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School of Environment, Education and Development

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BA Geography
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BA Geography / Course details

Year of entry: 2018

Course unit details:
Introducing Human Geographies 1

Unit code GEOG10251
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 1
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Offered by Geography
Available as a free choice unit? Yes

Overview

This course offers students a conceptual and geographical grasp of key debates within human geography. Most notably, the course will explore how geographers have understood and examined issues of national identity, race, ethnicity and postcolonialism, contemporary multiculturalism, geographies of religion, the geopolitics of nation-states and borders, the politics and process of international migration, and the social geographies of the city. Using a range of contemporary examples from both the Global North and the Global South, the course will help students understand the ways in which geographical debates have shaped our knowledge of culture, place and politics. The knowledge base developed through these varied examples and debates will be of use to students in years 2 and 3 where course units directly develop some of the themes introduced here.  The course will be structured around a semester of 12 weeks with 2 study weeks

Aims

The course aims to:

  • explore key concepts in social, cultural, urban and political geography.
  • develop an understanding of how key concepts in human geography (such as postcolonialism, national identity, geopolitics, mobility, cities and migration) can be applied to real world examples.
  • explore the varied relationships between people, place and space and to examine the approaches geographers have used to examine these relationships. 
  • develop a range of transferable skills including the ability to pose questions, construct an argument, synthesise ideas and analyse material. 

 

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course unit, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of key concepts in social, cultural, urban and political geography.
  • demonstrate an ability to analyse and conceptualise real world problems within an academic framework.
  • display an ability to critically interpret and evaluate different theoretical and methodological frameworks for understanding issues in human geography.
  • critically reflect upon varied sources of evidence in human geography and display an ability to analyse sources.  

Syllabus

The course will be structured around a semester of 12 weeks with 2 study weeks, the lectures will be ordered as follows; 

  1. Introduction: identities, relations and cultures – taking place seriously (HFW and JD)
  2. Race, ethnicity, and postcolonial geographies (HFW)
  3. National identity and imagined communities (HFW)
  4. From multiculturalism to super-diversity (HFW)
  5. The geographies of religion (HFW)
  6. Study week
  7. The geopolitics of security, identity and the war on terror (JD)
  8. Migration, mobility and the challenges of border building (JD)
  9. Study week
  10. Divided cities – from gated communities to the homeless city (JD)
  11. Informal cities – the production of urban space in the Global South (JD)
  12. Conclusion: mobility, urbanity, politics – geographical futures? (HFW and JD) 

Teaching and learning methods

The course unit will be delivered by 20 hours of lecture-based material (including short exercises and in-class debates). The lectures will introduce students to a variety of issues within contemporary human geography, and will encourage students to reflect upon and discuss how geographers have thought about, researched and worked on, the real world relevance of these key issues. Students will be expected to complete reading between lectures and to undertake some preparation work for in class exercises. Sessions will draw upon a range of resources, including powerpoint slides which will be posted to Blackboard for all sessions, links to relevant web resources, core readings and video clips. A comprehensive archive of all sources and links will be compiled on Blackboard for student use, along with details of the course assessment. 

Transferable skills and personal qualities

During this course unit, you will be encouraged to develop the following abilities and skills:

  • critical reading and thinking skills through an engagement with key texts and current research in different areas of human geography and social theory. 
  • an ability to interpret and comment on contemporary issues within human geography, and to connect complex theories to real world problems. 
  • an appreciation of how different theories provide solutions to contemporary issues and the ability to assess and evaluate these solutions. 

Assessment methods

The course will be assessed through a two-hour exam consisting of two essays.

Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided in the following ways during this course unit:

  • Verbal feedback will be provided through Q&A, discussion and interactive activities within lectures, along with discussion of video clips and web resources.
  • Written feedback on exam responses will be provided through academic advisor meetings. 
  • Verbal and written feedback and discussion will be provided through the Geography tutorial programme.
  • Verbal feedback will be provided through weekly consultation hours.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Assessment written exam 2
Lectures 20
Independent study hours
Independent study 78

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jonathan Darling Unit coordinator
Sarah Hall Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Timetable
GEOGRAPHY STUDENTS WILL HAVE STUDY WEEKS ON WEEK 6 AND WEEK 9.

Two hour Lecture, TBC

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