Geography (General)

Course Code: GEGEO/GTGEO
Domain: Humanities and Social Sciences (HASS)
Timetable: Semester 1 and 2
Length of Course: 2 Years

Unit Information

The study of geography draws on students’ curiosity about the diversity of the world’s places and their
peoples, cultures and environments. It enables them to appreciate the complexity of our world and the
diversity of its environments, economies and cultures and use this knowledge to promote a more
sustainable way of life and awareness of social and spatial inequalities.

In the senior secondary years, the Geography General course provides a structured, disciplinary framework
to investigate and analyse a range of challenges and associated opportunities facing Australia and the global
community. These challenges include rapid change in biophysical environments, the sustainability of places,
dealing with environmental risks and the consequences of international integration.

Geography addresses questions about the interaction of natural and human environments within various
natural and social systems. It examines the factors that impact upon decisions about sustainability, the
conflicting values between individuals and groups over sustainability and the degree of commitment
towards sustainable development.

Geography as a discipline values imagination, creativity and speculation as modes of thought. It provides a
systematic, integrative way of exploring, analysing and applying the concepts of place, space, environment,
interconnection, sustainability, scale and change. These principal geographical concepts are applied and
explored in depth through unit topics, to provide a deeper knowledge and understanding of the complex
processes shaping our world. Taken together, the ability of students to apply conceptual knowledge, in the
context of an inquiry, and the application of skills, constitute ‘thinking geographically’ – a uniquely powerful
way of viewing the world.

The course builds students’ knowledge and understanding of the uniqueness of places and an appreciation
that place matters in explanations of economic, social and environmental phenomena and processes. It also
develops students’ knowledge about the interconnections between places. Nothing exists in isolation.
Consequently, the subject considers the significance of location, distance and proximity.

Through the study of geography, students develop the ability to investigate the arrangement of biophysical
and human phenomena across space in order to understand the interconnections between people, places
and environments. As a subject of the Humanities and Social Sciences, geography studies spatial aspects of
human culture using inquiry methods that are analytical, critical and speculative. In doing so, it values
imagination and creativity. As a Science, geography develops an appreciation of the role of the biophysical
environment in human life and an understanding of the effects human activities can have on environments.
As a result, it develops students’ ability to identify, evaluate and justify appropriate and sustainable
approaches to the future by thinking holistically and spatially in seeking answers to questions. Students are
encouraged to investigate geographical issues and phenomenon from a range of perspectives, including
those of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples.

In the Geography (General) course, students investigate geographical issues and phenomena in a variety of
scales and contexts. This may include: comparative studies at the same scale; studying the same issue or
phenomenon at a range of scales; or seeking explanations at a different scale to the one being studied.

Unit One

This unit explores the spatial patterns and processes related to environments at risk, and to the protection of
such environments through management at local, regional and global levels. In the local area, in specific
regions and globally, people pose threats to the environment as they attempt to meet their needs.
Individuals and/or groups can have conflicting viewpoints about particular environments. This can place
environments at risk. Sustainable solutions need to be developed for these environments.

Students develop the knowledge, understandings and skills in this unit that are relevant to the world in
which they live and which are also appropriate to careers in the environmental protection/rehabilitation,
urban and regional development, and tourism industries.

Unit Two

This unit explores the natural and cultural characteristics of a region, the processes that have enabled it to
change over time and the challenges it may face in the future. Students develop the knowledge,
understanding and skills that will enable them to understand and apply the concept of a region to other
regions in different scales.

Unit Three

Natural and ecological hazards represent potential sources of harm to human life, health, income and
property, and may affect elements of the biophysical, managed and constructed elements of environments.
This unit focuses on understanding how these hazards and their associated risks are perceived and managed
at local, regional and global levels. Risk management, in this particular context, refers to prevention,
mitigation and preparedness. Prevention is concerned with the long term aspects of hazards and focuses on
avoiding the risks associated with their reoccurrence. Mitigation is about reducing or eliminating the impact
if the hazard does happen. Preparedness refers to actions carried out prior to the advance notice of a hazard
to create and maintain the capacity of communities to respond to, and recover from, natural disasters.
Preparedness starts at the local community level but may branch out to national and international levels
through measures, such as planning, community education, information management, communications and
warning systems.

Building on their existing geographical knowledge and understandings, students explore natural hazards,
including atmospheric, hydrological and geomorphic hazards; for example, storms, cyclones, tornadoes,
frosts, droughts, bushfires, flooding, earthquakes, volcanoes and landslides. They will also explore ecological
hazards; for example, environmental diseases/pandemics (toxin-based respiratory ailments, infectious
diseases, animal-transmitted diseases and water-borne diseases) and plant and animal invasions.

Students develop an understanding about using and applying geographical inquiry tools, such as spatial
technologies, and skills, to model, assess and forecast risk, and to investigate the risks associated with
natural and ecological hazards. The potential for fieldwork depends on the hazard selected, such as a visit to
the town of Meckering to study earthquakes or the impact of a specific cyclone, flood or bushfire on a town
or region.

Unit Four

This unit focuses on the process of international integration (globalisation) and is based on the reality that
we live in an increasingly interconnected world. It provides students with an understanding of the economic
and cultural transformations taking place in the world today, the spatial outcomes of these processes, and
their political and social consequences. This is a world in which advances in transport and
telecommunications technologies have not only transformed global patterns of production and
consumption, but also facilitated the diffusion of ideas and cultures. The unit explains how these advances in
transport and communication technology have lessened the friction of distance and have impacted at a
range of local, national and global scales. Cultural groups that may have been isolated in the early twentieth
century are now linked across an interconnected world in which there is a ‘shrinking’ of time and space. Of
particular interest are the ways in which people adapt and respond to these changes.

Students have the opportunity to explore the ideas developed in the unit through an investigation of the
changes taking place in the spatial distribution of the production and consumption of a selected commodity,
good or service and the study of an example of cultural diffusion, adoption and adaptation. They also
investigate the ways people embrace, adapt to, or resist the forces of international integration.

While the scale of the study in this unit begins with the global, locally based examples can be used to
enhance students’ conceptual understanding. The scale of the study for both depth studies, unless specified,
can range from local to global, as appropriate.

Students develop an understanding about using and applying geographical inquiry methods, tools (such as
spatial technologies), and skills to investigate the transformations taking place throughout the world.

Pathway Information



Students undertaking this course may wish to consider tertiary studies in:

  • Conservation and Land Management
  • Community Sector Management
  • Horticulture
  • Surveying
  • Tourism

This course suits direct workforce entry into the following:

  • Hospitality and Tourism
  • Conservation
  • Agriculture

Additional Information

Estimated Charges: $65 per year