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Geographies of Creativity, Economy and Society

Module titleGeographies of Creativity, Economy and Society
Module codeGEO3131
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Nicola Thomas (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

While we can enjoy watching films, listening to music and looking at art it is also important to realise that the creative industries are the UK’s fastest growing economic sector. As creative making rises up the economic and political agendas the critical frameworks for understanding cultural forms and their social, economic and political contexts is increasingly important. This module engages with the cultural politics of creativity: from economic regeneration to everyday practices of creative making in people’s lives.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This is a module which brings together social, economic, political and cultural perspectives on the creative industries and creative practice. It aims to bring a range of contemporary debates from across geography (from governance to landscape and identity) to bear on the production, consumption and circulation of a range of creative practices and associated geographies. The module will engage with theoretical and conceptual ideas (understandings of culture, labour, community and regeneration), considering these in the context of a range of detailed case studies from across the creative economy.

In this module we aim to enhance your employability through the encouragement and development of personal skills, self-presentation and confidence and by increasing your awareness of how the module content contributes to positive graduate attributes. The assessment for this module is based on providing an authentic experience and embeds transferable skills to deliver meaningful employability as an integrated learning outcome. You will develop your own blog, commentating on the creative economy using your expertise as a geographer and also write a consultancy report advising on a ‘real life’ challenge within the creative economy that will be investigated during the course of the module. The module is supported with a closed group Facebook site where links and live contemporary events are shared and explored as the module unfolds.

The teaching contributions on this module involve elements of research undertaken by Dr Thomas including the geographies of the creative economy, creative policy and practice, creative practitioner livelihoods, spaces of the creative economy, and sector specific research.

The class teaching will take place in a workshop style setting, with a mix of activities, mini-lectures, workshops, visiting speakers and short field visits in Exeter. You will be expected to prepare for each class in advance. The key concepts will be loaded towards the start of the module, and there will be time in class to develop report and blog ideas to support the coursework.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Describe the interplay of social, political, economic, cultural and historical geographies in the context of the creative industries and creative practice
  • 2. Discuss comprehensively the spatialities (e.g. networks, clusters, creative cities, rural creativity, periodic social economy) of the creative economy
  • 3. Give examples of case studies drawn from a range of creative sectors and creative practices
  • 4. Report the conceptual debates around the definition of creativity and the creative industries

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Describe geographical debates pertinent to the study of the creative economy
  • 6. Assess production, consumption and circulation of creativity
  • 7. Analyse cultural texts (film, art, music, architecture, museums) from a cultural geography perspective
  • 8. Evaluate the spatial organisation of the knowledge economy and post-fordist economic structures

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 9. Present material to support a reasoned and consistent argument, both verbally and in writing
  • 10. Develop independent/self-directed study/learning skills, including time management, working to deadlines, and searching the literature on nation-state and national identity-related topics
  • 11. Communicate and present geographical ideas, theories and principles through oral, and written means
  • 12. Work as a participant of a group and contribute effectively to the achievement of objectives

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

  • The geographies of governance and the creative economy: definitions and conceptual approaches
  • The geographies of the creative economy and the knowledge economy
  • Creative places: cities, regions and ‘other geographies’ of the creative economy
  • Spatialities of creativity: clusters, networks, fairs and festivals
  • Creative geographies of production, consumption and circulation
  • Geographies of creative practice: making things, selling things, consuming things
  • Cultures of work and the political economy of creative labour
  • Economic regeneration/ development through creativity
  • Vernacular creativity: the politics of everyday making, activism and engagement

Learning and teaching

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 Teaching21Lectures, in class workshop and discussions.
Scheduled Learning and Teaching9Fieldtrip and workshops
Guided Independent Study25Lecture preparation and reading
Guided Independent Study30Assessment preparation
Guided Independent Study65Wider reading


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Group pecha kucha presentation7 minutesAllOral
Plan for blog postNo more than 500 wordsAllE-mail
Plan for reportNo more than 500 wordsAllE-mail

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
Wordpress blog 110500 words1-12Written
Wordpress blog 210500 words1-12Written
Wordpress blog 310500 words1-12Written
Wordpress blog 410500 words1-12Written
Consultancy report603000 words (excluding illustrations and captions)1-12Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Wordpress blog 1Wordpress blog 11-12August Ref/Def
Wordpress blog 2Wordpress blog 21-12August Ref/Def
Wordpress blog 3Wordpress blog 31-12August Ref/Def
Wordpress blog 4Wordpress blog 41-12August Ref/Def
Consultancy reportConsultancy report 3000 words (excluding illustrations and captions)1-12August 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 submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Amin, A and Thrift, N. (2007) Cultural-economy and cities. Progress in Human Geography 21, 2, 143-161.
  • Bassset, K. Griffiths, R and Smith, I. Cultural industries, cultural clusters and the city: the example of natural history film making in Bristol.
  • Becker, H. (1982) Art Worlds, Berkley, CA: University of California Press.
  • Brown, A. O’Conner, J and Cohen, S. (2000) Local music policies within the global music industry: Cultural Quarters in Manchester and Sheffield.
  • Castree, N. (2004) Economy and Culture are dead. Long live economy and culture. Progress in Human Geography, 28, 2, 204-226.
  • Christophers, B. (2007) Enframing creativity: power, geographical knowledge’s and the media economy, Transactions Institute British Geographers.
  • Deutsche, R. (1996) Evictions. Art and Spatial Politics. MIT Press.
  • Dwyer, C and Jackson,P. (2002) Commodifying difference: selling EASTernfasion. Environment and Planning D. Society and Space, 21, 269-291.
  • Gibson, C and Kong, L. (2005) Cultural economy: a critical review. Progress in Human Geography, 29,5,541-561.
  • Jayne, M (2005) Creative Industries: the regional dimension? Environment and Planning C: Government and Policy, 23; 537-556.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Culture, economy, society

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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