Study Abroad and Exchanges



GEO3131 : Aerial Geographies (Inactive)

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of this module is to investigate the political geographies and geopolitics of airspace and air power. The module will focus on how military aviation works to project state power across space and will include lectures on No Fly Zones and drone warfare. It will also include analysis of aerial mobilities and popular cultural engagements with airspace (in films, video games, art etc). This module offers the opportunity to engage with cutting edge research in political geography, focusing on a space that has only recently come under geographical attention.

Outline Of Syllabus

This lecture will be taught in semester 2 through a mix of 2hr lectures, 1hr seminars, and film showings;

Week 1 – Lecture 1 - How do Geographers study the aerial?
Week 1 – Seminar 1– Thinking about airspaces
Week 2 – Lecture 2 – Introducing the first assessment
Week 3 – Lecture 3 - The aerial view
Week 3 – Seminar 2 – From above – a critique
Week 4 – Lecture 4 - The geographies of aerial power projection
Week 5 – Lecture 5 - Controlling the air
Week 5 – Seminar 3 – Performing airspaces
Week 6 – Lecture 6 - Aerial Lives
Week 6 – Seminar 4 – Considering Adey
Week 7 – Lecture 7 - No Fly Zones
Week 7 – Seminar 5 – Terror from the air
Week 8 – Lecture 8 - Unmanning the air
Week 8 – Seminar 6 – Geographies of Drone Warfare
Week 9 – Lecture 9 - Aerial mobilities
Week 9 – Seminar 7 – The aerially mobile
Week 10 – Lecture 10 - Popular cultures of aviation
Week 11 – Film – Good Kill
Week 11 – Seminar 8 – 9/11 in popular culture
Week 12 – Lecture 11 - Conclusion and exam preparation

Total of 11 lectures, 8 seminars, 1 film showing

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical12:002:00Film showing
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00Seminars to be run by TA
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery12:002:00Run by ML
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1114:00114:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The teaching methods relate to the assessment methods directly. The first half of the module focuses on introducing the conceptual frameworks used by key scholars, and the key debates/issues in contemporary air power practices. This is taught through lectures and seminars and links directly to the first assessment. In the second half of the module, teaching is conducted through lectures and seminars providing in-depth analysis of key aspects for contemporary aerial geographies in preparation for the take home exam, which will focus on these examples, but link them back to the key concepts developed in the first half of the module. The learning outcomes all focus on enabling the students to make connections between theory and empirical examples, on discussing relevant current examples, and on engaging with advanced theory.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M30Essay 1500
Prof skill assessmnt2M10Seminar participation
Written exercise2A60Take Home Exam 2 x 1000 word essays written over 4 days
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The resit for this module will be a 3hr unseen exam worth 100% of the module mark

The assessment for this module is split into two. The first assessment is an essay based on the seminar readings from the first half of the module. This tests students’ understanding of the concepts discussed in the first half of the module. The second assessment takes the form of a take home exam, which will be set at the end of the module. This will provide students with the opportunity to produce a piece of work, in time limited conditions, which enables them to individually show their understanding of key conceptual and empirical aspects of the module. The take home exam assessment provides a time limited aspect, not present in essays, which more closely mirrors skills that students may be expected to have in the graduate workplace. Seminar participation is also assessed to encourage students to prepare well and engage in the seminars, the readings from which will feed directly into the assessments.

Reading Lists