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Unit information: Theorizing Society and Space in 2021/22

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Theorizing Society and Space
Unit code GEOGM0001
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Joe Gerlach
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

Drawing on a range of scholarly and experimental resources from across continental philosophy, social theory and cultural geography, this course examines the ways in which we might approach ideas and politics concerning society and space in a conceptually informed and rigorous manner.

Each of the seminars is focused on the examination of a key concept or concern in contemporary social theory, for example, ‘body’, ‘space’, ‘experiment’, ‘experience’ and ‘materiality’. Each of these terms allow us to approach and explore pressing issues in society, ecology, politics, aesthetics and ethics. Seminars are graduate led, with prefatory lecture material provided by academic staff.

The unit provides a conceptual and philosophical grounding for understanding key theoretical issues in examining space, politics and subjectivity in geography, in the social sciences, and in the humanities. Moreover, it provides an engaging and supportive space for students to develop their skills in critique and in the composition of intellectually rigorous, and academically generous arguments.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of the unit, students should:

  1. Be familiar and confident with contemporary issues in cultural geography and social theory.
  2. Be able to critique scholarly and experimental resources with a high level of conceptual acuity and confidence, both in verbal and written work.
  3. Be able to transfer high-level conceptual material and knowledge to the application of dissertation research.
  4. Be able to translate and transpose conceptual concerns to broader issues in space, society, ethics and politics.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through ten graduate-led seminars, supplemented by essay supervision sessions and weekly student support hours with the academic staff.

Assessment Information

4500 word essay (100%)


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. GEOGM0001).

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.