Fieldwork

Level 1 modules make use of local rural locations such as the village of Stourmouth on the edge of the Wantsum Channel and Devil's Kneading Trough on the North Downs.

Staff and students on Wye Downs
The Countryside module (Level 3) includes several field visits (dependent on timetable and weather conditions) during the year. The module takes advantage of the wide range of interesting habitats and landscapes on Canterbury's doorstep.

In previous years students have visited:

  • the RSPB Reserve at Church Wood (in the Blean), to study woodland management and history;
  • Fordwich to investigate wetland issues on the Stour and the Westbere Lakes;
  • the Old Park, an area of grass and scrub used for military training by the MoD, and for recreation by locals, which lies within easy walking distance of the University.

One of the assessed exercises (an assessment of the Public Rights of Way (PROW) network) also involves independent (group-based) fieldwork. This exercise explores PROWs in areas of downland, woodland and orchards.

Malta Field Week

The Malta Field Week is a residential field course which takes place during the Easter Vacation of the second year. The Field Week forms an integral part of the Level 2 Fieldwork Investigation in Geography module and helps to provide a foundation for the Individual Geographical Study (undertaken at Level 3). Half-board accommodation is provided in a good quality hotel, at no cost to the student.

Malta harbour
The choice of Malta as the setting for the residential field course is due to a number of factors. Malta provides an extremely safe environment in which to undertake field work. Moreover, English visitors (including students) quickly feel at home in a country which has very close links with the UK and where English is widely spoken. But Malta is also distinct, both in scale and culture, and an important aim of the field course is to enable students to appreciate that places are individual, even in the age of the global economy. The field course also expresses the involvement with the wider world which has always been a hallmark of university geography.

One important aim of the field course is to enable students to undertake a structured geographical investigation in a contrasted environment, under the guidance of experienced tutors, who have worked in Malta for many years. The field course also provides opportunities for students to devise their own approaches to the systematic investigation of research problems, thereby developing independent learning and social skills. Overall, the field course offers students a rich variety of academic stimuli, in a congenial environment, together with ample opportunities for social interaction. It is easy to see why, for most students, the Malta Field Week is one of the highlights of the geography degree programme.