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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG2035 Geographies of Economies

20 creditsClass Size: 185

Module manager: Dr Stuart Hodkinson

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

The module establishes a solid foundation in contemporary economic geography. It covers a wide range of topics, including: structures and spaces of economic power in the global economy; the capitalist economy and different models of capitalism; globalisation; neoliberalism, commodification, the state and regulation; corporate power, financialisation, multinational corporations, global supply chains and production networks, foreign direct investment (FDI);’ work, employment, labour exploitation, modern slavery; urban development models, creative cities, agglomeration economies; struggles over resources, the social and environmental footprint of production and consumption, innovation, disruption, and disaster capitalism. It is a dynamic, fast-paced module which provides a powerful base for understanding and confronting many of the challenges facing the world today. The module is taught using the ‘follow the thing’ methodology, which involves taking an economic good or service and following its journey from idea to consumption through the supply chain or production network. Students' main task is to find and, through your own research, develop a real-world case study that responds to a research brief from a hypothetical organisation in a role play scenario. ObjectivesBy the end of this module, students should have acquired:i) a foundational knowledge of the principal themes, ideas, terminologies, theories, problems, approaches and debates in critical economic geographyii) an understanding of how these themes play themselves out in contemporary conditionsiii) an appreciation of the relationship of these themes to broader developments in human geographyiv) key skills in critical reading, research and writing


By the end of this module, students should have acquired:
i) a knowledge of the principal themes, ideas, terminology, theories, problems, approaches and debates in economic geography
ii) an understanding of how these themes play themselves out in contemporary conditions
iii) an appreciation of the relationship of these themes to broader developments in human geography
iv) key skills in critical reading, research and writing

Learning outcomes
1. The contested geographies of capitalist globalisation with a focus on the shifting scales and nature of economic activity, innovation, exploitation and commodification;
2. The global rise of neoliberalism, financialisation, and corporate power, the implications for national regulatory frameworks, and the particular role played by geography in these processes;
3. The contemporary importance of brands, the global organisation of production through supply chains and production networks, and the contradictory social and environmental consequences
4. The changing nature of urban and regional economies and policy in the context of globalisation;

Skills outcomes
Cognitive skills
Assessment and critical evaluation of the merits of contrasting theories, explanations, policies
Critical analysis and interpretation of data and text
Developing reasoned arguments

Practical/professional skills
Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data

Key skills
Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations)
Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange geographical information using a wide range of sources
Manage time and organise work effectively


The module is lecture and seminar based, and uses core texts with supplemental readings. The module syllabus will be drawn from the following indicative themes and topics:

Neoliberal globalisation and global corporate power
Financialisation, privatised necessities and the rentier economy
Commodification, brands and consumerism
Labour and nature behind the brand
Precarity, the gig economy and modern slavery
Urban and regional restructuring
Neoliberal urbanism, gentrification and speculative development

Megacities: economic geographies of tomorrow?

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours172.00
Total Contact hours28.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Weekly reading for seminars and lectures; reading, research and revision for the case study report at the end of semester two.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through seminars, weekly conversations and the assessment workshop

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Case StudyCase study report - 2500 words100.00
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: 29/04/2022 15:32:19


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