Questions? AskAuckland

Courses - Faculty of Science


Stage I

GEOG 101
15 Points

Earth Surface Processes and Landforms

Understanding of the functioning of natural systems at the Earth's surface and human interactions with these systems. Examines the operation and interaction between Atmospheric, Hydrological, Ecological and Geomorphic systems. Environmental processes are an integrating theme. Topics include: climate and hydrological systems, ecological processes; surface sediment cycle; and processes governing development and dynamics of major landform types.

GEOG 102
15 Points

Geography of the Human Environment

Examines the relationships among personal geographies and global geographies of uneven development, economic, environmental and socio-cultural change. Using a variety of examples from New Zealand and the world we illustrate the connection between local places and global issues.

GEOG 103
15 Points

15 Points

Mapping Our World

An introduction to contemporary geospatial technologies such as web-mapping, GPS and tracking devices (such as your phone), Remote Sensing and GIS. Covers key concepts and principles behind these tools and their use, along with practical experiences through laboratories. Critical and theoretical perspectives on the tools, their use, and their social impacts will be discussed.

Restriction: GEOG 140, GISCI 140

GEOG 104
15 Points

15 Points

Cities and Urbanism

What makes a great city? This course explores 'urbanism' in both historical and contemporary cities to determine the essence of urbanity and the way that citizens (and visitors) experience city life. The dynamics and character of cities are considered in terms of their built environment, environmental systems, population, social diversity, and planning policies and practices.

GEOG 106
15 Points

Geographies of the Pacific

Examines the diverse geographies of Pacific peoples, their worldviews and ways of living. Case studies are used to place these geographies in entangled environmental, economic, historical, social, cultural and political contexts and to identify contradictory dynamics of change.

Stage II

GEOG 202
15 Points

Cities, Regions and Communities

A critical examination of geographic processes and consequences in contemporary society. Topics are selected from the instructors' research interests, which include: the transformation of urban places and spaces; the forms and location of industries and retailing; social geographies of the city; New Zealand's linkages with the global economy and society; urban historical geographies; and demographic and social changes in New Zealand and the Pacific region.

Prerequisite: 60 points

GEOG 205
15 Points

Environment and Society

A critical exploration of the interconnectedness of environment and society. The course highlights the importance of understanding how different views and attitudes influence people's interactions with the environment. Key themes include governance, management and development, which are addressed through issues such as conservation, climate change adaptation, disasters and resource use. Classes draw on a variety of case studies from New Zealand and overseas.

Prerequisite: 60 points

GEOG 250
15 Points

Geographical Research in Practice

A critical exploration of the research experience in geography. Case studies and field work demonstrate approaches to understanding the complex interactions of social and environmental processes. Students will develop practical skills in problem identification, research methodologies, ethics and analytical practices.

Prerequisite: 60 points

GEOG 261
15 Points

Climate and Society

Exploration of themes in climatology, meteorology, hydro-climatology and oceanography with a focus on the nature and role of key processes. These will be examined in relation to key issues for society such as extreme weather events, drought, floods, air pollution and climate change.

Prerequisite: GEOG 101

Restriction: EARTHSCI 261

GEOG 262
15 Points


Introduces fundamental concepts in geomorphology for geologists and physical geographers. Key aspects of geomorphology, sedimentology, and earth surface processes are introduced by studying the temporal and spatial development of coastal and river landforms. Applied techniques for earth and environmental sciences, including field, remote sensing, GIS mapping, and modelling.

Prerequisite: GEOG 101

Restriction: EARTHSCI 262

Stage III

GEOG 305
15 Points

Population, Health and Society

A survey of major themes in population, health and social geography. An examination of the dynamics of population complements analyses of health and healthcare, the education sector, the welfare state, and the changing character of urban places.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

GEOG 306
15 Points

Special Topic

GEOG 307
15 Points

Urban Geography

Analysis of key processes shaping socio-cultural geographies of contemporary cities. Using international and local examples, issues such as the economy of cities, the culture of cities, home and housing, segregation and polarisation, the imaging of cities and sustainability are explored.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

GEOG 308
15 Points

Geopolitics and Indigenous Rights

Examines Indigenous peoples as agents of geopolitical change. Introduces colonial/decolonial geographies to demonstrate the geopolitical implications of Indigenous ways of knowing, being and doing. Key themes include: territory and geopolitics; Indigenous identities, subject-formation and intersectionality; Indigenous knowledges, rights and political agency; and, Indigenous relationships with non-Indigenous peoples.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

Restriction: GEOG 312

GEOG 320
15 Points

Resources and Environmental Management

Examines the development and conservation of the environment in its use as a resource base, with particular reference to the way in which institutional structures in society determine provision and allocation. Attention is balanced between international experience and the policy framework in New Zealand. The course provides an understanding of key concepts, practices and methods.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

GEOG 325
15 Points

The Human Dimension of Disasters

An overview of the human dimension of disasters which covers crucial concepts and theories, vulnerability and the causes of disasters, disaster risk reduction and management, post-disaster recovery and transversal issues such as culture and gender. The discussions encompass not only theoretical but also policy and practical materials and draw on examples and case studies from throughout the world with a particular focus on the most vulnerable and marginalised areas and communities.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

GEOG 327
15 Points

Politics, Markets and Economies

Uses geographical insights to explore the interrelationships between politics, economy and culture. The course focuses attention on institutions, subjectivity and the making of markets. It examines political projects and economic spaces such as higher education, food and creative economies at the regional, national, and global level.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

GEOG 335
15 Points

Applied Physical Geography

Examines the challenges of ‘doing science’ in the real world. With particular emphasis on climate, fluvial and coastal processes, the types of data, knowledge and information needed for decision making in environmental contexts are examined. Examines the ways human activities effect, and are affected by, the environmental settings of humans. Seeks improved understanding, and prediction, of the world around humans framed as both a resource and hazard.

Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II in Geography

GEOG 342
15 Points

Technology, Power and Social Change

Technology, algorithms, and Big data are changing our relationships with reality, space and power. This course explores how we know each other, society, and ourselves in this period of unprecedented technological change

Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II

GEOG 351
15 Points

Coastal and Marine Studies

Focuses on the development of coastal landforms across a range of temporal and spatial scales. Introduces natural processes such as waves, tides and circulation, as well as geological-scale coastal evolution driven by changes in sea level and sediment supply. The course has an applied focus with specific emphasis on coastal management problems that affect society. Issues considered include coastal erosion during storms, the impacts of shoreline engineering, climate change and accelerating sea level rise.

Prerequisite: 45 points at Stage II, including EARTHSCI 262 or GEOG 262, or equivalent

GEOG 352
15 Points

Landscape, Environment and Heritage

An examination of environmental change from a historical geography perspective. Approaches to investigating and understanding the transformation of environments are explored, and processes driving creation of different types of landscapes including heritage places are considered. The course enables students to place the modern environment within a historical context.

Prerequisite: 30 points at Stage II

GEOG 390
15 Points

Directed Study

Prerequisite: Approval of Programme Director or Major/Specialisation Lead

GEOG 399
15 Points

Capstone: Geography

An engagement with the research process, as practised in geography. Students will undertake an independent research project and communicate their findings, with due attention to research design, methodology, research ethics, information sources, field practise, data analysis, and research communication. Independent or small group research projects may involve residential or local fieldwork, laboratory analysis, desktop analysis or other research activities.

Prerequisite: GEOG 250 and 30 points at Stage III in Geography

Postgraduate 700 Level Courses

GEOG 701
15 Points

Research in Practice

A reflection on the process of developing research projects from theory to methods, analysis, and the presentation of findings. Attention is directed to the ways in which research is shaped by intellectual histories, pressing social and environmental challenges, and contemporary academic and political debates. The course allows students to develop specialised interests in geography or environmental management.

GEOG 714
15 Points

Mobilities and Wellbeing

An exploration of place-based human mobilities and their influence on health and wellbeing, employing current theoretical perspectives. No formal prerequisite, but an understanding of material in Stage III courses in human geography will be assumed.

GEOG 719
15 Points

Geographies of Housing and Urban Change

Advanced study of housing and urban issues, including the topics of homeownership, asset-based welfare, the politics of housing affordability, housing reforms and the changing dynamics of gentrification. Contemporary issues such as mortgage market dynamics and social rented housing reforms are examined. The course will consider also urban governance, office property investment and development processes, and sites of consumption and spectacle.

GEOG 725
15 Points

People, Participation and Development

A critical overview of issues associated with people’s participation in development in their geographical context, including processes and outcomes, accountability, empowerment and transformation in the context of livelihood strengthening, resource management, health and sanitation, education and disaster risk reduction. The course provides the students with theoretical knowledge but also practical skills through the use in class of participatory tools as both contents and teaching aids. Discussions rely upon concrete examples from throughout the world with a particular focus on marginalised places.

GEOG 737
15 Points

Geographies of Public Policy

Exploring ‘policy’ — an all too familiar and taken for granted term — by focusing on how policies get made, how different actors and varieties of expertise influence the policy process, and how policies shape people and place. It introduces students to transdisciplinary conversations involving geographers, anthropologists, sociologists and urbanists.

GEOG 738
15 Points

Future Food and Biological Economies

Investigates contemporary understandings, issues and strategies relating to the development of biological economies and food networks in the context of the globalising food economy. Addresses transformations in agro-food complexes and questions of nature-society relationships to do with 'sustainable' and 'resilient' food production and consumption.

GEOG 745
15 Points

Applied Fluvial Geomorphology

Catchment-scale perspectives are used to analyse spatial and temporal variability in river forms and processes. River responses to disturbance are placed in a longer-term evolutionary context. Prospective river futures are appraised using field analyses and numerical modelling applications. These principles and techniques are used to discuss management options. No formal prerequisite but final year undergraduate experience in a related field required.

GEOG 746
15 Points

Applied Coastal Geomorphology

An advanced course on the process-form relationships that shape coastlines over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Coastal processes are examined with field experiments in which principles of experiment design and field deployment are demonstrated. Long-term evolutionary perspectives are examined using a range of field techniques. These short- and long-term approaches are then merged to address examples of applied coastal management problems. No formal prerequisite but an understanding equivalent to GEOG 351 will be assumed.

GEOG 749
15 Points

Applied Climate Science

An examination of climate themes relevant to society. Themes will vary but may include hydrology and water resources, agriculture, human health, ocean-atmosphere interaction and energy in the climate system. The sensitivity of selected biophysical and human activity systems to climate will be explored and the actual and potential impacts of climatic variability and change (past and future) investigated.

GEOG 750
15 Points

Environment and Landscape

Environmental change in New Zealand since European settlement, including exploitation of natural resources, the creation of different cultural landscapes, and recognition of places as natural and cultural heritage. Different approaches to investigating and understanding recent environmental change are addressed. The course is suitable for physical and social science students, and will enable them to place the modern environment within a historical context. The course may include short guided walks and a one day or two half-day fieldtrips.

GEOG 759
15 Points

Research Topics in Geography

Directed research on an approved topic or topics.

Prerequisite: Approval of Programme Director or Major/Specialisation Lead

GEOG 760
15 Points

Directed Study in Geography

Directed studies on an approved topic or topics.

Prerequisite: Academic Head approval

GEOG 761
15 Points

Special Topic: Monitoring Change from Space with Machine Learning

Remotely sensed (satellite) data and machine learning techniques will be used to classify and analyse both commercial and environmental targets through time. Techniques will focus on both pixel classification and object detection and students will experience the latest in satellite imagery analysis with a focus on deriving actionable information.

GEOG 771
15 Points

Spatial Analysis and Geocomputation

Approaches to and challenges in analysing spatial data. Specific techniques will include geographical regression, point pattern analysis, interpolation, and newer geocomputation and machine learning methods. Students will gain an advanced knowledge of spatial analysis. An understanding equivalent to GISCI 242 will be assumed.

GEOG 774
15 Points

Advanced Spatial Data Handling

Advanced approaches to spatial data handling (processing, management, visualisation, and analysis) in web-based environments, including theoretical debates and implications as well as applications for spatial data handling in integrated open-source and web-based mapping/GIS environments. There will be an applied laboratory component and lecture/seminar component where the broader social and theoretical implications of developments in spatial data handling will be engaged. No formal prerequisite, but an understanding equivalent to GEOG 318 will be assumed.

GEOG 789
30 Points

15 Points

15 Points

Honours Research Project - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in GEOG 789 A and B, or GEOG 789

GEOG 793
60 Points

Dissertation - Level 9

60 Points

60 Points

Masters Thesis in Geography - Level 9

To complete this course students must enrol in GEOG 796 A and B