Module Catalogue 2019/20

GEO2099 : Economic Geography

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Kean Fan Lim
  • Lecturer: Dr Stuart Dawley, Professor Andy Pike, Professor Jane Pollard, Dr Astrid Wood, Professor Al James, Professor Danny MacKinnon
  • 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



1. To introduce students to the distinctive identity of economic geography and conception of the economy.
2. To connect students with the research strengths and long tradition of economic geography research at Newcastle University, including the work of the internationally renowned Centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies:\curds. Working together, staff at Newcastle represent one of the largest and most internationally prominent groups of economic geographers operating in Europe and beyond.
3. To provide students with an introduction into the theoretical base of contemporary economic geography research.
4. To provide students with an understanding of a broad range of dynamics within economic space, including spatial circuits of value and uneven development: geographies of money and finance: regulatory geographies; geographies of innovation and knowledge; geographies of commodity chains; retail geographies; and the geographies of nature and economy.
5. To introduce and critically analyse a range of key factors in economic space including the state; Transnational corporations; labour and the workforce.
6. Illustrate these ideas with examples and case studies drawn from around the world and from a variety of economic sectors.
7. To build on concepts introduced at stage 1 in economic geography and a topical understanding of an interconnected world.
8. To better understand the policy–relevance of economic geography research

Outline Of Syllabus


Theoretical Foundations
Lecture 1: A geographical perspective to the economy
Lecture 2: Does the economy really exist?
Lecture 3: Theorising economic geography I: political-economy
Lecture 4: Theorising economic geography II: institutional ‘turns’
Lecture 5: Theorising economic geography III: cultural ‘turns’
Lecture 6: Theorising economic geography IV: ‘evolutionary turns’

Dynamics of Economic Space
Lecture 7: Environment and Economy
Lecture 8: Consumption and Retail
Lecture 9: Global Production Networks
Lecture 10: Clusters: Knowledge and proximity
Lecture 11: Money and finance
Lecture 12: Alternative Economic Spaces
Lecture 13: Individual Project Guidance

Key Actors in Economic Space
Lecture 14: Labour geographies and worker agency
Lecture 15: Transnational Corporations: ‘movers and shapers’ of the global economy?
Lecture 16: The state and the economy 1: UK
Lecture 17: The state and the economy 2: the (post) socialist state

Placing Dynamics and Actors
Lecture 18: Policy Mobilities
Lecture 19: 'Emerging' economies in the global south
Lecture 20: Geographies of brands and branding
Lecture 21: China as the World's Factory
Lecture 22: Embracing uneven development? Reviewing the 2009 World Development Report
Lecture 23: Creating New Paths: Offshore wind and the North East region
Lecture 24: Infrastructure and Devlopment

Conclusion and Résumé
Lecture 25: Revision

Small group sessions:
How the West went Bust
What is economic geography?
Ethical Global Supply Chains: Surgical Instruments for the NHS
Economic Geographies of High Speed Rail
Economic Geographies of TNCs: Jaguar Land Rover and Nissan
Geographies of Brands and branding

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the course students will be able to:
•Understand the meanings of the economy and different geographical approaches to its study
•Understand theoretical debates regarding the nature and geographies of the economy and uneven development
•Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of different dynamics, institutions and actors/ agents and their geographic and economic constitution and expression
•Understand the complex economic relationships between production, circulation and consumption as they affects firms, workers, regions and nations
•Be able to critically evaluate, drawing upon a broad range of case studies, the role of geography in understanding the economic and uneven development
•To develop a critical understanding of the role of policy, government and governance in shaping the geography of the economy, across a variety of scales and locations.

Intended Skill Outcomes

•Proven comprehension of the processes through which the economy is geographically constituted and expressed
•Ability to engage critically with case study and other empirical material concerned with the dynamics, actors and sites of the economy
•Ability to present clear and reasoned arguments concerning abstract, theoretical debates concerning economic geographical thought and practice
•Ability to set a topic in its wide context and produce a written essay that demonstrates understanding and ability to synthesis and cite sources in a systematic manner
•Ability to analyze the complexity of the economy and its processes through a geographical perspective

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture261:0026:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching81:008:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce, develop and illustrate theories and empirical material relating to different economic geographies and their dynamics

Small group teaching sessions combine specialist video illustrations of case studies (the UK economy, the Irish financial crisis, the rise of China’s economy, global commodity chains, global brands and marketing) with an opportunity for more interactive, student-led discussion, analysis and presentation of relevant material. They also offer role play situations to rehearse some for the key challenges facing economic decision makers within the world of global retail. Finally, a further small group session allows for facilitated discussions and student-led presentations on key readings.

Assessment workshop offer interactive guidance on the coursework submission and an opportunity for Q&A

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A60Unseen Exam
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M401600 word individual Project
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The unseen exam will test students’ understanding of the basic concepts outlined in the module, and abilities to engage with the relevant academic literature. The 1600 word essay tests students’ ability to explore subjects in-depth, demanding critical reading and writing skills and an ability to gather and synthesise material.

An alternative form of assessment will be set for exchange students from non-English speaking home institutions replacing the examination. The alternative form of assessment is set in accordance with the University Assessment tariff.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 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 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.