Geography (GEOG) 201

Introductory Human Geography (Revision 5)

GEOG 201 Course Cover

View previous syllabus

Delivery Mode: Individualized study online

Credits: 3

Area of Study: Social Science

Prerequisite: None

Faculty: Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Human Geography Studies home page

GEOG 201 has a Challenge for Credit option.

check availability


Geography 201: Introductory Human Geography is a foundation course for students enrolled in geography, global studies, and environmental studies programs, and is also suitable for those who wish simply to further their understanding of the fundamentals of human geography.

Human geographers investigate the location of people and activities throughout the world and seek to understand the reasons for their distribution. They ask questions about where things are, why they are there, and what the geographic significance of their distribution is. In this course you will examine a number of subject areas, including globalization, culture and identity, political geography, urban geography, agricultural geography, industrial geography, development, inequality, and human impacts on the natural environment.

The course is designed for students with little or no previous university experience.


Part I: The Geographer’s Toolkit

  • Introduction
  • The History of Geography
  • Philosophy, Conceptualization, and Methods
  • Geographies of Globalization

Part II: Cultural Geography

  • Unit 5: Language and Religion
  • Unit 6: Culture, Identity, and Difference

Part III: Social Geography

  • Unit 7: Political Geography
  • Unit 8: Urban Geography

Part IV: Economic Geography

  • Unit 9: Agricultural Geography
  • Unit 10: Industrial Geography

Part V: Developmental Geography

  • Unit 11: A Changing Environment
  • Unit 12: A Growing and Unequal World
  • Unit 13: Where Does Geography Go from Here?


Evaluation of students in GEOG 201 is based on two essay/presentation assignments, two essay assignments, participation in three discussion forums, and a final exam. You must achieve a grade of at least D (50 percent) on the final examination and a course composite grade of at least D (50 percent) to receive credit for this course.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1: Essay/Presentation 10%
Assignment 2: Essay/Presentation 15%
Assignment 3: Essay 15%
Assignment 4: Research Essay 20%
Discussion Forums 10%
Final Exam 30%
Total 100%

To learn more about assignments and examinations, please refer to Athabasca University's online Calendar.

Course Materials


Stanford, Quentin H., ed. 2009. Canadian Oxford World Atlas, 6th ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.

Norton, William, with Michael Mercer. 2016. Human Geography, 9th ed. Don Mills, ON: Oxford University Press.

Other Materials

All other materials are available online.

Challenge for Credit Overview

The Challenge for Credit process allows you to demonstrate that you have acquired a command of the general subject matter, knowledge, intellectual and/or other skills that would normally be found in a university-level course.

Full information about Challenge for Credit can be found in the Undergraduate Calendar.

Challenge Evaluation

To receive credit for the GEOG 201 challenge registration, you must achieve an overall course grade of D (50 percent) or greater to pass.

Activity Weighting
Assignment 1 40%
Exam 60%
Total 100%

Undergraduate Challenge for Credit Course Registration Form

Athabasca University reserves the right to amend course outlines occasionally and without notice. Courses offered by other delivery methods may vary from their individualized-study counterparts.

Opened in Revision 5, April 10, 2017.

View previous syllabus