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Unit information: Study and Field Skills C in 2015/16

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Unit name Study and Field Skills C
Unit code GEOG25150
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Professor. Fannin
Open unit status Not open

All units in Single Honours Geography Year 1


All Geography Year 2 Syllabus C units

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This course is about exploring, experiencing and representing the city. Its main focus is in the linking of theory and practice through field work in a major European city. In particular it examines a particular sequence of artistic, architectural, philosophical and political movements extending from the C19th to the late C20th including literary, historical and philosophical figures such as Hausmann, Baudelaire, Benjamin, Debord, Derrida, Gaudi, Lefebvre, de Certeau and Bourdieu. Pedagogically, the course shows how a particular empirical encounter, for example with Paris or Barcelona, sources experience, inspires theory and becomes the site of particular practices which then perform the social. In more general terms it will be shown that urban movements, whether artistic, political or social, were and are transformers of modern society today. The course provides material for the basis of day-projects in the field.

  • To familiarise students with the relationship between theory and practice
  • To enable students to gain experience of using theory in relation to empirical insight to construct visions of the world
  • To give students an awareness of a particular empirical site that acts as an exemplary marker for many artistic, literary, historical and philosophical currents that underpin modern society in the Western world.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  • Understand a series of theoretical and historical issues underpinning the development of modernity as seen through urban sites
  • Combine and critically evaluate the appropriate use of novel theoretical constellations in response to specific empirical engagements
  • Expand their empirical skills in terms of attention in the field

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Team working and collaboration
  • Problem solving
  • Lateral and strategic thinking
  • Analytical skills
  • Planning and implementing research projects
  • Project management

Teaching details

Lectures, seminar-based discussions, and fieldwork

Assessment Details

Percentage of the unit that is coursework: 100%

Reading and References

Selected readings:

  • Steve Pile and Nigel Thrift, eds. (2000) City A-Z: Urban Fragments
  • David B. Clarke (1997) The Cinematic City
  • Jennifer Robinson, (2005) Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development
  • Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift, ed. (2002) Cities: Reimagining the Urban
  • Walter Benjamin (1997) One-way Street and Other Writings

A full reading list will be distributed at the first seminar.


  • Gregory, D. (2007) Power Knowledge and Geography: An Introduction to Geographic Thought and Practice, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford ISBN-13: 978-1557866554