Explore our rewarding learning opportunities

In the Department of Geography and Planning we are very proud of the work our students do to engage with people and places across Australia and the Asia-Pacific.

We bring our research and teaching together in these spaces, ensuring our research benefits the people and places we work with while also providing rewarding field experiences where students learn from (and have opportunities to contribute to) cutting-edge social and environmental issues.

Across the department our staff and students are engaged in collaborative, field-based research ensuring our teaching deals with some of the most critical development, planning and sustainability issues confronting people and places throughout the world.

International field trips

Students conducting research with PACOS Trust, Sabah, BorneoStudents taking courses with the Department of Geography and Planning have the opportunity to undertake international field research with the Indigenous rights organisation PACOS Trust in Sabah, a province of Malaysian Borneo, through our PACE program. Our research and teaching relationship with PACOS extends well over 10 years and has provided life changing experiences for students interested in social and environmental justice. Placements extend over 8 weeks and have involve a range of projects including land use mapping and documenting of Indigenous knowledges.

Australian field trips

View of a fieldOur department places a strong emphasis on fieldwork. Some field trips are a compulsory part of your units, while others may be optional depending on your degree choice. Many of our units will include day trips to places in the Sydney region such as Cockatoo Island and the Blue Mountains. Other field trips will take place on Macquarie University campus, making use of the newest experiential technologies such as mobile Virtual Reality (VR) equipment.

During these field trips you will be able to directly apply the knowledge and the skills that you have gained in the classroom. You will have the chance to see for yourself how tourism impacts world heritage sites, how big cities such as Sydney are planned, what Amsterdam’s bike-centric urban transportation network looks like using VR, or how Indigenous-led environmental management takes place in practice.

We also offer a five-day residential field school in the Hunter Valley. During the field school you will gain first-hand experience in collecting data and other practical skills such as working in a team. You will learn how to assess the risks and hazards that are involved in doing fieldwork and how to develop a project plan. These activities will allow you to develop skills that may be required for future employment. Additionally, field schools are a great way to get to know your lecturers and fellow students even better.

Professional and Community Engagement (PACE)

Through Macquarie University’s Professional and Community Engagement (PACE) program, undergraduate and postgraduate students can deepen and value add to their skills by engaging with community partners through applied research opportunities. We have deep, long-term, reciprocal relationships with a range of partners including the Coal Loader Sustainability Centre in North Sydney and the Yanama Budyari Gumada project in Western Sydney.

Yanama Budyari Gumada project

Signing into Country at Yellomundee, Western Sydney.PACE students have the opportunity to be part of the Darug Caring-as-Country project in Yellomundee Regional Park in western Sydney. Under the leadership of Darug custodians, they contribute to a whole-of-community approach to environmental management. Yanama Budyari Gumada means to walk with good spirit - and our students are able to do this together with Darug custodians, NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service managers, university researchers, postgraduate students, and park users.

Undergraduate students have found the community engagement opportunity to be transformational and key to their career development.

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Last updated: 17 Dec 2019