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Study information

Learning through Place: Doing Human Geography

Module titleLearning through Place: Doing Human Geography
Module codeGEO1313
Academic year2024/5
Module staff

Professor Ian Cook (Lecturer)

Dr Laura Smith (Lecturer)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

Place is an idea central to geography as a way of understanding the world. This compulsory module is an introduction to how we ‘do’ geography by exploring how understandings of place are generated and the kinds of geographical questions we can ask about place. The module guides you through this introduction to place with a particular focus on the topic of ‘work’. Through classroom and field-based learning (both directed and independent) you will explore the ways in which human geographers ask and answer questions about place/s in relation to work. The topic of work is explored through themes such as: factory work and the post-industrial city. The topic and its themes provide a focus and particular examples through which to explore how we ‘do’ geography to understand place(s). The module guides you through a range of practical and theoretical approaches to doing geography, exploring the ways the questions we ask may require a number of different desk- and field-based approaches to answering them. As part of this exploration, the module introduces you to the interpretation and presentation of different kinds of data. The approaches to places introduced in the module are explored through lectures and workshops.

This is a compulsory and non-condonable module for the BA Geography programmes. 

Module aims - intentions of the module

The module aims to provide you with an understanding of the approaches human geographers take to research particular places and kinds of places. This is undertaken with a particular focus on ideas about work. The module provides you with a broad introduction to, and practical experience of, the ways in which geographers ask and answer questions about place(s). These are explored through themes taken from geographical approaches to work. The module contributes directly to academic skills development for the second and final stages of the degree programme, alongside establishing key employability attributes for geographers.

Through engaging with the weekly module directed learning and completing the assessments, you will develop the following academic and professional skills: problem solving (developing own ideas with confidence, identifying and using appropriate sources of information, selectively collecting and collating appropriate information), managing structure (identifying key demands of the task, setting clearly defined goals, conceptualising central issues within the task, developing strategies to ensure individual and group progress), time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group), collaboration (respecting the views and values of others, taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work, maintaining group cohesiveness and purpose), and audience awareness (presenting ideas effectively in multiple formats, persuading others of the importance and relevance of your views, responding positively and effectively to questions).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Comprehend various approaches to producing and interpreting theories about place
  • 2. Understand a number of ways work is studied and theorised geographically
  • 3. Interpret and understand a range of types of data and how they are produced
  • 4. Engage with some of the various ways field-based study is used in the creation of geographical knowledge
  • 5. Discern a number of geographical approaches to asking and answering questions

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Apply different geographical approaches of inference and interpretation
  • 7. Use a range of academic skills such as analysis, argument and data collection in project work
  • 8. Communicate findings, ideas and theories effectively using oral, written and visual means

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 9. Communicate effectively and fluently orally in writing and through audiovisual means
  • 10. Develop independent/self-directed study/learning skills, including time management
  • 11. Use ICTs effectively and appropriately to select, analyse and present information
  • 12. Reflect on the process of learning and evaluate personal strengths and weaknesses

Syllabus plan

This module is taught through workshops with introductory, summary and thematic lectures.

  • Introductory and concluding lectures
  • Thematic (short) lectures
  • Module-directed and independent work
  • Workshops and independent work – towards the assessments

Indicative themes:

  • 21st century workspaces
  • Industrial work
  • The post-industrial city

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled learning and teaching6Lectures
Scheduled learning and teaching20Field class
Scheduled learning and teaching9Workshops
Guided independent study32Completion of field class assessment
Guided independent study28Completion of groupwork exercises
Guided independent study55Additional reading, research and preparation for the module assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group work5 minutesAllOral

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group multimedia documentary502000 words1-11Written
Reflective journal501500 words1-5, 8-10, 12Written

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Group multimedia documentaryAn individual recorded presentation based upon workshop activities1-11August Ref/Def
Reflective journalReflective journal1-5, 8-10, 12August Ref/Def

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to re-submit the relevant assessment as defined above. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Castree, N. (Ed.) 2004. Spaces of work: Global capitalism and geographies of labour. Sage, London.
  • Castree, N., Rogers, A. and Sherman, D. (eds) 2005 Questioning Geography. Blackwell, Oxford.
  • Cloke, P., Cook, I, Crang, P., Goodwin, M., Painter, J., Philo, C. 2004. Practicing Human Geography. SAGE, London.
  • Gregory, D., Johnston, R., Pratt, G., Watts, M., Whatmore, S. (Eds). 2009. The Dictionary of Human Geography, 5th Edition. Wiley-Blackwell, London.
  • Massey, D. 1991, "A global sense of place" Marxism Today 38: pp. 24-29.
  • Philips, R. and Johns, J. 2012 Fieldwork for Human Geography, Sage, London.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Key words search

Geography, field work, place, research, space

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

GEO1316 Concepts in Geography and either GEO1309 Study Skills for Human Geographers or LIB1105 Being Human in the Modern World

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date