KE5004 - Human Geography in the field (Andalucia)

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the ways in which Andalucia has been drawn into the global economy, initially through the growth of mass tourism during the 1960s, but more recently via increases in foreign investment in; manufacturing and services and the growth of intensive agriculture. You will also be able to study the ways in which some of these globalising forces have challenged local values and cultures. Other processes have had major consequences for the environment including the impacts on water resources and the effects of migration on land-use and patterns of farm abandonment. We will demonstrate the relationships between global and local change and the interaction between economic, political, social, cultural and environmental change in one particular region.

Within this conceptual framework, you will be mentored by a tutor to help you prepare for the field visit by developing specific projects under their supervision and direction. These research projects will be identified by staff, but you will be expected to design a method of inquiry and carry out whatever background study necessary to conduct the work while in the field. Research themes might include:
• Patterns and processes of farm de-intensification and farm abandonment
• Development of commercial forms of agriculture
• Economic change and high technology industries
• Mass-tourism development
• Heritage and destination place marketing
• Alternative tourism development
• Retirement migration and the impacts of second home ownership
• Urban change, urban morphology and redevelopment
• Modernisation of the Andalucian village

How will I learn on this module?

Essentially on this module you will learn by doing and by engaging in your own primary research projects directed by tutors and informed by published staff research. A limited number of lectures will be given prior to the fieldwork experience to provide a broader context for the study and to introduce you to some of the key research agendas in this study area. Most of the learning will take place though in the preparatory research workshops and in the actual field research setting. You will also learn how to work as part of a research team learning about the types of activities that contribute to successful field research projects. Developing an ability to work with others in sometimes difficult and tight timeframes, and in unfamiliar environments will be an important aspect of this module. The nature of the assessments on this module and the group-working in the field are designed to encourage you to develop key transferrable skills such as problem solving, data-analysis, team working, leadership and self-management all of which will help enhance your future employability.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support in this module will mainly take the form of your tutor acting as your research group mentor providing you with an appropriate field research project and helping you design and implement a successful field research project. Feedback on your progress will be provided regularly in the preparatory workshops as part of an iterative research mentoring process. This support process will also continue in the field setting. There is an opportunity for one-to-one sessions via the Department’s open door policy. Teaching staff operate an ‘open door’ policy for students meaning you can approach them anytime during normal office hours, or via email, to answer questions, receive feedback and support your learning on the module. In addition tutors will use the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal to respond to questions so that the whole group can benefit. Time will be set aside in lectures/workshops to provide opportunities for Q&A on assignments and formative feedback.
All learning materials will be made available through eLP, including electronic reading lists.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO1: Explore the spatial variation of recent socio-economic change in Andalucia and demonstrate the significance of place-specific characteristics on broader pressures of change.
• MLO2: Evaluate the relationships between wider economic restructuring and local social and cultural change within Andalucia.
• MLO3: Employ and evaluate the effectiveness of a variety of quantitative and qualitative fieldwork methods.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO4: Demonstrate skills in project design, field observation and measurement and report writing.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO5: Demonstrate an awareness of health and safety, moral and ethical dimensions in the design and conduct of geographical field investigations.

How will I be assessed?

You will be assessed via an individual reflexive field notebook (MLOs 1, 2 and 3) worth 60% and a group fieldwork project report (MLOs 1 to 5) worth 40%. Group work is an essential element of this module and the summative assessment strategy is designed to take account of this with a balance between group based and individual assignments. This form of assessment is designed to encourage you to view learning and assessment as a process rather than a one-off, end product.
Feedback on your progress will be provided regularly in the preparatory workshops as part of an iterative research mentoring process. This support process will also continue in the field setting. Summative feedback will be provided in writing for all the coursework. In addition, generic module based feedback will be circulated to you and will be provided in the context of assessment criteria provided to at the start of the module.





Module abstract

This incredibly popular module is regarded by many graduates of this course as the ‘jewel in the crown’ of their studies. Not only does this module provide you with a fabulous opportunity to study aspects of human geography in some truly stunning fieldwork locations in southern Spain but it also provides a valuable opportunity for you to develop key transferrable employability skills such as team working, reflexivity, interpersonal skills and project management together with research planning, data collection and analysis. You will also learn how to access secondary data from a variety of sources and how to complement this with your own primary data collected in the field.

Course info

UCAS Code L700

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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