Module Catalogue 2019/20

GEO3063 : Militarism: Space and Society

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Rachel Woodward
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



•To introduce contemporary social scientific concepts, research and debates on militarism, militarisation and military activities, with respect to their geographies and social expression.

•To explore and understand how militarism and militariaisation is geographically and socially constituted and expressed, with reference to a range of regional, national and trans-national contexts and case studies.

•To develop students’ analytic skills and capacity to explain how militarism, militarisation and military activities shape space, society, political life and culture.

•To develop students’ transferable skills, particularly in critical thinking, written and oral communication, and team-work.

Outline Of Syllabus

This module is about militarism, military activities and militarisation, and how they are geographically and socially produced and expressed. The overall intention of the module is to introduce you to a wide variety of ways in which military power and phenomena influence the geographies of the world around us, including in ways which are concealed or which may seem incidental.
The module will be taught through interactive lectures; the intention is to use the time allocated for classes for traditional lecturing, for discussions about particular topics, and to watch some films prior to discussing. There will be three hours per week contact time allocated to this module, and in most weeks this will comprise 1 x two-hour class and 1 x one-hour class.
The themes the module will cover will include the following:
What does ‘military’ mean?
•       An introduction to militarism and militarisation
•       A brief history of armed conflict in the 20th and 21st centuries
•       The organization and structure of contemporary armed forces.
Who fights?
•       Recruitment and conscription of military personnel
•       Inclusion and exclusion: class, gender, ethnicity and sexuality in military forces.
•       The politics of the military veteran and post-military transitions
•       Military spouses, military childhoods
•       Military students
What are the geographies of military forces and activities, outside of armed conflict?
•       Patterns of military basing and the politics of location
•       Military environmental impacts
•       Military landscapes
•       Military economies and their geographies
How does culture understand military things?
•       Fiction and non-fiction literature and the representation of war
•       Military films, from action adventure to bug-splat movies
•       TV drama and the representation of the armed forces for domestic consumption
•       Military sitcoms
•       Documentaries
What are the military geographies of the future?
•       Privatisation and the rise of private security contracting
•       The armed forces of the future
•       Future global security threats

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

A basic working knowledge of the scope and consequences of militarisation, militarism and military activities, including teminologies, organisational structures, roles, functions and deployments.

Proven comprehension of the processes by which militarism and military activities are geographically constituted and expressed.

Proven comprehension of the complex relationships between military and civil society, at the levels of the household, community and nation.

A clear understanding of how contemporary British militarism is manifest in popular culture, particularly in film, television and through video/computer games.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Students will be given the opportunity to develop the following skills:

Skills in independent study and critical thinking to flesh out and comprehend theoretical and empirical approaches to the study of militarism, space and society.

The ability to construct and deliver informed, coherent arguments about the contemporary spatial and social manifestations of militarism, drawing on theoretical approaches and empirical materials.

The ability to find, read, use and interpret critically a variety of textual and non-textual (visual) materials, from a variety of sources (academic, policy, media) in support of arguments about militarism, space and society.

The opportunity to develop teamwork skills through preparation, research and writing of the group assessed assignment.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture121:0012:00Lecture
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture122:0024:00Lecture
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1164:00164:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is taught through interactive lectures, which combine traditional lecturing with opportunities for whole-class and small-group discussion and the critical examination of course materials (including films). The intention is to introduce empirical materials and to situate these within an appropriate conceptual framework, to enhance knowledge and understanding.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A75Semester 2 assessment period. Unseen exam, two questions from six.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Report2M25One group 1,000 words per student groups of 3,4 or 5 students.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The exam is designed to assess knowledge and understanding gained over the course of the module (breadth) while the group presentations allow students to explore a topic of particular interest (depth). The group presentation also assesses the teamwork skills aspect of the learning outcomes (as detailed on page 4)


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.