The Physical Environment
University of Cape Town
Cape Town, South Africa
Area of Study
Environmental Science, Environmental Studies
Taught In English
GEO1009F or EGS1004S.
Course Level Recommendations
ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.
Host University Units24
Recommended U.S. Semester Credits4
Recommended U.S. Quarter Units6
Hours & Credits
This course focuses on contemporary atmosphere-earth surface interactions in particular the role of precipitation and water from a global to a regional scale and examines temporal dynamics, driven by natural process as well as anthropogenic pressures. It covers in detail global circulation patterns, climate variability, soil formation, polar response to climate change, tropical deforestation, desertification and earth observation
technology. It concludes with a detailed study of local scale systems and applications covering stream catchments, estuaries, wetlands and coastlines. It is expected that students will enhance their unde
rstanding of earth system dynamics, systems interactions and develop an appreciation for scales
both temporal and spatial. Students are also expected to put the local context into a regional setting and make linkages to the larger global picture.
DP requirements: Satisfactory completion of practicals and all written assignments, including projects, fieldwork reports, practicals, essays and class tests. Students must attain an average mark of not less than 40% for the coursework.
Assessment: Project, essays, class tests and practical assignments including fieldwork report count 50%; one three-hour examination written in June count 50% (sub-minimum of 40% required).
Fieldwork: There is a compulsory fieldwork component involving half-day field excursions.
Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.