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Unit information: Study and Field Skills E in 2020/21

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Unit name Study and Field Skills E
Unit code GEOG20014
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Ed Atkins
Open unit status Not open

All core units in Single Honours Geography Year 1


GEOG20012 Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


This course is about exploring, experiencing and representing urban geographies. Its main focus is in the linking of theory and practice through field work in a major city. It examines a particular sequence of artistic, architectural, philosophical and political movements extending from the C19th to the late C20th including literary, historical and philosophical figures. Pedagogically, the course shows how a particular empirical encounter sources experience, inspires theory and becomes the site of certain practices which then perform the social. In more general terms it will be shown that urban movements, whether artistic, political or social, were and are transformers of modern society today. The course provides material for the basis of day-projects in the field.

The unit aims to:

  • Familiarise students with the relationship between theory and practice
  • Enable students to gain experience of using theory in relation to empirical insight to construct visions of the world
  • Give students an awareness of a particular empirical site that acts as an exemplary marker for many artistic, literary, historical and philosophical currents that underpin modern society in the Western world.

Intended learning outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. Combine and critically evaluate the appropriate use of novel theoretical constellations in response to specific empirical engagements;
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of a series of theoretical and historical issues underpinning the development of modernity as seen through urban sites;
  3. Apply a range of empirical field skills.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Team working and collaboration
  • Problem solving
  • Lateral and strategic thinking
  • Analytical skills
  • Planning and implementing research projects
  • Project management

Teaching details

Fieldwork (if possible residential; includes some field lectures). Students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete laboratorypractical and/or field work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

Percentage of the unit that is coursework: 100%

Fieldwork report submitted at the end of the field trip (100%).

Reading and References

Selected readings:

  • Steve Pile and Nigel Thrift, eds. (2000) City A-Z: Urban Fragments
  • David B. Clarke (1997) The Cinematic City
  • Jennifer Robinson, (2005) Ordinary Cities: Between Modernity and Development
  • Ash Amin and Nigel Thrift, ed. (2002) Cities: Reimagining the Urban
  • Walter Benjamin (1997) One-way Street and Other Writings

A full reading list will be distributed at the field trip briefing.


  • Gregory, D. (2007) Power Knowledge and Geography: An Introduction to Geographic Thought and Practice, Blackwell Publishers, Oxford ISBN-13: 978-1557866554