In year three, the dissertation is the only core module. Alongside this, you can choose from a range of advanced modules appropriate to your degree and your year two optional choices.
The Cultural Geography of English Landscape
This module addresses issues of landscape and culture in England from the 18th century to the present day. Key themes throughout include landscape and national identity and relations of city and country.
The module utilises sources including archives, literature, paintings, prints, poetry, maps, film and photography.
The first semester focuses on issues of landscape and Englishness since 1880. Topics covered include tradition and modernism; competing notions of heritage; the cultural politics of land; and questions of citizenship and the body. The second semester focuses on landscapes of Georgian England. Topics covered include parks and gardens; colonial landscapes; agriculture; industry and science; towns; and transport and travel.
Throughout the module the focus on landscape allows the exploration of key areas of cultural history. A one-day field trip to Derwent Valley is arranged, full costs will be provided nearer the time of the trip.
Emerging Challenges in Biogeography
This module will engage you in current issues and problems related to biogeography and environmental change, including both 'blue skies' and applied research, reflecting the active research areas of the module staff.
Focus will be placed on linking theory and applied questions, and gathering and evaluating evidence to inform debate and reach scientifically valid conclusions. Topics may change yearly in response to emerging research advances, but example topics include:
- Carbon sequestration and forest ecology
- Ecosystem services and conflicts between conservation and resource use
- Species’ endemism and its conservation
- Thermal vulnerability of organisms to climate and land use change
Environment, Development and Livelihoods
This module investigates key linkages between development, livelihood and environmental issues in the global South, with particular reference to competition and conflict over environmental resources. Attention is placed on exploring these from the perspectives of different income, gender and community groups and contrasting their everyday realities with key development concepts and aggregate statistics.
Major themes include:
- linkages between poverty, environmental quality and livelihoods
- integration of environmental issues into development thinking and practice
- debates about overpopulation versus overconsumption
- urban environmental issues, slums and informality
- water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and livelihoods
- industry-related environment, development and livelihood issues
- competition and conflict in agrarian environments
- forest-based development and livelihood issues
European Urban Geographies (Berlin field course)
This module covers:
- the historical development of the city of Berlin, to be visited on a field excursion (full costs will be supplied nearer the time of the trip)
- a critical approach to the cultural, historical, social and economic geography of Berlin
- a wide range of methodologies for conducting urban field work
Small group teaching is integral to the module. You are assigned into a group of three or four for the purposes of conducting small group project work while in Berlin. Frequent meetings are held between teaching staff and the small groups before, during and after the field course to support preparation for and the carrying out of research while in Berlin, as well as the writing-up of individual reports.
This module considers human attempts to manage and restore freshwater environments, specifically rivers, lakes and wetlands. It considers changes in the fluvial system that occur in response to river management and engineering and examines approaches to restoring the natural functions of rivers that have been heavily degraded by human impacts.
The module examines some of the main stressors on lakes and wetlands, and approaches for their management using an ecosystem-scale approach. The principles by which restoration practice is guided will be considered, and criteria for selection between alternative strategies will be introduced. The module will consider water quality and legislative requirements for freshwater bodies.
The module includes a field trip where you will visit a local nature reserve and develop a management plan with input from management practitioners and land-owners. You will also be able to engage with river management practitioners in a series of guest lectures.
Geographies of Fashion and Food
This module covers a range of issues relating to the geographies of fashion and food. Topics covered include:
- Commodity chains and global networks of supply
- Governing and regulating food and fashion
- Commodity biographies and origins
- Slow and fast fashion and food
- Theorising value and quality
- Transforming and industrialising food
- City fashionscapes and foodscapes
- Doing food and fashion 'differently', spatially and temporally
- Contentious commodities
Geographies of Money and Finance
This module explores the economic geographies of money and of contemporary processes of financialisation. Competing theories of money, and the changing landscapes of finance and the financial services industry are explored at a variety of spatial scales.
Spaces examined include the global financial system, the UK retail financial market, the City of London and the emergence of local currency systems. More specifically, the following core topics are covered:
- Financial crisis
- The history and theory of money
- Financial services and financial intermediation
- Globalisation and the international financial system
- The City of London as international financial centre
- Landscapes of retail financial services
- Alternative and imagined landscapes of money
Geographies of Violence
This module will cover:
- political, historical, and cultural geographies of war
- spaces of internal violence and non-violence relating to colonialism, anti-colonialism, religious nationalism, and decolonisation/partition
- spaces of terrorism and the war against terror
- case studies from a variety of national and international contexts
Geospatial Technologies: Mobile, Augmented and Virtual
This module focuses on the uptake of digital geographic information across a wide range of applications in society and the research agenda that is underpinning these developments. We will explore the use of location-aware mobile devices and techniques for geo-visualisation that are visually immersive and interactive. Content is organised as follows:
Part I: Digital Geographic Information in the public domain
Here we consider how a convergence of technologies (positioning, communication and processing) has allowed digital geographic information to make an impact 'beyond the desktop' at both a global scale through the web, and at a personal scale via the mobile device. This includes virtual globes, 'open' and 'linked' geographic information, Volunteered Geographic Information (VGI), location-based services, and mobile geospatial apps.
Part II: Virtual Geographic Environments
Here we look at the role and impact of multi-dimensional geographic visualisation to support decision making, environmental impact assessment, and the communication of spatial context. This includes animation and 3D graphics, advances in data capture, urban and rural landscape visualisation, interaction design and immersion, augmented and virtual realities.
Global Climate Change
The module covers the following:
- A review of modern climate systems and forcings
- Climate modelling, projections of future climate change and their uncertainty
- Controversies around climate change, the argument between believers and sceptics and the ways in which climate change is communicated to and perceived by the public
- The impact of climate change on the world's physical and built environments, water and food resources, and human health
- Mitigation and adaptation to future climate change including the role played by policy markers and NGOs
This module explores the relationships between health and place. The module is organised thematically in two broad sections. The first section considers the historical growth of institutions such as the asylum and the hospital, as well as the development of sanitary science and the public health movement. It uses these to consider who is responsible for health.
The second section is devoted to critical health geographies, with a focus on topics such as gender, physical activity and obesity. It examines the role of power and place relationships in shaping health outcomes and the experience of health.
The Landscape History of Liguria (Italy field course)
An interdisciplinary module which introduces the principles of historical ecology and landscape history, drawing on a wide range of sources including historical maps and documents, field survey of vegetation and landscape features and oral history using Liguria as a case study. This includes a field trip to Liguria, full costs will be supplied nearer the time of the trip.
Quaternary Environments (Mexico field course)
This module considers the quaternary evolution, environmental and settlement history of the Yucatan peninsula of Mexico, building explicitly on material covered in Environmental Change. The focus of the course will be evolution of the present climate and environment of the lowland tropics and the interaction between the natural environment and human societies.
The module is based on a 10 day residential field trip to the Yucatan and project work associated with this. Full costs of the field trip will be advised nearer the time of the visit. The main elements are:
- an overview of climate dynamics in the tropics, with particular emphasis on changes in the monsoon, the impact of sea level change and drivers of change from mid-latitudes
- critical review of methods of environmental reconstruction, dating techniques and sampling methods (waters, soils, sediments)
- archives of change relevant to the study area, primarily lakes and cave systems
- quaternary history of the Yucatan
- mesoamerican archaeology and cultural change in the Yucatan
- exploration of the possible role of climate in driving societal change