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Unit of study_

GEOS2123: The Geography of Cities and Regions

How can we understand the ways that cities and regions change over time, and how these processes shape people's lives? This Unit of Study provides conceptual and practical material for exploring these questions. A program of lectures and tutorials in complemented by close study of Sydney, using GIS (census and satellite imagery) and a series of walking tours to different parts of the city. Assessment is tailored to projects in which students are required to integrate conceptual ideas about cities and regions with GIS mapping and field observations.


Academic unit Geosciences Academic Operations
Unit code GEOS2123
Unit name The Geography of Cities and Regions
Session, year
Semester 1, 2021
Attendance mode Normal day
Location Remote
Credit points 6

Enrolment rules

GEOS1X01 or GEOS1X02 or DAAE1001
Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff and contact details

Coordinator Kurt Iveson,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam (Take-home extended release) Type E final exam Final Exam
Essay-based exam covering key concepts in Unit
30% Formal exam period 24 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3
Presentation Blog Entry Presentation
In class presentation of selected blog entry
5% Multiple weeks 3-5 minutes
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2
Assignment Research essay
Answer question on key concepts set during semester
30% Week 08
Due date: 28 Apr 2020 at 17:00
2000 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Field trips and field trip report
Report with observations and interpretations from field trip in Week 11
25% Week 13
Due date: 31 May 2020 at 17:00
1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Participation Tutorial attendance and participation
Constructive and informed contributions to tutorial discussions via reading
10% Weekly n/a
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5
Type E final exam = Type E final exam ?
  • Tutorial attendance and participation: It is expected that
    students attend tutorials, participate in discussions, and undertake the required reading before each tutorial class. In week 7, the tutor will let students know how they are tracking in tutorial participation marks to provide an opportunity for students to enhance their performance during the second half of the semester.
  • Research essay: Students are required to build on the Unit’s material to write a long-form 2000 word answer to questions set during semester.
  • Field trip report: Students will learn the importance of field (landscape) observation for urban and regional geography by attending the fieldtrip in Week 11, at which a field trip task will be set. The best field trip reports will make interesting  observations, AND offer insightful and interesting analyses by relating those observations to concepts covered in lectures, tutorials, and your own further reading.
  • Blog entry presentation: Students will be required to write short blog entries every week during semester, and will be asked to provide a short 3-5 minute presentation on ONE of their blog entries in a tutorial during semester.
  • Final exam: The exam will test knowledge and understanding of key concepts and examples discussed during semester in lectures and tutorials.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

As a general guide, a high distinction indicates work of an exceptional standard, a distinction a very high standard, a credit a good standard, and a pass an acceptable standard.

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Meets and surpasses ‘Distinction’ expectations, and which ‘shine out’ because of their innovative, high quality analytical abilities. It would usually be expected that less than 5% of students fall into this grade.


75 - 84

Meets ‘Credit’ expectations but builds on these with high-level interpretative abilities, superior written or verbal expression and wider referencing (appropriate to the task). Approximately 10-15% of students may be expected to fall into this grade.


65 - 74

Meets ‘Pass’ expectations and displays elevated abilities to interpret ideas and present arguments. Approximately 30-35% of students would be expected to fall into this grade.


50 - 64

Displays ability to present material which shows an understanding of ideas, a capacity to develop arguments and to cite these appropriately. Approximately 60-65% of students may be expected to fall into this grade.


0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

This unit has an exception to the standard University policy or supplementary information has been provided by the unit coordinator. This information is displayed below:

5% per day without Special Consideration

Special consideration

If you experience short-term circumstances beyond your control, such as illness, injury or misadventure or if you have essential commitments which impact your preparation or performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 Introduction: Cities - A Multidimensional Perspective Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 02 Colonisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 03 Globalisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 04 Financialisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Informalisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Dwelling Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Commuting Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Policing Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Contesting Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Remembering Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Reading the Landscape Fieldtrip Field trip (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO5
Week 13 Conclusion: Cities and Urbanisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Attendance and participation at tutorials is required and assessed.

Attendance and participation in a local field trip or self-guided field trip is required and assessed.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

There is no text book, weekly readings for tutorials will be available via eReserve on Canvas, further readings will be listed in lecture slides.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University’s graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. explain the meaning and contextual usage of key terms used by human geographers (and other social scientists) in the analysis of urban and regional processes
  • LO2. use field observation as a method for analysing urban landscapes
  • LO3. undertake academic literature searches and be aware of the conventions relating to academic literature
  • LO4. undertake problem-solving research into urban and regional issues
  • LO5. appraise issues relating to contemporary urban and regional debates.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities
No major changes have been made since this unit was last offered.Faculty of

Every student should ensure that they consult the Unit of Study Outline document, and specific assessment instructions, that are available on the Canvas page for this Unit.


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