Gwybodaeth Modiwlau

Module Identifier
Module Title
Placing Politics
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Field Trip 1 x 2 Hour Field Trip
Lecture 6 x 2 Hour Lectures
Lecture 11 x 2 Hour Lectures


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Exam 1.5 Hours   Semester 1: One-hour online multiple-choice examination (50 questions)  20%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Semester 1: Seen examination answering two essays from five questions  30%
Semester Assessment Semester 2: 2,000 essay in which students examine the way in which ideas in political geography have been applied in the real world  50%
Supplementary Assessment Students must resit or resubmit the failed components if they have failed the module (with different questions set). Marks for passed components will be carried forward in the re-calculation of the resat module mark.  100%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Identify, describe and critically assess contemporary debates in the field of political geography.

Critically interrogate a range of sources and texts of concern to the political geographer, ranging from academic texts to policy documents.

Demonstrate evidence of a depth of reading in political geography.

Articulate a written argument in essay form on the significance of academic research in a particular area of political geography.

Demonstrate an understanding of the different ways in which ideas and debates within political geography have been used to address issues in the 'real world'.

Brief description

Placing Politics provides Level 2 students with a comprehensive grounding in the important subject area of Political Geography. Drawing explicitly on the research conducted within and outwith the New Political Geographies research group, the module will introduce students to the key academic debates taking place within this subject area, as well as demonstrating their real-world applicability through the use of policy and other case studies. As a way of foregrounding issues of employability, we will organise a fieldtrip to the Welsh Government offices in Aberystwyth, during which students will be able to learn how geographers and others have used their academic skills to solve 'real-world' problems. The module has been designed to develop students' skills and competencies in a progressive manner, through the use of different kinds of assessment at various stages within the module, including a multiple-choice examination, a two hour essay-based seen examination and a 2,000 word case study essay.

The first section provides an overview of different ways in which geographers have approached the subject area of Political Geography. While the first two lectures focus on the two main theoretical approaches that currently dominate contemporary Political Geography, the second set of two lectures examines two contrasting ways in which geographers and others have sought to practice Political Geography in the 'real world'. The students' factual knowledge of these themes is tested in the final session of this section in the form of a multiple-choice one-hour examination using Questionmark Perception (50 questions).

The second section - Placing Political Geography - explores various themes that are being studied within contemporary Political Geography. As a way of highlighting the value of a geographical approach to understanding political processes, the lectures focus on particular places that are emblematic of broader political concerns. The first five lectures (taught during the second half of semester 1) explore some of the more conventional themes that have been studied within Political Geography, including colonialism, geopolitics, the state and nationalism. The students' ability to understand and critically analyse these first five themes is tested through a seen two hour examination (with students answering two essays). The second half of Placing Political Geography takes place during the first six weeks of semester 2 and examines more novel themes that are increasingly being studied within Political Geography, including citizenship, public space, the gender and the body, the politics of performance, ecological politics, and globalisation and cyberspace. The students' ability to understand and critically analyse these second set of five themes is tested through a 2,000 word essay, which takes a case study approach to examining one of the five themes.


Part One: Approaching Political Geography
Lecture 1 - Introduction: placing politics
Lecture 2 - Political Economy: mapping Marxist approaches to Political Geography
Lecture 3 - Power: poststructuralist approaches to political geography
Lecture 4 - Public Policy: political geography as an answer to society's needs
Lecture 5 - Protest: militant geographies and radicalism
Week 6: Multiple choice exam

Part Two: Placing Political Geography
A) Political geographies: everyday sites and spaces
Lecture 6 -The Mine: resource geographies and ecological politics
Lecture 7 -The Shopping Mall: the politics of public space
Lecture 8 - The Net: globalisation and the politics of cyberspace
Lecture 9 - The Body: gendering politics
Lecture 10 - The Theatre: spectacle, performance and politics

B) Key concepts in political geography
Lecture 11 - The Plantation: political geography and the spaces of colonialism
Lecture 12 - The Conference Hall: geopolitics, critical geopolitics and the power of the image
Lecture 13 - The Fence: states as territorial entities
Lecture 14 - The Voting Booth: geographies of citizen engagement
Lecture 15 - The Parade Ground: place, politics, and nationalism

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Not explicitly developed in this module.
Communication The module will develop the students' skills of written communication, both in writing their case study essay and in completing their written examination.
Improving own Learning and Performance The structure of the module has been geared towards providing students with regular feedback over the course of the academic year and this should provide students with the opportunity to improve their own learning and performance.
Information Technology The case-study essay requires students to undertake independent online research. The module will enable students to enhance their research skills and practise their IT skills when writing the essay.
Personal Development and Career planning The module will help students to develop a range of transferable skills and will also highlight issues of employability, most explicitly through the fieldtrip. The case-study essay will test students' ability to discuss the applied nature of political geography.
Problem solving The module will develop students' problem-solving skills in a number of ways. Students will be required to analyse a range of sources and texts, and they may be required to complete small problem-solving exercises during the lectures. Students will also have to address problems associated with research design when undertaking their case-study essay.
Research skills Students are expected to research and synthesize a range of academic and non-academic source material in completing their case-study essay, and in preparing for their written examination.
Subject Specific Skills The case-study essay will develop and test students' ability to see how ideas and debates from political geography have been used by individuals, groups and organisations in the 'real world'.
Team work The lectures will include class-based problem-solving exercises and discussions which will provide opportunities for students to develop team-working skills and discuss their thoughts with the class.


This module is at CQFW Level 5