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Basics of Geography

Code: 106751 ECTS Credits: 6
Degree Type Year Semester
2504604 Environmental Sciences FB 1 1


David Saurí Pujol

Teaching groups languages

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Nuria Valdovinos Perdices
Santiago Gorostiza Langa



Objectives and Contextualisation

The basic objective of this course is to provide students with an adequate knowledge of the main principles of Geography for the study of  the relations between human societies and their non-human environments. Geography studies these relationships at different territorial scales, from the global to the local, especially highlighting the mutual influences between nature and human societies that produce the diversity of environments to be found on the planet.

This general framework will be presented in the first session of the course. After this we will move to explore three great concepts that help explain the natural and social dynamics dominant on the planet. In the first place, we will address the concept of geopolitics or the relations between power (mainly political) and territory to explain some of the most important territorial conflicts of the world with an environmental dimension. Second, we will address the main physical and social dimensions of the global world, with special attention to the process of globalization, related not only to economic or political activities but also to cultural one. Third, we will approach the growth and development concepts in their several different variants and in relationship with the environment, particularly in terms of limits. The second block of the subject focuses on a set of major topics and economic sectors approached from a geographical  perspective, such as human population, migrations, agriculture and food production, energy and industry, tourism, and cities. Finally, the last block of the course will consist of seeing what Geography can contribute to the knowledge and policies on five great environmental challenges for the future of life on Earth, namely  water, biodiversity, pollution, climate change and  natural disasters.


Lectures will be combined with practical exercises to be carried out in the classroom reflecting the great themes dealt with in the course. The objective is that the students activelyparticipatein the classes and in the different debates with the objective of being able to reason from a critical and informed perspective.

Learning Outcomes

  • CM07 (Competence) Work independently on the resolution of basic environmental problems and practical cases in the field of geography.
  • CM08 (Competence) Transmit basic geographical information associated with an environmental problem to the general public appropriately.
  • KM12 (Knowledge) Identify the basic connections between the principles and foundations of Geography and environmental processes.
  • KM13 (Knowledge) Identify the main geographical dimensions of the global world.
  • KM14 (Knowledge) Recognise the impact of activities and human behaviour on the medium, as well as geographic processes in the environment.
  • KM15 (Knowledge) Identify the main demographic, agricultural, and industrial dynamics and urban characteristics at a global level.
  • SM13 (Skill) Collect and analyse geographical data and observations related to agriculture, energy, industry and services.
  • SM14 (Skill) Extract relevant geographical information from reports and projects related to environmental issues.
  • SM15 (Skill) Use information and material from the field of geography related to the environment in the classroom and in the field both safely and efficiently.
  • SM16 (Skill) Express yourself using language appropriate to fundamental geographical information.


The program is structured in three parts :


1. Introduction to Geography as a discipline between the natural sciences and the social sciences: Geopolitics, Globalization and Development


2. Topics in Geography: Population, Agriculture and Food; Energy and Industry, Tourism, Cities


3. A Geographical approach to global environmental challenges  from Geography: Water, Biodiversity, Pollution , Climate Change and Natural Disasters



The professor will carry out an exposition of the main concepts in each unit of study, whereby concrete cases will be explained that exemplify the different concepts studied. Insofar as possible, debates and discussions on the issues dealt with in class will be encouraged.


 Classroom exercises

 Classroom practice will consist of a set of exercises in working groups intended to deepen the questions raised in the lectures. These exercises include, among others, discussions about mandatory readings, viewing, commentary and debate on audiovisual materials, and the elaboration of graphic reports.



The learning process and the acquisition of skills will be supervised by the instructor through individual and/or group tutorials. The lecturers will be at the disposal of the students to resolve doubts and follow the evolution of the learning process and the acquisition of skills by the student

Annotation: Within the schedule set by the centre or degree programme, 15 minutes of one class will be reserved for students to evaluate their lecturers and their courses or modules through questionnaires.


Title Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Type: Directed      
Class exercises 12 0.48 CM07, CM08, SM13, SM14, SM15, SM16, CM07
Lectures 38 1.52 KM12, KM13, KM14, KM15, SM16, KM12
Type: Supervised      
Tutorial sessions 12 0.48 KM12, KM13, KM14, KM15, SM16, KM12
Type: Autonomous      
Class exercises reports 23 0.92 CM08, KM12, SM13, SM14, SM15, SM16, CM08
Study 55 2.2 CM07, KM12, KM13, KM14, KM15, SM14, SM16, CM07


Continued Evaluation

Students must demonstrate their progress by doing various assessment activities. These activities are detailed in the table at the end of this section of the Teaching Guide.

The final grade will be the weighted average of the parts that make up the assessment activities described at the end of this section of the teaching guide


When delivering the final grade prior to the official record, the instructor will communicate in writing a review date and time. The review of the various assessment activities will be agreed between the teacher and the students.

Retake exercises

Those who have taken part in activities whose weight is equivalent to 66.6% (two thirds) or more of the final grade and who have obtained a weighted average grade of 3 or more will be able to access retake.

At the time of handing out the final grade prior to the course record, the instructor will communicate in writing the retake procedure.

A retake activity can be proposed for each failed or no-show activity or several activities can be grouped into one. In no case can retake consist of a single final assessment activity equivalent to 100% of the grade.

Consideration of "no grade"

A "no grade" mark will be assigned when the evaluation evidence provided by the student is equivalent to a maximum of a quarter of the total grade for the subject.

Irregularities in assessment activities

In the event of an irregularity (plagiarism, copying, impersonation, etc.) in an assessment activity, the grade for that assessment activity will be 0. In the event that irregularities occur in several assessment activities, the final grade of the subject will be 0. Assessment activities in which irregularities have occurred (such as plagiarism, copying, impersonation) are excluded from retake.



Evaluable activities¨

Two partial exams (40% of the final grade each)

Submission  of group practice reports (20% of the final grade)

The weighted average will be calculated based on the previous percentages.

As for the partial exams,  a grade of "3" or more in each exam must be obtained  to make the weighted average


Single Evaluation

Single evaluation will follow the  terms established by the academic regulations of the UAB and the evaluation criteria of the Faculty of Sciences. The student must submit the electronic application within the calendar established by the Faculty and send a copy to the person responsible for the subject so that they have a record of it.

The single assessment will take place on a single day of week 16 or 17 of the semester. Academic Management will publish the date and time on the Faculty's website.

On the day of the single assessment, the teaching staff will request the identification of the students, who must present a valid identity document with a recent photograph (student card, ID card or passport).

Single assessment activities

The final grade of the subject will be established according to the following percentages:

- First part exam (40% of the grade)

- Second part exam (40% of the grade)

- Multiple choice exam (20% of the mark)

The processes for reviewing grades and retaking the subject are the same as those that apply to the continued evaluation. See above in this teaching guide.

Assessment Activities

Title Weighting Hours ECTS Learning Outcomes
Class exercises reports 20 percent 6 0.24 CM07, CM08, SM13, SM14, SM15, SM16
Test 1 40 percent 2 0.08 KM12, KM13, KM14, KM15, SM13
Test 2 40 percent 2 0.08 KM12, KM13, KM14, KM15, SM13


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The necessary software for the course is the Microsoft Office package or similar