archival work). We examine major elements of the research experience including project design, theoretical frameworks for research, data sources, methods, fieldwork, analysis and reporting of results.
The course will be structured as follows:
April 2016: Introductory lecture in Edinburgh on apartheid and post-apartheid Cape Town, together with a health and safety briefing. This will be followed by two two-hour workshops in which students are assigned to their small research groups in order to select their project topic and to develop research plans and materials. The specific topic areas will be determined by teaching staff after a preliminary reconnaissance trip in the spring of 2016.

Early September 2016:
Day 1: Meet at Edinburgh Airport and travel together to Cape Town, South Africa.
Day 2: Team building exercises and introduction, then orientation visits (via coach) to 1)the top of Table Mountain, which offers a remarkable visual perspective on apartheid as social engineering via spatial manipulation; 2) Bo Kaap, the neighbourhood that is home to the Cape Malay people with a history going back as far as the Dutch East India company; and 3) the Cape Peninsula, taking in the unequal landscapes of Camps Bay and Llandudno (affluent communities) and Hout Bay (deeply segregated satellite town).
Day 3: Full day visit to Robben Island, a UN World Heritage Site, where students will be guided around by former ANC prisoners, and will be asked to think critically about the politics of representation and resistance.
Day 4: Morning visit to the District Six Museum and walking tour of the old District led by Museum staff, to understand the consequences of the Group Areas Act, the cornerstone of apartheid legislation. Afternoon visit to the Townships (on a specialist organised tour), incorporating Langa and Khayeltisha, to learn about challenges faces by the majority of Cape Town's black and 'coloured' (mixed race) residents, and about numerous policy and activist responses.
Day 5: Full day visit to Cape Winelands (Stellenbosch and Paarl), to understand the history and economic geography of one of South Africa's most important industries.
Day 6: Student group work for project presentation, drawing on the research data that they have collected and produced earlier in the trip.
Day 7: Student presentations (morning), then travel together back to Edinburgh (arriving on Day 8).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs 50% of all travel and accommodation costs (approximately £500), and then be expected to pay for their own lunches and dinner.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 2, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 4, Fieldwork Hours 56, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 7, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 29 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Written Exam: 0%, Course Work: 100 %, Practical Exam: 0%.
2500 word project.
Feedback During and after the field trip you can expect to receive prompt, informative and helpful feedback on your progress and assessments. Feedback will take a number of forms and will be given at different stages of the course. You can expect:
¿ feedback from academic staff and fieldwork demonstrators when working in the field and during evening discussions;
¿ verbal feedback on assignments and progress during the field trip, as well as during office hours and by appointment;
¿ feedback to be provided on the content and presentation of group presentations by academic staff, fieldwork demonstrators and peers;
¿ written and pro-forma (tick box) feedback on degree project;
¿ a designated feedback session feedback on the degree project. The date, time and location will be announced closer to the date.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. to understand the relationship between human geographical theories and methods
  2. to appreciate the wide range of methodologies used in human geography, and critically assess their weaknesses and strengths
  3. to conduct a small research design project, and in doing so gain experience of teamwork and collaborative research planning
  4. to understand what it takes to behave safely, ethically and respectfully at all times while in the field, particularly in communities facing the significant challenges of poverty
Reading List
1. Bond, P. (2013) ¿The Mandela Years in Power¿
2. Christopher, A. J. (1994) The Atlas of Apartheid (London: Routledge).
3. Dubow, S. (1992) ¿Afrikaner Nationalism, Apartheid and the Conceptualization of ¿Race¿,¿
4. Journal of African History 33, 2: 209-237
5. Lemanski, C. (2007) ¿Global cities in the South: deepening social and spatial polarisation in Cape Town¿, Cities, 24(6), pp448-461.
6. Mandela, N. (1994) The Long Walk to Freedom (London: Abacus)
7. Morris, M. (2012) The History of Apartheid: Race vs Reason ¿ South Africa 1948-
8. 1994 (Johannesburg: Jonathan Ball Publishers)
9. Peet, R. (2002) ¿Ideology, discourse and the geography of hegemony: from socialist to neoliberal development in post-apartheid South Africa¿, Antipode 34 pp54-84.
10. Pohlandt-McCormick, H. (2000) ¿I saw a Nightmare ... Soweto, June 16, 1976¿, History and Theory, 39, 4: 23-44;
11. Robinson, J. (1996) The Power of Apartheid: State, Power and Space in South African Cities (Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann).
12. Ross, R. (1994) Beyond the Pale: Essays on the History of Colonial South Africa (Johannesburg: Wits Press)
13. Seekings, J. (2011) ¿Race, class and inequality in the South African City¿ in G. Bridge and S. Watson (eds) The New Blackwell Companion to the City (Oxford: Blackwell) pp532-547.
14. Smith, D.M. (ed) (1992) The Apartheid City and Beyond: Urbanization and Social Change in South Africa (London: Routledge).
15. Western, J. (1996) Outcast Cape Town (2nd edition) (Berkeley: University of California Press)
16. Western, J. (2001) ¿Africa is coming to the Cape¿, The Geographical Review 91 (4) pp617-640
17. Worden, N. (2000) The Making of Modern South Africa: Conquest, Segregation and Apartheid (London: Blackwell).

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsCape Town,Human Geography,Politics of Representation,Urban Inequality,Power Relations
Course organiserDr Tom Slater
Course secretaryMiss Kirsty Allan
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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