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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG1500 Global Geopolitics, Migration and Uneven Development

20 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr Martin Purvis

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores the geography of places and their constitution by environmental, economic, social and political processes, and in turn the influence of places on these processes. Particular attention is paid to the recent history of global geopolitics, states and non-state actors, nationalism, globalisation, migration, uneven development, gender, human rights, and decolonial politics.NOTE: This module makes use of substantial digital content that is problematic or impossible to access from China. If you are planning to be in China for a significant period of time while taking this module, please contact the module leader to discuss how this will impact your experience.


- to introduce students to key human geography concepts, approaches, knowledge and skills through focused study of global geo-politics, development and human mobilities
- to explore political and development geography through different learning activities and in different global contexts
- to develop key skills in reading, analysis, writing, presentation and critique of a range of academic material, individually and in groups
- to encourage students to develop as independent learners through structured activities

Learning outcomes
Students successfully completing the module will have an enhanced understanding of:
1) contemporary debates about geopolitics, globalization, global interconnections and mobilities;
2) geographies of difference and inequality at global, global regional and national scales;
3) the value and distinctiveness of geographical perspectives upon political, social and economic issues and processes;
4) foundational skills including the ability to access, read and critically reflect upon a range of academic and non-academic sources, interpret these secondary sources, and communicate understanding through oral discussion and in writing.

Skills outcomes
The module is built upon the learning and teaching of core QAA geographical skills:

- abstraction and synthesis of information
- developing a reasoned argument
- assessing the merits of contrasting theories and explanations
- critically evaluating, interpreting and combining different types of geographical evidence (for example texts, imagery, archival data, maps, digitised and laboratory data)
- taking responsibility for learning and reflection upon that learning
- the concept of spatial variation
- an appreciation of temporal change
- a critical awareness of the significance of spatial and temporal scale
- distinctiveness of place
- knowledge of the main dimensions and scales of economic, social, political and environmental inequality and difference
- knowledge and critical understanding of the diverse manners of representation
- geographical knowledge and understanding


The module’s syllabus will be drawn from the following indicative themes and topics:

- Global perspectives and interconnections
- Geopolitics: from the cold war to a new world order?
- Global culture wars
- New spaces of threat
- Why states matter
- Nations, nationalism and statehood
- Beyond the state: supra-national institutions and the world geopolitical order
- Disputing state authority
- Population movements
- Human mobility and financial flows
- Unequal mobilities: tourism, migration and displacement
- Migration and development from above and below
- Soft power and migration management
- Developmental work and international relations
- Migration, gender and poverty
- Borders and migration
- New geopolitical statecrafts
- Decolonising development: resistance and alternatives

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours170.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Private Study and Independent Learning
Students will use their private study time to reinforce their own learning by devoting:
• c. 70 hours to additional reading to enhance their understanding of themes introduced in asynchronous directed sessions;
• c. 60 hours to reading and other preparation for synchronous small-group discussion sessions;
• c. 40 hours to reading and revision in preparation for the end-of-module examination.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Weekly small-group synchronous sessions and associated formative tasks will monitor students’ understanding of the core material introduced in the asynchronous directed sessions; these small-group sessions will also provide opportunities for students to ask questions and receive formative feedback in return.

Methods of assessment

Exam typeExam duration% of formal assessment
Standard exam (closed essays, MCQs etc)1 hr 30 mins100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Exams)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: 01/09/2021


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