Module Catalogue 2022/23

GEO2047 : Political Geography

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Nick Megoran
  • Lecturer: Dr Matt Benwell, Dr Ingrid A. Medby, Dr Craig Jones
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module aims to give students a thorough grounding in the concepts, practices and disciplinary traditions of political geography. In doing so, students will be equipped with the skills to critically analyse the spatialities of political life from local to global scales. This is a wide-ranging and demanding module based on 2-hour lectures (which include participatory class discussions and debates) and optional reading groups. There is no online-element to this module.

Outline Of Syllabus

PART 1: Introduction to political geography

This first part of the module will look at historical and contemporary configurations of space and sovereignty. It considers the emergence of, and challenges to, the modern state.

Having looked at the formation of the system of sovereignty, this section of the module considers how states and other polities relate to each to each other internationally – geopolitics.

The final section of the module asks what it means to participate in, and to be excluded from, states,

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the course the student will:

1. Have a sound knowledge and understanding of the tenets and background of political geography and will be able to critically evaluate the position of the sub-discipline in relation to broader geographical enquiry.
2. Have a sound knowledge and understanding of the relationship between sovereignty claims and space and will have a background in a broad range of case studies.
3. Be able to critically assess the production of geopolitical knowledge and will have an understanding of the various means by which this knowledge is communicated and reproduced.
4. Be able to critically evaluate concepts such as state, nation and territory.

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the course the student will have developed:

1. The ability to summarise, assess, explain and critically evaluate different theories and arguments.
2. The ability to formulate, present, defend and revise reasoned arguments in the contexts of individual writing, group discussion, and the public sphere.
3. The ability to engage in public debate by writing letters for publication in national, regional and local newspapers
4. The ability to recognise, interpret and critically evaluate the political geographic content of everyday life, as experienced across a range of quotidian sites including landscapes, news media, films, novels, and places of work.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion142:0042:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture11:001:00LECTURE – ASSESSMENT 1 INTRODUCTION - PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture172:0034:00Lectures - PiP
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1114:00114:00N/A
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities11:001:00Assessment drop-in/workshops online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00Optional reading seminars - PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Assessment drop-ins/workshops - 1 PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery31:003:00Online Clinic
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
GEO2121Political Geography (Semester 1 for Exchange Students)
GEO2122Political Geography (Semester 2 for Exchange Students)
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures, directed reading, and the practical teaching on submitting a letter to a media source, aim to thoroughly ground students in the concepts, practices and disciplinary traditions of political geography, to critically evaluate these, and to connect them to a broad range of case studies in the world today.

Online clinics provide an opportunity for student-led discussion and Q&A.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M602000 word essay. Set in Teaching Week 9, Semester 2.
Prof skill assessmnt1M40Pre-recorded oral presentation on PowerPoint.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Assessment 1 assesses knowledge and understanding of core political geographic concepts and application, and ability to summarise, assess, explain and evaluate different theories and arguments and relate module material to the real world in a way that promotes active engagement in public debate (for pedagogical rationale see reference below). Assessment 2 builds on this by emphasising in detail critical understanding of one part of the module. The assessment weighting is balanced to reflect development over the year.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes

For pedagogical reasons, there are no online teaching slots offered. This is because the emphasis is on 2-hour in-person lecture slots which include activities such as class discussion and debate, rather than separate compulsory seminars.

Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.