KE6036 - Enhancing Geographic Skills Through Fieldwork

What will I learn on this module?

This final year module represents a significant leap in fieldwork expertise, offering a rigorous exploration of the physical environment. Working in diverse environments, students will study complex physical interactions, collect, analyse and present environmental data, and develop advanced research skills. Emphasis is placed on critical thinking and problem-solving, as well as the holistic understanding of environmental systems. Through direct field experience, students gain a deep understanding of the complexity and interconnectedness of our natural world. You will engage in data analysis and report writing practices that elevate your employability prospects. Collaborative work will sharpen your problem-solving abilities, preparing you for complex real-world challenges. In addition, you will gain a sense of professional ethics, and learn how to uphold standards and regulations within your field. By synthesizing theoretical knowledge with practical application, you will cultivate a robust and comprehensive perspective on physical geography. This module is designed not only to instil academic excellence, but also to provide you with the tools and confidence to tackle pressing environmental challenges, building on your potential to make real-world impact. Through interactive workshops and intensive field exercises, you will experience the dynamic, challenging, and rewarding aspects of environmental fieldwork. By the end of the module, you will have honed your proficiency in physical geographical research and improved your data collection and interpretation abilities. The fusion of practical and theoretical knowledge will enhance your ability to approach problems with a fresh, nuanced perspective. Fieldwork will not only deepen your knowledge but also provide hands-on experience in the application of various scientific tools and techniques. This, in turn, will refine your analytical skills and capacity for critical evaluation. Your interactions with the environment will foster a deeper sense of stewardship and commitment to the protection of our planet. A greater familiarity with contemporary environmental issues will inevitably lead to a heightened ability to contribute to solutions and navigate the complex terrain of environmental issues. Ultimately, the skills and knowledge you gain from this module will not only benefit your academic journey but also translate into a valuable asset in your future career, including the fields of environmental science and consultancy. The comprehensive nature of this module not only challenges you academically but also nurtures essential life skills such as resilience, teamwork, and adaptability.

How will I learn on this module?

This module takes an experiential learning approach. You will engage in residential fieldwork activities, workshops, and interactive exercises that are designed to both challenge your intellectual capacity and stimulate creativity. To maximise learning, you will be encouraged to reflect on the knowledge gained from lectures and readings and integrate this with your field observations and experiences. The module harnesses the power of technology, making use of relevant software for data collection and analysis. The module includes feedback sessions that provide an opportunity to discuss and evaluate your progress, allowing for continuous improvement. Staff will be actively involved in these sessions, guiding your learning and providing constructive feedback. Your comprehension and application of the subject matter will be evaluated through an oral presentation of your data collection design and a final written report. These assessments explicitly link to the learning outcomes, giving a direct relation between what you learn and how you are assessed. Independent learning will be an essential part of this module, facilitating critical thinking and fostering a proactive approach to learning. This module will immerse you in real-world scenarios, which will be invaluable in furthering your practical understanding and interpretation of environmental concepts. The practical nature of the module helps you to apply theoretical ideas in real-world contexts and promotes the development of creative problem-solving skills. You will be guided to identify physical geographic problems, analyse them from various perspectives, create potential solutions and communicate your findings effectively.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

The academic support in this module is multifaceted and tailored to enhance your learning experience. A key component of this is the dedicated teaching team that will facilitate your learning journey. Staff will be available for one-on-one consultations during their office hours and can provide additional support and guidance as needed. We also encourage an open dialogue during lectures and fieldwork to create an inclusive learning environment where every question is valued.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
Module learning objective 1: Critically evaluate advanced concepts, methods, and theories in physical geography, and demonstrate an understanding that emphasises the applicability of these methods in addressing modern environmental challenges.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
Module learning objective 2: Design and execute a comprehensive research project, employing advanced methodologies to investigate real-world environmental scenarios.

Module learning objective 3. Demonstrate mastery in collecting, interpreting, critically analysing, and presenting complex data with professional proficiency.

Module learning objective 4: Develop multifaceted team-based projects, fostering an environment that enhances collaborative decision-making

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA)
Module learning objective 5: Demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of global, regional and local environmental challenges, adopting a proactive stance to initiate and embed ethical considerations and cross-cultural competencies within personal and professional realms.

How will I be assessed?

During fieldwork, your team will present your data collection strategy, testing your ability to apply theoretical concepts and practical techniques (MLO 2, 3). Staff will then provide formative feedback which you can use to improve the final submission. Upon returning from the field, you will be asked to write an individual professional report in which you will critically discuss an environmental issue investigated as part of your fieldwork (MLO 1, 2), and propose sustainable and practical solutions (MLO3). This assessment is summative and will test your understanding of the subject matter, as well as your ability to communicate effectively and apply critical thinking (MLO4).





Module abstract

This module is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of essential concepts, contemporary issues, and practical applications in the field of physical geography and environmental science. Through a residential fieldwork which is supplemented by a blend of lectures, workshops, and independent study, you will learn to apply theoretical concepts in real-world settings, enhancing your problem-solving skills and ability to communicate effectively. Extensive academic support, tailored to your individual needs, will ensure a supportive and inclusive learning environment. Upon completion of the module, you'll be able to analyse environmental issues from various perspectives and propose practical solutions. You'll also develop a strong personal interest in global and local environmental issues and sustainability. Real-world scenarios will provide practical insights and foster the development of creative problem-solving skills. The assessment consists of a professional report on a fieldwork-based environmental analysis, testing your comprehension, application, and ability to propose sustainable solutions.

Course info

UCAS Code F840

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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