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2022/23 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3121 Creating Alternative Futures

20 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Prof Paul Chatterton

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2022/23

This module is approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module explores concepts, practices, histories and case studies of creating alternative futures. It takes a critical look at the capitalist world as it is and starts by exploring how our contemporary world can be transformed and how obstacles to change can be overcome. This module overall takes a positive and hopeful stance towards the future and seeks to understand how community and grassroots innovation can transform the future of the places where we live. Case studies and guest speakers are interweaved with lectures and seminars.


By the end of this module students who have engaged well with the syllabus should be able to:
1. display an informed understanding of processes of ecological, social and political change at local scales;
2. engage with different future scenarios for our world;
3. demonstrate an awareness of the multi-faceted nature of social change and future scenarios and alternatives in practice;
4. use academic, journalistic and electronic information sources to inform their critical analysis of processes of change;
5. express their understanding in written and oral forms.

Learning outcomes
To demonstrate an ability to:

- critically explore and understand contemporary debates on socio-political change, the state, capital and civil society, specifically through the work of Eric Olin Wright.

- critically understand real world case study alternatives in different geographical contexts including food, energy, housing work, and translate and apply them to conceptual ideas in the module

- understand and discuss module themes at a high level in peer group setting

- articulate in written form the nature and significance of real world alternatives in relation to module themes

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

Practical/professional skills
Plan, design, execute and report geographical research
Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of qualitative geographical data
Recognise the ethical issues involved in geographical debates and enquiries
Relate concepts to practice through critical analysis.

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 sources
Explore ideas in group settings to recognise and respect the viewpoints of others
Manage time and organise work effectively.


UNIT ONE: challenges
The converging emergencies

UNIT TWO: Alternatives Into Practice
Economy - Livelihoods

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Independent Learning42.008.00
Private study hours158.00
Total Contact hours42.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- 58 hours reading to support individual lectures and to prepare for seminars, workshops
- 100 hours reading, bibliographical research preparation and completion of assessed essay

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through1 assessment .

The essay is due in at the beginning of semester 2 (wk 14) from which students receive feedback.

Essay advice session and weekly webinars provide formative guidance

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay3000 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: 20/09/2022 15:00:46


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