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© 2019 by Department of Geography, The University of Hong Kong.


Guide to Current Students

Coursework Submission Procedures

Students are required to hand in their course assignments, i.e. essays, practicals, reports, projects, etc., on or before the submission deadlines set by the lecturers. Failure to observe this requirement will result in a reduction in coursework marks. For late submissions, it is Departmental policy to impose a 5% reduction per calendar day from the total mark of each item of coursework. For instance, an assignment, which is handed in two days late, will get a 10% reduction. Moreover, any assignment submitted ten calendar days after the deadline will not be accepted for assessment and will therefore be awarded a zero mark.

Students must follow the specific submission procedures and put their course assignments in the ‘Assignment Collection Box’, which is placed in front of the enquiry counter in the Departmental General Office, Room 1023, 10/F, The Jockey Club Tower, Centennial Campus.  Submission of assignments to the Departmental General Office should be made at the following office hours during weekdays ONLY: 09:00 – 13:00 & 14:00 – 17:00

Moreover, to facilitate students in citing references in their assignments in a proper manner, the Department has produced a ‘Guidelines on the Use of Reference Materials in Course Assignments’, which is available at the Departmemt’s undergraduate website.

Guideline on Use of Reference


In writing a term paper to fulfill course requirements, references should be recorded and pursued systematically, both for convenience of personal reference and for ease of producing the reference list, which is an essential part of the term paper itself. The presentation of complete and accurate citations is an essential component of scholarly work. Their purpose is to indicate exactly where critical ideas or facts came from, so that the reader is able to go directly to the source, either to confirm the accuracy and appropriateness of the author's usage or to obtain more information about the point in question.

The Author-Date ("Harvard") system is extensively used in the sciences, where much of the evidence comes from observations or experiments and the written sources cited are mostly in standard format. The essence of this system, as the name implies, is that all works cited are referred to only by the family name of the author and the date of the work in question: Smith 1995. If two authors with the same last name are cited, initials may be used to distinguish them: P.C. Smith 1995. If the same author wrote two or more works (cited) in the same year, lower-case letters may be used to distinguish them: Smith 1995a. All other information on the source is contained in the reference list. The reference list must therefore be absolutely complete and absolutely accurate.


In preparing term papers, the Harvard system should be used in your citations, e.g., (Smith 1995), (Smith 1996a, 1996b), (Smith 1997; Chan 1998), (Smith and Walker 1999), (Smith et al. 1999). In the event that a specific piece of information is taken from the source, the page number(s) should also be included in the citation, thus (Smith 1998: 51-53). The citation will normally occur at the end of a sentence, but may be inserted in the middle of the sentence to stress the connection between a particular point and a particular source.

The list of references, placed at the end of the paper, should be prepared in alphabetical order (using the family name of the first author) in accordance with the following style.



  • Qu, Geping and Li, Jinchang (1994) Population and the Environment in China. Lynne Rienner, Boulder, CO, 217 pp.

Book chapter

  • McGee, T.G. (1991) The emergence of desakota regions in Asia: expanding a hypothesis. In: N. Ginsberg, B. Koppel and T.G. McGee (eds.) The Extended Metropolis: Settlement Transition in Asia. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, pp. 3-25.

Conference or Symposium proceedings

  • Kuentzel, W.F. (1996) (ed.) Proceedings of the 1996 Northeastern Recreation Research Symposium. 31 March to 2 April 1996, Bolton Landing, New York. General Technical Report NE-232. US Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Northeastern Forest Experiment Station, Radnor, PA, 309 pp.

Journal article

  • Marton, A.M. and McGee, T.G. (1996) New patterns of mega-urban development in China: the experience of Kunsha. Asian Geographer 15 (1/2): 49-70.

Research report

  • Tivy, J. (1972) The Concept and Determination of Carrying Capacity of Recreational Land in the U.S.A. Occasional Paper No. 3, Countryside Commission of Scotland, Buttleby, Redgorton, 56 pp.

Website materials

  • Planning Department. Study on Sustainable Development for the 21st Century: Final Report .(Accessed on September 7, 2001.)

  • McCrory, J.B. (1998) A History of Waste Management in New York City. Originally published in Planners Network, No. 218, March. (Accessed on July 14, 2000.)

Further references

  • The Chicago Manual of Style, (1993). University of Chicago Press, Chicago.

  • Hoffmann, Alison, Barbara Griffiths and Irina Elgort (n.d.) An Academic Writing Module: Paragraphs: Writing exercises for self-directed study. Victoria University of Wellington. (Accessed on June 8, 2001.)

  • Writer's Handbook, (2001). The University of Wisconsin-Madison Writing Center. (Accessed on June 8, 2001.)

Plagiarism & Copyright


The Department views plagiarism and breaches of copyright very seriously. Students are reminded that plagiarism is a serious academic offence, and should refer to the University/Faculty policy on these issues.

You are strongly advised to read the booklets "What is Plagiarism" ( and "Plagiarism and How to Avoid It" ( and to consult your teachers if you have any questions about how to avoid plagiarism.

Provision of Feedback to Student


In connection to the University Assessment Policy, the Department of Geography has adopted the following policy on provision of feedback to students on marked coursework assignments and written examination performance.

A. Provision of feedback on coursework assignments

  • All teachers should provide written feedback on all the marked assignments, and return all marked assignments to students within 2-4 weeks (pending on the actual class size) after the submission deadline.

  • Holistic feedback on the overall class performance in each assignment should be provided in the Course Moodle so as to (a) explain why some students have managed to obtain A- / A / A+ grades for the assignment, and (b) give suggestions to the weaker grade students on how to improve. The holistic feedback should be put on the Course Moodle within four weeks after the submission deadline.

  • For courses that have in-class quizzes as part of the coursework assessment, teachers should use the Course Moodle to provide feedback on the class overall performance in each quiz.

B. Provision of feedback on written examination performance

  • Feedback on students' overall examination performance should be provided on the respective Course Moodle so that they can identify weaknesses and look for ways to improve in future examinations.

  • Teachers should upload the feedback on examination performance on the Course Moodle within two weeks after the recommended final grades and results have been endorsed by the Departmental Examination Meeting.

Provision of Feedback to Student


In order to ensure better communication between undergraduate students and the Department, the following staff will act as Departmental Advisors on the following main categories:

Room 10.35

Awards, careers and community services


Dissertation and directed project

Room 10.23

Overseas field trip

Room 10.05

Research postgraduate studies

Room 10.05

Student counselling

Room 10.23

Teaching and learning facilities

Room 10.23

Undergraduate programme, enrolment and course counselling

Geography students, who have any concern about any of the above matters, are encouraged to consult the relevant Advisors in person, via telephone or email. The Department hopes that this arrangement would help to deal with these concerns at the earliest opportunity.

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