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Geographies of Place, Identity and Culture

Module titleGeographies of Place, Identity and Culture
Module codeGEO1105
Academic year2018/9
Module staff

Professor Paul Cloke (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module provides a critical review of contemporary geographical debates related to concepts of place, identity and culture. It begins with an exploration of how binary thinking (about society-space, global-local, self-other and so on) in human geography can be challenged, in such a way as to make human geography relevant to the everyday lives of human geographers. You will then be given a broad introduction to some key sub-disciplinary fields within human geography: cultural geography, geographies of popular culture, historical geography andsocial geography. The focus throughout the module is to reflect on key debates about how place and culture interconnect in various ways, and the ways in which these interconnections impact on everyday aspects of social identity, belonging and exclusion, taken-for-granted representations of cultural meaning, and the performances of everyday life.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to translate human geography ideas from the detached world of abstract thinking to a more personal and experiential world that might be considered as everyday life. It invites participants to explore their own spatial, social and cultural situations, and to become familiar with human geography ideas that open out ideas about difference. That is, how are place and identity made meaningful, how do cultural representations and assumed orthodoxies shape our lifeworlds, and how can we begin to develop a more critical sensibility towards otherness that permits a wider understanding of how different groups of people dwell and shape their identities in-place. The module seeks to present foundational conceptual understandings of how to recognise the complexities that underlie the apparent certainties of sameness and difference, It then provides you with critical introductions to how human geographers have developed these ideas in the context of social, historical and cultural geographies. This module will contribute to the development of your understanding of how core skills contribute and relate to employability potential.

This module will help you to develop and extend your awareness of the importance of taught and learnt skills in strengthening employability potential, especially through the application of critical analytical skills to a range of contemporary social and cultural challenges.

The teaching contributions on this module involve elements of research undertaken by module staff, such as work on social exclusion and ethics (Cloke), cultural geographies of earth-writing (Romanillos) and geographies of technology (Kinsley).

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Grasp how your positional and situated knowledges impact on how you perceive places, identities and aspects of culture, thereby translating abstract human geography concepts into the practical experiences of everyday life and vice versa
  • 2. Discuss key ideas from a range of sub-disciplinary areas of human geography, including social geographies, historical geographies and cultural geographies
  • 3. Give examples of a wide range of geographical ideas connected to concepts of place, identity and culture, including the significant role of popular culture in the construction of identities and places
  • 4. Explain how places and landscapes are socially constructed and should be regarded within their political and cultural context

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 5. Discuss the contested and provisional nature of knowledge and understanding
  • 6. Analyse and synthesise information and recognise relevance
  • 7. Develop a sustained and reasoned argument
  • 8. Recognise the difference between synthesised textbook knowledge and primary knowledge derived from research journals
  • 9. Differentiate between conceptual and empirical knowledge

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 10. Communicate ideas in writing in a coherent and reasoned manner
  • 11. Interpret qualitative and quantitative information
  • 12. Undertake independent study using appropriate literature

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:

  • Challenging binary thinking
  • Cultural geographies
  • Geographies of popular culture
  • Historical geographies
  • Social geographies
  • Conclusion and exam preparation

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 Teaching33Lectures
Guided Independent Study59Preparation and reading for lectures
Guided Independent Study58Preparation and reading for exam


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Class-based examination question exercise1 hour AllOral

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
Examination10090 minutes AllExam feedback form


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
ExaminationExaminationAllAugust 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 sit a further examination. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • P. Cloke, P. Crang and M. Goodwin (eds) (2014) Introducing Human Geographies (London; Routledge, 3rd Edition).
  • D.Gregory, R, Johnston, G. Pratt, M. Watts and S. Whatmore (eds) (2009) Dictionary of Human Geography, 5th Edition (Wiley-Blackwell, Chichester).

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Human geography, urban and rural geography, landscape, identity, culture

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date