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2019/20 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG2043 Belgrade: urban and social geographies of a Balkan city

20 creditsClass Size: 24

Module manager: Dr Oliver Fritsch

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG2041Helsinki: urban growth and sustainability
GEOG2042Montpellier: urban and rural development
GEOG2470Sicily: Exploring the Migration Crisis

Module replaces


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

During our week in Belgrade, we will concentrate on topics that relate closely to the concerns of urban, social and cultural geographers. Field work will give you a chance to practice some of the research methods that you are likely to use for your dissertation at Level 3, including brief interviews with local people, many of whom speak good English. You will take part in a day’s excursion, for instance to the nearby city of Novi Sad, where the Exit music festival is held. The principal themes of the week in Belgrade, which are introduced in preliminary lectures in Leeds, are (1) planning and its pitfalls in socialist housing and informal urban-edge settlements, (2) the increasing impact of international capital on a post-socialist economy and society and (3) investigating the spaces of daily life in a European capital city that has undergone vast social, cultural and political transformations over the last few decades.


This module strives to equip students with:
an appreciation of the characteristics of the urban and social geography of Belgrade and the geographical processes which underlie its development;
an understanding of the urban and regional policy and planning measures that have shaped Belgrade;
a knowledge of the historical context of Belgrade’s development within the Balkans;
an appreciation of how local urban and regional characteristics are related to the wider context of the changing geographies of contemporary Europe and how they compare with those of the UK;
skills in the identification, collection and representation of a variety of information and data sources;
an ability to undertake field research, plan projects and write reports to short deadlines;
an understanding of the practical application of concepts and methods learnt in the classroom.

Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes comprise:
the dynamic nature of geographical thought and practice and the inter-relationships between the discipline and the social sciences;
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 role of changes in technology, the nature of work and labour markets in influencing spatial patterns of economic activity;
an understanding of the basic principles of qualitative research in the field;
an awareness of the process of data collection through participant observation and visual methods in the field;
knowledge of strategies for analysing qualitative data;
sensitivity to the particular ethical issues that can arise when conducting field work;
an awareness of a diversity of qualitative approaches.

Skills outcomes
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
Plan, design, execute and report geographical research both individually and as part of a team
Undertake effective field work (with due regard for safety and risk assessment)
Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data
Recognise the ethical issues involved in geographical debates and enquiries
Key skills
Learn in familiar and unfamiliar situations
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 methods.


Lectures and student-centred learning together with one week of field work in Belgrade, including the following general themes:
processes of historical change as they have shaped national and European frameworks;
the shifting meanings of cities and regions in national and European border areas;
urban landscapes, politics and planning in Europe;
urban economies and their changing place within national and European economies and systems;
the impact on local geographies of social marginality, inward migration and ethnic and national status.

And the following themes related more specifically to Belgrade:
orientation in central Belgrade;
informal settlements on the outskirts of Belgrade;
exploring the social geographies of central Belgrade;
New Belgrade, socialist city, ‘then and now’;
civil society, protest movements, non-governmental organisations in Belgrade
day trip to another Serbian city in the Vojvodina or Serbia proper, for instance Novi Sad, Serbia’s second city;
self-guided walk around Belgrade.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours132.00
Total Contact hours68.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private study will take the following forms:
1) General reading to prepare for and supplement weekly lectures.
2) Reading to prepare for the field trip.
3) Reading to prepare, research and revise for the assessments.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through preliminary worksheet and essay, assessed before departure, and routine inspections of field notebooks and other work during the field trip.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay1500 words30.00
Report2500 words50.00
Written WorkPre-trip worksheet (500 words equivalent)20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

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: 08/05/2019


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