KE6009 - Critical Economic Development Studies

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about contemporary debates about geographies of the economy at local, regional, national and global scales. You will gain insight into a range of topics including the role of localities and regions in the face of globalisation; definitions and approaches to economic development; contemporary economic geography theories and how they relate to ‘real world’ case studies; the interplay between different agents in economic development processes; and the power relations inherent in, and that emerge from economic activity and policy at a range of scales.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through lectures, seminars, independent learning and directed tasks (such as using study groups to lead seminars). The lectures will cover theories and concepts, case study material, key exemplars, and module staff’s own research. Where appropriate guest lecturers will be invited to provide insights into how economic geography is used beyond academia. Seminars are designed to allow you to explore issues raised in lectures and readings in greater depth. Directed and independent learning tasks will be set each week to allow you to explore the module material in your own way.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during small-group seminars and one-to-one sessions (via the Department’s open door policy). In addition tutors will use the module’s discussion board at the University’s eLearning Portal respond to questions so that the whole module group can benefit. Time will be set aside in lectures and seminars to provide opportunities for Q&A on assignments and formative feedback. Work will be submitted electronically via the eLearning Portal.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO 1: You will critically assess the spatial and temporal scales through, and at which economic activity occurs.
• MLO 2: You will critically examine the mutual constitution of geographies of the economy through economic, cultural and political processes.
• MLO 3: You will critically evaluate the processes (re)producing uneven development.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
4. MLO 4: You will critically apply theories and concepts covered in the module to analyse real world case studies.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
5. MLO 5: You will develop and demonstrate, through practice, critical thinking skills.

How will I be assessed?

There is one summative assessment for this module.

The assessment is a 4000-word essay based on a debate, which you will be opting to be in the affirmative/negative team in a well-designed debate topic. The debate will be organised in the seminar and you will have to come prepared, supported by learning resources allocated and beyond, presenting your arguments and answer any questions raised by the tutor and audiences. You will receive verbal feedback on your debate argument at the end of the seminar.

After the debate, you are asked to write an essay to reflect your own opinions and the knowledge gained for and through the debate (MLOs1,2,3,4,5). In the debate and the final form of essay you are expected to:

- mobilise academic theories and concepts in your argument
- be aware of the contemporary economic development policy environment
- undertake some research into your chosen topic and provide valid evidence support and concrete case
- produce graphs/tables to show your understanding on relevant economic indicators and trend

You are asked to submit a draft essay which is marked formatively and returned in advance of the final submission deadline.


KE5008 Economic Geography



Module abstract

Critical Economic Development Studies allows students to make links between economic development issues (and policies which relate to them) and academic research on these areas. The module will enable you to develop a deep understanding of patterns and processes of economic development, by applying theories and concepts from contemporary economic geography. Case studies will be used to illustrate ‘real world’ economic activity at a range of scales, and draw on module staff expertise.

The module contributes to programme learning outcomes which develop your critical thinking skills and ability to critically appraise economic development policy and academic theories and concepts.

Course info

UCAS Code L700

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years full-time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2022 or September 2023

Fee Information

Module Information

All information on this course page is accurate at the time of viewing.

Our Campus based courses starting in 2022 and 2023 will be delivered on-campus with supporting online learning content. We continue to monitor government and local authority guidance in relation to Covid-19 and we are ready and able to adjust the delivery of our education accordingly to ensure the health and safety of our students and staff.

On-campus contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with any additional restrictions, which may be imposed by the Government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors. This could potentially mean increased or fully online delivery, should such restrictions on in-person contact time be required.


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