Human Geography

GPHY 101/3.0

The fundamentals of human geography including the meanings of place, the impacts of globalization, multiculturalism, population change and movement, environmental history and politics, cultural geography, issues of uneven resource distribution, the role of colonialism in the modern shape of the world, agricultural geography, and urban geography. 


This course takes a place and space based approach to social problems widely considered important including energy, economy, the environment, urbanism, social division, public space, knowledge, ignorance, racism, geopolitics, migration. Probably the two largest problems faced by the world today are the environment and regional, national and global inequality. Taking a spatial approach to these problems tends to ground them, making them at once more real and more personal. In this class you will discover that these very large issues are personal in another way: what you do matters. You make the world. In the way we move from place to place, in the way we heat our homes, in the way we choose to communicate with each other and consume, for example, we have an impact on the environment and on other people both near and far from us. Living responsibly is, in part being aware of our choices and their impacts. But of course, it is not quite that simple: the world has been made and unmade and is being made and unmade by you and others all the time. In this class we will work to understand the forces that make the world we live in and remake by our actions. In this course, taking the troika of location-place-space and inequality as your principal concerns, you will explore one theme in depth and learn about many others from your colleagues. You may choose from the following themes as the main focus of your attention.


Individual 3-paragraph paper on reading an academic article (Pass/Fail)2.5%
Group 3 paragraph paper on reading an academic article5%
Individual 1 page paper on different kinds of sources (Pass/Fail)2.5%
Group 1 page paper on Different kinds of sources5%
Group 1 paragraph statement of argument2.5%
Individual 1 sentence statement of argument 2.5%
Individual annotated bibliography of 5 sources (Pass/Fail)2.5%
Group annotated bibliography 5%
Group’s questionnaire (Pass/Fail)2.5%
Mini-proposal 5%
Report on interviews 5%
Group 10-minute debate 20%
Individual final poster 40%

There will be no final exam for this course.


  • The spatial consequences of economic development
    • Energy, the economy and the environment
    • Food production, delivery, and/or consumption
  • Looming socio-spatial crises in Canada
    • Cities and social division
    • Public space and private space
  • Ignorance (or socio-spatial lack of awareness) as a powerful social force
    • Ignorance of First Nations, Métis and Inuit people in Canada
    • The socio-spatial consequences of racism
  • We shape the world and it shapes us
    • Geopolitics and how conflict, suffering or prosperity in one location influences others
    • International division of labour
  • Migration and place attachment make the world
    • Migration, diasporas, immigration and blocks to immigration
    • Place attachment, its causes and consequences

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 - 15 hours a week in assignments and meetings for GHPY 101. This course will be structured around 12 meetings, two major assignments (one team based and one individual) and a series of small hand-in tasks due either before or after each class that are designed to keep you on track.


Course Resources


SOLUS is Queen’s Student On-Line University System. You’ll have access to a SOLUS account once you become a Queen’s student. You’ll use SOLUS to register for courses, add and drop courses, update your contact information, view financial and academic information, and pay your tuition.


Moodle is Queen's online learning platform. You'll log into Moodle to access your course. All materials related to your course—notes, readings, videos, recordings, discussion forums, assignments, quizzes, groupwork, tutorials, and help—will be on the Moodle site.

About Credit Units

Queen’s courses are weighted in credit units. A typical one-term course is worth 3.0 units, and a typical two-term course is worth 6.0 units. You combine these units to create your degree. A general (three-year) BA requires a total of 90 credit units.

Computer Requirements

To take an online course, you’ll need a good-quality computer (Windows XP/Vista/7, Pentium III, or Mac OS X 10.5, G4 or G5 processor, 256 MB RAM) with a high-speed internet connection, soundcard, speakers, and microphone, and up-to-date versions of free software (Explorer/Firefox, Java, Flash, Adobe Reader). See also Preparing For Your Course.


The deadlines for new applications to Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are in our Dates and Deadlines section.

Tuition Fees

Tuition fees vary depending when you start, your year, faculty, and program. Fees for 2014-15 first-year Distance Career Arts & Science Canadian students are as follows: for a 3.0-unit course, $605.31; for a 6.0-unit course, $1210.62. See also Tuition and Payment.

Grading Scheme

The information below is intended for undergraduate students in the Faculty of Arts and Science. Academic Regulations in other Faculties may differ.

Letter Grade Grade Point

GPA Calculators
Have your SOLUS grade report handy and then follow the link to the Arts and Science GPA calculators.

How does this affect my academics?
See the GPA and Academic Standing page.

Follow the link above for an explanation of how the GPA system affects such things as the Dean’s Honour List, requirements to graduate, and academic progression.

Frequently Asked Questions on the Grading Scheme
Please follow this link to the FAQ's

Campus Bookstore

All textbooks can be purchased at Queen’s Campus Bookstore.

Non-Queen’s Students

All Queen’s Arts and Science Online courses are open to students at other universities. Before applying as a visiting student, request a Letter of Permission from your home university that states that you have permission to take the course and apply it to your degree. See also Apply.

Academic Integrity

Please see Queen’s policy statement on academic integrity for information on how to complete an online course honestly.