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Changing geographies of the United Kingdom

This module explores change in the contemporary United Kingdom and how a geographical perspective can help us to make sense of this change. At the heart of this exploration is the idea that the United Kingdom exists as a contested geographical entity, marked by shifting borders and boundaries, and patterns of local and global circulation and connection. From connections to an ancient British past to contemporary relations with Europe, you'll develop geographical skills to help you consider how places are made, re-made and understood. You'll also consider how change has occurred within Geography as a discipline.

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Module code




  • Credits measure the student workload required for the successful completion of a module or qualification.
  • One credit represents about 10 hours of study over the duration of the course.
  • You are awarded credits after you have successfully completed a module.
  • For example, if you study a 60-credit module and successfully pass it, you will be awarded 60 credits.

Study level

Across the UK, there are two parallel frameworks for higher education qualifications, the Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Northern Ireland and Wales (FHEQ) and the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework (SCQF). These define a hierarchy of levels and describe the achievement expected at each level. The information provided shows how OU module levels correspond to these frameworks.
Level of Study
2 8 5

Study method

Module cost

Entry requirements

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What you will study

This module begins by setting out the changing and contested nature of the United Kingdom and how a geographical perspective helps us to understand change. This is introduced through the key module concept of ‘place’ and how place is always the product of its connections to other places, other times, and the effects of power. Place in this context is framed as a ‘multiplicity’, where it always exists in multiple and changing forms. The short introductory block of the module also introduces you to the history of the discipline of Geography from its origins in the Royal Geographical Society in the 1830s and its association with Empire and colonialism through the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

We then explore some of the continuities and changes in geographical practice and outline how contemporary geographers carry out their work through the development of particular ‘geographical sensibilities’.

Having been introduced to the concept of ‘place’ in Block 1, each block that follows is framed by a particular type or set of practices that serve to ‘make’ places.

In Block 2 you will consider how particular identities emerge in relation to place, how populations are ordered and understood and how places become made and re-made, processes which are framed by the block concept of ‘assemblage’.

In Block 3 you will consider the connections and disconnections that are formed between people and places through traditions and festivals, migration for work and study and the relationship between global interdependence and economic change. All of these are framed by the block concept of ‘mobility’.

Block 4 considers issues such as state power and contested borders, geographies of health and disease and the making of London as a centre of global flows and relations through the block concept of ‘territory’.

Finally, Block 5 uses the concept of ‘experiment’ to consider possible future geographies through initiatives such as sharing economies and experimental approaches in public health and education. Block 6 forms a review of the module and prepares you for the end-of-module assessment.                

Each of the five main blocks of the module develops a key academic skill which will be developed and applied through assessment. These are ‘Understand’ (Block 1), ‘Apply’ (Block 2), ‘Analyse’ (Block 3), ‘Evaluate’ (Block 4) and ‘Create’ (Block 5). These skills will also be developed through an engagement with the key geographical practice of fieldwork. In the final ‘review’ week of each block, we will consider different aspects of what we call ‘blended fieldwork’ to emphasise that fieldwork is about more than what exists ‘on the ground’ but, like place itself, is made up of many intersecting and diverse elements.

Your skills and knowledge will be developed through five tutor-marked assignments (one for each of the first five blocks) and an end-of-module assessment.

Teaching and assessment

Support from your tutor

You’ll receive help and support from your assigned tutor throughout the module. They’ll help you by:

  • marking your assignments and providing detailed feedback to help you improve.
  • providing individual guidance, whether that’s for general study skills or specific module content.
  • facilitating online discussions between your fellow students, in the dedicated module forums.

Your tutor will also run online tutorials throughout the module. Where possible, recordings of online tutorials will be made available to students. While these tutorials won’t be compulsory for you to complete the module, you’re strongly encouraged to take part. If you want to participate, we recommend the use of a headset with a microphone.


The assessment details for this module can be found in the facts box.

Future availability

Changing geographies of the United Kingdom (D225) starts once a year – in October. This page describes the module that will start in October 2023. We expect it to start for the last time in October 2032.


As a student of The Open University, you should be aware of the content of the academic regulations which are available on our Student Policies and Regulations website.

Course work includes:

5 Tutor-marked assignments (TMAs)
End-of-module assessment

Entry requirements

There are no pre-requisites for studying this module. However, since this is a OU level 2 module, you are strongly advised to have completed your OU level 1 studies first. As a bare minimum you should be a competent computer user and have a sound command of English for the completion and submission of assessment.

Preparatory work

We recommend studying the OU level 1 modules Environment (U116) and Global challenges: social science in action (D113). Also Environment and society (DD213), which is the companion OU level 2 module to D225 within the BA (Honours) Geography (R44) and Diploma of Higher Education in Geography (W81). 


Start End England fee Register
05 Oct 2024 Jun 2025 £3636.00

Registration closes 05/09/24 (places subject to availability)

This module is expected to start for the last time in October 2032.

Additional Costs

Study costs

There may be extra costs on top of the tuition fee, such as set books, a computer and internet access.

If your income is not more than £25,000 or you receive a qualifying benefit, you might be eligible for help with some of these costs after your module has started.

Ways to pay for this module

Open University Student Budget Account

The Open University Student Budget Accounts Ltd (OUSBA) offers a convenient 'pay as you go' option to pay your OU fees, which is a secure, quick and easy way to pay. Please note that The Open University works exclusively with OUSBA and is not able to offer you credit facilities from any other provider. All credit is subject to status and proof that you can afford the repayments.

You pay the OU through OUSBA in one of the following ways:

  • Register now, pay later – OUSBA pays your module fee direct to the OU. You then repay OUSBA interest-free and in full just before your module starts. 0% APR representative. This option could give you the extra time you may need to secure the funding to repay OUSBA.
  • Pay by instalments – OUSBA calculates your monthly fee and number of instalments based on the cost of the module you are studying. APR 5.1% representative.

Joint loan applications

If you feel you would be unable to obtain an OUSBA loan on your own due to credit history or affordability issues, OUSBA offers the option to apply for a joint loan application with a third party. For example, your husband, wife, partner, parent, sibling or friend. In such cases, OUSBA will be required to carry out additional affordability checks separately and/or collectively for both joint applicants who will be jointly and severally liable for loan repayments.

As additional affordability checks are required when processing joint loan applications, unfortunately, an instant decision cannot be given. On average the processing time for a joint loan application is five working days from receipt of the required documentation.

Read more about Open University Student Budget Accounts (OUSBA).

Employer sponsorship

Studying with The Open University can boost your employability. OU courses are recognised and respected by employers for their excellence and the commitment they take to complete. They also value the skills that students learn and can apply in the workplace.

More than one in ten OU students are sponsored by their employer, and over 30,000 employers have used the OU to develop staff so far. If the module you’ve chosen is geared towards your job or developing your career, you could approach your employer to see if they will sponsor you by paying some or all of the fees. 

  • Your employer just needs to complete a simple form to confirm how much they will be paying and we will invoice them.
  • You won’t need to get your employer to complete the form until after you’ve chosen your module.  

Credit/debit card

You can pay part or all of your tuition fees upfront with a debit or credit card when you register for each module. 

We accept American Express, Mastercard, Visa and Visa Electron. 

Mixed payments

We know that sometimes you may want to combine payment options. For example, you may wish to pay part of your tuition fee with a debit card and pay the remainder in instalments through an Open University Student Budget Account (OUSBA).

Please note: your permanent address/domicile will affect your fee status and, therefore, the fees you are charged and any financial support available to you. The fee information provided here is valid for modules starting before 31 July 2025. Fees typically increase annually. For further information about the University's fee policy, visit our Fee Rules

This information was provided on 27/05/2024.

Can you study an Access module for free?

Depending on eligibility and availability of places, you could apply to study your Access module for free.

To qualify, you must:

  1. be resident in England
  2. have a household income of less than £25,000 (or be in receipt of a qualifying benefit)
  3. have not completed one year or more on any full-time undergraduate programme at FHEQ level 4 or above or successfully completed 30 credits or more of OU study within the last 10 years

How to apply to study an Access module for free

Once you've started the registration process, either online or over the phone, we'll contact you about your payment options. This will include instructions on how you can apply to study for free if you are eligible and funded places are still available.

If you're unsure if you meet the criteria to study for free, you can check with one of our friendly advisers on +44 (0)300 303 0069, or you can request a call back.

Not eligible to study for free?

Don't worry! We offer a choice of flexible ways to help spread the cost of your Access module. The most popular options include:

  • monthly payments through OUSBA
  • part-time tuition fee loan (you'll need to be registered on a qualification for this option)

To explore all the options available to you, visit Fees and Funding.

What's included

You will be provided with the two core module books and have access to a module website, which includes:

  • a week-by-week study planner
  • module materials
  • audio and video content
  • learning activities
  • assessment details and submission section
  • online tutorial access
  • access to student and tutor group forums.

Computing requirements

You’ll need broadband internet access and a desktop or laptop computer with an up-to-date version of Windows (10 or 11) or macOS Ventura or higher.

Any additional software will be provided or is generally freely available.

To join in spoken conversations in tutorials, we recommend a wired headset (headphones/earphones with a built-in microphone).

Our module websites comply with web standards, and any modern browser is suitable for most activities.

Our OU Study mobile app will operate on all current, supported versions of Android and iOS. It’s not available on Kindle.

It’s also possible to access some module materials on a mobile phone, tablet device or Chromebook. However, as you may be asked to install additional software or use certain applications, you’ll also require a desktop or laptop, as described above.

If you have a disability

The OU strives to make all aspects of study accessible to everyone and this Accessibility Statement outlines what studying D225 involves. You should use this information to inform your study preparations and any discussions with us about how we can meet your needs.

To find out more about what kind of support and adjustments might be available, contact us or visit our disability support pages.