Course unit title Introduction to Geography
Name and e-mail of the lecturer

Prof. Stela Dermendzhieva, Ph.D
stellamalcheva@abv.bg
stellamalcheva@yahoo.co.uk

Course code 20167635
Learning activities and teaching methods Lectures, discussions, individual and group assignments
ECTS 5
Contact hours 15
Course content

There has never been a better or more important time to study   geography. With growing interest in issues such as climate change, migration, environmental degradation and social cohesion, geography is one of the most relevant courses you could choose to study.

Geography and internationalisation: Geography (geo – earth) deals with places, people and cultures. It explores international issues ranging from physical, urban and rural environments, and their evolution, to climate, pollution, development and political-economy. Key issues are how these features are interconnected, forming patterns and processes impacting on present and future generations. By its nature Geography continues to connect the physical, human and technological sciences.

As a discipline, geography is based on a series of concepts that fundamentally underpin the geographical approach to the world.

They provide a framework and common language to thinking geographically.

These concepts are the lenses through which geographers view the features, activities, processes, phenomena and issues of our earth in the past, present and future.

Place describes specific areas of the Earth’s surface, and range from a small place such as a classroom, through to a local area, to a country to a major world region and the solar system. The uniqueness of places is closely linked to identity and culture.

The characteristics of places that are studied in geography include population, climate, economy, landforms, built environment, soils and vegetation, communities, water resources, cultures, minerals, landscape, and recreational and scenic quality.

Some characteristics are tangible, such as rivers and buildings, while others are intangible, such as wilderness and socioeconomic status.

Space refers to the location of human features, such as a town or a specific   building. Space also refers to the location of natural features, such as a rainforest or a specific habitat.

Human and natural features have locations within space.

Space is also about the distribution of human and natural features, including the pattern of those distributions.

The world is organised spatially i.e. location, distribution and pattern.

The concept of environment refers to the biosphere including living and non-living elements.

The environment has intrinsic value and is essential to, and interconnected with on-going human wellbeing.

Environments which have been significantly altered and created by human activities such as rural or built environments (constructed urban places) are subsets of the bio-physical environment.

Places, environments and spatial patterns alter over time.

Changes may be quite slow as is the movement of the tectonic plates or they might be quite rapid as the advancement of a bushfire.

Places, environments and spatial patterns may be in a state of equilibrium or inertia with little change occurring over a long period of time until an event such as a flood, cyclone or political decision occurs, which rapidly alters the place, environments or patterns.

Social changes may be rapidly accepted, gradually accepted or actively and passively resisted.

Interconnection refers to the linking of places, environments and spatial patterns   either by tangible links such as roads, railways or by intangible links such as political, economic systems or electronic systems.

Places, environments and systems may also be linked by cause and effect relationships between them.

Assessment method Individual or group assignment