MSc Geography and Sustainable Development
The aim of the MSc Geography and Sustainable Development is to provide students with sound technical and managerial capabilities and good understanding of the complexities in today’s resources and sustainable development space by providing students with a comprehensive understanding of key sustainability issues (societal, economic, and environmental) along with advanced analytical and practical skills for dealing with emerging global sustainability challenges.
Year One Semester 1
GSD 551: Advanced Studies in Geographic Thought
Review of the major works on Greek science and geography; Geography in the Middle Ages; Arab geography; Geography from the 17th century to the end of World Wars 1 and 2; Contributions of early Geographers (like Immanuel Kant, and Ptolemy; Emergence of Modern Geography/Contributions of Alexander von Humboldt and Carl Ritter); Determinism, Possibilism and Probabilism in Geography; Quantitative revolution in Geography; The Regional Concept in Geography.
GSD 553: RESEARCH METHODS I (2,1,2)
The content of the course includes; the nature and importance of geographic research; elements of research design; problem formulation; sampling techniques and procedures; data collection tools; qualitative data processing and analysis; ethics in research and writing a research proposal.
GSD 555 PRINCIPLES OF SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (3,1, 3)
Concept of Development (definitions, forms, determinants, sustainability); historical development of sustainability; principles of sustainability and sustainable development; factors influencing sustainable development; sustainable policies; institutions created to support the concept and practice of sustainability; sustainable development framework; approaches to development in Ghana since independence; the geographical approach to optimizing sustainable development; socio-cultural and spatial contexts of sustainability and sustainable development.
GSD 557: SEMINAR 1 (0,3,1)
The course is to build the capacity of the students in the presentation of their works. It is to build the students’ presentation skills, which is critical in the postgraduate studies. Preparation of slides, the choosing of appropriate slides templates for the right kind of research theme, mannerisms in presentation, public speaking techniques and confident coaching will be taught.
OPTION 1: INTEGRATED LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT
GSD 559: FLUVIAL GEOMORPHOLOGY (2, 2, 3)
Models of slopes and landforms development; fluvial morphologic processes and landforms; climatic geomorphology; coastal geomorphic processes and impacts; application of geomorphology; application of systems theory; landscape mapping; land resource evaluation; quantitative fluvial geomorphology; application of geomorphic models in Geographic Information Systems environment.
GSD 561: INTEGRATED WATER RESOURCES MANAGEMENT (2, 2,3)
Physical processes that constitute the hydrologic cycle; hydrological cycle and the water balance; integrated watershed and its characteristics; precipitation; infiltration and soil water processes; evaporation and transpiration; runoff, subsurface drainage, and stream processes; water quality assessments; water resource development; water use conflicts; theory and practice of hydrology.
GSD 563: CLIMATE CHANGE SCIENCE (2, 2,3)
Composition of the atmosphere; weather and climate; atmospheric thermodynamics; atmospheric dynamics; radiation and global climate; large scale weather systems in low and mid-latitudes; climate modeling; climatic changes and climate forecasting; micro- to mesoclimate; applied meteorology in agro- and forest meteorology, biometeorology, building meteorology and atmospheric radiation problems; effects of anthropogenic and natural aerosols or gaseous trace constituents; and hardware and software elements of meteorological measurements.
GSD 565: HUMAN-GEOMORPHIC INTERACTIONS (2, 2,3)
The components of the course include: concepts of applied geomorphology, human impacts of the physical landscape, human and land degradation; mining and land degradation; human activities on water resources; human efforts in controlling natural phenomena; rechanellisation, flood control and routing; wetlands management and sustainable riparian management in Ghana, etc.
OPTION 2: GEOSPATIAL SCIENCE
GSD 567: SPATIAL ANALYSIS (2, 2,3)
The components of the course shall include, analytical operations and methods; spatial statistics; geostatistics, network analysis, and location-allocation modelling; applied spatial analysis in environmental systems, water resources, land surface data, rural and urban system dynamics.
GSD 569: GIS FOR ENVIRONMENTAL MODELLING (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include, Geospatial analytical tools dedicated to modeling environmental systems such as climate and weather systems, hydrology, and biogeography; concepts and challenges in environmental model building; environmental management models.
GSD 571: CARTOGRAPHY AND GEOVISUALIZATION (2, 2,3)
Traditional and contemporary cartographic and geovisualization techniques; Exploratory spatial data analysis (ESDA); symbolic encoding and decoding; web cartography; data quality and generalization; visualizing uncertainty; map animation and other multi-media applications.
OPTION 3: LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
GSD 573 RURAL DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE (2, 2, 3)
Components of the course shall include, Concept of Rurality and Development; Defining Rural Development; Development and Rural Development Paradigms; Rural Development Challenges; Agenda Setting (Objectives) for rural transformation; Dichotomy and Connections between rural and urban spaces in Ghana; Rural Resource Analysis; Contemporary rural development approaches.
GSD 575: METHODS OF TRANSPORTATION ANALYSIS (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include, 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.
GSD 577: NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs) AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT (2, 2, 3)
Components of the course shall include, Rural development dynamics; concepts and classifications of NGOs; rural needs assessment; functions of NGO’s within regional and global development practices; operational objectives and strategies of NGOs: NGOs and resource mobilization; community participation in NGO’s functional processes; institutional dynamics and challenges of NGOs within national development and spatial organisational framework; management techniques for NGOs and rural livelihood sustainability.
GSD 579: DECENTRALIZATION AND DEVELOPMENT
components of the course shall include; defining exogenic and endogenic development; concepts of centralization and decentralization; forms and models of decentralization; drivers of decentralization; factors and conditions affecting decentralization practices in Africa/Ghana; measuring effectiveness of decentralization; interpretations of community participation; nexus of decentralization and local development outcomes; challenges of decentralization practices in Africa; recommendations for effective decentralization practices.
OPTION 4: ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
GSD 581: DISASTER MANAGEMENT (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include; introduction to atmospheric system; basic concepts and theories in disaster management; natural and anthropogenic causes of disasters; trends and impacts of disasters; disaster management finance; policy framework for disaster risk reduction; approaches to hazards and vulnerability analysis; spatial distribution and temporal variations of environmental hazards; disaster risk communication and governance.
GSD 583: SUSTAINABLE CITIES I (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include; urban theory and history; internal morphology of cities; city systems; growth of cities; urbanisation and challenges; urbanisation in developing and developed world; sustainable cities; framework for sustainable cities; urban poverty and measurement; role of cities - cities as centres of cultural and social transformation; cities as sites of poverty alleviation; land management and planning; affordable and adequate housing; safety and violence in cities; urban risks and vulnerabilities.
GSD 585: HEALTH AND DEVELOPMENT (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include; meaning of health, components of health and healthcare, health determinants, relationship between health and sustainable development, health care systems, health care financing, health policy formulation and implementation, primary and innovative health care, emerging health issues in developing countries, neglected tropical diseases.
GSD 587: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND PRACTICE I (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include; advanced principles of ecology; ecosystem essentials; ecosystem energy and matter dynamics; terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; global biogeochemical cycles; concerns on the environmental contamination; land degradation and pollution; systems embedded energy; processes of geographic distribution of environmental resources; global soil distribution and edaphic factors; water resources, human appropriation of the environmental resources;
YEAR ONE SEMESTER TWO (CORE COURSES)
GSD 552: CURRENT GEOGRAPHIC PARADIGMS (3,1,3)
Components of the course shall include; the methodological unity of the social sciences; nature of explanation and methodological problems in the social sciences; nature of explanation in geography; models, laws and theory formulation in geography; nature of historical investigation in the perspective of geography; functionalism in geography; systems theory in geography and globalisation.
GSD 554: RESEARCH METHODS II (2,1,2)
Components of the course shall include; measurement of concepts; Transforming data for analyses; Introduction to quantitative and qualitative analyses and difference between them for purposes of research; qualitative research; descriptive statistics; the Normal Distribution; hypothesis testing; T–test; one-way Analysis of Variance; Correlation; linear regression; non-parametric tests; Ethics in research and thesis writing.
GSD 556: SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT PRACTICE (3,1, 3)
Components of the course shall include; sustainability strategies and indicators; responsible consumption and resource use; green innovations and developments; communicating sustainability strategies; socially and environmentally responsible investment; implementation of sustainable development projects and programs; monitoring and evaluation of sustainable programs and projects; financing sustainable programs and projects; case studies in sustainable development.
GSD 558: SEMINAR II (0,3,1)
The course is to build the capacity of the students in the presentation of their works. It is to build further the students’ presentation skills, which is critical in the post graduate studies. Project defence and conference poster and oral presentation skills are taught to students. Preparation of slides the choosing of appropriate slides templates for the right kind of research theme, mannerisms in presentation, public speaking techniques and confident coaching.
SEMESTER TWO – ELECTIVES
OPTION 1: INEGRATED LAND AND WATER MANAGEMENT
GSD 560: LAND DEGRADATION AND REMEDIATION (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include; definitions of land as a resource; horizontal scales of soil study; catenas and toposequences; soil classification; human activities on land; processes of land degradation; concept of desertification and degradation; techniques of land remediation; description of arid lands, riparian lands and marginal land concepts; selected case studies.
GSD 562: OCEANOGRAPHY AND COASTAL GOVERNANCE (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include; sea water and properties; application of physico-chemical parameters and analysis; ocean observation management of ocean water/resources; coastal environmental justices; sea level changes (eustatic change) and land level changes (isostatic change), etc.
GSD 564: CLIMATE CHANGE AND ADAPTED LAND USE (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include; concepts of climate change and land; models of land use change; difference between land use and land cover and variance of each; environmental controls of climate change, land use and land cover; human drivers of land use and land cover; adaptation strategies to agricultural land use; human settlements; biogeochemical cycling and the ecosystem functions; human practical measures of land use adaptation to climate change etc.
GSD 566 HUMAN-ENVIRONMENT INTERACTIONS
The content of the course shall include: definitions of environment from social and natural scientific perspectives; components of the social and natural environments; theories of environmental change; anthropogenic drivers of environmental change; human land use activities on the pristine environment; mining, agriculture, grazing and environmental quality; industrialisation and emissions; urbanisation; resources exploitation, utilisation and waste management; etc.
OPTION 2: GEOSPATIAL APPLICATION
GSD 568: REMOTE SENSING IMAGE PROCESSING (2, 2, 3)
Components of the course shall include: the science and technology of remotely sensed imagery in terms of its processing and applications; pre-processing of remotely sensed data; image manipulation; fusion, filtering and classification techniques; pattern recognition, feature extraction; land surface monitoring of natural and urban environments.
GSD 570: APPLIED GEOGRAPHIC INFORMATION SYSTEMS (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include: utilization of geospatial knowledge and technology to address societal issues in urban and rural settings; GIS application in transportation, business, crime, health, etc.; rural and urban dynamic modeling; environmental modeling; GIS applications in water resources, natural resources, disaster management; geospatial decision models.
GSD 572 GEOSPATIAL PROGRAMMING WITH PYTHON (2, 2,3)
This course covers basic computer programming approaches within GIS and Remote Sensing analysis through Python scientific programming language. Specific topics include introduction into Python programming, the ecosystem of geospatial software and libraries, Python scripting for geospatial data acquisition, processing and analysis. Data for practical hands-on applications will focus on topography, land cover, and other data sets from human and environment systems.
OPTION 3: LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND RURAL DEVELOPMENT
GSD 574: RURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICIES AND EXPERIENCES (2, 2,3)
Components of the course include, rural poverty analysis and measurement: Participatory rural development; public policies and rural transformation; NGOs and poverty reduction; intermediate skills and technology transfer for rural transformation; local Institutions and rural development; farm and non-farm sector growth interventions; Rural resource mapping and governance.
GSD 576: TRANSPORTATION AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT (2,2,3)
Components of the course shall include: transportation and economic development nexus; transportation development in developing countries: an examination of Taafe, Morrill and Gould model; transportation, modal integration and development; transportation, rural and urban development; international maritime transport, global air transportation and development; transportation, tourism and development; the role and management of transport terminals for development; transportation, environment and development; green and intermediate transportation for development.
GSD 578: LOCAL GOVERNANCE AND DEVELOPMENT (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include: concept and definitions of local governance; bottom-up development paradigm; drivers of local governance, democratic representation; local governance actors and outcomes; transformative participation and local development nexus; historical perspectives of local governance in Ghana; structural and institutional reforms for local governance in Ghana/Africa; functions and composition of current local government structures of Ghana; local governance analytical frameworks; local governance and service delivery; challenges of local governance in Africa with focus on Ghana; recommendations for effective local governance.
GSD 580: POVERTY AND RURAL LIVELIHOOD SUSTAINABILITY (2, 2,3)
Components of the course include: concepts, trends and causes of poverty; dimensions and measurements of poverty; coping strategies against poverty; rural livelihood vulnerabilities; rural livelihood assets and strategies; livelihood analysis and sustainability; policy interventions for poverty reduction; agricultural and non-farm livelihood development; challenges and recommendations for rural poverty reduction.
OPTION 4: ENVIRONMENT AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT
GSD 582: DISASTER MANAGEMENT AND DEVELOPMENT (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include: adaptation and coping with disasters; community vulnerability and resilience assessment; linkages between adaptation to hazards and community development; policy approaches to disaster management in Ghana; disaster management and development planning; roles of central government and district assemblies in disaster management; iindigenous knowledge in adaptation to environmental hazards; geospatial technologies in disaster management.
GSD 584: SUSTAINABLE CITIES II (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include: cities as loci of production and consumption; wealth and inequality in urban areas; women in the informal economy; health services and challenges of urban public health; planning solutions for improving urban health; sustainable environmental services and infrastructure – waste management etc.; sustainable transport planning; information, communication and technology; sustainable urban energy systems; protecting urban environment and making cities resilient; the “green” city; urban politics, planning and governance; challenges of building sustainable cities.
GSD 586: INTERNATIONAL HEALTH AND HEALTHCARE (2,2,3).
Differences in health and health outcomes between the global north and south; global health standards determined by the WHO; international health institutions and their mandates; the politics of international health; emerging global disease trends; corruption in healthcare, and health aid; global responses to health emergencies such as HIV/AIDS, Ebola, coronavirus, etc; the global drugs trade and international dimensions of mental health and substance abuse.
GSD 588: ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT AND PRACTICE II (2, 2,3)
Components of the course shall include: Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA); Environmental Management Systems (EMS); Environmental Compliance Auditing (ECA); environmental management ISO certification; procedures as tools of environmental management in Ghana; solid and liquid waste management; environmental resources policy, environment-resource-development governance in Ghana and Africa; drivers of environmental change and solutions; state of environment (SOE) reporting.
590 THESIS PRODUCTION/PREPARATION (0, 24, 12)
Length of Thesis
The MSc students shall complete individual research and submit a research report (Thesis). The length of the main body of the thesis, excluding the front and back matter issues (references and appendices) shall conform to the limit set by the Graduate School. Reference should be made to the KNUST School of Graduate Studies Postgraduate Thesis Policy.