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. 

Please note: This course is typically offered in the winter term

This course takes a spatial approach to social problems widely considered important including energy, economy, the environment, urbanism, social division, public space, racism, geopolitics, migration. Probably the two largest problems faced by the world today are environmental degradation and regional, national and global inequality. Taking a spatial approach to these problems grounds and focuses them on the human and human-non-human relationships that shape the problems, making them at once more real and more personal to you. 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, through the relatively simple concepts of location and distance and the much more freighted concepts of space and especially place we will consider how economic development, city design, geopolitics and geo-commerce, policies on migration and population movement shape a landscape of inequality and desire.

Learning Outcomes

Upon completion of this course students will be able to:

  •  Explore the concepts of place, location and space to understand the relationships between these concepts.
  • Take a place and space based approach to social problems widely considered important.
  • Identify the causes of some of the fundamental inequalities that shape our world (e.g. distribution of resources, migration controls, unfavourable trade arrangements, etc.)  to explain their impact on our world at multiple scales
  • Link the concept of place, location, and space to some of the inequalities that shape our world
  • Explore the relationship of this inequality to larger social forces and your own daily decisions.


  • Energy, the economy and the environment
  • Food security and diversity
  • Cities and social division
  • Health, equity and the distribution of resources
  • Mining, manufacturing and agricultural production in Canada
  • International division of labour
  • Population movement, diaspora and immigration
  • Place attachment and community building


Fall 2024
Course Dates
Delivery Mode


10% - Review of Academic Article
8% - Discussion (2x4%)
14% - Thesis Statement
8% - Peer Review
8% - Quizzes (8x1%)
20% - Midterm
32% - Final Poster

There will be no final exam for this course.

**Evaluation Subject to Change**

Textbook and Materials

ASO reserves the right to make changes to the required material list as received by the instructor before the course starts. Please refer to the Campus Bookstore website at to obtain the most up-to-date list of required materials for this course before purchasing them.

There is no textbook for the course. All readings and films will be available in onQ.

**Materials Subject to Change**

Time Commitment

Students can expect to spend approximately 10 - 15 hours a week in assignments for GHPY 101. This course is structured around a series of small hand-in tasks and quizzes that are designed to keep you on track and prepare you for the final assignment.