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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3121 Creating Alternative Futures

20 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Prof Paul Chatterton

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

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. Parts of the module will involved a “flipped learning” style, with students reviewing recorded lecture materials and readings in advance of facilitated group sessions. Students will prepare for sessions individually, but will work in a team in some workshop sessions to deepen understanding and apply high-level concepts to real-world practice.


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. work in a team to express their understanding in written and oral forms.

Learning outcomes
To demonstrate an ability to:
- critically understand and apply themes relevant to climate, ecological and social change such as degrowth, decolonisation, anthropocentrism, ecofeminism, and others
- critically understand and assess real world case study alternatives from different geographical contexts
- understand and discuss module themes at a high level in peer group setting
- work in a team to articulate, in written and oral form, the significance and practicalities of module themes in relation to creating real-world change and alternatives

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
Work in a team to 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
Work in a team to critically assess ideas and create practical applications.
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 hours171.00
Total Contact hours34.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)205.00

Private study

- 68 hours reading to support individual lectures and to prepare for seminars, workshops
- 78 hours reading, bibliographical research preparation and completion of assessed portfolio and group project

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The bi-weekly MCQs test knowledge and provide formative feedback plus weekly planning sessions for portfolio and group project

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
In-course MCQFormative. Individual and group0.00
PortfolioCritical portfolio, individual, 2,000 words80.00
Group Project500 words each20.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

5 x individual MCQs (bi-weekly) 5 x group MCQs (bi-weekly) Individual and group mark are combined and averaged

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 24/01/2024


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