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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG2025 Service analysis and planning

20 creditsClass Size: 101

Module manager: Dr Roger Beecham

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2018/19

Module replaces

GEOG2710 Retail geography; GEOG2820 Cities and Regions

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The course aims to introduce students to the importance of public and private services in contemporary urban and economic geography. The first semester will deal with public services and quasi-private services, including health, education, crime, housing and transport. The course will deal with how these services are planned spatially and why space matters. In particular we consider how geography turns pure goods into impure goods. The second semester will offer an in-depth introduction to retail geography, as an example of private sector planning issues. We ask the question why is geography important for market-based service systems, and how do these differ to the main concerns when planning public goods? The first major issue to be explored here is that of retail power. In particular, it is important to understand the role of geography in retail growth strategies. The second major issue relates to planning legislation - how has the planning system influenced retail change at the national and local levels? A case study of food retailing is given in the course. The third major issue is globalisation - how the major retailers of the world are expanding into new global markets and the challenges that this brings. Lastly we introduce the concept of store location research which leads into level 3 teaching. At the end of the course we return to issues relating to the theory of collective consumption in public sector planning versus the uncertainties of the market system in delivering fair access for all. Do both public and private services actually now introduce spatial inequalities in access and provision?


On completion of this module, students should have acquired:
- an appreciation of the key issues in service analysis and planning
- knowledge of the processes underpinning how geography causes social inequalities in terms of accessing key urban services
- an understanding of the concepts of GIS and basic location analysis in terms of service planning
- a good understanding of the data sets available for urban service analysis and planning
- independent research skills;
- ability to present their knowledge in different written/practical formats.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students should have acquired:
1) An understanding of the main dimensions of how cities work in terms of service provision;
2) knowledge of the processes underpinning service patterns and dynamics;
3) An appreciation of the different approaches to service analysis and planning, especially through GIS and spatial analysis
4) An understanding of the spatial methods used to estimate distributions of crime
5) An appreciation of the ways that crime analysts predict and interpret crime data
6) knowledge of the processes underpinning change in retail power and the battle for market share in UK retailing
7) an in-depth knowledge of the geographical battle for market share in the grocery market
8) an appreciation of the importance of globalisation in modern retailing;

Skills outcomes
Knowledge and Understanding
The dynamic nature of geographical thought and practice and the inter-relationships between the discipline and the social sciences
Spatial patterns and relationships in human phenomena at a variety of scales
The geography of places and their constitution by environmental, economic, social and political processes, and the influence of places on these processes
The geographies of difference and inequality with particular reference to historical development, ethnicity, class, gender and the changing nature of urban and regional economies and policy
Contemporary debates about time-space relationships, globalization and global interconnections
The contribution of geography to development of environmental political, economic and cultural agendas, policies and practices

Cognitive skills
Abstraction and synthesis of information from a variety of sources
Assessment and critical evaluation of the merits of contrasting theories, explanations, policies
Critical analysis and interpretation of data and text
Developing reasoned arguments
Solving problems and making reasoned decisions

Practical/professional skills
Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data
Recognise the ethical issues involved in geographical debates and enquiries

Key skills
Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations)
Use information technology effectively (including use of spreadsheet, database and word processing programmes; Internet and e-mail)
Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange geographical information using a wide range of sources
Work as part of a team and to recognise and respect the viewpoints of others
Manage time and organise work effectively


Indicative semester 1 topics include:

Cities and Regions as Complex Systems; Public v private service provision; Healthy Cities; Planning Health Care provision; Crime Pattern Analysis; Crime Prevention; Predictive Policing; Public Transport

Indicative semester 2 topics include:

Market systems; The grocery market; New strategies of growth post 1990s; The entry of new players; Food deserts; Food sourcing in a global context; Retail internationalisation; Store location research and retail models; Rethinking private v public service provision

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours140.00
Total Contact hours60.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

40 hours reading to support individual lectures
60 hours data collection, analysis and preparation of assessed reports
40 hours revision and preparation for examination

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through workshops/practical classes held throughout both semesters. Weekly practical sheets will be marked and returned so that students can monitor their progress in understanding key material and learning key skills. The first project will be returned to them for the start of semester 2 to allow more feedback and guidance.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ProjectReport - 2 x 2000 words60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)60.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins40.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)40.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 12/10/2018


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