Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

profile photo of Sophie Lee

What I’ve found

Sophie has just finished her second year of Geography with Archaeology BSc(Hons). She tells us a bit about her course.

“I was comparing universities, and Brighton really stuck out because course structure was is amazing! In the first year we have only geography modules with a few archaeology talks, trips, and lectures. In the second year we really start getting into archaeology and there are residential trips such as Norfolk in the first year and Sicily in the second year. We almost have a trip every week in second year, going to museums and archaeological sites. 

When choosing a specific course to study, I just went with gut instinct. I enjoy both humanities and sciences, and the course is combined with geography which is a perfect balance of both.  I also liked the options you get with a combined course, since you I enjoy both geography and archaeology, I would be able to transfer courses easily if I wanted to. 

All my lecturers are very interesting. To an extent that I’m confident to sit at the front row of class, since I’m sure I won’t fall asleep!

Despite the misconception that learning about the past is ‘pointless’, many historical aspects really explain the causes of modern-day issues as racism, sexism, body image etc. Geography is so much more than  physical processes or relationships of humans with land, but is the key to solving the current environmental issues such as air, water and land pollutions,  

Geography and archaeology interlink so well as it feels like all the issues in the world align, pointing to human evil.  You really begin to understand how society is merely a construct, which only exists because everyone believes it. Human geography in the first year has a focus on imperialism; uncovering human greed as the source of evil: a want to dominate other humans and claim land through the process of capitalism.  Studying Imperialism is essential and is the root problems to the atrocities we see today such as racism, sexism, and exploitation such as cocoa slavery and deforestation. 

Archaeology shows the changes of society through time, showing hope for the current state of the world.  My favourite module in second year is Ancient and Prehistoric Societies where we can see that once upon a time, that we lived in harmony with nature; and respected it rather than exploited it. The course is extremely relevant to modern-day issues by tackling unearthing the roots of these issues, and how they are now the foundation of the society we live in.  

Throughout first year, I was shocked by all this information, and was able to apply small changes to my lifestyle. I walk rather than take the bus, collect unused clean water for my plants, and save oil from canned food for cooking purposes etc. I have also boycotted certain fast fashion brands for their unethical behaviour and environmental destruction, and aim to purchase second-hand from apps like depop, ebay and schpock.  I did further research and supported the BLM and Extinction Rebellion movements. I constantly check-up on new petitions concerning injustices to the world and send the links to the course group chats.  The most important part is what you do with all this knowledge; and knowing the power of the individual for change. 

There were two group project in first and one in the second year (so far) which are very enjoyable in my opinion! For the first year, only on of the presentations are formal. The first is casual and you create a poster based on the residential trip. The second one is discussing fast fashion, and you have a day out into town with your group. If there are any issues in the group projects, you can talk to the course leader. 

In second year I’m currently doing an environmental ‘consultation’ to emulate a project in a professional environment. There are different questions for each group, and it ultimately produces a 5000 word report and a formal presentation. One lecturer is the supervisor, and the project related to their work so you can ask them for help.   

There is a variety of learning styles covered by the university- from independent work like reading and revision, or more collaborative work such as group projects, seminars, and tutor meetings. Seminars are nice to discuss readings, and to ensure you’re up-do-date with everything. In first year, we have weekly tutor meetings where we check in to discuss general issues and learn about essential aspects of the course such as correct referencing, efficient research, and reading. In lectures we have group discussions, and it’s a very open and relaxed environment. Asking questions in the middle of lectures is very easy, and most lecturers encourage it.  

It’s amazing how my lecturers are not only passionate about what they teach, but teaching itself.”

 

 

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Laura Ruby • July 8, 2021


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