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Asunto:[CeHuNews] 212/03 - Geography in Malawi
Fecha:Domingo, 29 de Junio, 2003  14:14:11 (-0300)
Autor:Humboldt <humboldt>

CeHuNews 212/03
University of Malawi

Geography & Earth Sciences Dept,
The Department of Geography and Earth Sciences offers courses in both Geography and  Earth Sciences to General Degree and Education students. Geography is recommended for those majoring in Arts and Social Sciences. Earth Science on the other hand is recommended for those majoring in natural Sciences. Students studying for either a Diploma or Bachelor's Degree in Education take common courses with General Degree students with the exception that the former take methodology courses from the third year. Interested General Degree students majoring either in Geography or Earth Sciences, and whose performance in fourth year is outstanding, are considered for a fifth-year Honours Degree programme. Field work is essential for all courses. Tutorials are arranged as necessary.

Courses Offered

First Year

GEO 101 Introductory Physical Geography
This is a foundation course designed to provide the background for later courses in Geography.Topics covered include: Major rock types in Malawi, their age, identification and mode of formation. The relationship between geology and topography; economic value of rocks; the solar system, seasons and time; isolation of the earth; the weather station; soil formation process, concepts of soil fertility; the concept of natural vegetation and man's impact on it.
2 hours lectures and practicals per week
Prerequisite: MSCE Geography

GEO 102 Introductory to Human Geography
The course is intended to introduce students to a wide range of concepts in human geography. Emphasis is on the spatial organisation of human phenomena and topics included are population distribution, patterns of rural settlement, rural economic activity and urban settlement, land use and economy. Measurement and analytical techniques, and theories relating not only to patterns but also to processes, are an important feature of the course.
2 hours lectures per week.

GEO 103 Introduction to Cartography and Map Analysis
This service course aims at consolidating and building upon map analytical techniques learned in secondary schools. There is a basic introduction to cartographic and map reading techniques followed by techniques for analysing site and situation, and constructing transect diagrams, relative relief maps, block diagrams, etc. Some time is devoted to the case-study of foreign and Malawian map sheets.
2 hours lectures and/or practicals per week
Prerequisite: MSCE Geography

Second Year

Geo 201 Advanced Physical Geography
This course builds on GEO 101 and introduces students to the system's view-point of the man -environment interaction.
Topics covered include: origin and evaluation of rivers and drainage network;  slope erosion by water; moisture in the atmosphere; precipitation anomalous sites in Malawi,
causes and aerial extent;  concepts of the eco-system and eco-system change;         carrying capacity of land, and problems of the man-environment interaction in Africa.
2 hours lectures per week.
Prerequisites: GEO 101, GEO 102, GEO 103.

GEO 202 Economic Geography

Building on GEO 102 this course focuses on the geographical aspects of consumption, production, and exchange of goods and services. The course incorporates both theory and analytical techniques.
2 hours lectures and practicals per week.

GEO 203 Statistical Mapping, Field Techniques and Remote Sensing
The first term is devoted to statistical mapping, essentially, an extension of GEO 103.Remote sensing techniques incorporating air photo and satellite imagery interpretation are covered during the second term. Simple surveying techniques (including plane table surveys and levelling) are introduced in the third term.
2 hours lecturers and practical per week.
Prerequisite: Geo 101, GEO 102, GEO 103.

Third Year 

GEO 302 Spatial Organisation (a half unit)
This course gives a broad introduction to Theoretical geography relating to modelling,perception studies, systems and location analysis. The course focusses on concepts, theories and models. Some of these include spatial structure and process, distributions, economic systems, the location theories such as Central Place Theory, Rank Size Relationships, Movement and Interactions in the Economic Space, people, objects and information, spatial organisation of  agricultural production, industrial location mode, transport and network analysis, Spatial variations in production cost, Industrial location Decision in uncertain world and the time dimension in space.
The course is combined with GEO 304 to form a unit.
2 hours per week.
Prerequisite GEO 201,GEO 202, GEO 203.

GEO 304 Urban Studies and Principles of Town Planning (half course)
Initially theories of the internal structure of cities are reviewed, and later attention is focussed on town planning, its objectives, scope and problems, its historical, theoretical, and legal foundations, its organisation and administration, its date requirements and relevant analytical techniques. The course is often combined with GEO 302 to form a full unit.
2 hours lectures per week
Prerequisite: GEO 201, GEO 202, GEO 203.

Fourth Year

GEO 401 Rural Development Studies
With the aid of case-studies the course looks at traditional African farming systems and compares them with evolving semi-commercial and commercial farming systems. A number of theories are examined to assess their relevance in the Africa context.
2 hours lectures per week.
Prerequisites: DEM 301,DEM 302 and GEO 304.

GEO 402 Principles of Regional Planning (half course)
As with GEO 304 and GEO 403, this includes an applied approach, and in many respects complements these two other courses. After assessing the need for regional planning and reviewing the relevant theories, the course focuses on regional development policy issues and strategies. Case-studies are an important feature. This course is often combined with GEO 403 to form a unit.
2 hours lectures per week.
Prerequisite: DEM 302 and GEO 304 or DEM 301 and DEM 303 and GEO 305.

GEO 403 Advanced Town Planning (half course)
A continuation of course GEO 304. Topics of study include:
principles and standards in town planning; the study of site characteristics and detailed planning design for town centres, residential areas, etc.;  graphic presentation of plans, plan evaluation and  programming with CPM and PERT; development control; urban development policy, and town planning in Malawi.

GEO 405 Environmental Studies and Resource Management
Environmental problems including those of soil erosion, woodland removal, tropical diseases and pests, pollution, etc., are covered, and this leads to a study of resources management.Special attention is given to the specific resources of Malawi and their management and mismanagement.
1 hour lecture per week in the third term.
Prerequisites: DEM 303, DEM 302 or GEO 304.

Geology forms the backbone of the programme. A unit of Physical Geography, which may be taken by students following either the Earth Sciences or the Geography programmes is included in the third and fourth years. Fieldwork is an integral part of
most Earth Sciences courses.

First Year

ESC 101 Introduction to Geology
Topics covered include: the character of the Earth's interior; major geological features of the Earth's surface; continental drift and plate tectonics; igneous processed and igneous rocks; metamorphic processes and metamorphic rocks; sedimentary processes and sedimentary rocks; folding of rocks; and geology time.
3 hours lectures and 3 hours practicals per week.
Prerequisites: MSCE in at least two Biology, Geography, Physical Science or General Science, Mathematics.

Second Year

ESC 201 Geology
The course introduces crystallography as a study of the major rock forming minerals. It also includes sedimentary petrology, stratigraphy, structural geology and introduces techniques in geological mapping.
3 hours lectures and 3 hours practicals per week.
Prerequisite: ESC 101

Third Year (One or two Units may be taken)

ESC 301 Geology
This course comprises optical mineralogy plus igneous and metamorphic petrology combined with an introduction to dating techniques.
3 hours lectures and 3 hours practicals per week.
Prerequisites: ESC 201. Unit 2 (Physical Geography (ESC 302, DEM 303, ESC 304)

ESC 302 Geomorphology
This course is designed to treat some of the concepts introduced in ESC 201 from a theoretical view-point as well as emphasize the system's nature of geomorphology processes and the place of man in this system. Topics include:system's viewpoint of geomorphology; basic postulates in geomorphology; geomorphological processes, their physical, chemical and biological bases and the nature of some selected processes.
2 hours lectures and practicals per week.
Prerequisites: ESC 201 or GEO 201

ESC 303 Pedology
The historical development of soil science, factors or soil formation and composition, properties of soils, spatial variations of soils, soil classification, and principles and practice of soil mapping, are among the topics covered. A soil mapping project is
incorporated within the course
2 hours lectures and practicals per week.
Prerequisites: ESC 201 or GEO 201

ESC 304 Meteorology and Climatology
The course is based on the foundation established in GEO 201, and is aimed at covering areas of meteorology and climatology not included in the Year II syllabus. It seeks also to demonstrate the importance of climate to other branches of earth sciences and social geography. Topics covered include : the relationship between pressure and winds, planetary circulation, climatic classification and a global scale climate change, planned and inadvertent weather modification, weather forecasting, and the influence of climate on man's activities. Special attention is given to the climate of Malawi and Central and Southern Africa.
2 hours lectures and practicals per week.
Prerequisites: ESC 201 or GEO 201

Fourth Year (One or two courses may be taken)

ESC 401 Geology
Several themes are incorporated in this course. More than half of the time is devoted to economic and applied geology, with the remaining time being devoted to a study of geology exploration techniques, evolution of the Earth, geology of Malawi, and dissertation preparation.3 hours lectures and 3 hours practicals per week.
Prerequisite: ESC 301 Course (Physical Geography: ESC 402, ESC 403, ESC 404)

ESC 404 Hydrology
This course is designed to assemble together and treat further all the numerous references to water-related topics in earlier years so as to introduce students to the rudements of both the theory and practice of hydrology. Some of the topics covered are:
the history of hydrology;
the hydrological cycle, hydrometry, network design, measurements of hydrological variables;
the analysis and presentation of various hydrological data and their use in computations for solving actual hydrological problems.
2 hours lectures and practicals per week
Prerequisites: ESC 302, ESC 303 and ESC 304


Chipeta, L BEd Mlw, MCD L'pool, PGDip Rehovot Lecturer & Head of Dept
Kaufulu, Z.M. BSc Mlw, MSc, CPh, PhD Calif Snr Lecturer
Mhango, D.H.Z. BSc Mlw, MSc Guelph Lecturer
Dolozi, M.B. BSc Mlw, BSc Leeds, MSc Birm, PhD Manit Snr Lecturer
Ngongondo, C.

Geography & Earth Sciences Dept,
Chancellor College
P.O. Box 280
Tel: (+265) 524222
Fax: (+265) 524046

BSc Mlw Staff Associate