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Modules

Modules

GEO3139 : Geographies of Mobility and Communications

Semesters
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0

Aims

The module aims to introduce students to the new sub-fields of the geography of mobilities and the geography of communications which have emerged over the past decade or so. These fields incorporate perspectives from urban, economic, historical, political, social and cultural geographies to investigate the roles and significance of mobility and communications in human society, including consideration of the technologies and infrastructures upon which mobility and communications depend. The module will also incorporate perspectives from the ‘new mobilities paradigm’ in the social sciences.

Outline Of Syllabus

The following themes will be covered in the module’s 24 lectures:

1. Introduction: Geography, mobility and communications - role of mobility and communications in societal change, historically and in the contemporary ‘network society’, and the implications of changes in mobility and communications for space and place (Lectures 1-2); the emergence of the distinct sub-fields of the geography of mobility and the geography of communications, and their relationships to the longer established sub-field of transport geography (Lecture 3).


2. Modes of mobility and communications – consideration of the historical and contemporary geographies of walking and cycling, train travel, auto-mobility, aero-mobility and of new forms of ‘virtual mobility’ enabled by technologies such as the Internet and mobile telephony (Lectures 4-8).

3. Infrastructures of mobility and communications – consideration of the key network infrastructures that have enabled mobility and communications: railway networks; road networks and motorways; airline networks and airports; and the broadband communications infrastructures of the Internet (Lectures 9-12).

4. Economic geographies of transport, mobility and communications – role of transport and communications in underpinning past commercial and colonial empires; mobility, communications and globalisation; transport and development; geographies of commuting and business travel; geographies of digital ecosystems; geographies of e-commerce (Lectures 13-18).

5. Mobility, equity, environment and cities – mobility rights and inequalities; digital
divides; mobility and the environment; ‘sustainable mobility’; mobility and cities (Lectures 19-22).

6. Revision lectures – (Lectures 23-24)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce, develop and illustrate the core conceptual, theoretical and empirical content of the module.

Small group teaching, in the form of seminars, focus on particular case studies, and provide an opportunity for more interactive student-led discussion and debate.

The workshop links to the essay assessment

The drop-in/surgeries provide an opportunity for discussion and problem-solving in addressing course material.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Exams
Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60Prepared exam. Students to write 2 essays in 2 hours in formal exam conditions, from a choice of 6 given to students 1 week earlier
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M402000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The prepared exam is an essay writing task to be completed in exam conditions in an exam hall but students will be given the questions one week in advance. This will enable students to develop sophisticated essays based on focused research and planning in the time leading up the exam. This format tests not only writing ability but also assesses ability to conduct focused academic research, ability to use journals and databases to develop strong and well supported arguments. This format also enables students with learning difficulties to take more time to read and process the questions and to plan answers.

The assessed Essay tests the students’ ability to explore a subject in-depth, demanding critical reading and writing skills and an ability to gather and synthesise material and to formulate a rigorous argument.

Resit info: 3hr 3q unseen exam.

Reading Lists

Timetable