Theories and Debates in Human Geography

University of Reading

Course Description

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

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:
Lectures 40
Guided independent study 160
Total hours by term 200

Summatibe Assessment Methods:
Written Assignment Including Essay 75%
Class Test Administered by School 25%

Other information on summative assessment:
The class test will be a short multiple choice quiz to check understanding of key concepts introduced in the first five weeks of teaching. The coursework essay will be an opportunity to engage with key literature in human geography and experience this form of assessment in a supportive environment.

Formative assessment methods:
Students can check their learning and understanding during class discussion exercises. There will be an opportunity for peer review of essay plans.

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
A mark of 40% overall.

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission of coursework essay or alternative short assessment to class test.

  • Course Name

    Theories and Debates in Human Geography

  • Sessions Available

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units

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