KE6009 - Critical Economic Development Studies

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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 are two main assessments on this module. The first (worth 30% of the module) will be assessed seminar work (MLOs 1&5). You will form study groups to lead and then report on a seminar. Your learning resources, seminar performance, and write-up will be assessed. Appropriate safety nets (e.g. learning agreements and peer contribution matrices) will be used to ensure individuals get the mark they earned.

The second assignment is an essay (worth 70% of the module) designed to bring together your learning across the module (MLOs 1-5).

Through the assessments you are expected to:

- draw on academic and policy literatures
- undertake some research into your chosen case studies
- be aware of the contemporary economic development policy environment
- mobilise academic theories and concepts in your evaluation
- synthesise all of the above using case studies

On an on-going basis the module staff will provide formative feedback based on seminar tasks, and you should record and track your own progress.


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 L7T6

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 4 years full-time or 5 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2020

Fee Information

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