GE1101E/GEK1001 Geographical Journeys: Exploring World Environments

[Last updated: 14 July 2017]

Please note that this module is now taught by another professor. Check the NUS Geography Department website for the latest module details.

Aims & Objectives

This module introduces contemporary socio-economic and environmental issues/processes shaping our world, and the geographical perspectives needed to understand them better.  Starting with ‘how geographers view the world’, the module offers a spatial lens to analyse such issues as climate change, urban flooding, human-environment relations, challenges of migration, economic production and consumption, and so forth.

Each lecture discuss contemporary scenarios that students are familiar with alongside geographical analyses of and approaches to the issues. Students will also be exposed to field work techniques, mapping skills and strategies of project management in small group discussions and project assignments. The goal is to develop students with strong ‘geographical imaginations’ better able to understand the world and all its complexities in a holistic way.

The module is designed as an introductory module for first year Geography students to better understand the foundations of the discipline, as well as a general education module for cross faculty students that would enable them to better appreciate our ever changing society and environment.

Teaching Mode

The format includes ONE lecture per week (Mondays, 14.00 to 16.00, LT8) and FOUR tutorial/practical sessions in the semester (practicals on Week 3 and 5, tutorials on Week 9 and 11).


40% Continual Assessment (CA)
– 1 Human Geography group project (20%)
– 2 Physical Geography assignments (10% each).

60% Final Examination: Friday, 1 December 2017 (14.30-16.30)

Lecture Topics 

1. Geographical perspectives (Chow & Lai)

2. Earth systems: an overview (Chow)
3. The biosphere: life on earth(Chow)
4. The hydrosphere: water everywhere! (Chow)
5. The geosphere: landforms (Chow)
6. The atmosphere: weather & climate (Chow) 

** Recess Week **

7. Culture & identities (Lai)
8. Migration & society (Lai)
9. Territory & the nation-state (Lai)
10. Geographies of production & consumption (Lai)
11. World cities & global finance (Lai)

12. The challenge of global change (Lai)
13. Forecasting environmental change (Chow)


Some useful reference books are listed below. It is not compulsory to purchase them although they are available for sale at the NUS Co-op Bookstore, and also for borrowing in the Central Library. Weekly readings are available in RBR collection in Central Library or on IVLE E-Reserves

Physical Geography
Marshak, (2015) Earth: Portrait of a Planet, 5th edition, W.W. Norton: New York.

Steffen, W., Sanderson, R.A., Tyson, P.D., Jäger, J., Matson, P.A., Moore III, B., Oldfield, F., Richardson, K., Schellnhuber, H.-J., Turner, B.L., Wasson, R.J.  2005. Global Change and the Earth System

Human Geography
Daniels, P., Bradshaw, M. Shaw, D. and Sidaway, J. (eds.) (2016) An Introduction to Human Geography, 5th Edition, Harlow: Pearson.

Cloke, P., Crang, P. and Goodwin, M. (2014) Introducing human geographies, 3rd Edition, London: Hodder Arnold

>> For the weekly reading list, please refer to the IVLE course webpage.


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