Module Catalogue 2019/20

GEO3102 : Geopolitics

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Ms Olivia Mason
  • Lecturer: Professor Nick Megoran, Dr Simon Tate, Dr Matt Benwell
  • 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
Code Title
GEO2047Political Geography
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This course aims to give students an advanced understanding in geopolitical traditions, concepts and contemporary practices. In doing so, students will be equipped with the skills to critically analyse the creation, communication and reproduction of geopolitical ideas. It introduces students to the ideas of key geopolitical thinkers as well as a number of contemporary geopolitical practices, drawn from the lecturers’ own research interests.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester 1

Lecture 1: What is Geopolitics I – classical geopolitics
Lecture 2: What is Geopolitics II – critical geopolitics
Lecture 3: Assessment Lecture
Lecture 4: Halford Mackinder
Lecture 5: Feminist Geopolitics
Lecture 6: Everyday Geopolitics
Lecture 7: Understanding Contemporary British Foreign Policy Relationship
Lecture 8: Brexit and Europe
Lecture 9: The Special Relationship: UK/US

Semester 2

Lecture 10: Geopolitics of The Falklands
Lecture 11: Geopolitics of Religion
Lecture 12: Geopolitics of Atheism
Lecture 13: Geopolitics & War: Killing & Injuring
Lecture 14: Geopolitics & War: Cities, Natures, Infrastructures
Lecture 15: Geopolitics & War: Escaping & Caring
Lecture 16: Conclusion and course essay

- 3 seminars based on lectures 5,6, 13

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module the student will:
1. Have a sound knowledge and understanding of the tenets and background of geopolitics and be able to critically evaluate the position of the sub-discipline in relation to broader geographical and political enquiry
2. Have a sound knowledge and understanding of the relationship between geopolitical ideas and the practice of international politics
3. Have a good knowledge of a broad range of geopolitical case studies
4. 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
5. Be able to critically evaluate the interrelations between formal, practical and popular geopolitical ideas and practices

Intended Skill Outcomes

By the end of the module the student will have developed:
1. The ability to summarise, assess, explain and critically evaluate different geopolitical theories and arguments
2. The ability to formulate, present, defend and revise reasoned arguments, within a group discursive setting and within the assessed written work.
3. The ability to recognise, interpret and critically evaluate the geopolitical 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 completion150:0050:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture152:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture13:003:00Lecture and seminar combined
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Film showing linked to lecture 4
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching31:003:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1110:00110:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures introduce the key concepts in geopolitics and a wider range of case study material related directly to staff research interests. The film provides the basis for discussions in one of the seminars. This and the other five seminars enable students to connect the material from the lectures and personal study to the politics of the world around them. These sessions also enable students to delve more deeply into key aspects of geopolitics, and to practice their own oral presentation and group discussion skills.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1A40Essay covering semester 1 work - 2000 words
Essay2M60Essay covering semester 2 work - 2000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessments for this module provides the students with a range of options. In semester 1 & 2 students will choose one essay question from a list provided by module staff. Set at the end of each block of teaching this enables the student to draw upon their knowledge developed during the module. The exam and essay assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of geopolitical concepts and their application, and tests their ability to summarise, assess, explain and evaluate different theories and arguments and bring practical examples from within and beyond the module to the fore.


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.