KE5007 - Social 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. You will discover the ways in which social relations, inequalities and identities are distributed and (re-)produced across space. The module places particular emphasis on:
- the welfare issues which affect people's lives
- the forms of power which lead to socio-spatial inequality and oppression
- individual and collective identities and their spatial (re-) production
- relevant methodological approaches for investigating these issues
Through this module you will also learn a number of important and transferable skills including research skills, team working, problem solving, communication skills, and the ability to use your own initiative but also to follow instructions.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures on key topics as well as methods oriented sessions and focussed workshops in dedicated project weeks.. In these project weeks you will work on a group based project and will be guided by an assigned tutor. The lectures will allow you to learn and review key theories, concepts and issues examined by social geographers and will equip you to conduct your project through application to a local case study. The group projects will allow you to learn from guidance tutors, but also through peer support and teamwork. 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 through the lectures as well as feedback and directed tasks from tutors during small-group workshops in the development of your group projects. Your tutors 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.
Tutors will support you in preparation for the exam through a dedicated lecture session which covers past papers. 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: Distinguish between different approaches to the study of social geographies, and relate them to particular social problems and their spatial variations
• MLO 2: Analyse the role of space in the construction and contestation of social problems and identities, and review explanations for key forms of social inequality and differences

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 3: Review and apply methods of the study of social geographical issues, including strategies used in the observation, analysis and interpretation of these issues.
• MLO 4: Research at least one key concept covered in the module through a local case study, combining different types of geographical evidence, whilst also reflecting on your own positionality within the research process.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO 5: Work effectively as part of a group to produce an ethical and informed piece of independent research related to a key issue covered in the module.

How will I be assessed?

There are two elements of summative assessment for this module.

The first of these is a Group Project presentation (30%) (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5) for which all the group will receive the same grade. The presentation will allow you to reflect on the process and findings from your group project. Opportunities for face to face feedback will be provided.

The second is a seen examination at the end of Semester One (70%) which will assess your understanding of the key theories and concepts covered throughout the semester. In so doing you are encouraged to think through and develop your own informed attitudes on the issues covered. As part of this exam there will also be a compulsory question which asks you to critically reflect on your experience of conducting your group project (MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Feedback will be provided on a generic basis to the whole year group, as well as individually through comments provided on the exam script. Students will be able to come and discuss their exam performance with their tutor.

Formative assessment will take place in project workshops where your tutor will provide regular feedback and advice on the development of the group research project.

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

Social 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 relevant and contemporary social topics you will discover the importance of a geographical perspective on issues of identity, inequality and power. You will then be given the opportunity to further investigate one of these areas, providing you with vital experience of using appropriate research methods through active empirical geographical fieldwork in a supportive group based context.

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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