Major Overview


Creating sustainable and vibrant communities and economies are key challenges facing society, particularly in the context of rising inequality and significant global environmental change. As a discipline, Human Geography - the study of how historical, economic, political, demographic, social and environmental processes intersect to shape life in different places – is uniquely positioned to address these major challenges. In this course, you will gain a comprehensive understanding of the complex, interwoven processes shaping human activity in cities and regions at a range of spatial scales from the global to the local.

You'll also develop critical, technical, and communicative skills to address complex policy challenges. Analysis of processes of urbanization and regional economic development, population change, and adaptation to environmental and climate change will be supported by extensive experience in data collection, analysis and interpretation, including the use of Geographic Information Systems and remotely sensed data. The unique focus on intersecting processes within Human Geography as a discipline, along with a focus on applied, field-based learning, technical and critical skill development (for example in spatial data analysis), and addressing real-world policy problems provides a diverse range of career opportunities for course graduates.

Career pathways include (but are not limited to): policy roles within government agencies and departments that oversee community development, regional development and planning, local governance, and environment/resources; in private firms and consultancies that specialize in spatial, social, economic and demographic data analytics; and in the not-for-profit community, aid and development sectors nationally and globally.


Students are able to:

  1. Identify the complex interplay of economic, demographic, environmental, economic, social and political processes that influence the spatial organisation of human activities at a range of scales
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of human geography as an academic discipline and an ability to deploy its core concepts, with intellectual rigour, in creatively addressing real-world analytical challenges and tasks
  3. Critically evaluate data an policy approaches used to address intersecting economic, demographic, environmental and social challenges shaping the characteristics of cities and regions
  4. Apply geographic methods and analytical tools to investigate and interpret urban and regional phenomena.
  5. Demonstrate the ability to communicate geographic knowledge to specialist and non-specialist audiences through multiple media.
  6. Adopt ethical, self-aware and efficient approaches to autonomous and collaborative work.
Broadening guidelines

All students studying towards a Bachelor's Degree at UWA are required to Broaden their studies by completing a minimum of four units (24 points) of study outside their degree specific major. Broadening is your opportunity to explore other areas of interest, investigate new disciplines and knowledge paradigms and to shape your degree to suit your own aspirations and interests. Many of you will be able to undertake more than this minimum amount of broadening study and we encourage you to do so if this suits your aspirations. Over the next few months you will find here some broadening suggestions related to your degree-specific major. While we know that many students value guidance of this sort, these are only suggestions and students should not lose sight of the opportunity to explore that is afforded by your Broadening Choices. Advice can also be sought from your Allocated Student Advising Office.


Applied Human Geography can be taken as a degree-specific major in the following degree courses:


Key to availability of units:
Semester 1
Semester 2
non-standard teaching period

It is strongly recommended that students take their units in the sequence outlined below. In particular, GEOG2202 should be taken in second year.

Level 1

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (12 points):

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S2 GEOG1104 Disasters! None
S1 GEOG1107 Human Inequality in the Anthropocene
GEOG3309 Global Inequalities and Population Change: Transformation and Crisis

Level 2

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (24 points):

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1, S2 GEOG2201 Geographic Information Systems
36 points of prior study
NS GEOG2202 Reading Landscapes: People and Processes
Successful completion of
GEOG1106 Climate Change: Environment and Society
or GEOG1104 Disasters!
or GEOG1107 Human Inequality in the Anthropocene
or GEOG1103 Urbanisation and Sustainability
or prior approval
S2 GEOG2203 Regions in Transition
Successful completion of
48 points
Unit(s) GEOG3306 Regional Development and Planning
S1 GEOG2206 Population Change: Debates and Controversies
24 points

Level 3

Degree-specific major units

Take all units (18 points):

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S2 GEOG3303 Environmental Policy and Planning
Enrolment in
MJD-CONBI Conservation Biology
or MJD-NRMGT Natural Resource Management
or MJD-GGRPY Geographical Sciences
or MJD-GSSCI Geographical and Spatial Science
or MJD-HGYPL Human Geography and Planning
or MJD-APHGY Applied Human Geography
or MJD-WLCDM Wildlife Conservation
or MJD-ENVDM Environmental Science and Management
or MJD-ENVMT Environmental Management
or MJD-ENGEO Environmental Geography and Planning
or MNR-SAPEP Science and Policy: Environmental Planning
or MNR-SPCEU Science and Policy: Climate Change, Environmental Planning and Urban Environments
or MNR-ENVST Understanding the Environment
and Successful completion of
72 points in your chosen degree
Unit(s) PLNG2203 Environmental Policy and Planning
S1 GEOG3308 Climate Change: Policy and Practice
72 points in your chosen degree
S1 GEOG3311 Geographies of Economic Development
Successful completion of
GEOG1107 Human Inequality in the Anthropocene
and GEOG2203 Regions in Transition
or 72 points Major(s) BP013 Bachelor of Economics
GEOG2205 Geographies of Economic Development
Degree-specific major units

Take unit(s) to the value of 6 points:

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 GEOG3305 Urban Planning and Design
Successful completion of
level 2 24 points Unit(s)
S2 PARL3399 WA Parliamentary Research Program
Acceptance into the WA Parliamentary Research Program
and Successful completion of
96 points in your chosen degree
or approval from the School
NS, S1, S2 SVLG3003 McCusker Centre for Citizenship Internship
SVLG1002 SVLG2002