GV1CIG-Contemporary Issues in Human Geography

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Avril Maddrell

Email: avril.maddrell@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module provides students with an appreciation of the geographical dimensions of contemporary global issues and events that are shaping the world around us. This appreciation works in two ways, by encouraging students to operationalise geographical concepts to better understand these issues, and by reflecting back on the nature of geographical research in the light of contemporary events. The module is taught by a team of active researchers in human geography, each of whom will use illustrations from their own work as the basis for the module.

1. To provide students with an understanding of the applicability of geographical theories and concepts to contemporary global events, issues and processes;
2. To introduce students to the research currently being carried out by researchers in human geography at the University of Reading; 3. To establish a greater appreciation of current issues and events that shape our geographical imagination; 4. To give students experience of producing focused policy briefings and reports, where they are required to write clearly and efficiently.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will be able to apply their acquired knowledge of contemporary issues in human geography in an appropriate, selective and informed way. Assessment will comprise a critical analysis of a contemporary issue, drawing on theories and concepts from human geography to understand and contextualise the issue. Students will also write a brief, highly focused report that will explain the significance of a contemporary geographical issue to a policy and political audience.

Additional outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will have greater confidence in their ability to apply their learning from this and other related modules to a range of issues. They will have experience of working in a small group on class discussion exercises and will have been introduced to some of the main themes and issues that will form the basis of future enquiry in human geography.

Outline content:
This module is divided into ten blocks of two lectures, each led by a member of the research team in human geography at the University of Reading. Students on this module will encounter a wide range of current issues, ranging from migration and international development issues to the future of the United Kingdom in Europe. The emphasis will be on understanding events through the lens of human geography theories and concepts.

Global context:
This module encourages an international outlook and understanding of global economic, political, social and environmental processes that lie behind some of the most important events and processes in contemporary world history. The teaching team make liberal use examples from their own research, based on empirical enquiry from across the globe. Students on this module will gain a deep understanding of the global context of contemporary issues in human geography.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
A mixture of lectures, supporting practical exercises and discussion tasks.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 40
Guided independent study 160
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 50
Set exercise 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
Students will produce a critical analysis of a contemporary issue, taking a geographical perspective, and write a short policy briefing on a geographical issue, directed at government decision makers.

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Resubmission of coursework in August/September

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


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