Course Description

Course Name

The Physical Environment

Session: VCPS3122

Hours & Credits

24 Host University Units

Prerequisites & Language Level

GEO1009F or EGS1004S.

Taught In English

  • There is no language prerequisite for courses at this language level.


This course focuses on contemporary atmosphere-earth surface interactions in particular the role of precipitation and water from a global to a regional scale and examines temporal dynamics, driven by natural process as well as anthropogenic pressures. It covers in detail global circulation patterns, climate variability, soil formation, polar response to climate change, tropical deforestation, desertification and earth observation
technology. It concludes with a detailed study of local scale systems and applications covering stream catchments, estuaries, wetlands and coastlines. It is expected that students will enhance their unde
rstanding of earth system dynamics, systems interactions and develop an appreciation for scales
both temporal and spatial. Students are also expected to put the local context into a regional setting and make linkages to the larger global picture.

DP requirements: Satisfactory completion of practicals and all written assignments, including projects, fieldwork reports, practicals, essays and class tests. Students must attain an average mark of not less than 40% for the coursework.

Assessment: Project, essays, class tests and practical assignments including fieldwork report count 50%; one three-hour examination written in June count 50% (sub-minimum of 40% required).

Fieldwork: There is a compulsory fieldwork component involving half-day field excursions.

*Course content subject to change