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Major: Human Geography

Human Geography


Department of Geography and Planning
Faculty of Arts

This major must be completed as part of an award. The general requirements for the award must be satisfied in order to graduate.

Requirements for the Major:

Completion of a minimum of 24 credit points including the following prescribed units:

Credit points

100 level

Geographies of Global Change (3)

200 level

3cp from
GEOP units at 200 level
6cp from
ENV units at 200 level
GEOP units at 200 level

300 or 400 level

Human Geography in Action (6)
6cp from
GEOP units at 300 level
GEOP units at 400 level


Units marked with a C are Capstone units.
Units marked with a P are PACE units.
Overview and Aims of the Program Human Geography at Macquarie University has a strong focus on social and community planning, health and health care delivery, population studies, development studies, environmental management, public policy development, urban and regional management and geographic information science.

This major offers the flexibility to construct a specific program of study tailored to your intended professional career. You will develop your scientific skills such as problem solving and critical thinking through practical work and peer assisted learning.
Graduate Capabilities

The Graduate Capabilities Framework articulates the fundamentals that underpin all of Macquarie’s academic programs. It expresses these as follows:

Cognitive capabilities
(K) discipline specific knowledge and skills
(T) critical, analytical and integrative thinking
(P) problem solving and research capability
(I) creative and innovative

Interpersonal or social capabilities
(C) effective communication
(E) engaged and ethical local and global citizens
(A) socially and environmentally active and responsible

Personal capabilities
(J) capable of professional and personal judgement and initiative
(L) commitment to continuous learning

Program Learning Outcomes By the end of this program it is anticipated you should be able to:

1. demonstrate an understanding of Human Geography as an academic discipline, including awareness of its theoretical orientation, concepts, history and principal subfields (K)
2. apply the key geographical concepts of place, space-time, environment, culture and scale (K, T)
3. demonstrate an understanding of key geographical of trends, processes and impacts that shape Australian and other societies/environments (K, T, P, E)
4. outline the contested nature of geographical understanding and explain the influence of different spatial and temporal scales on human and environmental processes (K, T, P, I, E).

5. apply geographical thought critically, creatively and appropriately to specific spaces, places and/or environments (I, C, E, A, J)
6. demonstrate capacity to recognise, evaluate and synthesise various views, arguments and sources of knowledge pertinent to address geographical issues (I, C, J)
7. resolve geographical questions by ethical means, applying research methodologies used in Human Geography, including evidence-based knowledge, reflective research and applied field work (P, I, C)
8. communicate geographical perspectives and knowledges effectively to specialist and non-specialist audiences using appropriately selected written, oral and visual means (C)
9. contribute effectively as a member or leader of diverse teams working in geographical or multidisciplinary contexts (C, E, J).
Learning and Teaching Methods You will be encouraged throughout this program to develop the relevant subject skills, methods, knowledge and understanding through a variety of independent and collaborative activities. The Human Geography major is structured so that you engage in a set of required units while also being able to choose from a series of elective units designed to expose you to the breadth of geographical knowledge, while also allow you to develop specialist skills and knowledge in particular areas. Within this structure you will be exposed to diverse teaching and learning approaches that are designed to be student-centred and flexible.

The teaching and learning approaches are designed to encourage creative and critical thinking about geographical issues as well as developing an understanding of methodological approaches and policy issues influence human and environmental issues across multiple scales. Across the Human Geography major teaching and learning strategies include a mix of lectures, tutorials, workshops and GIS labs, and field trips to research sites. In each unit, staff work closely with students to ensure the best learning outcomes. The program mixes the academic knowledge with policy and practical challenges facing the world. A unique feature of this program is a large capstone unit that is undertaken as part of the University’s Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) initiative. This unit allows students to undertake their own research project. This unit develops your skills in research management and practice and allows you to develop detailed knowledge of a geographical issue of interest to you.
Assessment You will be exposed to a wide range of assessment tasks through this program. The majority of these are individual pieces of work oriented at developing the critical thinking, practical and communication skills. The most common assessments involve writing essays and research reports on contemporary geographical issues. Other individual assessment tasks may include quizzes, exams, academic papers, critical reflections and GIS assignments. You will also be required to work in groups on group assessment tasks that will reflect your knowledge, as well as teamwork and communication skills.

Clear standards and criteria for coursework are included in the unit guide. Marking rubrics provided for specific assessment tasks to help students tailor their work to clarify what is expected. Feedback on submitted assignments takes a range of forms but will generally involve written notes regarding the strengths and weaknesses of your work as well as either quantitative or qualitative assessment in accordance to the assessment marking rubric. Teaching staff also provide feedback in-class or through personal appointments for further feedback and guidance. Constructive peer feedback may be sought for some assessment tasks, particularly those that require presentations.
Recognition of Prior Learning

Macquarie University may recognise prior formal, informal and non-formal learning for the purpose of granting credit towards, or admission into, a program. The recognition of these forms of learning is enabled by the University’s Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) Policy (see and its associated Procedures and Guidelines. The RPL pages contain information on how to apply, links to registers, and the approval processes for recognising prior learning for entry or credit.

Information can be found at:

Support for Learning

Macquarie University aspires to be an inclusive and supportive community of learners where all students are given the opportunity to meet their academic and personal goals. The University offers a comprehensive range of free and accessible student support services which include academic advice, counselling and psychological services, advocacy services and welfare advice, careers and employment, disability services and academic skills workshops amongst others. There is also a bulk billing medical service located on campus.

Further information can be found at

Campus Wellbeing contact details:
Phone: +61 2 9850 7497

Program Standards and Quality

The program is subject to an ongoing comprehensive process of quality review in accordance with a pre-determined schedule that complies with the Higher Education Standards Framework. The review is overseen by Macquarie University's peak academic governance body, the Academic Senate and takes into account feedback received from students, staff and external stakeholders.

Graduate Destinations and Employability Graduate opportunities include work in the following:
• local government
• not-for-profit organisations
• civil society organisations
• state and federal agencies
• private consultancies.
Assessment Regulations

This program is subject to Macquarie University regulations, including but not limited to those specified in the Assessment Policy, Academic Honesty Policy, the Final Examination Policy and relevant University Rules. For all approved University policies, procedures, guidelines and schedules visit

Inherent requirements are the essential components of a course or program necessary for a student to successfully achieve the core learning outcomes of a course or program. Students must meet the inherent requirements to complete their Macquarie University course or program.

Inherent requirements for Macquarie University programs fall under the following categories:

Physical: The physical inherent requirement is to have the physical capabilities to safely and effectively perform the activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Cognition: The inherent requirement for cognition is possessing the intellectual, conceptual, integrative and quantitative capabilities to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

Communication: The inherent requirement for communication is the capacity to communicate information, thoughts and ideas through a variety of mediums and with a range of audiences.

Behavioural: The behavioural inherent requirement is the capacity to sustain appropriate behaviour over the duration of units of study to engage in activities necessary to undertake the learning activities and achieve the learning outcomes of an award.

For more information see

2019 Unit Information

When offered:
S1 Day
Permission of Executive Dean of Faculty
HSC Chinese, CHN113, CHN148