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Unit outline_

GEOS2923: The Geography of Cities and Regions (Adv)

Semester 1, 2020 [Normal day] - Camperdown/Darlington, Sydney

GEOS2923 has the same thematic content as GEOS2123 however with elements taught at an Advanced level.

Unit details and rules

Academic unit Geosciences Academic Operations
Credit points 6
A mark of 75 or above in 6 credit points of first year Geosciences units.
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Kurt Iveson,
Lecturer(s) Naama Blatman-Thomas,
Tutor(s) Pratichi Chatterjee,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Final exam Final Exam
Essay-based exam covering key concepts in Unit
30% Formal exam period 2 hours
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3 LO4 LO5
Presentation Blog Entry Presentation
Students are required to present ONE blog entry in tutorials
5% Multiple weeks 3-5 short presentation of ONE blog entry
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO2
Participation Tutorial attendance and participation
Attendance and participation
10% Ongoing One hour/week, weeks 1-10 and week 13
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4
Assignment Filed trip report
Written report
25% Week 12 1500 words
Outcomes assessed: LO5 LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4
Assignment group assignment Advanced Project
Written report
30% Week 14 (STUVAC) A group report, 2000 words per student
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3
group assignment = group assignment ?

Assessment summary

  • Tutorial attendance and participation: It is expected that students attend tutorials, participate in discussions, and undertake the required reading before each tutorial class.
  • Advanced Project: Students will work with Unit Coordinator to develop and write a group report on an urban issue.
  • Field trip report: The report focuses on the relationship between ‘observation’ and ‘interpretation’. 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 further reading.
  • Blog entry presentation: Students will post one short blog entry in the week following each lecture. They will be asked to present ONE of these to their tutorial group during semester, and assessed on this presentation.
  • Final exam: The exam will test key concepts, issues and examples covered in the lectures and tutorials.

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

Result Name Mark Range Description
Fail <50 does not display written or verbal expression skills that are expected for an Intermediate undergraduate student, including ability to correctly articulate key concepts and cite research materials
Pass 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
Credit 65-75 meets ‘Pass’ expectations and displays elevated abilities to interpret ideas and present arguments. Approximately 30%-35% of students may be expected to fall into this grade.
Distinction 75-85 meets ‘Credit’ expectations but builds on these with high-level interpretive abilities, superior  expression and wider referencing (appropriate to the task). Approximately 10%-15% of students may be expected to fall into this grade.
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 assessments fall into this grade.


For more information see guide to grades.

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

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.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

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 Informalisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 05 Financialisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 06 Dwelling Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 07 Policing Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 08 Contesting Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 09 Commuting Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 10 Remembering Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5
Week 11 Field trip Field trip (8 hr) LO1 LO2 LO4 LO5
Week 13 Conclusion: Cities and Urbanisation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr) LO1 LO4 LO5

Attendance and class requirements

Due to the exceptional circumstances caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, attendance requirements for this unit of study have been amended. Where online tutorials/workshops/virtual laboratories have been scheduled, students should make every effort to attend and participate at the scheduled time. Penalties will not be applied if technical issues, etc. prevent attendance at a specific online class. In that case, students should discuss the problem with the coordinator, and attend another session, if available.

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 set textbook. Readings for tutorials will be provided on eReserve, and further resources provided on lecture slides and Canvas pages.

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

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

Changes to lecture content and practical components

Students should consult the more comprehensive Unit of Study outline, and further materials about assessments and content, on the Canvas Page for the Unit.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.