Study Programmes 2017-2018
Introduction to Human Geography
Duration :
30h Th, 15h Pr
Number of credits :
Bachelor in history5
Lecturer :
Serge Schmitz
Language(s) of instruction :
French language
Organisation and examination :
Teaching in the second semester
Units courses prerequisite and corequisite :
Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program
Learning unit contents :
The course emphasizes the relationship between the environment and the man and initiates students to the geographical process. Without falling into the physical determinism, it shows by three case studies the interest to replace the historical facts in their spatial context. The courses is divided in three chapters.
1) The setting up of the population at the Earth scale
a) Description of the current distribution ; b) Critic of sources and cartographic representations; c) Research of explanatory factors of empty spaces and concentrations ; d) Formulation of hypothesis, choice of indicators and adjustment of indicators; e) Summary and critic of determinism in geography.
2) The development of Liege city plan
a) Formulation of hypothesis about primitive site from the data of physical environment; b) Study of the city development and explanation of the peripheral districts localisation from the ancient plans. Comparison with some geographical models; c) Analyse of the evolution of city functions in relation to the consequences of urban fabric; d) Discussion about the influence of the city in relation to the evolution of its geographical situation.
3) Morocco
a) Initiation to the geographical schematization ; b) Analyse of physical environment data and explanation of their distribution; c) Analyse of the adaptation of agriculture to the physical environment data; d) Study of the setting up the urban network thanks to the historical information; e) Analyse of the population explosion and the main problems that it creates; f) Analyse of the Moroccan commercial balance and discussion of perspectives.
The practical work initiates students to the reading of maps and plans, to urban and rural landscape analysis, to the regional geography of Belgium, and to the analysis of spatial correlations.
Learning outcomes of the learning unit :
1. To replace the historical facts in their geographical context 2. To master the elementary vocabulary of geography 3. To read and to analyse maps and plans 4. To establish links of systemic type between various geographical components in order to explain a localization 5. To heighten the scientific process (Formulation of hypothesis, modelling, construction of indicators)
Prerequisite knowledge and skills :
Basics of arithmetic and statistic
Planned learning activities and teaching methods :
Lectures based on discussion with students and comment of projected documents. Practicals. Recommended readings. Visit of Liege
Mode of delivery (face-to-face ; distance-learning) :
Lecture and practical work (45h): Thursday during the second semester from 1 p.m to 4 p.m.  See
Recommended or required readings :
Noin Daniel, 2005. Géographie de la population, Paris : Armand Colin, Chapters 5 & 6.
Schmitz Serge, 2007. La ville de Liège ou l'explication d'un fait géographique, support du cours d'introduction à la géographie humaine, Liège : Université de Liège, Faculté des sciences, 56 p.
De Boeck, 2014. Le grand Atlas, Louvain-la-Neuve : De Boeck, 250 p.
Assessment methods and criteria :
  • Oral exam and paper exam in June
  • Paper exam in September
Work placement(s) :
Organizational remarks :
Contacts :
Prof. Serge SCHMITZ Institut de Géographie Université de Liège Sart Tilman - Bât. B11 Bureau 1/21 Phone. : 04/366 56 29 Fax : 04/366 57 70
Symi Nyns Institut de géographie Bureau 1/43 Phone. 04/366 55 52
Secrétariat : Chantal SARTO Phone. 04/366.56.23