Module Catalogue 2022/23

GEO3158 : Geographies of Sustainable Production and Consumption

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Alexandra Hughes
  • Lecturer: Dr Gareth Powells
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semesters
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
GEO1018Geographical Analysis
GEO2047Political Geography
GEO2099Economic Geography
GEO2103Development & Globalisation
GEO2110Social Geographies
Pre Requisite Comment

Any two Stage 2 Human Geography modules, or GEO1018 plus any one Stage 2 Human Geography module.

Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

N/A

Aims

This human geography module provides third year students with an opportunity to engage with the vibrant and growing field of contemporary geographical research on sustainable production and consumption, focusing on the provision and use of both goods and services. The module will introduce foundational concepts and key geographic perspectives on commodities, trade, sustainability and environment-society relationships. It will then develop conceptually rich and empirically detailed accounts of sustainability issues pertaining to the production and consumption of a wide range of goods and services, including food, energy, clothing, medical equipment and electronics. The course will be of immediate relevance to students considering post graduate studies and / or careers that concern environment – society - economy interactions.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module begins with foundational perspectives then leads into substantive thematic lectures and learning activities. It concludes with a module review and includes sessions to explain assessment expectations and to provide feedback to students. Module introduction and three other key sessions to help students navigate the module will be delivered over and above the lecture series as live lectures.

A typical outline is as follows, but the module leader may make changes to the specific sessions.

PART 1: FOUNDATIONAL CONCEPTS AND GEOGRAPHICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SUSTAINABILITY, GOODS AND SERVICES
Lecture 1. Module Introduction
Lecture 2. Material Worlds: Commodities and Commodity Chains
Lecture 3. Origins of Sustainability
Lecture 4. Markets and Governance of Global Production Networks
Lecture 5. Political Ecology
Lecture 6. Geographies of Practice
Lecture 7. Geographies of Consumption
Lecture 8. Socio-technical Transitions
Lecture 9. Assessment Introduction and Preparation
Lecture 10. Questioning Growth
Lecture 11. De-Growth
Lecture 12. Geographies of End-of-Life Goods
Lecture 13. Environmental Justice
Pre-recorded assessment explanation: essay
Workshop 1 on growth


PART 2: SPACES OF SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
Lecture 14. Global Production Networks and Sustainability
Lecture 15. Supply Chains, Sustainability and Health
Lecture 16. Spaces of Sustainable Consumption
Lecture 17. Sustainable and Alternative Food Production
Lecture 18: Sustainable Diets
Lecture 19. Post-Covid Supply Chain Futures
Workshop 2 on reshoring supply chains
Lecture 20. Sustainable Energy Production
Lecture 21: Understanding Energy Use
Lecture 22. Spaces of Sustainable Tourism
Lecture 23. Sustainable Urban Transport
Lecture 24: Place-based Planning of Urban Services
Workshop 3 on sustainable cities
Pre-recorded assessment explanation: report x 2

PART 3: MODULE ASSESSMENT SUPPORT
Lecture 25. Module Conclusion
Clinic. Assessment 2 (Report) Support

Lecture 26. Generic feedback on the first assessment

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

The overarching aim of the module is to enable students to develop an empirically and conceptually rich, critical understanding of sustainability relating to the production and consumption of goods and services. Within this, the module aims to provide: a) a critical awareness of key conceptual frameworks and framings of sustainability, including the political, economic and environmental effects of ideas in shaping policy and public practices in the utilities and consumer goods sectors; b) detailed and empirically grounded knowledge of key sustainability issues and cases; and c) a reflexive evaluation of contemporary notions and deployment of sustainability through cases studies of food, water, energy, clothing, medical equipment and electronics.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Ability to abstract and synthesize information on sustainability, ecology, trade, production and consumption.

Ability to assess and critically evaluate the merits of contrasting theories that attempt to explain how challenges, policies, politics and practices of sustainability play out in a wide range of consumer goods and utilities sectors across the globe.

Ability to critically analyse case studies of sustainability in the production and consumption of food, water, energy, textiles, electronics, flowers and clothing;

Ability to develop reasoned arguments in essay and report formats, as well as through online discussion and guided learning, regarding the challenges, policies, politics and practices of sustainable production and consumption.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture261:0026:0026 PiP lectures (if circumstances dictate, PiP lectures will be online)
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion140:0040:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading1127:00127:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops31:003:00Workshops
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesScheduled on-line contact time41:004:00Clinics to supporting assessment
Total200:00
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce, develop and illustrate theories and case studies of geographies of sustainable production and consumption.

The structured research and reading activities provide students with an opportunity to explore examples of sustainable production and consumption through lively and timely case studies of different sectors, including food, water, energy, fashion, flowers, electronics, and medical equipment. This will be sessions through both academic reading and consultation of contemporary news articles and film.

Clinic sessions (referred to as “Scheduled on-line contact time” above) allow students to ask questions and/or engage in academic discussion about the assessed coursework.

Workshops sessions allow students to apply concepts and theories taught and learned in the lectures and structured research and reading activities to real work issues of sustainable production and consumption and allow conversation and inter-subjective learning.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502000 words
Report1M502000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1 x 2,000-word course essay and 1 x 2,000-word report each worth 50% of the final module mark will allow students to demonstrate the following:
•       Ability to abstract and synthesize information on sustainability, ecology, trade, production, and consumption.
•       Ability to assess and critically evaluate the merits of contrasting theories that attempt to explain how challenges, policies, politics, and practices of sustainability play out in a wide range of consumer goods and utilities sectors across the globe.
•       Ability to critically analyse case studies of sustainability in the production and consumption of food, water, energy, textiles, electronics, flowers, and clothing.
•       Ability to develop reasoned arguments in essay and report format, respectively, regarding the challenges, policies, politics and practices of sustainable production, and consumption.
•       Ability to communicate all of the above effectively in writing.

Timetable

Past Exam Papers

General Notes

N/A

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.