Background Profile of the Program
Geography has been broadly accepted as a bridge discipline between human and physical sciences. In the beginning, Geography focused on the physical aspects of the earth, however, modern Geography is an all- encompassing discipline that seeks to understand the earth and all of its human and natural processes as integrating elements. Geography has emerged through time as a trans-disciplinary subject integrating the regional diversity with the concepts of the timing of space and the spacing of time. Its history is closely connected with the history of human society and its development. However, as a science, Geography is relatively young and many of its fundamentals appear during the nineteenth century.
In Ethiopia, the teaching of Geography at the tertiary level started in 1950 at the then University College of Addis Ababa (UCAA). By then, Geography was offered as an important field of study to students from social sciences stream. Since 1958, the department of Geography, now renamed Department of Geography and Environmental Studies as of 2002, has been offering the program in different public universities leading to the Bachelor of Arts Degree in Geography and Environmental Studies. Nowadays, the program is given in majority of the public Universities in Ethiopia and it is one of popular program, which is most preferred by most undergraduate students from both social as well as natural science streams.
Attributed to advancement of technology and newly emerging issues in the field of geography, the program is becoming wider in scope. Geography as a field of study is composed of two main branches: Human Geography and Physical Geography. Apart from the two main branches, it is also composed of technical/skill based courses, which include Geo-information sciences, Cartography, Map Reading, and Surveying.
Now we live at a time when computers are widely used to acquire and process geo-data, store, retrieve and manage spatial information. Geographic Information System (GIS) including Remote Sensing (RS) technologies emerged as one of the main tools of spatial analysis and graphical presentation in geographical studies. This is a new development to the field of geography. Environmental issues such as climate change; desertification & global warming, and environmental degradation are important issues of these days. Globalization in its environmental, cultural and economic perspectives is a recent and important development.
With the intention of having harmonized curriculum in all higher institutions in the country, a modular curriculum approach was adopted and it has been implemented since 2005 E.C. However, due to the recent change in higher institution education policy of the country, there is a need to revise the already existing modular curriculum to customize to the newly developed policy. It is with this demanding change that Dilla University, Department of Geography and Environmental studies was given the mandate to work on the revision of the curriculum.
The vision of the Ethiopian government in the area of education in higher institution is to attain quality education and training system which assures at producing competent citizens. In line with this, the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies is to be a center of academic excellence in the field of Geography and Environmental Studies through innovative teaching of recent perspective of Geography and enhance awareness of the earth as a living planet with reference to human-environment interaction and resulting physical and human phenomena and their spatial variation amongst students of the discipline and allied sciences.
The missions of the programme are:
- Implementation of the New Education and training Policy of the Country which demands academically qualified professional for the undergraduate educational
- Producing academically qualified experts who can work research and community based activity on geographically diverse areas of the
- Expanding the geographic research horizons and to effectively integrate it with the national planning and development;
- Implementation of Ethiopia’s short and long socio-economic development plans by producing the necessary skilled manpower in both quality and quantity for the country’s
- Enhancing the quality of geographical education for broader applications and its implementation for the resolution of human problems;
- Impart current knowledge and practical skills to Geography graduates through theory, practices and field exercises;
- Prepare qualified professionals who engage in local, national, and global issues;
- Provide relevant, up-to-date, and integrated theoretical and practical skills that can be applied to solving community issues and problems;
Educational Objectives and Competency Profile
The program aims to provide undergraduate students with both subject-specific knowledge and general skills. It aims:
To produce all rounded professionals capable of
- Understanding the facts and patterns of Spatio-temporal processes and possibilities of human and physical phenomena and their interactions
- Identifying and solving Spatio-temporal problems of the physical and human environment
- Comprehending the risks, potentials, and prospects of the country’s environment in isolation as well as in global perspective
- Generating, analyzing, and presenting Spatio-temporal data of physical and human environment using different scientific procedures, models, tools, and techniques
- Demonstrating confidence and conviction that enable them to become positive role models to society, committed to change and development
- Participating in community development by:
- Providing various kinds of professional trainings to the community
- Awakening the general public of environmental problems, their causes, consequences and mobilize the public for positive actions
- Providing professional consultancy services with a view to accelerate environmental, social and economic developments
- Conduct research in different areas (environment, development, society, economy, etc.,) that would help in solving societies’ problems and disseminate results
- Establish a system and culture of provision of continuous training, consultancy services and conducting research
- Enhance customer satisfaction with departmental services by devising sound system for this
Professional and Graduate Profile
The graduates of this program are expected to have the following professional profiles:
- Engages in education (in universities, colleges, high school) and research at national, regional research & development organizations;
- Design and implement socio-economic development policy
- Advise and implement on environmental and development related issues in government,
- community based institutions, commercial enterprises and non-government organizations;
- Work as self-employed in various areas of development endeavors;
- Manage natural resources
- Plan in various transport facilities
- Promote tourism industry
- Involve in biodiversity conservation and wildlife management
- Participate in watershed management and land rehabilitation
- Engage in landscaping and urban development
- Solve problems related to climate and environmental hazards
- Consult on livelihood and food security issue
- Make and interpret maps, aerial photos and satellite imageries
- Provide geo-spatial analysis service
- Interpret the link between environment, development and population dynamics;
- Engage in solving societal problems such as HIV/AIDS and Gender issues;
- Provide consultancy service in solving resource based and boundary conflicts;
- Analyze rural-urban
The curriculum of the department is designed with the view that graduates who complete their education from the department shall be able to:-
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of spatio-temporal distributions in both physical and human phenomena, and use geographic and environment perspectives to evaluate, make decisions about, and report on issues, processes, and events,
- Identify, collect and compile information through archives, field survey; aerial photographs and remotely sensed data to alleviate spatio-temporal problems of physical & human environment and develop potentialities,
- Care for ethical values, and provide leadership role models in national, regional and local development with a clear understanding of values and needs of the country
- Capable of working cooperatively for the common good of society
- Use different theories and models to understand and explain spatio-temporal processes, trends and patterns related to human and physical environment,
- Initiate and participate actively in community services and developmental activities
- Generate, organize, and analyses Geo-data for Spatial Decision Support system
- Apply modern tools and techniques like GIS and remote sensing in managing resources and protecting environment for sustainable development
- Highly committed to self-development through the continuous acquisition of knowledge and experience and able to survive in an environment of continuous change in a rapidly evolving society;
- Conduct researches, which are beneficial to society and present the result of their findings in clear and coherent manner;
- Appreciate the natural environment, work on resources and environmental degradation, pollution and population explosion, which are global issues of today’s,
- Involve as an expert in land administration and registration issues;
- Actively participate in food security and livelihood related research
- Have basic understanding on fundamental national issues and sustainable
The following requirements are set as selection criteria to join the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies in the degree program.
- Students who successfully completed freshman program and meet the minimum requirements required i.e. with a minimum CGPA of 2.00.
Duration of the Study
The programme covers four years programme spread over 8 semesters (two semesters per Year) including freshman program courses and it takes for a total of 145 credits and 243 ECTS. Total number of courses in Geography and Environmental Studies are 35 and number of common courses is 15 and an education fee is charged through cost-sharing.
Mode of Delivery
The mode of delivery will be parallel.
Medium of Instruction
The medium of instruction is English
Teaching and Leaning Methods
In teaching each course in the programme, different teaching and learning methods are employed.
More emphasis is given to student center approach depending on the nature of the course as stated below:
- Group discussion of various types
- Home takes assignment and Class presentation
- Lab works
- Independent work
- Field visit
- Demonstration (map, video, pictures, )
- Term paper production & presentation
Assessment and Evaluation Mechanisms
Continuous assessment and comprehensive final examination are the assessment and evaluation mechanisms used in this curriculum. 50% of the evaluation is given to continuous assessment while the remaining 50% is allotted for final examination. The continuous assessment to be given include
- Mid exam
- Lab work and exercise
- Individual and group assignment, project work,
- field reports,
The standard grading systems will be applied as set by the harmonized senate legislation.
In order to graduate in this programme, a student has to take the required credits without scoring “F” in any course and the minimum Cumulative Grade Point Average (CGPA) of 2.00.
Students completing the graduate program of the Department of Geography and Environmental Studies will be awarded:
- “Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) in Geography and Environmental Studies”
- In its Amharic version “የባችለር አርት ዲግሪ በጂኦግራፊና አካባቢ ጥናት”