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Society and Space Masters celebrates 25 years!

21 June 2017

The School of Geographical Sciences is celebrating the 25th year of the Society and Space Masters programme at the University of Bristol!

In September of 2017 we will be welcoming our 25th cohort of postgraduate students to our flagship MSc in Human Geography program. As part of that celebration, we are launching a new information booklet on the updated course, on new and continuing units, our areas of focus, student and staff expectations, and a few frequently asked questions (FAQs). The new booklet features art and images by staff and students on the program, past and present.

Please do visit our programme blog for more and to download a web version of our new information booklet.

The Society and Space programme began under the direction of then Professor of Human Geography at Bristol, Nigel Thrift. It was shared at the time between the Department of Geography and the School for Advanced Urban Studies. Staff on the program in 1992 included people like Peter Haggett, Nigel Thrift, Sarah Whatmore, Keith Bassett, Les Hepple, Paul Glennie, and Gary Bridge. The programme aimed to provide a thorough understanding of the theoretical debates around issues of society and space, and how these translate into practical research agendas and the formation of policy. Teaching then was based around topic specific modules (assessed through 3,000 word term papers in a North American style), a weekly workshop, and a 20,000 word dissertation.

25 years later the programme is still going strong, having graduated in the mean-time many contemporary geographers who have gone on to academic and non-academic careers. Our teaching is still topic and module based with term papers, but has developed as styles of delivery and expectations have changed over the past quarter century. Our courses are similarly seminar based, but term papers are generally longer (4,000 words), contact hours greater, and the dissertation shorter (15,000 words). The course is no longer linked with the School of Advanced Urban Studies, which itself was amalgamated with the School for Policy Studies. Today, though, we continue to teach advanced theoretical geographies around contemporary issues of society and space as they translate into practical research agendas and critical analyses of the present.

Some of our courses have, of course, changed as the staff and staff interests have changed. We still maintain a commitment to teaching advanced theory, methodology and methods, which are captured in the three required modules. Our optional modules, however, cover topics as diverse as affect, biopolitics, technology, postcolonial and decolonial geographies, materiality, posthumanism, critical politics, ethics, development and post-development studies, social movements, political ecology, linear regression analysis, interpreting social policy, housing and inequality, time and timing, performativity, built space, aesthetics, semiotics, and much more.

Please do be in touch with us if you are interested in learning more and becoming part of the 25th anniversary cohort. We are happy to hear from you anytime.

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