KE5057 - Economy, Space and Development

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn how to adopt and convey an economic-geographical approach to understanding the economy. You will learn about how and why economic activities and processes vary over space and time, and will recognise the importance of history in shaping these spatial manifestations. You will develop accounts of uneven spatial development in the economy based not just on the distribution of economic activities but also caused by decisions taken by a variety of key economic actors such as governments (and their agencies), regulators, firms, third sector organisations, trade unions, and /international/supra-national bodies. By extension then you will learn how these actors shape and produce economic geographies, that is to say economic and social spaces. You will also become conscious of the way in which scale is an important organising principle for the distribution of economic activity and behaviour of firms as well as learning how different economic processes happen at different spatial scales. Finally, you will be equipped with the concepts/ theories and some of the essential methods for analysis required to understand the world from an economic-geographical perspective.

How will I learn on this module?

The curriculum is divided into four discrete sections, and you will learn on this module through a combination of lectures and seminars. Lectures will be used to introduce and develop key topics and issues in contemporary economic geography and will each be accompanied by an electronic reading list. You will then further consolidate and extend your learning of these key topics and issues through smaller seminar group sessions which build on the lecture material. Preparation for these seminars will range from listening to podcasts, doing small pieces of research or critically analysing journal articles or policy papers. In parallel you will also learn via tailored individual feedback on assignments and exams plus generic feedback made available via the eLP.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will be supported academically by a comprehensive module handbook outlining key dates, all seminar worksheets and assignment briefs for the academic year, plus key textbooks and journals to help you plan your learning and time. You will be given directed reading from each lecture via an electronic reading list, while other learning resources, such as links to government or public-policy reports and newspaper articles will be added to the eLP throughout the course. You will also be able to check your learning and understanding on-the-spot via the use of interactive mobile apps used in some lectures. You will receive tailored written feedback on assessments in addition to generic assessment feedback being made available on Blackboard. In tandem, there will be a structured Discussion Board (i.e lectures, seminars, admin queries, assignment 1 etc) in which you can post and respond to other student queries which will be checked daily by the module tutor. Teaching staff also operate an (virtual/physical) ‘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.

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: Explain and evaluate why and how economic activity varies over space and time and critically evaluate how the behaviours and strategies of key economic actors shape and produce spatially varied economic geographies and pose implications for uneven development at a variety of spatial scales.
• MLO 2: Critically apply a range of economic-geographical theories and concepts to understand the contemporary dynamics of economic-geographical space noting their insights and limitations.
• MLO 3: Develop and analyse accounts of uneven development in the economy and propose interventions to resolve these.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 4: Interpret and analyse the world from an economic-geographical perspective using a range of theories and concepts and relate them to contemporary economic debates and issues.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
• MLO 5: Demonstrate informed concern about the Earth and its people through the application of appropriate economic-geographical concepts, techniques and expertise

How will I be assessed?

There are two assessments for this module.

The first is a written assignment due mid-semester 1 worth 50% which will assess your understanding of key economic-geographical theories and concepts conveyed throughout the first semester. This will include analysis of key economic ‘drivers’ of spatial imbalance – including policy interventions. You will be supported for this assignment via a video on the eLP and an assignment brief in the module handbook and on the eLP. (MLOs 1,2,3, 5)

. The second element of assessment (50%) will also be based on coursework – a 2000 word report. This is an analytical consultancy/think tank report based upon key themes and content from the module. Students will produce a report which includes data analysis + academic literature. This assessment contributes towards students’ employability by presenting work in a report style format. The submission date will be in the formal examination period of semester 1. (MLO 1 2, 3, 4, 5).

Students will submit both assignments electronically via Turnitin software.




Module abstract

Economic geography as an academic discipline and an applied professional field is concerned with understanding how and why economic activities and processes vary over space and time, and the important role of past processes in shaping these spatial manifestations. It is also concerned with developing accounts of uneven spatial development in the (formal and informal) economy based not just on the distribution of economic activities but also by decisions taken by an array of key actors in the economy such as governments (and their public agencies at different levels), regulators, firms, third sector organisations, trade-unions and international / supra-national bodies whose behaviours and strategies can produce unequal and spatially imbalanced growth at a variety of spatial scales. By becoming equipped with the necessary concepts/theories and methods required to interpret the world from an economic-geographical perspective, this module will enable you to critically analyse real world economic debates and better understand the dynamics of economic space.

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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