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Unit information: Journeying: Discovering the World, Creating Ourselves in 2012/13

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Unit name Journeying: Discovering the World, Creating Ourselves
Unit code GEOG16002
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Mayhew
Open unit status Open




School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This unit is a panoramic survey of the most remarkable journey in history: that of human cultures from the earliest hominids to our modern complex societies. The focus is on the interrelationship between humans exploring their world and the ways in which the resultant knowledge of the world has shaped human societal developments, both positive and negative. Positively, we have moved from being driven by environmental forces in early, autarchic societies to being able to traverse, describe and control the world and our social structures in modern societies. Negatively, there has been a massive price to be paid for the expansion of our geographical and societal horizons in terms of social surveillance and repression, of resource depletion, and of the domination and destruction of cultures through communication.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be appraised of the massive transformations in human knowledge of the globe over the long run and be able to critically judge the successes and the costs of these transformations. Students should also see the close interconnections between travelling of space, describing what is discovered and the construction of social structures. On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Present a broad brush treatment of the history of human migration and exploration
  • Analyse the interactions between migration, exploration and the construction of knowledges about the globe
  • Analyse the interconnections between exploration, knowledge and power structures within historical and contemporary societies.

The following transferrable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Analytical and interpretative skills
  • Problem definition

knowledge construction

  • Planning

Teaching details

20 lectures; 5 open unit tutorials/drop-in sessions

Assessment Details

Unseen Written examination (1 ½ hours)