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


Disciplinary Major/Minor in Geography


The “Geography” undergraduate curriculum is designed to assist students in learning and understanding geographical and environmental-related knowledge and issues within modern contexts and perspectives.  It aims to provide students with an understanding of the relationships between people and the environment; how these relationships have changed with space and over the time; and the role of geography in investigingation and analyzing the issues and problems facing people, places and society.  The programme also gives students the opportunity to explore key elements of the knowledge and understanding embodied in the geography discipline; stimulate their intellectual interests and acquire discipline-specific and generic skills to enable them to pursue their chosen career path or to continue on with higher education.

Programme Learning Outcomes 


In order to meet the demands and challenges in this dynamic and ever-changing world, the Department has designed a series of well-structured and contemporary courses to cater to the different interests of students.  It’s courses are designed to align with the University’s educational aims which hope to nurture future generations not only with a critical and intellectual mindset, but also with a passion to contribute to society in general.

After completing the programme, “Geography Major” students should be able to:

  1. critically analyze the geographical aspects of the relationship between people and the environment;

  2. demonstrate and develop an understanding of how these relationships have changed with space and over time;

  3. identify, collect and utilize primary and secondary data to investigate and analyze the issues and problems facing people, places and society;

  4. integrate, evaluate and communicate information from a variety of geographical and other sources;

  5. participate in promoting social, economic and environmental sustainability at the local, regional and global scales; and

  6. effectively apply a range of transferable skills in academic, professional and social settings.

Programme Structure *4-year Cohort

To become a “Geography Major” at HKU, students are required to complete at least 96 credits of courses. Below is a summary of the number of credits required to become a Geography Major.

Disciplinary Major (single or double) or Minor in Geography (For new 4-year cohort of students admitted)

No. of Credits


(a) ‘Core’ Introductory courses

 (i)  Disciplinary

 (ii) Pre-requisites*

(b) Advanced courses

 (i)  Core courses

 (ii) Disciplinary electives

 (iii)Capstone experience

 (iv)Social innovation and global citizenship^


















Candidates who opt to declare two major programmes offered by the Faculty of Social Sciences, the pre-requisites of the majors should not be double-counted.


Candidates, who opt to declare double majors in China Studies (Social Science stream), Geography, Politics and Public Administration, Psychology, Social Work and Social Administration and Sociology, are allowed to undertake 24 credits of courses listed under the Faculty of Social Sciences syllabuses, including the social sciences and non-social sciences courses, to fulfil the Faculty off-campus learning courses for the second major

Candidates who wish to MAJOR (96 credits) or MINOR (36 credits) in Geography must complete:

(a) Introductory courses

(18 credits for major; 6 credits for minor) - To be taken in Year 1-2

One disciplinary course (6 credits) from the following list:

Hong Kong: Land, People and Resources *

6 credits

Contemporary Global Environmental Issues *

6 credits

Map Use, Reading and Interpretation *

6 credits

Economic and Social Development in an Urbanizing World

6 credits

Nature Conservation for Sustainable Societies

6 credits

Human Geography in a Globalizing World

6 credits

Cartography and Computer Mapping

6 credits


Applicable to 2018-19 intake and thereafter

(ii) Two pre-requisite courses from the following 5 units, but not more than one from a single unit (12 credits):

  1. Faculty of Social Sciences

  2. Politics and Public Administration

  3. Psychology

  4. Social Work and Social Administration

  5. Sociology

(b) Advanced courses

(78 credits for major; 30 credits for minor) - to be taken in Years 2-4

(i) Core course  (a minimum of 6 credits for major)


Geography majors should take one (or preferably two), of the following core methods-related courses:

Applicable to 2016-17 intake and thereafter 

Introduction to Geographic Information Systems

6 credits

Introductory Spatial Analysis

6 credits

Field Methods in Geography

6 credits

Introduction to Research Design

6 credits

Remote Sensing Applications

6 credits

Introduction to Disaster Risk Management Techniques

6 credits

Environment Modelling for Climate Change and Air Quality

6 credits

Building Smart Cities with GIS

6 credits

Geography majors, once having met the 6 credits of core requirement, can take another course from the above list to fulfill the disciplinary elective requirement. 

The above list of core courses is available to Geography minors or other students as electives.

(ii) Disciplinary electives (a minimum of 42 credits for major; 30 credits for minor)


These advanced elective courses are offered as Level 200, 300 and 400 courses to provide students with academic progression. Students are advised to take at least 18 credits of Level 200 courses (excluding 6 credits of core methods-related course) for their declared major.

(iii) Capstone experience (6 credits for major only, to be taken in Year 4)

Applicable to 2018-19 intake and thereafter 

Overseas Field Trip

6 credits

Directed Project in Geography

6 credits

Honours Dissertation

12 credits


The GEOG4001 course is a compulsory capstone experience course that all Geography majors must take to fulfill the programme requirement. In the event of time conflict with other required academic activities, the candidate can apply for deferring the overseas field trip participation towards the end of Year 4 of study before graduation (see the GEOG4001 course description for details).

Social Innovation and Global Citizenship (24 credits)

For BSocSc students (Faculty off-campus learning courses), students are required to undertake 24 credits of off-campus learning under the twin themes Social Innovation and Global Citizenship as a condition of graduation.  To fulfil the Social Innovation requirement, candidates MUST either complete FOSS2018 or a combination of FOSS4003 and FOSS2021. To fulfil the Global Citizenship requirement, candidates MUST either complete FOSS2019, FOSS2020, undertake 12 credits of advanced courses on exchange studies or on an overseas summer programme approved by the Faculty. Candidates may complete a maximum of 30 credits of experiential learning (internship) during their studies.

Social Innovation Internship

12 credits

Global Citizenship Internship

12 credits

Global Citizenship Summer Institute

12 credits

Comparative East Asian Studies Internship

6 credits

The Political Economy of Global Asia

6 credits

For non-BSocSc students
Students are required to undertake 24 credits of courses listed under the Faculty of Social Sciences syllabuses, including the social sciences and non-social sciences courses.

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