Introduction to Human Geography

Curriculum Guideline

Effective Date:
Course Code
GEOG 1100
Introduction to Human Geography
Geography and the Environment
Humanities & Social Sciences
Start Date
End Term
Semester Length
Max Class Size
Contact Hours
Lecture: 4 hrs. per week / semester
Method(s) Of Instruction
Learning Activities

The course will employ a variety of instructional methods to accomplish its objectives, including some of the following: 

  • lectures
  • small group discussions
  • visual presentations – PowerPointand videos
  • individual and team projects and/or presentations
  • feld assignments
  • practical in-class exercises
Course Description
Have you ever wondered at the diversity of sights and images you have seen in your travels? Have you ever wondered why rural landscapes differ so much across the world while urban landscapes can seem so similar? These and many other questions are examined by human geographers. Geography 1100 is the first course to take in order to begin this exploration. This course is an introduction to the major traditions, themes and theories of human geography. Special emphasis is placed on the concepts, methods and data used by human geographers. It includes comparative and historical analyses of cultural landscapes, studies of the origin and diffusion of cultural phenomena, and an introduction to the concept of human/environment interactions.
Course Content
  1. Introduction

    a)  The nature of human geography
    b)  Cultural variation and convergence
    c)  Concept of Place

  2. Who We Are – People and Culture
    a)  Population
    • demography
    • growth
    • models of population change
    • population-resource interactions
    • settlement patterns
    b)  The geography of language
    • language families
    • linguistic change
    c)  Patterns of religion
    • proselytizing and ethnic religions
    • origins and diffusions of major world religions
    • religion in the landscape
    d)  Political patterns
    • electoral geography
    • the nation state
    • the place of cultural minorities within the nation state
    e)  Ethnicity, gender and related topics
    • Ethnic patterns and landscapes
    • Gender distributions and landscapes
  3. What We Do – Patterns of Subsistence
    a)  The geography of agriculture
    • agricultural regions
    • theories of agricultural origins and dispersals
    • modern commercial agriculture, sustainability and globalization
    • agricultural location theory
    b)  Industrialization
    • classification of economic activity
    • the Industrial Revolution
    • economic development - cores and peripheries
    • de-industrialization and the new international division of labour
    • impacts of globalization
  4. Where We Live – Urbanization and Cities
    a)  Urbanization
    • definitions of urban
    • origin and diffusion of the city
    • Central Place Theory
    • the evolution of urban landscapes
    • the rank-size rule and primacy
    • cities in the developing world
    b)  Industrial and post-industrial cities
    • internal structure – urban regions
    • land use and land values
    • models of urban structure
    • ethnic and other minorities in cities
    • perception of the city
    • emerging urban landscapes
  5. Human-Environment Interactions
    • theories of human-environment interactions
    • case studies of human impacts
  6. Conclusion
    • Human geography in a globalizing world
Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course the successful student will be able to:


  1. Collect, display and analyze geographical data using a variety of techniques.
  2. Explain the spatial distribution of human phenomena (language, economic activities, religion, etc.).
  3. Analyze the origin and diffusion of culture traits such as language and religion.
  4. Examine and explain the characteristics of cultural landscapes.
  5. Analyze the complex relationships between people and their environments.
  6. Understand interactions between different aspects of culture.
  7. Describe and explain similarities and differences among the peoples and places of the world.
  8. Explain the impact of globalization upon the patterns of human activities and landscapes.
  9. Demonstrate analytical reasoning and map interpretation skills.
  10. Assess geographical issues using proper written and spoken communication skills.
Means of Assessment

Evaluation will be based on course objectives and will be carried out in accordance with Douglas College policy. The instructor will provide a written course outline with specific criteria during the first week of classes.


 An example of a possible evaluation scheme would be:

Lab assignments  10%
Field assignments         15%
Tests  50%
Term project  20%
Participation    5%
Total 100%
Textbook Materials

Textbooks and Materials to be Purchased by Students:


Texts will be updated periodically. Typical examples are:


Domosh, M. Neumann, R., Price, P. and Jordan-Bychkov, T. G. (2009). The Human Mosaic. A Thematic      Introduction to Cultural Geography, 11th edition.  New York: W. H. Freeman.


Knox, P. L., S. A. Marsden and A. Nash. (2010). Human Geography: Places and Regions in a Global Context,           3rd Canadian edition.  New Jersey: Prentice Hall.


Norton, W. (2009).  Human Geography, 7th edition.  Don Mills: Oxford.

Which Prerequisite