KE6035 - Global Capitalism: Digital and Sustainable Transformations

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about contemporary debates about the digital and sustainable transformations of global capitalism. You will gain insight into a range of topics including the development implications of contemporary capitalism organized through global production networks; contested development outcomes brought by the rise of global platform and ensuing digitalisation of everyday life; the reproduction of (un)even development through sustainability transition; and the power relations inherent in, and that emerge from these transformations at a range of scales.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, independent learning and directed tasks (such as using study groups to lead seminars). The lectures will cover theories and concepts, case study material, key exemplars, and module staff’s own research. Where appropriate guest lecturers will be invited to provide insights into how insights into global capitalism is debated and applied beyond academia. Seminars are designed to allow you to explore issues raised in lectures and readings in greater depth. Directed and independent learning tasks will be set each week to allow you to explore the module material in your own way.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during small-group seminars and one-to-one sessions (via the Department’s open-door policy). In addition, tutors will use the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal respond to questions so that the whole module group can benefit. Time will be set aside in lectures and seminars to provide opportunities for Q&A on assignments and formative feedback. Work will be submitted electronically via the eLearning Portal.

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 critically assess the spatial and temporal scales through, and at which contemporary capitalism occurs.
• MLO 2: You will critically examine the mutual constitution of geographies of the global capitalism through economic, cultural and political processes.
• MLO 3: You will critically evaluate the processes (re)producing uneven development.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. MLO 4: You will critically apply theories and concepts covered in the module to analyse real world case studies.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. MLO 5: You will develop and demonstrate, through practice, critical thinking skills.

How will I be assessed?

There are two summative assessments for this module. You will submit both assignments electronically via Turnitin software.

The first assessment is a Seminar Poster (worth 30% of the module) which is based on your understanding of and engagement with the module’s seminars, the format of which is an A2-sized poster displaying the facts/arguments in bullet points and graphs around own-organized key themes (MLOs 1-5). You will be supported through regular opportunities for formative feedback in the seminars regarding the arguments within and design of the poster.

The second assessment is a 3000-words essay (worth 70% of the module) designed to bring together your learning across the module (MLOs 1-5).

Through this assessments you are expected to:

- mobilise academic theories and concepts in your argument
- be aware of the contemporary transformations of global capitalism and the ways in which it is spatially organized
- undertake some research into your chosen topic and provide valid evidence support and concrete case
- produce graphs/tables to show your understanding on relevant development indicators and trend

You are be given opportunities to discuss your essay structure, arguments and examples in the seminars, especially the last one which is dedicated to Q&A around the module assessment.


KE5057 Economy, Space and Development



Module abstract

Global Capitalism: Digital and Sustainable Transformations allows students to engage with critical and dynamic analysis of global capitalism, namely, the global dimensions of capitalist mode of production. The module will help the students develop an understanding on the spatial articulation of global capitalism in which global lead firms, the nation states, trade unions and informal institutions all take active roles. Students will be able to acknowledge and appraise the transformations of global capitalism through two key trends: a) the rise of global platform economy and the contested development outcomes brought by digitalisation; b) the uneven and power-inflicted processes of sustainability transition characterised as green and circular economy. The module will shed lights on the ways capitalism is shaped by not only globally mobile corporations but also the states, civic organisations and grassroots communities working with and/or against it. Case studies will be used to illustrate ‘real world’ economic activity at a range of scales, and draw on module staff expertise.
The module contributes to programme learning outcomes which develop your critical thinking skills and ability to critically appraise the policy and academic debates around the digital and sustainable transformations of contemporary global capitalism by drawing on key theories from economic geography, international political economies and sociology.

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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