Professor & Head of Department
RC Fox, PhD(Strathclyde), PGDHE(Rhodes)
EL Nel, BA(Hons), HDE(Rhodes), MA(Wits), PhD(Rhodes)
KM Rowntree, MSc(Bristol), PhD(Strathclyde)
L Du Preez, BSc(Hons)(Pretoria)
G Hoogendoorn, BA, MA (UFS)
GK McGregor, MSc(Rhodes)
D Pyle (2007 - 2011)
A Scholz (2005 - 2009)
B Taylor (2007 - 2011)
I Foster (2009 - 2011)
P Assmo (2009 - 2011)
Geography (GOG) is a six-semester subject that may be taken as a major subject for the degrees of BSc, BA, BJourn and BSocSc.
To major in Geography, a candidate is required to obtain credit in the following courses: EAR 101; GOG 102; GOG 201; GOG 202; GOG 301; and GOG 302. See Rule S.23. At the discretion of the Head of Department students may replace one third level course with an acceptable alternative course deemed to be its equivalent.
EAR 101 and GOG 102 are pre-requisites for students majoring in Environmental Science (ENV), details of which are given in a separate entry.
Students are expected to participate in Departmental excursions. Costs are kept as low as possible. Fieldwork, to be carried out during one of the vacations, is compulsory in the third year, and in Honours. Honours students are encouraged to attend the South African Student Geographical Conference, which is held at a different university each year.
See the Departmental Web Page http://www.ru.ac.za/academic/departments/geography/ for further details, particularly on the contents of courses.
Geography 1 consists of two first-year courses, namely Earth Science 101 (jointly taught by the Geography and Geology departments) and Geography 102 (Introduction to Global Development), which are taught normally in the first and second semesters respectively. Students who take both Geography 1 and Geology 1 will have to take an additional semester course in an appropriate subject during the first semester to ensure that they have enough credits for their degree. Credit may be obtained in each semester course separately and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two credit course GOG 1, provided that a candidate obtains the required sub-minimum in each component. However, students wishing to major in Geography must normally obtain credit in both components separately. Supplementary examinations may be recommended in either course, provided that a candidate achieves a minimum standard specified by the Department.
These courses provide a sound foundation for the student majoring in Geography as well as a general course for the student studying Geography for one year. Practical work, including field work, is an integral part of both courses.
No prior background in Geology or Geography is required for entry to Earth Science 101, although a matric pass in Geography provides a sound basis for studying Geography. However, students may not register for Geography 102 unless they have at least earned a DP certificate for Earth Science 101, or have passed Geography at the matriculation level (or equivalent).
Introduction to Earth Systems. This course introduces the processes that have shaped the Earth and its environment over both geological and recent time scales. The interrelationships between the Earth, the atmosphere and living organisms forms a key theme through the course. No prior background in Geology or Geography is required.
Introduction to Global Development. This course examines the key political, economic, demographic and cultural forces that have shaped the global development process and assesses the relationship between people, development and environmental resources.
There are two independent second-year courses in Geography. GOG 201 is normally held in the first semester and GOG 202 in the second semester. Credit may be obtained in each course separately and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two-credit course GOG 2, provided that a candidate obtains the required sub-minimum in each component. No supplementary examinations will be offered for either course.
Practical work is an integral part of both courses and is related to the relevant lecture courses and to the development of research techniques.
Normally, credit in GOG 102 or EAR 101 is required before a student may register for GOG 201 or GOG 202 respectively. At the discretion of the Head of Department, students who have only an aggregate credit in GOG 1 may be allowed to register for these courses.
Urban and Rural Structures in southern Africa This course examines key contemporary challenges affecting the geography of urban and rural areas, with specific reference to southern Africa within the broader global context.
Natural Systems of southern Africa: processes, resources and management. This course examines the main processes operating in the physical environment, and the resulting natural resource base, with particular reference to southern Africa.
There are two independent third year courses in Geography. GOG 301 is normally held in the first semester and GOG 302 in the second semester. Credit may be obtained in each course separately and, in addition, an aggregate mark of at least 50% will be deemed to be equivalent to a two-credit course GOG 3, provided that a candidate obtains the required sub-minimum in each component.
Normally, credit in both GOG 201 and GOG 202 is required before a student may register for either or both of the third year credits GOG 301 and GOG 302. At the discretion of the Head of Department a student with only an aggregate credit for GOG 2 may be allowed to register for either or both of the credits GOG 301 and GOG 302.
Environment and Development in Africa. The aim of this course is to provide students with a critical understanding of the interrelated nature of the environment and development in Africa. A field week-end is a compulsory component of the course.
Geography in Theory and Practice. The aim of this course is to provide students with the theoretical background and related practical competencies in one or more sub-disciplines within Geography, for example economic geography, mountain environments, fluvial geomorphology, climatology and Geographical Information Systems. Fieldwork is a compulsory component.
Geography Honours may be read for a BSc(Hons), BA(Hons) or a BSocSc(Hons) degree. Humanities students are reminded of the alternative route to Honours. See Rules H.25(3) and H.25(4).
Students are required to take the Research Philosophy and Methodology course and select three other courses from those offered by the staff of the Department, Visiting Professors, Visiting Lecturers and Research Associates. Our courses reflect the interests of the staff members and normally include a selection from the following: Frontiers of Geographical Thought, Geographical Information Systems, Catchment Systems, Integrated Catchment Management, Rural Economy and Land Utilization in Africa, Economic Geography and Urban Geography. The courses offered may be subject to timetable and staffing constraints. Students studying Geography Honours may opt to choose the Honours course Spatial Development (in the Department of Geography).
Spatial Development students are required to take the Research Philosophy and Methodology course and select three other courses from those recommended by the Head of Department which normally include: Economic Development, Geographical Information Systems and one other relevant course. The research project must be development related and approved by the Head of Department. The courses offered may be subject to timetable and staffing constraints.
Environmental Water Management Honours (in the departments of Geography and Environmental Science)
Environmental Water Management Honours is offered in collaboration with the Department of Environmental Science, with input from the Institute for Water Research at Rhodes University. Candidates must be in possession of an appropriate Bachelors degree, normally majoring in at least one of Geography, Environmental Science or Hydrology. Other candidates with appropriate professional experience in water resource management may be considered. This course aims to equip students with the conceptual understanding and practical knowledge that is needed to make an effective contribution to the sustainable management of catchment systems and their associated water resources. Students are required to take three compulsory courses: Research Philosophy and Methodology, Catchment Systems, and Integrated Catchment Management. They must also select one other course from those offered through the Departments of Geography or Environmental Science; it is strongly recommended that they take a course that will equip them with tools that are commonly used in catchment research or management such as Geographical Information Systems or Environmental Water Quality. The courses offered may be subject to timetable and staffing constraints. The research project must be catchment related and approved by the Course Coordinator.
Interdisciplinary Honours Degrees
The Geography Department offers courses as components of various interdisciplinary honours programmes (see Interdepartmental Studies in this Calendar) including Development Studies and Industrial Society. Students should consult the Head of Department concerning available courses.
Suitably qualified students are encouraged to proceed to the research degrees of MSc, MA, MSocSc and PhD, under the direction of the staff of the Department. The degree of MSc in Water Science in the Department of Geography may also be awarded. Requirements for these degrees are given in the General Rules.