Module Catalogue 2024/25

GEO3102 : Geopolitics

GEO3102 : Geopolitics

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Ingrid A. Medby
  • Lecturer: Professor Simon Tate, Dr Craig Jones, Dr Matt Benwell, Dr Alison Williams, Dr Matthew Richmond
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Code Title
GEO2047Political Geography
Pre Requisite Comment

Students must have taken GEO2047 Political Geography in stage 2, as this module builds on topics explored there.


Modules you need to take at the same time

Co Requisite Comment



Building on themes introduced in GEO247 Political Geography, this course aims to give students an advanced understanding of geopolitical scholarship, 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 and case studies, drawn from the lecturers’ own research interests.

Outline Of Syllabus

GEO3102 Geopolitics runs as a short, semester-long module, allowing a deep-dive into geopolitical issues and concepts through weekly sessions. The structure can be divided into two sections:

Section 1 – Geopolitical concepts
In this section of the module, students will engage with a range of geopolitical thinkers and concepts. This will be taught through a number of lectures focused on the history and evolution of geopolitics as a set of connected ideas, the issues and challenges associated with these ideas, and specific concepts that have emerged within geopolitical scholarship over the last 20 years.

Section 2 – Geopolitical practices
In this section of the module, students will engage with a series of research-led lectures that focus on how geopolitical practices are visible in the world today. These may include issues such as foreign policy, climate and Anthropocene geopolitics, and the projection of state power in maritime and aerial spaces.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

By the end of the module students will:

1. Be able to understand 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. Be able to critically evaluate the relationship between geopolitical ideas and the practice of international politics.
3. Be able to apply geopolitical ideas to understand a broad range of geopolitical case studies.
4. Be able to critically evaluate the production of geopolitical knowledge, including 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 students will have developed:

1. The ability to summarise, assess, explain, and critically evaluate different geopolitical theories and arguments.
2. The ability to interpret, evaluate, and critically reflect on geopolitical events in the news by applying relevant theories and approaches.
3. The ability to formulate, present, defend, and revise reasoned arguments, assessed through written work and presentations.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture113:0033:00Taught material will usually be delivered in 3 hour interactive blocks.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1167:00167:00Students will use this time to read around the lectures and prepare their assessments.
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The module will include weekly lectures of 3 hours, which will be flexible, include interactive elements, and assessment guidance and support.

This module is split into two sections. The first section aims to provide an advanced engagement with key geopolitical concepts. This will include analysis of the history of geopolitical scholarship, and introduce cutting-edge contemporary developments in geopolitical thinking.

The second section of the module refocuses to provide a series of lectures from members of the teaching team, in which they will draw on their own geopolitical research to illustrate how geopolitical concepts can be utilised to investigate and analyse the world today.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation1M40Presentation linked to contemporary geopolitical events, related to materials discussed in section 1.
Essay1M60A text written for key relevant audience on a geopolitical case, related to materials discussed in section 2. 1500 words.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This module provides students with two different types of assessment.

First, students will produce a recorded oral presentation, which applies some of the geopolitical theory or key thinkers introduced in section 1 of the module to a contemporary news story. The presentation aims to assess students’ ability to make connections between academic literature and contemporary events, by selecting a relevant geopolitical case study from within and/or beyond the module and using geopolitical approaches to analysis to summarise, assess, explain, and critically reflect on the coverage it has received in the media.

Second, students will write an essay briefing expert stakeholders on a geopolitical case study of their choice. This will draw on the approaches and contents introduced in section 2 of the module. The assignment assesses students’ knowledge and understanding of geopolitical concepts and their application to real world examples, and tests their ability to summarise, assess, explain, and evaluate how geopolitical theories and arguments relate to contemporary geopolitical realities.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 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 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.