GV1HGT-Theories and Debates in Human Geography

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

Module Convenor: Dr Steve Musson

Email: s.musson@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
This module provides students with an introduction to core academic debates and theories in contemporary human geography. It introduces students to key sub-disciplines within human geography including economic, social, environmental and political geography. The module also establishes foundation knowledge for students wishing to take more advanced human geography modules in Parts 2 and 3. The module is taught by a team of human geographers, each giving an introduction to their area of particular expertise. In this way, the module also serves as an introduction to the research interests of staff in the Department. Teaching is mainly delivered through a series of lectures and student-led learning is encouraged through carefully selected further reading.

1. To provide students with a broad-based understanding of contemporary research in human geography and introduce them to some of the main sub-disciplines;
2. To introduce students to the research and teaching specialisms of staff in the Department;
3. To establish foundation knowledge that can be developed in human geography modules at Parts 2 and 3;
4. To give students experience of coursework in a University setting.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will be able to apply their acquired knowledge of contemporary research in human geography in an appropriate, selective and informed way. They will demonstrate a mastery of introductory concepts and evidence of engagement with contemporary academic literature gained through independent study. Assessment will comprise a coursework essay and class test. The class test will check student engagement with the module and understanding of basic concepts. The coursework essay will assess the ability of students to access and review a range of appropriate literature.

Additional outcomes:
By the end of this module, students will have greater confidence in their ability to engage with human geography teaching and research in a higher education setting. 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 they will encounter in Part 2 and 3 modules in human geography.

Outline content:
This module is divided into four blocks of five lectures. Each block will deal with a different sub-disciplinary approach in human geography. Students can expect to be introduced to some of the main concepts and academic authors in each of these areas, liberally illustrated by case study material.

Global context:
This module encourages an international outlook and understanding of global economic, political, social and environmental processes that is implicit in human geography. The teaching team make liberal use of case study material from across the globe. Students on this module will gain a deep understanding of the global context of contemporary research in human geography.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module will be taught through a lecture series during the Autumn Term. The module will be team taught by several members of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science and by visiting speakers where appropriate. Guided independent study will be enabled by carefully selected further reading, supported by class discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20 20
Guided independent study 80 80
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 75
Written assignment including essay 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:
One and a half hours

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
A short coursework exercise based on searching for and reviewing an item of published research in human geography, is set in the autumn term. A one and a half hour examination is held in the summer term.

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:
    Re-examination or 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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