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Module DXX-2007:
People, Space & Identity

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Ms Sian Pierce

Overall aims and purpose

It is increasingly being recognised across a range of academic fields that geographical questions of space and place are central to understanding modern society and the environmental, social, and other issues that face it. This module aims to provide an introduction to some key ideas, thinkers and contestations associated with space and place. Starting from the standpoint that physical space shapes and is shaped through social practices, the module explores the spatial turn' in the social sciences in general and geography in particular. It examines the interface between people, space and place, peering into the social construction of place and the governance of space and place. Focusing on both the natural and built environments, the module begins by exploring the theories of space and place and moving from there, it examines how different people endow space with different amalgams of meaning. The ensuing conflicts over contested spaces are examined as power and resistance come into play in the shaping, making and governance of places. Underpinning this module is a critical review of processes and developments that characterise themediation of space' and the `making of place' with their attendant conflicts and contestations. To this end, the module critically considers the cultural construction of space and place, geographies of identity and difference, as well as power, repression and resistance.

This module seeks to: 1. To introduce students to key issues and concepts in space, place and landscape. 2. To encourage critical thinking relating to the ideas of a range of key thinkers on space and place. 3. To encourage reflecting on the social and cultural construction of real places. 4. To foreground contested spaces and places. 5. To explore issues about marginalisation and exclusion.

Course content

  1. Conceptualising space and place: Definitions of space, place and landscape
  2. Theorising space: Key thinkers on space and place
  3. Place and nature
  4. The social and cultural production of space and place
  5. The making and governance of places
  6. Contesting place: Exclusion and marginalisation,

Assessment Criteria


(Standard Pass: D- to D+) a. No major omissions or inaccuracies in the deployment of information/skills. b. Some grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. c. Integration of theory/practice/information present intermittently in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. d. Use of primary literature.


(Average to high standard Pass: C- to B+) a. Much or most of the relevant information and skills accurately displayed. b. Good/adequate grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements. c. Good/fair integration of theory/practice/information in the pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. d. Evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills. e. Critical use of primary and other literature cited in the lecture.


(Excellent standard First Class: A- to A**) a. An outstanding performance, exceptionally able. b. The relevant information accurately deployed. c. Excellent grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practice elements. d. Good integration of theory/practice/information in pursuit of the assessed work's objectives. e. Strong evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills. Critical use of literature beyond that cited in the lecture.

Learning outcomes

  1. Compare and contrast conceptualisations of space, place and landscape.

  2. Describe and critically engage with the ideas of key thinkers on space and place.

  3. Discuss and reflect on the social and cultural construction of real places.

  4. Explain and evaluate contestations over space as arising from the different and sometimes conflicting amalgams of meanings that different actors endow space with.

  5. Assess the governance of space and place and how it relates to marginalisation and exclusion.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Essay 30
Individual seminar presentation 20
Field work Examined Task Presentation 10
Examination 40

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Lectures 12 x 2 hours


Seminars 10 x 1 hours


Field visit 1 x 9 hours 1 x 4 hours

Private study

Private and guided-self study.


Transferable skills

  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
  • Apply appropriate techniques for presenting spatial and/or temporal trends in data.


Pre- and Co-requisite Modules


Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: