Teaching and Learning
All our degrees have a core/skills component which is taken over the three years of study. However, the hallmarks of the geography degree structures at Nottingham are their breadth and flexibility.
The three years of our degrees comprise the qualifying year, part one, and part two. Only marks for part one and part two contribute to the degree and are weighted in the ratio 33:67.
In parts one and two, depending on the particular degree, you will be able to choose to specialise in particular fields or maintain a balance of interests. This flexibility is achieved via a number of optional modules.
The BSc Physical Geography and Geology and BA Geography with Business degrees are more prescribed with regard to optional modules than the single honours degrees, to allow for learning in the associated disciplines.
Since the courses are modular, there is some freedom to select from a wide range of modules both from within geography and more broadly across the entire University. Taking a single honours BA degree, for example, does not preclude you from specialising in the more environmental side of the discipline, nor from opting for some physical geography modules throughout your three years.
In the undergraduate programme, the emphasis is placed on teaching via a range of methods and approaches including seminars, tutorials, and laboratory, practical and field classes.
All students attend a field trip in year one, subject to legislative changes. There are a number of field trips throughout years two and three depending on your module choices.
There are online resources for all modules, including interactive learning materials, discussion areas and real-time online chat. These online resources are constantly being expanded to cover more modules and offer you a truly interactive learning experience in support of lectures.
As a school, we constantly strive to embrace new technologies in a way that will support our students and their learning. We are running a system that allows students to use text messaging to ask questions anonomously in lectures, as well as podcasting educational content to support conventional lectures. Technology is also used to support field trips both while underway and also back at the school.
Our Cartography Unit offers student support, whether it's sourcing maps, designing maps or drawing maps. They teach the fundamentals of good map design and all students are encouraged to map their own research.
We use a wide range of assessments including:
- formal examinations, both multiple choice and essay style
- project reports
- lab reports
- field books
- oral presentations in seminars
- video presentations
Overall, most of our graduates will have experienced about 60% coursework and 40% examination assessments.
Watch our dissertation fieldwork video
Video by students Hannah Kemp and Emily Richardson showing their third year undergraduate dissertation fieldwork.
Your typical week's work may feel strange at first after school or college since there are fewer timetabled teaching hours. You can expect to attend about 10-15 hours of lectures, practical work and tutorials per week in the first year.
For the rest of the time you will be working independently, doing the necessary reading in preparation for tutorials, writing essays or working on seminar presentations.