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Unit information: Philosophy, Social Theory and Geography in 2021/22

Unit name Philosophy, Social Theory and Geography
Unit code GEOG25110
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Jellis
Open unit status Not open

GEOG10003 Key Concepts in Human and Physical Geography and GEOG10002 Geographical History, Thought and Practices



School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The unit situates contemporary debates in human geography within broader traditions of social theory and philosophy. In so doing, the unit addresses critical theorising in the fields of materialism, idealism, politics, ethics, and knowledge-production. The unit also examines the ways in which social scientific and geographical knowledges have been informed by debates in and across Marxism, post-structuralism, pragmatism, and feminism. The unit introduces and interrogates the work of specific philosophers and theorists, namely - but not limited to – Baruch Spinoza, Judith Butler, Michel Foucault, Karl Marx, Gilles Deleuze, Félix Guattari, Donna Haraway, Jane Bennett, Frantz Fanon, Jacques Ranciere, and Henri Bergson. In each case, the aim is to explore the implications of each theorist for understanding key concepts in geography, notably; space, society, and subjectivity.

The aims of the unit are:

  • To provide students with a critical awareness and understanding of key philosophers and philosophies that have been influential within Geography
  • To equip students with high-level analytical skills

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this Unit students will be able to:

  1. Engage in informed debate on key philosophical and methodological issues in geography and the wider social sciences;
  2. Philosophise, critically, about contemporary concerns in both geography and society more broadly.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Group seminar participation
  • Analytical skills

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace

Assessment Information

Take-home assessment at end of teaching block 1 - 2000 words max (40%) Extended Essay at the end of unit - 2500 words max (60%) Both assessments assess all ILOs.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOG25110).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.