Geography Department


Vision and Mission

Our Vision

The vision of the department is to promote the advancement of integrative geographical knowledge and capacity for the Earth and its people.

Our Mission

Teaching & Learning: The Department aims to encourage students to be self-motivated, critical thinkers and to provide them with opportunities to acquire specialist skills within a broad geographical training. Our graduates should be well equipped to contribute to regional and national development by thinking creatively and appreciating diversity.

Research of the highest quality: The Department supports staff and students who wish to engage in both fundamental and applied research of an international calibre that is relevant globally and to the needs of the African continent. Further, the Department fosters national, regional and international collaboration through partnerships with academic institutions elsewhere in the world.

Community engagement and application of geographical skills to real-world problems: The Department strives to maintain contacts with all tiers of government and community organizations, to assist and advise them through applied research.

Our curriculum and research conform to this mission:

  • The curriculum is explicitly focused on different spatial scales: southern Africa, Africa, and the global context.
  • Our students are encouraged to integrate Human and Physical Geography in order to address geographical issues in a well-rounded and synthetic way.
  • Every attempt is made to apply, and expose students to, new technologies that are available in the geographical field.
  • Advanced level courses often have an applied context that is related to the Earth and its People. There is a particular focus on water-related geographical issues.
  • Our teaching pedagogy uses a diversity of innovative teaching methods to engage learners, encourage autonomy of learning and promote critical thinking.

Assessment criteria have been developed to reward originality at all levels.

  • Learners acquire specialist skills through structured courses, practical exercises and guided research projects.
  • Course content is closely aligned to the research interests of the teaching staff while attempting to maintain a broad-based geographical curriculum.
  • Research is both pure and applied in nature. Applied research is motivated with respect to the needs of the southern African environment and its people.
  • Research programmes and the teaching curriculum are linked to international collaborations.