Rhetoric House: Home to the Geography Department
If you are considering following the Geography undergraduate programme here at NUIM then congratulations on your choice! You are one of a growing legion making this choice.
The Geography Programme at NUIM attracts over 1,100 undergraduate students, making it one of the largest programmes in the state and one of the largest Pepartments in NUIM. Staff are dedicated to providing an unrivalled undergraduate introduction to the discipline of Geography, both to those with a strong background in the subject and also to those who are simply curious about what it might entail and who have had little prior learning.
Our programme is a three-year degree, with the option of spending one additional year abroad. Students who choose the one-year abroad usually spend the year at the University of Kentucky in the United States but other options are available. Most students take a Double Honours degree (taking Geography with one other subject). However a smaller number of students take a Single Honours degree where they specialise in Geography modules. We also provide a new Major/Minor programme, majoring in Geography.
Students can also take Minor Geography where they Major in another discipline and take a small number of Geography modules.
If I want to do Geography, which degree should I
Undergraduate students at NUI Maynooth can take Geography as part of fifteen honours degree programmes:
- BA Double Honours Arts
- BA Single Honours Arts
- BA Multi-Media
- BA Music Technology
- BA Social Sciences
- BA Media Studies
- BA Biological Sciences
- BA Mathematics
- BA Psychology
- BA Politics
- BA Anthropology
- BA Music
- BA Finance (Major/Minor)BA European Studies
- BA International Studies
In reality, the vast majority do Geography as part of the BA Double Honours Arts Programme. In addition, undergraduate Geography modules are offered as part of the part time evening degree course:
- BA in Local and Community Studies
What will I learn by taking the Geography Programme?
Irrespective of which degree programme is taken, the aim of the undergraduate course is to provide the highest quality of teaching and learning in the discipline of Geography taking into account the diverse backgrounds and abilities of students at NUI Maynooth. Thereafter, the curriculum is designed:
- To develop students' understanding of the discipline of Geography so as to deepen their understanding of the ways in which physical systems and human societies interrelate and develop across both space and time.
- To promote competencies in the usage of analytical skills, techniques, and technologies, including those related to the identification, sourcing, collection, storage, and analysis of data and evidence, and the evaluation and presentation of results or findings.
- To foster autonomous and independent thinking within the student body, including the ability to critically reflect upon geographical concepts and theories and their application.
- To nurture academic and generic competencies so as to contribute to the wider needs of society at local, national, and international levels
Having completed an honours programme in Geography at NUIM students should be able to:
|Dimension of learning
|Knowledge of the discipline of Geography
- Demonstrate comprehension of the nature of change within human societies
- Demonstrate comprehension of the nature of change within physical environments.
- Demonstrate comprehension of the reciprocal relationships between physical environments and human societies.
- Demonstrate an understanding of key concerns within specified systematic branches of the discipline
- Apply understanding of key geographical concepts (space, time, place, landscape, scale, environment, mobility) in different situations.
|Analytical and technical competencies
- Demonstrate comprehension of the diversity of techniques and approaches involved in collecting geographical information.
- Demonstrate comprehension of the diversity of techniques and approaches involved in analysing geographical information
- Identify the challenges involved in applying research design and execution skills within field-based settings
- Design, execute, and present an independent research project
|Intellectual and critical thinking skills
- Appreciate the contested and provisional nature of geographical knowledge.
- Identify and formulate questions or problems.
- Demonstrate an ability to synthesis information
- Develop a sustained and reasoned argument.
- Evaluate and articulate weaknesses in the arguments of others.
- Use ICT effectively and appropriately to select, analyse, present and communicate information.
- Undertake independent and self-directed study and learning to achieve successful outcomes.
- Work as a participant or leader of a group to contribute effectively to the achievement of objectives.
- Reflect on the process of learning and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses.
What kinds of modules will I be doing ?
Each year of the programme has a clear rationale. There exists a distinctive progression between years in terms of the levels of disciplinary knowledge expected, the technical and analytical competencies required, the degree of emphasis on critical and independent thinking, and the acquisition of transferable skills. Whilst there is merit in depicting yearly progression in terms of the movement from ‘concepts’ in year 1 to ‘methods’ in year 2, and finally to ‘theory’ in year 3, the reality is more complex. Throughout, students are exposed to a wide range of teaching approaches including lectures, seminars, tutorials, supervision meetings, directed reading and library use, laboratory practical classes and field investigation. They are also exposed to a wide variety of forms assessment including seen and unseen exams, dissertations, individual projects, oral presentations, posters, essays, reports, field analyses and teamwork of various kinds.
The following table provides an overview of the composition of modules students are expected to take:
||Year 1 Modules
||Year 2 Modules
||Year 3 Modules
- Introduction to Physical Geography (Climate)
- Introduction to Physical Geography (Earth Sciences)
- Introduction to Human Geography (Geography of Modern western Society)
- Introduction to Human Geography (People and Place)
- Methods of Geographical Analysis 1
- Methods of Geographical Analysis 2
- Geography Field Course (Core for Single Honours and Major / Minor only)
- Geography Research Workshops
- Literature Review and Thesis Preparation (Single Honours and Major / Minor only)
- Thesis (Single Honours and Major / Minor only)
- Geomorphology of Ireland
- Introduction to GIS
- Economic Geography
- Urban Geography
- Political Geography
- Development Geography
- Population Geography
- Medical Geography
- Historical Geographies of Colonialism.
- Environmental Hazards and Society
- Critical Social Geographies
- Cultural Geography
- Field Trip (Ireland)
- Field Trip (Overseas)
- Climate Change
- Quaternary Environmental Change
- Fluvial Geomorphology
- Environmental Remote Sensing
- Critical Spatial Data sets
- Approaches to Human Geography (Core for Single Honours & Major / Minor)
- Environmental Politics
- Rural Geography
- Regional Development and Planning
- Urban Planning and Property Development
- Rural Geography
- Geographies of Infectious Disease
- Geography of Health and Health Care
- Irish Diaspora
- Historical Geographies of the Irish Landscape
Notes (Subject to change)
- Not all modules offered in every year
- Credit system based on European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). Degree awarded normally on the bases of 180 credits or 60 credits per annum. 60 credits is equivalent to 1500-1800 hours of work. 5 credit modules normally consists of 125-150 hours of work, and normally 24 hours of contact time.
- BA Single Honours Arts in Geography consists of all core modules in first year (20 credits), all core in second year (15 credits) and 9 option modules (45 credits), and all core in third year with the exception of the Geography Research Workshops (20 credits) and 8 options (40 credits).
- BA Major / Minor consists of all core modules in First year, all core modules in Second year and five option modules, all core modules in Third year and four option modules.
- BA Double Honours Arts, BA Multi-Media, BA Mathematics, BA Music Technology, B.Social Sciences, BA Music Studies, and BA International Studies, consists of all core modules in first year (20 credits), all core in second year with the exception of the field trip (10 credits) and 4 option modules (20 credits), and all core in third year with the exception of the Thesis (10 credits) and 4 options (20 credits). Note that the BA in International Studies involves a year abroad in year 3 and therefore year 3 expectation is transferred to year 4.
- BA Finance (Major/Minor) consists of all core modules in first year (20 credits), 5 option modules in second year (25 credits), and all core in third year with the exception of the thesis (10 credits) and 4 options (20 credits).
- BA in European Studies consists of all core modules in first year (20 credits), 4 option modules in second year (20 credits), and 4 option modules in year 3 (20 credits).
- Geography can only be done in Year 1 in the BA in Anthropology, Mathematics, and Psychology.
- All degrees awarded at Honours Level (Level 8 in Irish National Qualifications Framework)