- 2019


Minor / Major

Commencement year

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2019 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook.

Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the component of any bachelors double degrees.

Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.

Managing faculty

Faculty of Arts

Offered by

South Africa School of Social Science


Dr Marshall Mdoka


South Africa

Geography and environmental science is concerned with natural environments, societies, communities, economies, human-environment relations and environmental management.

Physical geography emphasises the systematic study of environmental processes, climate and climate change, landforms and geologic developments. Human geography focuses on development, cities and communities, economic processes and cultural studies. Many geography units include some field studies and trips that involve study of interesting landscapes, climatology, meteorology, cities, and environmental assessment of developmental activities.

Students gain an analytical and critical perception of the current state of the environment as well as global challenges such as climate change and sustainable development concepts, using state-of-the-art research methods and techniques such as geographic information systems


Geography and environmental science is offered in the Bachelor of Social Science at Monash South Africa as a major or minor.


In addition to achieving the broad outcomes of their course, students successfully completing this major will be able to:

  1. integrate the disciplines of geography and environmental science in seeking to understand the spatial patterns of human systems and landscapes, environmental processes, and the effects of people on the environment
  2. provide students with theoretical underpinnings, qualitative and quantitative skills in their spatial analysis of phenomena on the earth's surface, geographic methods of inquiry, geo-informatic techniques application to geographic and environmental studies
  3. develop in our students the ability to critically analyse and formulate ranges of possible solutions to complex human and environmental issues that include consideration of social, economic, cultural, political, and scientific dynamics.


Minor requirements (24 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited towards the minor.

Students complete:

  1. Two level 1 gateway units (12 points):
    • AZA1306 Introduction to human geography
    • AZA1308 Introduction to physical geography
  2. Two additional units (12 points) from those listed under (b) in the major. It is highly recommended that students complete a level 2 unit before enrolling in a level 3 unit.

Major requirements (48 points)

No more than 12 points at level 1 may be credited to a major and at least 18 points must be credited to the major at level 3.

Students complete:

  1. Two level 1 gateway units (12 points):
    • AZA1306 Introduction to human geography
    • AZA1308 Introduction to physical geography
  2. Two level 2 units (12 points):
    • AZA2378 Development and the developing world
    • AZA2549 Poverty and power: The uneven world
    • AZA3259Not offered in 2019 Geographical information systems (GIS): Planning and decision making
    • AZA3542 Geographical information systems: FOSS geo-informatics
    • AZA3546Not offered in 2019 Environmental impact assessment
    • AZA3547 Urban planning, development and sustainability
    • AZA3548 Environmental policy and resource management
    • AZA3550 Climatology
    • ATS3553 Field studies in regional sustainability

Free electives

In addition to the major or minor, the following recommended units can be completed as free electives in Part C. of 4086 Bachelor of Social Science:

  • AZA2633Not offered in 2019 World cities: A historical and comparative analysis
  • AZA2723 Methodological issues in the social sciences
  • AZA3744 School of social science workplace internship

Relevant courses

Successful completion of the minor or major can be counted towards meeting the requirements for the following single degree:*

  • 4086 Bachelor of Social Science

Students in other single bachelor's degrees may be eligible to complete the minor or major by using 24 or 48 points of their free electives.

* Students cannot complete both the minor and major in the same area of study.