Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Geography Beyond the Academy GEOG4117

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

The course provides students with an opportunity to engage with contemporary geographical issue beyond the academy, potentially working with external stakeholders. Working in groups, students will explore an issue or problem, undertake research on it, and communicate their work to non-academic audiences. This will help students to further develop key graduate attributes and consider their own employment prospects beyond the academy.


8 hours * lectures (e.g. Careers (*2); Communicating Skills; Writing for an non-academic audience; Poster Design)

4 hours * Group supervision meetings

6 hours * 1 day at conclusion of Project

Requirements of Entry

Normally entry into Level 4 Geography

Excluded Courses



Individual written assignment (20%) contributing to wider report on the project

Individual reflective writing on graduate attributes (10%)

Group oral assessment (10%) presenting aspect of project either in person or via pre-recorded vlog

Group portfolio of project outputs appropriate to project (could include policy briefs, execute summaries, blog entry, poster, infographics, map (60%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses


Course Aims

The aims of this course are:

■ To encourage students to critically engage with contemporary geographical issues

■ To develop students' skills in the design of a research project and in the critical evaluation of the choice of methods and data analysis

■ To enhance students' (oral, visual, and written) communication skills to non-academic audiences

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Design and undertake effective research on a contemporary geographical issue

■ Communicate the importance of geographical concepts and research findings to a non-academic audience 

■ Work effectively as a team to manage deadlines

■ Audit their skills set and understand how to frame these skills to prospective employers

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.