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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Geography, Science, Civil Society (GEGR10120)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe course will explore the role of geography and geographers in civil society and is taught via lectures and discussion/debate style tutorial sessions. The aim of the lectures is to introduce a series of case studies showcasing the variety of research that is done by Geographers at Edinburgh. These lectures will provide thematic case study material for a conceptual and theoretical framework that will be developed during student led tutorial sessions. These sessions will offer opportunities to reflect on the lecture material addressing questions such as the notion of Geography as an integrated discipline; theoretical connections between geography, the history of science and the idea of 'Cultural Competence'; Public Understanding of Science and Geography; relevance and activism; the idea of interdisciplinarity; and the notion of research ¿impact¿. The course will provide an understanding of current debates over geography¿s relevance to and impact on civil society and to think through the connections between geography, politics and public understanding of geographical evidence.
Course description The course aims to provide final year Geography undergraduates with a coherent conceptual basis to their studies and a means through which they can use their own UG experiences to engage with the relationships between geography as a form of knowledge, the politics of geography's making, and the several publics with whom geography and geographers work. The course will provide a conceptual 'spine' to students' Year 4 studies and progression from the core Year 3 course 'Nature of Geographical Knowledge'. It is seen as essential that students, in the final year of their own development as geographers, are made aware of geography's making and reception as a form of knowledge, of contemporary 'big'. The course will draw upon the philosophy of social constructivism as a principal analytic frame.

This is an ideas-based core course in undergraduate geography, designed to provide insight into the social and political making of geography as a form of knowledge and to alert students to the conceptual models available for the interpretation, inter alia, of the categories 'Geography', 'Science', 'Policy', 'Politics of Knowledge', and 'Public'. The course will build upon students' exposure to conceptual ideas and to epistemological questions in Year 3 of the Geography Honours Programme (Nature of Geographical Knowledge) and allow them, in Year 4, to ally their own experiences as advanced undergraduates with the issues raised in the course.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: The Nature of Geographical Knowledge (GEGR09012) AND Key Methods in Physical Geography (GEGR09018) AND Physical Geography Year 3 Field Course (Spain) (GEGR09019) AND Research Design for Physical Geography (GEGR10131) OR Key Methods in Human Geography (GEGR09020) AND Fundamentals of Research Design (GEGR10133)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesIndication of satisfactory achievement of equivalent core or other courses in the degree programme(s) of their home institution.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 20, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 8, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 8, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 156 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% coursework:

1) Written report (weighting 60%) - research report of no more than 3000 words

2) And one of the following (weighting 40%): A blog for an academic website OR "A State-of-the-art" report OR A piece of creative experimental writing (1500 words).

Feedback There will be feedback after the tutorials on a weekly basis. There will be a final end-of-course session geared to overview of the course.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Have knowledge of the connections between geography as a form of knowledge and the politics of knowledge making
  2. Have an understanding of conceptual and theoretical models used to interpret the connections between geography as a form of knowledge and its public
  3. Understand the differences between what scientists (geographers) say they do and what actually they do
  4. Understand the ways in which 'thinking geographically' is employed in meeting societal and global 'Grand 3 Challenges'
Reading List
The below references must be regarded as indicative. Additional reading material (in support of the lectures and in support of the tutorials) will be provied via LEARN.

Agnew, J. A. and Livingstone, D. N. (eds.) (2011) The SAGE Handbook of Geographical Knowledge (London, SAGE) [This key text is available in EUML as an];
Barry, A., and Born, G. (eds) (2013) Interdisciplinarity: Reconfigurations of the Social and Natural Sciences (Routledge: London);
Castree, N. et al (2014) ¿Changing the intellectual climate¿, Nature Climate Change 27 August 2014 [DoI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE2339];
Castree, N. (2016) ¿Geography and the new social contract for global change research¿, Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 41, 328-347;
Golinski, J. (2005 edn.) Making Natural Knowledge: Constructivism and the History of Science (Cambridge:Cambridge University Press);
Hulme, M. (2008) 'Geographical work at the boundaries of climate change', Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers 33, 5-11;
Hulme, M. (2009) Why We Disagree About Climate Change (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press);
Pettenger, M (2007) The Social Construction of Climate Change (Aldershot: Ashgate);
Powell, R. (2007), 'Geographies of science: histories, localities, practises, futures,' Progress in Human Geography 33, 309-29;
Yearley, S. (2005), Making Sense of Science: Understanding the Social Study of Science (London,
Extensive use will be made of articles from academic periodicals and other by-part publications including Progress in Human Geography; Progress in Physical Geography; Dialogues in Geography; Social Studies of Science.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsGeography,Politics,Publics,Epistemology,Understanding of Science
Course organiserDr Nichola Khan
Course secretaryMiss Leigh Corstorphine
Tel: (01316) 502572
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