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First Year Undergraduate Programme



DESCRIPTION                                                                        Page

First Year Academic Calendar 2018/19                                                3

Introduction                                                                        4

First Year Geography – Quick Overview                                               4

General Information                                                                 5

First Year Geography Contacts                                                       5

Lecture Schedules and Venues                                                        6

Summary Module Descriptions                                                         7
  TI150 Principles of Human Geography                                               8
  TI151 Principles of Physical Geography                                            9
  TI1100 & TI1101 Geography in Practice                                             10

Success in First Year Geography                                                     11

Module Assessment and Related Issues                                                12
  Description of Grade Performance Criteria                                         12

Coursework                                                                          12
  Submission of Printed Coursework                                                  12
  Late Submission of Coursework                                                     12

Calculating Your Final Grade in Geography                                           13

Circumstances Affecting Coursework                                                  14
  Absence from lectures and course activities due to illness/other circumstances    14
  Absence from scheduled examinations                                               14
  Plagiarism…………………………………………………………………………………………...                                   14
  Code of practice for dealing with plagiarism…………………………………………………….                 14

Student Code of Conduct and Welfare                                                 15
  Communicating with staff members                                                  15
  Student welfare                                                                   15
  Student code of conduct                                                           15


First Semester                                 2018

Orientation                                    Monday 3rd – Friday 7th September

Teaching will commence in the week of 10th
September in accordance with information,
                                                 Monday, 10th September
which will be provided to students. Registration
will be open from late August.

Teaching ends                                  Friday, 30th November

Study Week                                     Monday, 3rd – Friday 7th December

Exams begin                                    Monday, 10th December

Exams end                                      Friday, 21st December

Christmas Vacation                             Saturday, 22nd December – Sunday, 13th January, 2019

Second Semester                                2019

Teaching begins                                Monday, 14th January

Teaching ends                                  Friday 5th April

Study Week                                     Monday 11th April – Thursday 18th April

Easter Holidays                                Friday 19th April – Monday 22nd April

Exams begin                                    Monday 23rd April

Exams end                                      Thursday, 10th May

Autumn exams                                   Tuesday 6th August – Friday 16th August


Geography is a multi-faceted, diverse and exciting field of study. Geography is the key bridging
subjects linking the Humanities, the Social Sciences and the Sciences. It provides an insight into
each of these broad areas of human knowledge. People’s impact on the earth, as reflected in the
landscape, forms the central theme. The relationships between society and the landscape are highly
complex, multifaceted and often contested. Students studying Geography can not only acquire an
understanding of people’s place in the world but they will also develop a skill set (Research, Data
Analysis, Computing/GIS, Cartography, Survey Techniques, Laboratory Techniques and others) that
is widely applicable to many jobs and future careers.

This Handbook contains much of the basic information you need to know for First Year Geography.
We recommend you read the handbook fully and carefully, as it is your responsibility to acquaint
yourself with its contents. Staff and tutors in the Department will assume that you know the
material contained in it.


The first year programme in Geography is composed of three modules. Two modules are solely
lecture based and one involves a combination of lectures, and practicals such as field trips and
mapping exercises.

Lecture Modules:
       Semester 1: TI 150 Principles of Human Geography (5 ECTS)
             -Introduces key problems, concepts and contexts of human geography

       Semester 2: TI 151 Principles of Physical Geography (5 ECTS)
             -Introduces key aspects of the physical geography of the Earth

       Semester 1 and 2: TI 1100 Geography in Practice (10 ECTS)
             -A lecture and practical module that emphasizes field, mapping and laboratory skills
             with fieldtrip opportunities. (NB: BA connect students will be enrolled in TI1101
             which is a 5 ECTS module).

The lecture based modules are examined by end of semester multiple choice questionnaire (MCQ)
examinations and the practical module is examined by continuous assessment.

We provide accommodation for students to have Geography taught in Irish for those wishing to
avail of these services. Please contact the first-year coordinator.

Please see below for a more detailed outline of each module.


Geography is located on the ground floor of the Arts/Science Building (situated towards the Bank of
Ireland end of the Concourse; follow the signs from the ATMs located there).



Questions regarding the 1BA programme :        Prof. Ulf Strohmayer
Email:               Office 112 Geography

Questions regarding ‘Geography in Practice’: Dr Valerie Ledwith
Email:                      Office 110 Geography

Submission of assessments and assignments:
Ms. Christina Costello, 1BA Administrator for Geography.
Email:          Office: 101 Geography

BA International Coordinator:                  Prof. Ulf Strohmayer
Email:             Office 112 Geography

Geography Student-Staff Liaison:               Dr. Siubhan Comer:
Email:              Office: 107 Geography

General questions about first year or your transition to University:
NUI Galway First Year Hotline team - extension 3999 (091 493 999).

In addition, please consult the 1BA notice board (outside the Department of Geography, on the
ground floor of the Arts-Science Building - Concourse) and Blackboard on a regular basis. Also
consult the 1st year section of the Geography website:

All other staff contact details and web pages are also available at

Student Representative
You can have a collective voice in Geography. The student representative is a point person who
conveys student issues directly to Geography, via Dr. Siubhan Comer. Nominations for first year
Student Representatives are welcomed in the opening weeks of the term. Announcements will be
made at introductory lectures in September. If you are interested in the position of student
representative please inform the lecturer at the end of the class.

                             LECTURE SCHEDULES AND VENUES

                                            TI150 &TI151
             TI1100/TI1101 will meet periodically during Wednesday lecture periods

    Day              Time            Location                              Room
    Monday           15-15:50        O eHoacha Theatre                     AMB250
    Tuesday          17-17:50        Anderson Theatre                      AC002 (Semester 1)
                                     O’Flaherty Theatre                    AC001 (Semester 2)
    Wednesday        12-12:50        O’Flaherty Theatre                    AC001

Attendance at lectures is considered mandatory. Attendance will also be taken regularly using a
Blackboard-based system in semester one and a personal response systems which you will also use
to engage in questions posed by the lecturer in semester two. This comprises a percentage of your
total mark.
What you need to do for semester two:
1) Purchase an access card at the Student Union for €10.
2) Log in to Blackboard and access the TI150 module page. On the left you will see a
   Clicker Registration tab. Click it and register your ID with your student ID/email. (you
   will do this again for TI151 in Sem2).
3) Download “ResponseWare” from your App store.
4) You can use this with any internet-enabled device (smart phone, laptop, tablet). Use
   this link:
5) NB: The correct website is .eu and not .com
6) If use of a phone, laptop or other device in class is an issue, contact me and we can arrange for
   you to use a small physical ‘clicker’ to use during lecture.


Every student is automatically enrolled into a shared learning (CÉIM) session. CÉIM is a form of
academic peer support led by 2nd and 3rd year Geography students during informal weekly settings.
These sessions are designed by you to assist YOU with understanding course material, adjusting to
college life and getting the most out of your first year at University. CÉIM sessions will run
concurrently every Thursday from 12-12:50 and 13:00-13:50 starting on Thursday 20th of September.
The location of your group meeting will be provided to you via Blackboard and in lecture.

Drop-in Help Sessions
Geography also provides two weekly one-hour drop-in sessions to assist with any questions you
might have with the Geography in Practice exercises. Frances Carter, a graduate teaching assistant
in Geography, who is ready to help you with your questions, facilitates these sessions. This should
allow you to complete all exercises on time and ensure maximum points. Meeting times and
locations are as follows:
AC 214 and 215 are located in the Arts Concourse at the Bank of Ireland end, turn right, go through
double doors and then turn left. IT202
                   Semester 1                                           Semester 2
          Monday 16:00-16:50 AC214                              Monday 16:00-16:50 IT202
         Wednesday 16:00-16:50 AC214                          Wednesday 16:00-16:50 AC215


Below are more detailed descriptions of the three first year Geography modules for this academic
year. Please note that the content is subject to revision. Details of all modules will be provided by
via Blackboard. As soon as you complete registration, you should have full access to the relevant
Blackboard sites.

TI 150 Principles of Human Geography

Co-ordinators              Dr. Mary Greene
                           Dr. Richard Scriven
                           Prof. Ulf Strohmayer




Office                     Room 111, Block ‘T’
                           Room 110, Block ‘T’
                           Room 112, Arts/Science

Telephone                  091 – 493326
                           091 – 493608
                           091 – 492373

Module Outline:
This course seeks to introduce key problems, concepts and contexts within human geography. Its
focus is a contemporary one: it strives to illuminate the world of today by exploring and analysing
the origin of central issues that make the headlines (or not) in the media and beyond. The course
places lectures alongside the information given in the textbook; for examination purposes, both are

Major Themes covered in TI 150
Cultural Geography, Urban Geography, Political Geography, Environment and Society, Social
Geography, Economic Geographies, Rural Geographies, Development Geographies.

Method of Assessment:

         85% End of term 50-question Multiple Choice Question Exam (MCQ).
         15% Participation (Via Student Response Systems; see above)


Introducing Human Geographies. Third edition. by Cloke, Crang and Goodwin. Taylor and

Key readings will be indentified from the mandatory textbook during the semester.

This text will be made available to you via an e-book access through the Hardiman Library.

TI 151 Principles of Physical Geography

Co-ordinators               Dr. Gordon Bromley
                            Dr. Eugene Farrell
                            Dr. Terry Morley


Office                      Room 123a Arts/Science
                            Room 101a Arts/Science
                            Room 102 Arts/Science

Telephone                   091 – 49 4104
                            091 – 49 4336
                            091 – 49 3897

Module Outline:
This course is designed to provide insight and understanding to the fundamental concepts and
principles of physical geography as an academic discipline. In doing this, the course explores how
the physical environment functions; how different environmental systems interact and how the
physical environment impacts on human activities. The course explores the various components
that make up these environmental systems, such as the biosphere, atmosphere, hydrosphere and
geosphere. In addition the course also provides some understanding of how these fundamentals
apply to Ireland and in so doing gives an insight into the richness of the physical geography of

Major Themes covered in TI 151:

    The Biosphere: Biogeography – species distribution and ecosystems,
    The Atmosphere: Weather and Climate,
    The Hydrosphere: Rivers
    The Geosphere: Coasts

Method of Assessment:
      70% End of term 40-question Multiple Choice Question Exam (MCQ).
      15% Online quizzes via Blackboard
      15% In-class participation (see above)

Fundamentals of Physical Geography. Second Edition. by Peterson, Sack and Gabler. Cengage;
This text will be made available to you via an e-book access through the Hardiman Library.

TI 1100 and TI 1101 Geography in Practice (GiP)

Co-ordinator                Dr. Valerie Ledwith


Office                      Room 110 Geography

Telephone                   091 – 492372

Office Hours                Wednesdays 10am-12pm or by appointment

Module Outline:
This module introduces first year geography students to a range of field-based learning
environments designed to enhance their learning experience and develop their research
competences. Supported by class-based teaching & technical instruction, students undertake a
series of themed exercises and projects involving observation & measurement techniques,
geographical mapping, topographic & geological data, and relevant methods of analysis &

Module Aims:
This course aims to
    a) Provide students basic skills for appropriate writing and literature citation in geography,
    b) Introduce field components and provide students with field-based skills in both human and
        physical geographies, and
    c) Provide students basic skills for mapping, data representation and geographical information
        system (GIS)

Practical and Associated Lecture Outline and Content:

A GiP handbook is provided to students (electronically via PDF on Blackboard) during the first week
of classes in Semester 1 and Semester 2. Students should treat this as a vital resource for
completing TI110/TI1101 as it contains information and instructions for all the module exercises.
Beginning in Week 3, students will be introduced to GiP exercises during the Wednesday lecture.
This will be followed by THREE drop-in tutorials prior to the submission deadline (see GiP handbook
for details). CÉIM sessions on Thursdays from 12pm to 12:50pm can also be used for help with
completion of exercises.

Students will complete 10 exercises (5 each semester)*. Your final mark in this module is
reliant on the timely completion of these exercises.

Students submit all assessments via an online quiz and/or a Turnitin within Blackboard.

Note: *BA Connect students will complete five (5) exercises spread throughout Semester
1 and Semester 2. Exercises will be weighted appropriately to ensure equality of
assessment in relation to students completing exercises in TI1100.


Generally speaking, students who attend lectures, complete assignments effectively and on time,
take copious notes, read the assigned readings, and allow for adequate exam preparation put
themselves in an excellent position to pass the subject.

Attend lectures: Attendance at all lectures is compulsory and lack of attendance is one of the
biggest causes of failure in first year.

Complete your Assignments: Second to attendance is completing your work. The main reason why
students fail modules is due to a lack of attendance and/or no assignment submission (i.e.
continuous assessment as opposed to the end of term examinations). Below is a graph from
Geography in Practice (GiP) exercises. You can clearly see that the more assignment you complete
the better your overall mark.

           Final Mark

                             0%   20%         40%         60%           80%     100%
                                        Percent Assignment Completion

Prepare for your exams and assignments: In addition to lecture and practical hours it is expected
that students undertake at least six independent study hours per week per module throughout
the semester. It is extremely difficult to review and adequately prepare for the exams by beginning
your preparations during study week. You are setting yourself up for failure. Study and review the
information throughout the semester. Likewise, TI1100 presents an excellent opportunity to
dedicate time to prepare well-structured reports. Do not wait until the last minute to complete the
assignments. Graders can easily see sloppiness and evidence of hastily prepared assignments, and
your grade will suffer severely. The academic calendar above outlines the key dates for the year.
Deadlines for continuous assessment are normally communicated to you at the start of the
semester. One of the most frequent requests for extensions to submission dates relates to other
assignments being due around the same date. We do not grant extensions for these reasons.

Use Blackboard as a key support - Lecture notes, core readings and detailed course information
for all three first year Geography modules will be made available on Blackboard. The Student Guide
to Blackboard is available at:

Blackboard is not a substitute for attending lectures! In order to encourage attendance, lecture
notes will be posted up prior to each lecture; however, these will be incomplete, i.e., there will be
blanks in key parts of the material. In other words, you must attend the lecture in order to find out
what the missing material is and fill in the blanks. All gaps will be indicated with an asterisk.



The link below brings you to the Exams Office Module Grade Descriptors document for
undergraduate degree programmes. This document provides an outline of the different grade
bands and the level of academic performance required to meet each one.


Submission of coursework

All work will be submitted through Turnitin or other relevant Blackboard features (i.e., online
quizzes). We cannot accept materials submitted by e-mail for reasons of authenticity except in
cases where an e-mail submission has been agreed with a member of staff.

Late submission of coursework
To ensure fairness to those of you who adhere to deadlines and submit your coursework on time,
penalties for late submissions will be applied rigorously.

Coursework submitted after the set deadline has expired will have the following deductions applied
(out of 100):

Number of days over the deadline        Number of marks deducted
3 days (or one weekend)                 5
1 week                                  10
2 weeks                                 20
Non submission                          A mark of zero awarded

We will regard coursework that is still outstanding TWO weeks after the deadline has passed as
not eligible to be included as part of the first sitting examination unless there are extenuating
circumstances that you have made us aware of within reasonable time. In extenuating
circumstances, you may be in a position to seek an extension to a deadline. You must make this
request directly to the lecturer concerned, outlining the reasons for the request. Unfortunately, we
cannot accommodate requests for extensions which arise out of poor time management on your
part, for example, pressure to meet a similar deadline for another assignment.

 Example of late penalty being applied
 Late work marked and awarded 65%
 20 marks deducted from 100 = 80
 Therefore, 65% of 80 = 52%
 Mark returned after late penalty = 52%


Your final grade in the subject of Geography is the average of the three module grades – TI150,
TI151 and TI1100. The pass standard overall is 40%. .

Several situations can occur: we review these below with examples of actual student results
 a) Passing all three modules – Quite simply, if you pass all three modules you pass the subject
    and can continue to take Geography in 2nd year.

 b) Fail one module but pass overall – You can pass the subject if you pass two modules

     sufficiently yet fail a third module. Your overall average must be 40 or better.

 c) Fail one module and not pass overall – In this situation if you do not pass the other modules
    such that your average grade is above 40, then you will have not passed geography and you
    will have to resit failed modules.

 d) Fail multiple modules. Should your average fall below 40 overall, you will be required to resit
    one or more modules over the summer. You only resit those modules you fail.


Absence from lectures and course activities due to illness or other circumstances
If your absence is due to illness, a medical certificate should be obtained and submitted to
Ms. Catherine McCurry, College of Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies, Office 217A, First Floor,
Arts Millennium Building. If your absence relates to other circumstances, it is your responsibility to
communicate in a timely way with your module co-ordinator, and/or with the relevant year co-
ordinator. You may also communicate with Dr. Siubhan Comer, Geography’s Student Liaison
Officer. If you are experiencing difficulties in keeping up with course work during the year for
whatever reason, you are strongly encouraged to let us know about this while there is time to offer
constructive advice and assistance. If we are not aware of issues until towards the end of a module,
it is usually very difficult at that stage to provide practical support. You will find that we are very
approachable and willing to be accommodating, and in making your situation known to us, we will
regard you as having acted in a mature and responsible way. It is our wish to see you perform to the
best of your ability and enjoy Geography as a subject.

Absence from scheduled examinations
In exceptional circumstances where you may be unable to sit an examination on the scheduled date,
you must bring your request to defer the examination until the second sitting date to the Dean of
Arts, Social Sciences and Celtic Studies. These arrangements cannot be made by Geography. The
first point of contact in this regard is Ms. Catherine McCurry.

Ms. Catherine McCurry (e-mail: )


Plagiarism means presenting the words of another writer as if they were your own. This amounts to
straight copying from other author’s texts, including fellow students’ work. Copying another
student’s essay or assignment is as reprehensible as plagiarising an academic text. It is a serious
matter, and if it is detected in your continuous assessment it may result in an automatic failure
mark. The way to avoid plagiarism is very simple: always put quotation marks around someone
else’s words, credit them to their source, and discuss their content and ideas in your own words.

Code of Practice for dealing with plagiarism
It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the guidelines relating to plagiarism and the
University’s Code of Practice in this regard:
Further guidance on recognising and avoiding plagiarism is provided by the James Hardiman
Library. You can access this resource by logging on to Blackboard and self-enrolling in the ‘Learning
Centre’. Full details are available at:


Communicating with staff members
For all communications with staff members, do make sure to consult all materials on the
departmental webpages and Blackboard prior to e-mailing additional questions that you may have.
Also, please make sure to e-mail in advance to arrange any meeting with staff members outside of
their stated consultation hours. When writing an e-mail to staff it is important to be professional
and concise. For example, you should make sure that your opening address conveys a professional
tone; e.g. Dear, etc. If your query is directed at teaching staff, please ensure that your e-mail
includes your name, student ID and the name/code of their class in which you are participating.
Please be aware that due to the large number of e-mails received by academic staff on a daily basis,
you must allow time for them to respond. Finally, please check your NUIG e-mail account regularly
as this is the main way that university staff will contact you.

Student welfare
In the Discipline of Geography, we recognise that students may have particular circumstances that
impact upon their capacity to complete their studies to the best of their ability. Every effort will be
made to accommodate individual circumstances, and we would encourage you in this regard to
communicate your situation to us if you feel we can be of assistance. You should also be aware of a
number of support services available to you on Campus, whose role is also to help students fulfil
their potential both academically and personally. Details are available on the following link:

Student code of conduct
As a student, you also have certain responsibilities in relation to conduct on and off campus. The
University has outlined a comprehensive explanatory statement in this regard, which we would urge
you to read and be familiar with. Once you accept a place as a student at NUIG, you are
automatically bound by its code of conduct:

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