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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


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.

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.

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.

Reading Lists