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Department of Geography

1.      Geography Department-Past and present:

Major degree in Geography has been offered at Birzeit University since early 1980s, offered initially by the "Department of History, Geography, and Political Science", until 2002, when the "Department of Geography" was established as a separate department, to have its own curricula, and offer its own diplomas.
In 2006, the Masters program in Geography was established, with two major tracks, Physical Geography, and Human Geography. There are 15 faculty members and assisting staff at the department, responsible for teaching, training, and supervising students in both, academic work and practical field work. 

  2.      The Mission of the Department: The philosophy of the Department of Geography is based on scientific and practical preparation of the graduates, so that they can teach multiple geographical fields in an open, constructive, and modern atmosphere. The mission of the department focuses on dissemination and refinement of in-depth knowledge on earth, human, and human-surrounding environment within a scientific research framework. It is also based on modern technologies that ensure effective contribution of the department and its graduates in the advancement of the geographical scientific knowledge, to solve emerging problems, and to address the development needs of the society.  

  1. Job and market opportunities

Some current employers of undergraduate and graduate students:

Employers of the Geography graduates include universities (Such as Birzeit University), Ministry of Higher Education, Ministry of Planning, Ministry of Local Government, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Department of Meteorology, Palestinian Environmental Quality Authority, and NGOs that have related Geographic work and interests. Typical types of job opportunities and type of work undertaken:Primary and secondary school teachers, planning assistant, conservation and management specialist, program coordinator, educational support supervisor and assistant,  geotechnical studies assistant, researcher in various governmental bodies, project development officer, resource manager, GIS and remote sensing trainers, conservationist, customer services officer, local and regional  planner, environmental researchers and research assistant,  environmental Impact assessment (EIA) research assistant, research assistant, surveyor and assistant surveyor. General qualifications acquired for life: Although the academic content (theoretical and practical) is the main goal of the department’s program, a degree   from Geography at Birzeit University  provides students with many skills necessary for their life  and in their workplace, these includes:   A four year program of job-related activities that is designed to enhance the students’ employability.  Provide the ability to communicate and to work as part of a team?  Enhance the ability to plan and execute a geography related projects?  Provide the students with the necessary computer skills, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), Cartography, Statistical and analytical methods, internet-based techniques for research, and the use of Word processing and presentation software. 

 

  1. Programs’ Description
  Undergraduate programs 
  1. Major Geography/ minor History
  2. Major Geography/ minor Political Science

 This program provides a four-year route to a BA degree in major geography/ minor history or political science. Students spend the first year gaining a solid ground and diverse range of subjects and then enter the department’s BA three-year degree program.Students with an interest in past and present relationships between people and their spatial environments will find the first program (Major Geography/ minor History) highly related. Whereas students with an interest to political issues shaping out the geographical context will find the second program (Major Geography/ minor Political Science) highly appealing. Fieldwork is an important component of the teaching process in geography department. Therefore a number of field trips are required including a compulsory four day fieldwork study of natural and cultural exploration of Palestine. Fieldwork usually consists of participation in a department-planned field training and field works and in theoretically-based projects focusing on the Mediterranean and North Africa. As for the graduate program,  it splits between two majors; Human Geography and Physical Geography.  The main aim of the master program is to create researchers with internationally recognized expertise in their specific fields, who have an awareness of the current environmental and up-to-date academic research problems, and are competent of applying their scientific and practical skills to local, regional and internationally bounded spatiotemporal problems.

 

    Programs

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