FAQ About Geography
Geography is the study of place, space and the environment. Geographers investigate the character of places, the distribution of phenomena across space, biophysical processes and features, and dynamic relationships between humans and environments - recognising the great differences in cultures, political systems, economies, landscapes and environments across the world, and the links between them. Understanding the nature and causes of differences and inequalities between places and social groups underlie many developments in human geography. Geography is unique in bridging the social sciences (human geography) with the natural sciences (physical geography).
Geographers seek to understand why the world is the way that it is, and to participate in shaping sustainable futures. Geographers investigate the character of places, the distribution of phenomena across space, biophysical processes and features, and dynamic relationships between humans and environments.
Three complementary concepts used in geography are:
- place. Geographers explore what places mean, how people shape places, and how places shape our lives. This brings many areas of geography together in an holistic approach to understanding the characteristics of, and relationships between localities, cities, regions, countries and continents.
- space. Geographers examine how, why and with what effect diverse phenomena vary across the surface of the earth. Geographers understand space to be configured by the movement and organisation of people and materials as well as being a location for social and material action.
- environment. Geographers investigate biophysical environments encompassing terrestrial, marine and atmospheric systems. These investigations include the nature, dimensions and causes of environmental change; the reciprocal relationships between the environment and people; the resources biophysical systems provide and their sustainability.
Geography teaches students a wide-range of useful skills. Employers value the wide-ranging computer, research, and analytical skills that geography students bring to work as employees. While job titles that are unlikely to be "geographer," there are many types of positions that fit well with a degree/major in geography. These include urban planning, GIS specialist, climatologist, transport planning, environmental management, real estate, national park management, insurance, housing, travel and tourism industry, mining, education, and so on.
A number of universities include geographical education in their offerings at undergraduate and/or postgraduate levels. These institutions in alphabetical order are;
Australian Catholic University
University of New England
University of New South Wales (UNSW)
University of Newcastle
University of Sydney
University of Technology, Sydney (UTS)
University of Western Sydney (UWS)
University of Wollongong
Subjects close to geography, including environmental science and geographical education, are also taught at Charles Sturt University and at Southern Cross University.
Geography is a mandatory subject in NSW schools from Year 7 to Year 10. Many NSW high schools and colleges also offer geography as an HSC elective subject. Please contact the NSW Board of Studies or individual schools to learn about their geography offerings.