BSc Geography with International Study

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Social and Cultural Geography

Course unit fact file
Unit code GEOG26011
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Semester 1
Available as a free choice unit? No


How do people understand, experience, and shape place and space? How do space and place interface with difference, identities and groups in day-to-day life? How can we make sense of the social world through a critical lens? How does culture shape, and how is it shaped by, space and place? What are the practices, material artifacts, values and lived experiences that express and reinforce cultures? These are all key questions to social and cultural geography, an exciting and vibrant sub-discipline. This course aims to build on the knowledge students gained in their first year to further develop their understanding of the theoretical and empirical concerns of social and cultural geography. This course sets out to examine themes such as place, space, power, difference, culture, and identity and demonstrates the value of a geographical perspective on a range of social and cultural phenomena worldwide. It also seeks to deepen and enrich students’ critical engagement with theoretical and methodological approaches that underpin contemporary social and cultural geography.


The unit aims to:

• To enhance critical awareness of contemporary social and cultural issues

• To develop understanding of key debates in social and cultural geography including their theoretical and philosophical underpinnings

• To encourage interdisciplinary thinking

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching Methods and E-Learning This course will be delivered through 10 weekly two-hour lectures and 10 weekly one-hour seminar. Lectures will outline background information, key concepts and theories, and case studies. Seminars will centre on students’ engagement with lecture themes by featuring case studies where traditional and/or innovative research methods are used. Seminars will involve a variety of activities such as presentation and group discussion.

You will be required to undertake work in both peer study groups and individually outside of lectures. During reading weeks there will be no course content delivered but students will be expected to undertake independent work. Lecture slides, reading lists, and other materials to support the course will be available through the Blackboard pages. You will be expected to contribute fully to lecture and seminar discussions and activities and to read articles, chapters and complete other activities as preparation.

Knowledge and understanding

• Identify the value of social and cultural processes in geographical interest and research

• Understand the nature of the sub-discipline of social and cultural geographies and the main theoretical debates and methodological approaches within the field

• Comprehend the diversity of societies and how different social groups experience and construct spaces, relationships and practices in a range of ways

Intellectual skills

• Observe and analyse social and cultural issues in the real world

• Apply concepts and theories to make sense of real-life situations

Transferable skills and personal qualities

• Think and reflect critically

• Manage information

• Be motivated and independent in their learning

• Have a sense of self awareness and responsibility

• Produce well written academic arguments

• Manage their time

Assessment methods


Assessment task


Weighting within unit

Film Essay

Students will watch a film of their choosing and discuss a social and cultural topic in the film with reference to the course content and relevant academic literature


1,500 words







Reflective Essay

Students will write short essays to reflect on selected topics and readings from week 2 to week 11 (330-350 words each) and they can skip 2 weeks of their own choice (to allow for unexpected circumstances and deadlines). In total 6 reflective essays and total word count is approximately 2000.

2,000 words



Feedback methods

Feedback will be provided in the following ways during this course unit:

• Extensive verbal feedback through Q&A, discussion, and interaction within lectures and seminars

• Feedback on essay draft in seminar and via emails

• Verbal feedback on any course unit issue through office hours

• On-going peer feedback through seminar participation

• Detailed written feedback on essay

Recommended reading

 Bailey, M. M. (2014). Engendering space: Ballroom culture and the spatial practice of possibility in Detroit. Gender, Place & Culture, 21(4), 489-507. • Barron, A., 2019. More-than-representational approaches to the life-course. Social & Cultural Geography, pp.1-24. • Barron, A., 2021. The taking place of older age. cultural geographies, p.14744740211020510. • Bonds, A. and Inwood, J., 2016. Beyond white privilege: geographies of white supremacy and settler colonialism. Progress in Human Geography, 40(6), pp.715-733. • Brown, M., & Knopp, L. (2014). The birth of the (gay) clinic. Health & Place, 28, 99-108. • Browne, K, Lim, J and Brown, G (eds.) (2007), Geographies of Sexualities: Theory, Practices and Politics, Aldershot: Ashgate. • Browne, K. (2006). Challenging queer geographies. Antipode, 38(5), 885-893. • Browne, K., Banerjea, N., McGlynn, N., Bakshi, L., Beethi, S., & Biswas, R. (2021). The limits of legislative change: Moving beyond inclusion/exclusion to create ‘a life worth living’. Environment and Planning C: Politics and Space, 39(1), 30-52. • Cresswell, T., 1996. In place/out of place. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. • DasGupta, D., & Dasgupta, R. K. (2018). Being out of place: Non-belonging and queer racialization in the UK. Emotion, space and society, 27, 31-38. • Di Feliciantonio, C., & Gadelha, K. B. (2017). Affects, bodies and desire: ‘queering’ methods and methodologies to research queer migration. Tijdschrift voor economische en sociale geografie, 108(3), 275-288. • Duncan, J. and Duncan, N., 2004. Landscapes of privilege: the politics of the aesthetic in an American suburb. New York: Routledge. • Gieseking, J. J. (2020). Mapping lesbian and queer lines of desire: Constellations of queer urban space. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 38(5), 941-960. • Gorman-Murray, A., McKinnon, S., Dominey-Howes, D., Nash, C. J., & Bolton, R. (2018). Listening and learning: giving voice to trans experiences of disasters. Gender, Place & Culture, 25(2), 166-187. • Greenfield, A., 2017. Radical technologies: the design of everyday life. Verso. • Hoelscher, S., 2003. Making place, making race: performances of whiteness in the Jim Crow South. Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 93(3), pp.657-686. • Hubbard, P. (2008). Here, there, everywhere: The ubiquitous geographies of heteronormativity. Geography Compass, 2(3), 640-658. • Johnston, L., & Longhurst, R. (2010). Space, place, and sex: Geographies of sexualities. Rowman & Littlefield. • Nash, C. J., Gorman-Murray, A., & Browne, K. (2021). Geographies of intransigence: freedom of speech and heteroactivist resistances in Canada, Great Britain and Australia. Social & Cultural Geography, 22(7), 979-999. • Rao, R. (2014). The locations of homophobia. London Review of International Law, 2(2), 169-199. • Reuben, R., 2016. “Reclaim, rename, reoccupy”: decolonizing place and the reclaiming of PKOLS. ACME: An International Journal for Critical Geographies, 15(1), pp.187-206. • Rosenberg, R. D. (2021). Negotiating racialised (un) belonging: Black LGBTQ resistance in Toronto’s gay village. Urban Studies, 58(7), 1397-1413. • Sidaway, J.D., 2000. Postcolonial geographies: an exploratory essay. Progress in Human Geography, 24(4), pp.591-612. • Skinner, M.W., Cloutier, D. and Andrews, G.J., 2015. Geographies of ageing: Progress and possibilities after two decades of change. Progress in Human Geography, 39(6), pp.776-799. • Tuan, Y., 1977. Space and place: the perspective of experience. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press. • Williams, R., 1976. Keywords: a vocabulary of culture and society. London: Croom • Wilson, H.F., 2017. On geography and encounter: Bodies, borders, and difference. Progress in Human Geography 41(4

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 20
Seminars 10
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Yawei Zhao Unit coordinator
Amy Barron Unit coordinator

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