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GEO8016 : Philosophies in Human Geography

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Raksha Pande
  • Lecturer: Dr Gareth Powells, Dr Kean Fan Lim, Dr Jessa Loomis
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Mixed Location

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


• To introduce recent philosophical, epistemological and theoretical debates in human geography.

• To highlight, through geographical examples, the engagement of human geography with philosophical, epistemological and theoretical debates in the social sciences.

• To explore the implications of key philosophical, epistemological and theoretical debates for research practice in human geography.

• To exemplify the distinctive contribution of situated geographical knowledge to the social sciences.

• To develop an ease of working with theoretical debates, enabling a critical, evaluative engagement with debates within human geography.

• To work alongside Durham University students in a workshop environment.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will analyse the evolution of philosophical and theoretical debates in contemporary human geography and the social sciences more broadly. The introduction will focus on the uses of theory and on the shifting philosophies of human geography and will be followed by five half-day workshops focusing on key philosophical and theoretical approaches.

Joint (Newcastle and Durham) workshops over the course of Semester 1, each lasting half a day. Topics to cover:

Marxism/Political Economy
Presentations and closing

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1167:00167:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture61:006:00Recorded lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops73:0021:00Present in Person
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Workshops are designed to facilitate interaction and intellectual skills whilst providing setting for interaction with Durham students. Intensive half-day workshops have been designed between Durham (3 workshops) and Newcastle (4 workshops) to provide in-depth discussion and exploration of key theoretical issues. Workshops are based on prior reading, and are designed to be reflexive and encourage students to discuss.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M100An extended essay (4000 words) on a philosophical debate in geography, set and marked by Newcastle staff.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

This in-depth essay is designed to allow students to pursue their own choice of theoretical issue in depth. Assessment for this jointly designed and taught course is designed to harmonise with the Durham practice of 100% assessment through a single essay.

Reading Lists