Geography and Rural Development
Teaching and learning activities in the Department are motivated by the expectation that the Department's quota of first grade students will be turned-out into outstanding and versatile graduates, ready to take higher responsibilities and challenges in all fields of endeavour.
The Department continues to delivers courses leading to the Award of the Four (4)-year Bachelor of Arts Degree and also Coordinates and runs the Four (4)-year Bachelor of Arts Degree in Culture and Tourism concurrently, as undergraduate programmes. It also offers a Two (2)-year Master of Arts Degrees and the Vice Chancellor's initiative of MPhil/PhD at the Post-graduate level and the Three (3) year PhD Geography and Rural Development Programme offered separately. It is must be placed on record that the Department expects to graduate one candidate of the VC's MPhil/PhD initiative and the very first batch of the B.A (Arts) Culture and Tourism graduands come June 2009.
Introduction to Physical Environmental Systems and Introduction to Human Geography are a few of the courses one is to pass before he can graduate. Below we have the course outline for the four year programme.
GEOG. 601 ADVANCED STUDIES IN GEOGRAPHIC THOUGHT
This course examines the development of geographic thought from Greek times to early 20th century and their relevance to contemporary Geography. Issues to discuss shall include: a review of the major works on Greek Science and Geography; Geography of the Middle Ages; Arab Geography; Geography from the 17th century to the end of the World War I and Determinism in Geography.
GEOG. 603 TECHNIQUES OF GEOGRAPHIC RESEARCH I
The course focuses on scientific approach to social science research; methods of field research; data sources for geographic research; and data collection techniques.
GEOG. 605 THEORIES OF RURAL DEVELOPMENT
The course reviews theories of rural poverty and development. It pays special attention to the spatial planning and modelling of resources utilization for sustainable rural development. Issues of concern here are: rural areas within the context of the national resource space; dimensions of rural poverty; programmes and policies for rural poverty alleviation; land use\planning and conservation; project planning, design, implementation and evaluation; modelling perspectives for sustainable rural development.
Year One Semester Two
GEOG. 602: EXPLANATIONS IN GEOGRAPHY
The concern is to expose the student to methodological issues in the social sciences in general but with special reference to geography. The major theme of the course is on the nature of explanation in the social sciences in general and geography in particular. Specific themes include: the methodological unity of the social sciences; geography and the new paradigm (laws, theories and models); methodological problems of the social sciences; the logic of historical inquiry and the debates on the nature of historical investigation and functionalism and systems theory.
GEOG. 604: TECHNIQUES OF GEOGRAPHIC RESEARCH II
This course is a sequel to the first semester course and emphasises on statistical techniques for social science with emphasis on geographic enquiry and advanced statistics.
GEOG. 606: RURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICIES AND EXPERIENCES
A critical analysis of policies and experiences in rural development through comparative studies from sub-Saharan Africa and other parts of the world. In view of this, students shall be introduced to: global perspectives on rural poverty alleviation; programmes for rural development; institutional framework and constraints and evaluation of case studies
Elective Courses (Year One Semester One)
GEOG. 607: POPULATION STUDIES
The course emphasises the spatial dimensions of population issues. It demonstrates how spatial variations in distribution, composition, migration and growth of population are related to spatial variations in the nature of places. Specific issues to discuss shall include the following: methods and tools in population analysis; spatial measures and mapping; population composition and characteristics; spatial analysis of fertility, mortality and migration; migration and urbanisation; population distribution and theories of population change.
GEOG. 609: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT 1
The course will focus on: the general overview of the environment; the global environmental debate; ecosystem management and environmental ethics; environmental risk management; environmental education; eco-tourism, environmental policy and development and the threat of global warming.
GEOG. 611: MEDICAL GEOGRAPHY
The course focuses on the application of geographical concepts and techniques to health related issues. It examines the geographical perspectives of health and disease. It therefore examines local variations of human and environmental conditions, which are causatively related. Its emphasis is on the socio-demographic and ecological dimension of health and diseases, factors responsible for the observed distributions, diffusion of diseases and health planning. Specific issues of concern shall include the following: the scope of medical geography; its relationships with other systematic branches of geography; conceptual and methodological issues: health transition model, host-agent-environment analysis, epidemiological approach, political ecology approach, traditional and modern approaches, etc; spatial patterns of morbidity and mortality: using selected case studies for illustration. Infant and material mortality must be emphasized. Modern approaches to the study of mortality, i.e. DALE and DALY must be introduced; environment and health: emphasizing climate change, ozone depletion, urban pollution, etc; health and nutrition (forms of nutrition and health; Inoculation and health); medical and health statistics (morbidity and mortality statistics and application of Life Tables in mortality studies; diffusion of diseases and the use of computer-based models in analysing health data.
GEOG. 613: GEOMORPHOLOGY
The course involves the study of the processes and the evolution of landscapes. Weathering; slope development; drainage systems; landforms in arid and semi-arid climates and periglacial and coastal landforms shall be discussed.
GEOG. 615: INDUSTRIAL LOCATION THEORY AND PRACTICE
This course is aimed at giving students grounding in methodology of studies in industrial location theories and practice. Students shall be specifically introduced to: the manufacturing system and methodology of manufacturing studies; contributions of geographers and economists to industrial location theory; new developments in industrial location theory including the empirical schools and systems approach techniques for measuring industrial linkages, growth and change; industrial location in practice in the advanced market economies and developing countries using tropical Africa as an example and industrial location and regional development.
GEOG. 617: CLIMATOLOGY
The course aims to give students a sound background in atmospheric weather processes and their applications. Specifically, students shall be introduced to the following: the constitution of the atmosphere; state and climate; atmospheric thermodynamics; atmospheric dynamics; radiation and global climate and large scale weather systems in low and mid-latitudes.
GEOG.619: TOURISM ANALYSIS
Tourism, definition and relevance of geography of tourism; the tourism planning process; methods of tourism research; models in tourism analysis; resource analysis; tourism region delineation; site selection; tourism impact studies; gravity and other forecasting models; evaluation of tourism development policies; marketing tourism; tourism market research; tourism market analysis and segmentation and tourism marketing strategy formulation.
GEOG.621: TRANSPORTATION GEOGRAPHY
This course exposes students to advanced quantitative techniques for transport analysis. Students shall be introduced to the following: definition of transport geography; transport and space; historical evolution of transportation; current issues in transport geography; overview of methods in transport geography; the notion of accessibility; route selection and the gravity model; network analysis (graph theory); land use-transportation interactions; flow/location allocation models; the four stage urban transportation model; travel/traffic surveys and transportation cost.
GEOG. 623: THEORIES OF URBAN DEVELOPMENT
This course aims at exposing students to the theories of urban development. It also examines the historical development of cities with the view to identifying patterns and emerging models. From the above, issues of concern shall include the following: the development of urban geography as a systematic field of geography; history of world urbanisation; theories of pre-industrial and industrial cities; urban land use analyses; operational urban models and their uses; urban economic analyses and crises, restructuring and informal economic activities in cities of developing countries.
GEOG.625: PROJECT MANAGEMENT I
To provide students with understanding in the role of projects in the development process and to help equip them with the necessary skills for project identification, preparation, projects analysis and the preparation of feasibility studies. Based on the above students shall be introduced to the following: the role of projects in the development process; project proposal; techniques of project identification; project preparation/preparing the project document; project analysis (technical analysis); project analysis (economic analysis) and preparing a feasibility study.
GEOG: 627: REMOTE SENSING
This course advances students knowledge on the principles of remote sensing. Theories of Geospatial Technologies, including global positioning systems and remote sensing would be discussed. The course also teaches students the theory and interpretation of remote sensing imagery, with emphasis on photographic, multi-spectral, thermal, and microwave remote sensing systems.
GEOG 629: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS
This course advances students knowledge on the principles of Geographic Information Systems, the nature of spatial data and their representation. Students would be taught the nature of geographic information systems, including the categories of geographic data, data input, data models, and spatial analysis.
GEOG 631: DISASTER MANAGEMENT
This course advances students knowledge on the evolution of hazards and disasters in societies. It focuses on understanding of the relation between the risks to which societies are exposed to and the human practices that may increase, decrease, or relocate these risks. The principal objective of the course is to enlighten students on the spatial distribution and temporal variations of environmental hazards.
GEOG 633: NON GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATION S AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
The course is designed to advance the intellectual, managerial and analytical capabilities and experiences of students for opportunities in the non-governmental and voluntary sectors. It will provide an extensive scope for advance knowledge building and critical discourse of rural development issues facing NGO’s, improve knowledge in the organisational forms of NGO’s and challenges they face. The course will review the concept and definitions, forms and functions of NGO’s within global development practice. It will advance knowledge in theories explaining the relevance of NGO’s in international and local level development. The organisational structures and systems, resource mobilization techniques and strategic management of resources for rural development shall be critically reviewed.
GEOG 635: HYDROLOGY
The course discuses the basic physical principles of the water cycle and other environmentally relevant applications. It covers contemporary global issues related to water resources, including pollution control, environmental rehabilitation, sustainable development, watershed management, groundwater management, and climate change.
Year One Semester Two
GEOG. 608: POPULATIONS, ENVIRONMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
A critical analysis of the inter-relationships among populations, resources, environment and development. Population growth and economic development as well as the concept of sustainable development will be discussed. Population policy and programmes and advanced demographic techniques will be examined.
GEOG. 610: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT II
Students shall be introduced to: human impact on the natural environment; urban environmental problems; principles and tools of environmental management; environmental management system; forest management in Ghana and formulating and implementing environmental programmes.
GEOG. 612: HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT
The purpose of the course is to teach students the complexity and dynamics of population habitat behaviour interactions that comprise disease systems. There is the need for the evaluation of health consequences in developmental impact analysis. Based on this, students shall be introduced to: types of medical systems; urbanization and health; mobility and health; special health problems and diseases: vectored and non-vectored diseases in the tropics; psychosocial stress and mental health; STDs/AIDS, etc; spatial analysis of health care delivery system; accessibility and utilization; medical cartography: Atlas of health and disease, etc; and methods of analysing health data (quantitative and qualitative).
GEOG. 614: APPLIED GEOMORPHOLOGY
The course is mainly devoted to the application of geomorphological knowledge as a solution to man’s environmental problems. Landform mapping; systems of geomorphological mapping; land resource evaluation; and quantitative study of drainage systems shall be critically discussed
GEOG. 616: INDUSTRIALIZATION IN DEVELOPING COUNTRIES
The course focuses on the industrialization experiences of both the advanced and developing countries with emphasis on the developing world of Africa, Asia and Latin America. Issues to discuss in detail include: the industrial revolution and industrialisation in Europe, North America, and other advanced countries; changing nature of industrialisation in the advanced countries; factors of, and constraints to industrialisation in the developing world; industrialisation and development paradigms and the relevance to the development of developing countries; industrialisation strategies in Africa, Asia and Latin America; African industrialisation - strategies and structure (using case studies); technology and industrialisation in Africa and industrialisation in Ghana.
GEOG. 618: APPLIED CLIMATOLOGY
The course is mainly a critical examination of the following areas in Climatology: agricultural climatology; urban climatology; bio-climatology; topo-climatology and regional Climatology.
GEOG.620: TOURISM AND DEVELOPMENT
Tourism and Development; Tourism and Resource Management; alternatives to mass tourism; urban tourism space; tourist attraction systems and tourism space in developing countries shall be critically examined.
GEOG.622: TRANSPORT AND DEVELOPMENT
This course presents a thorough review of the concept of development and the important role of transport in the attainment of development objectives. Attention will be drawn to the differences in transport systems in the urban and rural systems as well as transport systems in developed economies vis-à-vis those in developing countries. The peculiarities, weaknesses, strengths and problems of transport systems in the settings mentioned above shall be highlighted and suggested solutions examined.
GEOG. 624: CITIES IN NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT
This course aims at in-depth analyses of cities and their role in national development in developing countries. It focuses strongly on environmental pollution management and sustainable management of urban development in developing countries, with emphasis on Ghana. Discussions shall centre on: city systems, urban hierarchy primacy, rank size rule and lognormal distribution of cities; role of cities in regional and national development; centre-periphery models, growth pole theory and their applications in development planning in developing countries; urban environmental management for sustainable development; urban development problems; urban development planning and its problems in developing countries and research methodology in urban geography.
GEOG.626: PROJECT MANAGEMENT II
The course is to acquaint students with the principles and techniques for project implementation, monitoring and ex evaluation. It will therefore focus on: project analysis (financial analysis); project analysis (social analysis); project analysis (institutional analysis); project analysis environmental analysis); project implementation and management; project monitoring; project ex post evaluation and designing and evaluation system.
GEOG 628: REMOTE SENSING APPLICATION
This course is a sequel to Remote Sensing I and introduces students to the application of Remote Sensing. These include image processing and interpretation; ground truthing and applications. Techniques for image processing would also be taught. The course also illustrates geographic and environmental applications of remote sensing data.
GEOG 630: GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS APPLICATION
This course is a sequel to the first semester course and introduces students to the application of Geographic Information Systems. The course emphasizes technical application of geographic information systems (GIS) in socio-economic and environmental studies. Students will gain experience with applications and utilities of Geographic Information Systems, and learn how to plan and implement a GIS project. Emphasis would also be placed on constraints to application of GIS in Africa (with special reference to Ghana).
GEOG 632: DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT
As a follow up to the basic issues introduced in semester one, students will be assisted to gain knowledge about vulnerability as a challenging policy problem and on the assessment of vulnerability as a guiding planning principle. This course focuses on vulnerability as a manifestation of the relationship between society and hazards, especially of how people and societies cope with and respond to environmental hazards. A central objective is to facilitate critical review of disaster management policies in Africa, with special reference to Ghana, and to examine some solutions being proposed and implemented to reduce vulnerability to environmental hazards.
GEOG 634: NON GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION S AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT II
This course shall be the sequel of NGO Management and Rural Development Practice I. It will develop the competence of students in the field techniques of NGO’s in rural development practice within the context of Ghana and Africa. The course will review the impact of NGO’s in rural-urban development dynamics in Ghana with special focus on the relevance of rural engagement and participation in NGO’s functional processes. It will also train students in rural needs assessment, explore institutional dynamics and challenges of the non-profit making and voluntary sectors within national development and spatial organisational framework. The course will closely examine the managerial strategies for sustaining NGO’s operations within rural socio-cultural milieu.
GEOG 636: APPLIED HYDROLOGY
The course focuses on the study of the movement, distribution, and quality of water on Earth including the hydrologic cycle, water resources and environmental watershed sustainability. Students would also learn how to assess water resources and understand the processes involved in the hydrologic cycle.
A good first degree in Geography, Development Studies, Natural Sciences, or other related disciplines is required. At least, a Second Class (Lower Division) is required. Candidates with a First class and Second class (Upper Division) degrees are preferred. Candidates shall be selected at a selection interview. A synopsis of proposed thesis is a requirement.
Requirements for Graduation
Students are required to Pass all mandatory courses. The student must register and obtain not less than 60 credits. Furthermore, students must participate in departmental seminars and make at least, two presentations. The MPhil Geography and Rural Development programme shall run for four (4) semesters (two years). Students shall require 30 credits for the taught programme and 30 credits for the Thesis. The taught component of the programme will be examined by course work within the semester and with three-hour papers at the end of the first and second semesters. For the award of the degree, the candidate shall be required to get a pass mark of at least 50% in all subjects and a cumulative weighted average (CWA) of 55%.
The second year shall be devoted to research work, which will end with a presentation of a minimum of 40,000-word thesis on a selected topic within a candidate’s area of specialisation. Internal and external examiners approved by the departmental board will assess the thesis. The assessment shall include a proposal presentation at the initial stages of the work and a defence at the end of the study. Candidates shall be awarded the MPhil degree provided they have passed all examinations and satisfactorily completed their thesis.