KE5006 - P/political Geographies

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the importance of this sub-disciplinary area to the study of human geography, in relation to the key concepts of power and space. You will develop an in depth understanding of the spatial organisation of political institutions, governance practices, processes and agents and critically consider a range of more and less formalised political practices operating at range of geographical scales. You will also acquire important research methods skills by locating appropriate secondary qualitative data including policy and media sources and applying forms of discourse analysis. The module places particular emphasis on the following themes:
- Definitions of the ‘political’
- Globalisation and post-colonialism
- Activism and resistance
- Mobility and migration
- The nation and the state
- Citizenship
- The ‘local’ in politics
- The body and politics

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures and seminars/reading groups. These will be 2 hour long sessions and will run alternately throughout semester one and semester two. The lectures will allow you to learn and review key theories, concepts and contemporary issues examined by political geographers and the seminars will allow you to critically discuss key readings relevant to those theories, concepts and issues. These more interactive sessions will allow you to learn through group work and peer to peer discussion whilst guided by your tutor. Both lectures and seminars will reference a range of academic, media and policy sources allowing you to understand the importance of the mechanisms of knowledge production in constructing political realities. There will also be seminar sessions devoted to the methods required to complete all three assignments. All your learning will be supported through resources made available on the module ELP.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include directed reading from the lectures, feedback and directed tasks from tutors during small-group seminars/reading groups. Ongoing support will be provided to help with the development of assignments and specialist sessions will run across the module focussed on how to approach each of the assignments methodologically. Your tutors will provide an open door policy in office hours. All your learning will be supported through resources made available on the module ELP.

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:
• MLO 1: You will evaluate the impact and significance of geographical scale on a range of political processes.
• MLO 2: You will demonstrate an understanding of the ways in which spatial relations are an important feature of political phenomena through critical evaluation and analysis.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 3: You will explain the merits of contrasting and contested theories and policies.
• MLO 4: You will generate informed and reasoned arguments through the application of qualitative analysis to a range of secondary sources.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO 5: You will demonstrate informed concern about the Earth and its people through an understanding of the impact of political processes and practices on a range of social groups.

How will I be assessed?

There are two elements of summative assessment for this module.

The first of these is an essay submitted towards the end of semester one (50%) which will ask you to critically analyze the politics of representational practices in the media. This will be done with reference to appropriate theories, concepts and approaches discussed in the module. (MLOs 1, 2, 4, 5)

The second element (50%) is an essay and will be submitted in semester two. This assessment asks you to critically examine the competing ideas and theories underpinning the development of a specific policy/piece of legislation mentioned in the module. In so doing you will be asked to employ a form of discourse analysis. (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Formative assessment will take place in your seminars in throughout the year where your tutor will provide regular feedback on the reading based discussion.

Feedback is available to you on an informal basis through all taught sessions, either on a one to one or group basis. Written feedback is supplied on all summatively assessed work.




Module abstract

Political geographies will enable you to build on Introduction to Human Geography at level 4, by exploring in much more depth this important sub-disciplinary area of Human Geography. Through an exploration of topical contemporary political issues at a range of scales you will discover the crucial relationship between spatial and political relations. You will be given the opportunity to both reflect upon the contribution made to political geography debates by selected scholars and to think about how you can use qualitative research methods to investigate how political issues are presented via the media, but also how policies are the outcome of contested interests, ideas and theories.

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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