Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Enrollment in MA in Space, Place and Politics

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminars / Tutorials


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment PROJECT ESSAY Two project essays of no more than 7,000 words demonstrating a scholary appreciation of key philosophical, epistemological and theoretical debates in cultural geography (one at the end of each semester - 35% for each essay) 70%  70%
Semester Assessment ORAL PRESENTATIONS within the reading groups, 10%  10%
Semester Assessment RESEARCH JOURNAL (6,000 words submitted in two stages) that reviews and critically evaluates the articles discussed within the human geography reading group and connects these to wider debates in human geography and cultural geography, 20%  20%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed components 

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Show a critical awareness of the history and development of political geography, in addition to current debates concerning the purpose and extent of the subject area.
  2. Display a scholarly appreciation of the transformation of the state and territory since the onset of the 'nation state' and under contemporary globalisation.
  3. Demonstrate a critical awareness of the spatial aspects of political processes.
  4. Critically appraise theories of power, politics, identity and place.
  5. Show awareness of the connections between regulation, governance and scale.
  6. Appreciate policy formulation, systems of policy delivery, and issues of inclusion and exclusion.
  7. Critical appraise the various contributions made to our understanding of the political geography of non-humans, including the environment and nature.
  8. Demonstrate competency in reviewing and critiquing key readings in human and political geography.
  9. Develop a range of skills in individual study, oral discussion, team-working, and written presentations.
  10. Evaluate these knowledges and positions within small group discussions containing both postgraduates and teaching staff.

Brief description

Students will acquire an understanding, through reading and seminar-based discussion, of: the history and development of political geography, in addition to current debates concerning the purpose and extent of the subject area; the changing relationships between States, systems of governance and policy, and territory; the engagement between politics, people and place; and the political geographies of nature and the environment. The module explores these themes by specifically engaging with their geographies in historical and contemporary settings. In addition, students are also required to attend a 'Reading Human Geography' seminar series consisting of reading groups and presentations by visiting speakers, and keep an assessed journal critically evaluating only the reading groups.


1. Power, Space and 'Political Geography'

_Section 1: States, Territories and Regulation_
2. States and Territories
3. States and Imperialism: Historical and Contemporary Contexts
4. States and Geopolitics: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
5. States and the Political Geographies of Globalisation
6. The State's Changing Forms and Functions

_Section 2: Place and Political Identity_
7. The Political Geographies of the Nation
8. Power and Place
9. Contesting Place

_Section 3: People, Policy and Geography_
10. Democracy, Participation and Citizenship
11. Public Policy Communities and Political Geography

_Section 4: Non-human political geographies_
12. Environmental Geopolitics and Nature Wars
13. Biocentric political geographies
14. The Future(s) of Political Geography

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Some readings by students will discuss empirical research based on numerical analysis (not assessed).
Communication The seminar format of much of the course will help to develop the communication skills of the students (in the formal teaching sessions and the reading groups). This is assessed in the context of the Oral Presentation. In addition, written communication skills will be developed in the context of the Project Essays and Research Journal.
Improving own Learning and Performance There is a strong emphasis in the course on student-led learning. This is a key feature of preparing for discussions in seminars and researching for the Project Essays, Research Journals and the Oral Presenation. In each case, students will be required to develop self and time-management skills.
Information Technology Students will be expected to use Information Technology in the presentation of their coursework. They will also become familiar with the use of Internet in the provision of academic writing, for example on-line journals (assessed through the Project Essays and Research Journal). They will also be expected to use Powerpoint when doing their Oral Presentation.
Personal Development and Career planning The module provides knowledge and understanding that is central to teaching geography at the tertiary and higher education sector level. Students who wish to pursue careers within the discipline of Political Geography will be encouraged to situate themselves, and their work, within the broad sweep of recent developments in Political Geography.
Problem solving Students will be expected to develop their problem solving skills in the context of the Project Essays and Research Journal. The seminar format of much of the course will help to develop this skill.
Research skills Students will undertake a significant degree of independent researching for the Project Essays and Research Journal. Equivalent preparatory work will be required for the Oral Presentation.
Subject Specific Skills Important subject specific skills are developed in the context of this module and are assessed in the Project Essays, Research Journal and Oral Presentation.
Team work The seminar component of this module involves group-based discussions and activities. It is not formally assessed.

Reading List

Recommended Text
Jones, M., Jones, R. and Woods, M. (2004) An Introduction to Political Geography: Space, Place and Politics Routledge, London Primo search
Supplementary Text
Amin, A. (ed) (1994) Post-Fordism: A Reader Blackwell (Oxford) Primo search Amin, A. and Thrift, N. (1994) Globalisation, Institutions and Regional Development in Europe Oxford: Oxford University Press Primo search Beynon, J. and Dunkerely, D. (eds) (2001) Globalization: The Reader Continuum, London Primo search Boyer, R. (1990) The Regulation School: A Critical Introduction Columbia University Press: New York Primo search Cooke, P. (ed) (1989) Localities Unwin Hyman, London Primo search Cox, K. (ed) (1997) Spaces of Globalisation Guildford: New Yord Primo search Held, D. et al (1999) Global Transformations Polity, Cambridge Primo search Jessop B et al (2002) State Space: A Reader Blackwell, Oxford Primo search Jessop, B. (1990) State Theory Polity, Cambridge Primo search Jones, M. (1999) New Institutional Spaces Jessica Kingsley, London Primo search Judge D et al (1995) Theories of Urban Politics Sage, London Primo search Lauria M (ed) (1997) Reconstructing Urban Regime Theory Sage, London Primo search Storper, M. (1997) The Regional Word Guildford: New York Primo search Weiss, L. (1998) The Myth of the Powerless State Polity: Cambridge Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 7