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This interdisciplinary unit is part of the KGA major. It can also be taken as an elective. It is suitable for students with backgrounds including (but not limited to) Business, Economics, English, History, Government, Law, Management, Psychology, Science and Sociology. Please consult the unit coordinator for further information.


Over six hundred million people live on the world's 43 island nation-states and on hundreds of sub-national island jurisdictions. The 'island-continent' of Australia comprises over 12,000 islands, islets and rocky outcrops, while the island-State of Tasmania is an archipelago of 334 islands. Islands have distinct geographies and their peoples have varied cultural identities. These particular landforms, and the seascapes that surround them, seem especially hard-wired into Western conceptions of self, place, and planet. Islands are also at the frontline of major environmental and social changes. In this unit, we study a range of issues that affect island places and people—among those issues are climate change, heritage management, tourism, economic development, environmental challenges, and governance. These issues are central to professional careers in fields such as regional development, local government, natural resource management and environmental planning and conservation. A major research project enables you to focus on an area of study about island geographies that interests you and that project may vary according to hemisphere, ocean, island group, jurisdiction, or challenges faced. A three-day field trip enables you to take insights from the cases studied in the class and see whether, how, and to what extent they are present on Bruny Island. The trip also provides crucial training in field techniques in human geography; and is informed by different kinds of field work and analysis including participant observation, qualitative interviewing, visual and textual analysis. The unit offers varied opportunities to develop high-level skills in comparative and case study methods that draw on the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, and prepares you to consider island life and island futures in ways that are of long-term relevance in relation to islands and other places.

Summary 2020

Unit name Geographies of Island Places
Unit code KGA318
Credit points 12.5
Faculty/School College of Sciences and Engineering
School of Geography, Planning and Spatial Sciences
Discipline Geography and Spatial Sciences

Dr Andrew Harwood

Teaching staff

Dr Andrew Harwood

Level Advanced
Available as student elective? Yes
Breadth Unit? No



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25 Credit Points in Intermediate level units.


Mutual Exclusions

You cannot enrol in this unit as well as the following:


Teaching Pattern

3 x 50 minute sessions incorporating lectures, discussions, tutorials, and methods + three day field trip


Field journal and analysis/reflection (35%), project proposal, presentation and paper (35%), in-class test (30%)

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