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.