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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Human Geography Fieldwork: Journey to the Western Isles (GEGR10100)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course runs in June and builds on Year 2 & 3 coursework to develop research design and fieldwork in Human Geography. The field trip incorporates tuition and practice of social science methods, archive use and oral histories as applied to individual research projects.
Course description Some of the key themes addressed during the field trip are:
Nature-society relations
Landscape and memory
Creative engagement with places via the arts and literature
Valuing the environment, from tourism to windfarms
The future of traditional practices such as fishing & crofting
The politics and aesthetics of nature conservation
Folklore and oral histories of modern life
Military landscapes
Technology and everyday life

Students independent research projects are designed to engage with contemporary theoretical debates in human geography and allied disciplines, to contribute to such debates based on original fieldwork conducted during the trip. The field class lasts for six full days plus two travel days. The trip is based in Lochmaddy, North Uist, usually with one full day trip to the adjacent arhipelago of St Kilda.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs 250
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Degree assessment: One 4,000 word project (100%)
Feedback Feedback will take the form of class discussions, extensive dialogue and supervision during fieldwork, as well as conceptual feedback on final essay.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. develop a detailed knowledge and an integrated understanding of the social and environmental factors which continue to influence the development of the Scottish Highlands
  2. critically assess a range of theoretical and conceptual issues in Human Geography with specific reference to Scottish society and to apply these to wider empirical and theoretical contexts
  3. critically identify and analyse professional level problems
  4. understand key issues at the interface of the environment and human society at a variety of scales
  5. understand how to undertake historical investigations and link them to present day processes
Reading List
Brady, E. 2012. The Environmental Sublime. In T. Costelloe, ed. The Sublime From Antiquity to the Present. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Hunter, J. (1999) Last of the free: a millennial history of the Highlands and islands of Scotland, Edinburgh, Mainstream Pub.

Lawson, B (2012) North Uist in History and Legend, Birlinn, Edinburgh

Lorimer, J. 2008. Counting Corncrakes: The Affective Science of the UK Corncrake Census Social Studies of Science 38: 3, 377-405.

Macdonald, S. 1996 Reimagining Culture: histories, identities and the Gaelic renaissance, Berg, London

MacDonald, F. 2001. St Kilda and the Sublime. Cultural Geographies 8: 2, 151-174.

MacDonald, F 2014. The Ruins of Erskine Beveridge, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers.

Mackenzie, A. F. D. & Dalby, S. (2003) Moving Mountains: Community and Resistance in the Isle of Harris, Scotland and Cape Breton, Canada. Antipode, 309-333.

MacKenzie, F. 2006. Against the tide: placing visual art in the Highlands and Islands, Scotland. Social and Cultural Geography. 7: 6, 965-985.

Parman, S 2004 Scottish Crofters: an historical ethnography of a Celtic community, Rinehart,

Parr, H., Philo, C. & Burns, N. (2005) 'Not a Display of Emotions': Emotional Geographies in the Scottish Highlands. IN DAVIDSON, J., BONDI, L. & SMITH, M. (Eds.) Emotional Geographies. Hampshire, Ashgate.

Warren, C. 2007. Perspectives on the alien versus native species debate: a critique of concepts, language and practice. Progress in Human Geography. 31:4, 427-446.

Warwick, H. 2012. Comment: Uist Hedgehogs lessons learnt in wildlife management. British Wildlife. 24:2, 111-116.

Woods, M. and P. Moriarty. 2001. Strangers in a Strange Land: The Problem of Exotic Species. Environmental Values. 10: 163-191.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Course organiserDr Fraser Macdonald
Tel: (0131 6)50 2293
Course secretaryMiss Kirsty Allan
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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