Geography is the study of places along with the study of relationships between people and their environments. The term has been derived from Greek word ‘geographia’; geo means “earth” and -graphy means “to write.” Geographers explore the physical properties of Earth’s surface as well as study the human communities spread across it. They also examine the interaction of the human culture with the natural environment and the way those places and locations can have impacts on the people. Geography tries to understand where things are found, why they are meant to be there, and how they happen to develop and change over time. All that comes above the surface of the earth belongs to the realm of Geography, but all that comes below that surface lies inside the sphere of Geology. Geology is an earth science concerned with the solid Earth, relates to the rocks of which it is composed, and the processes by which they change over time. Apart from solid part of earth, it is also the study of solid features of any terrestrial planet or natural satellite like the Mars or the Moon.
The similarity between geography and geology remains in the fact that major portions of both the giants include the study of some aspect of earth. The two subjects often overlap each other in their respective categorizations. Starting with geography there are several branches of it but the most significant one are Physical geography, Human geography, Environmental geography, Geomatics and Regional geography. Physical geography focuses on geography as an earth science, human geography focuses on the study of patterns and processes that shape the human society, environmental geography relates to the study of the spatial interactions between humans and the natural world, geomatics is concerned with the application of computers to the traditional spatial techniques and regional geography is concerned with the description of the unique characteristics of a particular region. Some other related fields are urban planning, regional planning, and spatial planning, resource management, regional economics, location theory, population distribution, urban and transport and communication, landscape ecology, and environmental quality.
Coming to geology, the major branches of it are geochemistry, oceanography, paleontology and sedimentology. Geochemistry refers to the study of the chemical processes which form and further shape the earth, oceanography is about the composition and motion of the water column along with the processes which are responsible for it, paleontology is the study of fossils and sedimentology is the study of sediment grains in marine and other deposits. Some other branches of geology include benthic ecology, biostratigraphy, geochronology, geophysics, marine geochemistry, marine geophysics, marine surveying and spectral geology. All over the globe, such distinctions or streamlining of the branches of both the subjects happen generally in higher studies only. There are several universities around the world which provide such courses to study but most of these courses being uncommon are taught selectively in different universities. The advantage of studying abroad includes study modules that focus more on real world challenges which are designed and taught by staff passionate about their subject as well as being acknowledged leaders in their field. Moreover when one goes to study abroad, the world opens up for him and he can consider his abroad study experience as a very important part of his education.
Starting with the undergraduate courses for both the subjects, certain basic courses are available in many universities around the globe but different regions provide specify courses as well. In such a course many a time both the subjects are taught together and specialization is done in future studies. Reflecting the broad scope of the degrees, one will find them titled either as a Bachelor of Arts (BA) or Bachelor of Science (BSc) based upon classifications by a university. The applicants will be expected to have studied some aspects of geography at the secondary level, certain related science and social science subjects may also be an asset, including physics, biology, chemistry, economics, mathematics, sociology, history and politics. It must be understood that various undergraduate courses have different time periods of completion which may vary from 3 years to 5 years. Some common undergraduate courses include economic and social geography, human geography, earth sciences, education geography, physical geography, environmental geography, marine geography, general geology, sedimentology, archaeology etc. Some universities are famous for providing certain courses for a Bachelor’s degree such as geography and statistics in University of Glasgow, astrophysics and geography by Keele University, human geography by University of Northampton, physical geography in the University of Hull, geology and geophysics at the University of Liverpool, to name a few.
A Master’s degree preferably includes a kind of specialization on the stream chosen during the undergraduate course. Certain colleges entertain a Master’s degree in branches of geography and geology only with a required period of field experience. Some courses other than those specified earlier for graduation on which a Master’s degree can be available for the subject of geography are of geography and psychology, geography and mathematics, geography and mediaeval history, geography and management, geography and sustainable development, geography and international relations, criminology and geography, geography and social anthropology, etc. Coming to geology come common courses offered for a Master’s degree are geology and physical geography, geology and geophysics, earth structure and dynamics, applied environmental geology, hydrogeology, engineering geology, earth sciences: geo-ecological dynamics, etc. Some universities are famous for providing certain courses for a Master's degree such as a course in science in geography by University of Brussels, geology and environmental hazards by University of Portsmouth, ancestral science by University of Glasgow, applied petroleum geoscience by University of Derby Sciences College, population studies by University of Groningen for a term of 1 year; physical geography and quaternary geology by Stockholm University, geoinformation science by Vrije University Amsterdam, geology in University of Canterbury for a term of 2 years; physical geography by Shandong Normal University for a term of 3 years.
A person interested in doing research always looks for a university which provides a stable environment of study, facility for sending researchers to places of related interests with provision of portable equipment since the field is geo- related, variety of precise research equipment for carrying of further research, opportunity for proper publishing of the outcome documents and further exposure to related placement opportunities in specific fields. The fields of research in biology may vary from as broad as Geology by the University of Idaho to as streamlined as the Philosophy degree in Environmental Resources and Policy by Southern Illinois University. Several universities provide considerable amount of stipend for doing research. Certain fields of research include Human Geography by Swansea University, geography and environment by University of Birmingham, Geography and planning by Cardiff University, geodatic science by Ohio State University, City and regional planning: changing cultures under developed housing policy by Cardiff University, to name a few. Certain famous universities for doing PhD in the said streams include University of Oxford, Utrecht University, University of Cambridge, Durban University, University College London, Stockholm University, Australian National University, in order.
According to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, for geography the Top 5 Universities are University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, Durham University, London School of Economics and Political Science, and University of British Columbia, in order. Whereas for earth and marine sciences degree, according to the QS World University Rankings by Subject 2018, the Top 5 Universities are ETH Zurich, Harvard University, University of California, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and University of Oxford, in order. In this world of increasing expenses, students look for scholarships which include a part of the tuition fees, entire tuition fees or tuition fees along with accommodation. For undergraduate courses of various branches of geography and geology under Northwestern University, Vanderbuilt University, University of Leicester, University of British Colombia, Australian Catholic University, etc. scholarships can be applied for. For post-graduation degrees in streams as mentioned above popular scholarships available are Chevening Scholarships, Paul and Daisy Soros Fellowships, VUW Postgraduate Scholarships, Hungarian American Enterprise Scholarship Fund, University of Huddersfield Scholarships, UWE Bristol University Gradlink Scholarships, Manchester Metropolitan University Vice-Chancellor Scholarships, etc.
Since both the fields of geography and geology are enormous, so are the future opportunities and job perspectives. With an undergraduate degree in both the stream the progression can occur either by pursuing higher studies whose details has been given above or by getting a job as a geological surveyor, Officer in a hydrocarbon and support industry like Geokinetics, Shell and Geotrace, engineering and environmental consultant in companies like The Environment Agency and URS Corporation, Mining officer, assistant town planner, assistant cartographer, etc. A post-graduate degree with good grades can help in enrolling into revered doctoral programmes or help in getting jobs of a cartographer, commercial, residential or rural surveyor, environmental manager, exploration geologist, facilities manager, geographic information systems manager, geomatics/land surveyor, landscape architect, Engineering geologist, Geochemist, Geophysicist/ field seismologist, geoscientist, hydrogeologist, mudlogger, wellsite geologist, etc. Major reasons to get a PhD in such fields are to become a geologist or geographer with required qualifications so that one can perform a research independently or work for post-secondary institutions, private employers or government agencies that require certain advanced credentials. Several Universities can also hire such scholars to teach as assistant professors or professors like the Jacksonville State University, Virginia Department of Human Resource Management, Pueblo Community College, Rutgers University and several others. There is also scope for post-doctoral research which is provided with full scholarships by University of Hamburg, Fraunhofer-Bessel Research Award, British Academy Postdoctoral Fellowships, to name a few..
Did you know, over 37 Australian universities have made it to the 2018 QS list of top universities in the world? The Australian education system offers quality education combined with great employer and industry reputation.
The primary and secondary level of education in Australia is no different than the other countries since it sets up the basic concepts of knowledge in the mind of young. What makes a difference is the tertiary education programme in Australia.
Australia has around 43 universities and in order to keep in check the working of these universities the Australian government has initiated programmes such as:
• The Australian Qualification Framework (AQF) established in 1995 as a national policy for tertiary education in Australia.
• The Tertiary Education Quality and Standard Agency (TEQSA) which monitors the quality standards of higher education in Australia.
The top quality institutions in Australia offer a variety of courses. The best courses to study are:
Some of the globally renowned institutes and universities of Australia are:
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