About the Department of Geography - University of Canterbury - New Zealand


Email Enquiries


Phone Numbers

Enquiries: +64 3 369 4087
Fax: +64 3 364 2907

Course Coordinators

Undergraduate Coordinators

Heather Purdie 1st year coordinator
Dr Heather Purdie
Geog Rm 405, Phone 369 4131 ext. 94131
Email: heather.purdie@canterbury.ac.nz
Angel Curl 2nd and 3rd year coordinator
Dr Angela Curl
Geog Rm 505, Phone 369 4104 int ext. 94104

Postgraduate Coordinators

Kelly Dombroski 400 Level coordinator
Kelly Dombroski
Geog Rm 404 Phone 369 4101 ext. 94101
Email: kelly.dombroski@canterbury.ac.nz
Andy Sturman Masters and Ph.D. coordinator
Prof Andy Sturman
Geog Rm 347, Phone 369 4130 ext. 94130
Ioannis Delikostidis MGIS
Dr Ioannis Delikostidis
Geog Rm 502, Phone 364 2987 ext. 7918

Head of Department

Peyman Zawar-Reza Assoc. Prof Peyman Zawar-Reza
Geog Rm 508, Phone +64 3 369 4057, Internal 94057


University Contacts Staff Search by Name

Postal Address

Department of Geography
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8020
New Zealand

Physical Location

The Department of Geography is located on the Southern corner of Forestry and Arts Road intersection. Enquiries in person should be made to the main office located in room 509-510 Geography building.

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About the Department of Geography

Geography Building
Department of Geography - University of Canterbury Campus, Christchurch, NZ

We offer a wide range of undergraduate courses towards BA, BSc and BEd degrees, with about six hundred students being enrolled across 100, 200 and 300 levels. Canterbury degrees are unit-based: most students do no more than half their degree in any one subject. Those who wish to specialise can focus exclusively on Geography at 300 level, and do graduate coursework if they wish.

The undergraduate curriculum is structured around four 'pathways', after introductory integrated courses at 100 level each taught by teams of physical and human geographers.The pathways are: Physical Geography; Human Geography; GeoSpatial Science, and Resource and Environmental Management.

Graduate coursework students are spread across a range of courses in physical and human geography, GIS, remote sensing, and in resource assessment and management. Usually there are between 25 and 30 coursework students in Geography, with half as many again coming in to take particular papers from other departments.

Thesis students are either engaged in Masters degrees or PhDs. Currently there are between 30 and 40 thesis students working in the department. The South Island is an ideal laboratory for many fields of physical geography, such as climate, coastal and alpine studies. New Zealand, with its history of experimentation in economic and environmental management, social relations and land rights, also has some specific human geographies that repay close research.

Geography has a number of adjunct fellows, postdoctoral fellows, and a steady stream of visitors, all of whom add to the intellectual life of the department and work closely with graduates. The university’s Erskine Fund pays for three prestige visitors to spend periods of up to a semester with us each year, and the department also pays for its own visiting lecturer from overseas for each academic year (list of past and present Erskines, visitors and post docs).

The Department is housed in extensive purpose-built accommodation, dating from the mid 1970s. The main, 6 level, block houses graduate students, a full time academic staff of fourteen, short and long term visitors, as well as GIS and computing labs on the top floor. An allied university research and teaching centre, Gateway Antarctica, occupies the ground floor. Geography is also involved with a number of UC partners.

There is also an adjacent three level lab block, which has teaching rooms, physical laboratories, a well equipped Geography learning Space, and other services such as cartography, graphics and workshops. The GeoHealth Laboratory is located in this block on the 3rd floor. The GeoHealth Laboratory undertakes applied research in the areas of health geography, spatial epidemiology and Geographical Information Systems. In particular, work in the GeoHealth Laboratory focuses upon how the local and national contexts shape health outcomes and health inequalities.


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