BA (Hons) Human GeographySouthwark Campus
Know your place
Are you curious about how social, cultural, economic and political processes are reflected in the world that surrounds you? Human geography is all about understanding how such processes influence the places and spaces we live and work in, and the ways in which these environments, in turn, shape and transform society. The human geography concepts and techniques you will learn and apply at LSBU, on our Zone 1 London campus, will give you the skills to help to re-imagine and construct more socially just and sustainable futures.
We offer the opportunity for all undergraduate Home/EU students to undertake a work placement, internship or work experience while studying a full-time course starting in September 2021.
Why Human Geography at LSBU?
- Our experienced staff have track records of academic research, professional practice and consultancy and strong links to public, private and voluntary sector employers.
- Our optional modules mean you can tailor your degree to your interests and future career ambitions.
- With our facilities based in central London, the location is perfect for investigating (through local site visits) the societal challenges and processes facing global cities in the 21st Century.
- Be inspired by guest speakers from public, private sector and third sector organisations, as well as academia, will bring specialisms and real world contextualisation.
- Residential field trip at no extra cost are invaluable for putting into context what you've learnt in lectures, seminars and from your own research - we'll explore sites in Cornwall (UK) and continental Europe.
- From maps and texts to visuals and digital technologies, you'll learn to prepare maps, diagrams and other forms of spatial representation using appropriate IT and GIS technologies.
This course encompasses a diverse array of core modules, including Exploring Human Geographies, Human Geographies of London, Making Sustainable Places, Geographical Investigations, Economic Geographies, Geographies of Regeneration, Social and Cultural Geographies and Geopolitics. Across these modules, and others, you will learn human geography theory and skills that will allow you to apply a range of practical spatial research methods, technologies and knowledges. In particular, the School-wide emphasis on social justice and global responsibility is embedded in what you will study, and, throughout the degree, you will learn to appreciate that the key dimensions of inequality – whether in urban and rural spaces, in the Developed or the Developing World – are socially constructed, and that geography plays a crucial role in the shaping of those constructions.
In addition to your core modules, studying Human Geography at LSBU enables you to choose from more than 20 different optional modules during your degree. These optional modules encompass a broad range of topics but can largely be grouped under three main categories: i) Tourism and Leisure; ii) Town and Environmental Planning and iii) Society, Sociology and Development. Through your choice of optional modules, you can create your own pathway, either one focused around one of those three streams, or one that draws on the diversity of the options.
- Exploring human geographies
This module introduces the main themes, topics and sub-disciplines of human geography and the contribution a geographical imagination brings to our understanding of social and environmental worlds. Assessment: 1500-word essay (50%) and multiple choice test (50%).
- Society, space and place
This module explores key ideas that help us understand how places are structured and created. We'll examine processes of economic, social and cultural change and academic attempts to conceptualize these shifts. In particular we'll look at how these shifts affect different groups of people and different places in different ways. This in turn raises issues over the extent to which planning can design manage and regulate change in the built environment. ‘Survey, analysis and plan’ remains one of the key methodologies of planning. This module gives you an introduction to some of the intellectual tools and understandings that are crucial to this approach. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- Making sustainable places
This module examines the challenges faced when places attempt to make themselves more sustainable and try to encourage appropriate forms of future development. A week-long field trip to Cornwall (at no additional cost to you) is integral to the module. Whilst in Cornwall, you will stay in a town famed for its surf-based tourism, Newquay, and visit celebrated sites, including the Eden Project and the significant and popular coastal town of St Ives. Your trip to Cornwall will provide you with the opportunity to meet with professionals engaged in key professions, such as planning, tourism and housing. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- Human geographies of London
This module uses the rich resources and the dynamic setting of London to explore the techniques and ideas human geographers use to understand urban life and in particular the issues faced by this global city. Case study visits are a core part of your learning experience and enable you to practice field research and observation skills. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- Geographical investigations
This module examines a range of ways in which geographical information is produced and communicated. It focuses on Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and how planners and other relevant agencies, stakeholders and interests groups, compile, represent and use geographical data. Assessment: 100% coursework. i) Essay – critical cartography: a deconstruction of either three political maps, or of local authority planning GIS platforms (50% of total assessment); ii) a psychogeographic dérive: alternative mappings and understanding urban environments (50% of total assessment)
Plus one module from:
- Plans, people and processes
This module is concerned about people, places and the creative aspects of ‘spatial planning’ that underpin the current belief that ‘good planning’ and ‘good design are inseparable’. After a critical historical overview of the forces that shaped the built environment over time, the module will focus on the principles of urban design as a process of place making. Students will be introduced to the assessment of the character and qualities of places and to various ideas on how the experience and understanding of places and their elements can be visually communicated through plans and other media.
- Geographies of tourism
This module introduces you to the fields of geography and human geography through the lens of tourism. You'll assess important overarching debates and issues between the disciplines. This module will help you gain a critical, holistic and responsible approach to the development and management of tourism. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- North and South: issues of international development
This module explores the political economy of the world’s developing societies in a historical and global perspective by focusing on some of the key processes that have contributed to global inequality. The role of powerful global actors (including the major states and transnational corporations) and of international financial institutions will be a central theme, but local, national and international development initiatives will also be explored. The module also enables students to explore the various theories of development and underdevelopment used in the explanation of the major constraints and opportunities facing developing countries.
- Politics, decision making and democracy
This module engages with political institutions and processes. Focusing on the British experience to illustrate wider trends, it explores the framework and dynamics of political power and the British system of governance and encourages understanding of debates in contemporary politics. It investigates formal aspects of British politics including political parties and the role of ideology in shaping policies and programmes and civil society. Key institutions such as prime minister and cabinet, parliament and local government are analysed and evaluated. The module also explores democracy beyond the formal realm, including the role of media and pressure groups in the political process.
- Social and cultural geographies
On this module you'll examine the founding thinkers of social and cultural geography before examining the current research interests and contribution of this expanding area of human geography. A key focus will be structures and geographies of identity and difference, including issues of cultural difference, gender, disability and sexuality. You'll learn to appreciate that the key dimensions of inequality are socially constructed, and that geography plays a crucial role in those constructions. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- Spatial research methods
This module teaches students a range of research methods and techniques appropriate for investigating spatial development trends and for conducting social survey analysis. Students are introduced to traditional quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as more recent innovations in experimental, visual and ethnographic techniques.
- Geographies of regeneration
On this module you'll focus on the challenges involved in regenerating urban and rural environments facing challenges of decline and restructuring. A key focus will be the role of local scale interventions and strategies through planning and regeneration agencies. This module is based around a residential field study visit in a European city. Assessment: critical field study report (3,500 words).
- Economic geographies
This module examines debates and themes across the sub-discipline of economic geography. Emphasis is placed on assessing the character of local labour markets along with strategies for local economic development. Assessment: 100% coursework.
Plus two modules from:
- Environmental change: issues and impacts
This module focusses on environmental issues and examines potential responses aimed at securing more sustainable patterns of development and resource efficiency and adaptation to and mitigation of climate change.
- Destination management
This module introduces you to the complex relationships among stakeholders, resources, institutional structures and development philosophies which help to determine the nature of physical tourism development and the supporting tourism policies. We'll also consider concepts and techniques that may be applied to tourist destination in order to manage their ongoing growth and to avert the effects of decline. Assessment:100% coursework.
- Gender, sexualities and society
This module focuses on sociological understandings of the related concepts, gender and sexuality. It offers comprehensive theoretical overviews of gender and sexuality. It challenges the binary distinction of gender construction by exploring alternatives such as transgender and gender fluidity. The module explores the intersections of gender and sexuality with race, ethnicity, social class and geographic location and how they can reproduce inequalities. An in-depth approach to the study of gender and sexuality is provided by covering the following areas: masculinities, femininities, bodies and sexualities: homosexuality, heterosexuality, bisexuality and their historical, cultural, social and political dimensions.
- Planning for housing
The module focuses on the role of the planning system in delivering housing. In doing so, the module considers the interrelationships between national, regional and local housing strategies and the delivery and implementation of residential development.
- Tourism in the global south
This module introduces you to the framework for analysing tourism development in developing countries, the key players, components and considerations involved in the development process. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- Globalisation and development
This module builds upon the evidential, conceptual and theoretical work undertaken in the level 4 module North and South: Issues in International Development. It focuses on the developing world and provides a comparative analysis of the different developmental experiences of the BRICS economies. The module locates the debates and issues that it explores within an historical and global context and encourages students to explore the inter-dependence of the developed and developing world. The form of assessment, group presentation and report, encourages students to work collaboratively and develops skills that are important for future employment.
- Crime and social exclusion
This module uses London as a case study for a discussion of the cultural, social, and spatial effects of crime and social exclusion. Using both historical and contemporary examples the course will discuss the following themes: poverty & crime, spatial stigma, race & policing, gender, sexuality & crime, security and urban design, the city at night, cultural representations of criminal London. Through these themes the course will explore how social difference and criminalisation interact to produce the city. Students will develop the capacity to relate debates surrounding crime and criminology to the spatial & social politics of urban space.
- Work experience
This module enables you to reflect critically upon a period of work experience so as to enhance their future employability. In addition to staff advice and contact the student will gain the support of the University’s Employability Service. Assessment: 100% coursework.
The 10,000-word dissertation is a double-weighted module that runs over two semesters. It's an intensive piece of student-devised learning which can include empirical research. You'll choose your own research topic. The dissertation allows you to engage with a substantial piece of research and writing which is self-initiated and supported by a specified academic supervisor. Assessment: 100% coursework.
This module examines how political geographers interpret the changing structures and dynamics of international relations. We'll examine the changing world orders and disorders of global politics through time. A key focus is the characteristics of the contemporary ‘new world order’ and how this is represented by academics, politicians, policy communities and across popular culture. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- Cities and representation
This module explores the ways in which the changing geographies of cities have been conceptualised and represented across a range of written and visual media through history. The implications of such representations for policy and practice, particularly for spatial planning, are a central theme of the module. Assessment: 100% coursework.
Plus two modules from:
- Evidence based planning
This module investigates the role, nature, benefits and disadvantages of evidence-based planning and policy making. It equips students with the ability to choose and employ appropriate planning related research techniques and methodologies and to able to write a research proposal.
- Destination marketing
This module starts by looking at the development of destinations and the challenges this offers the marketer. We'll then explore the strategic setting of goals for destination marketing, market positioning and branding, marketing approaches adopted by the industry (emphasising the development of inter organisational relationships), the role of governments in the process and the impact of information technologies. Assessment: 100% coursework, a 4,000-word marketing plan.
- Race, culture and identity
This module addresses the centrality of race and ethnicity (including whiteness) to social relations. It provides an analysis of race and ethnicity within a changing scholarship and within their historical, cultural, political and theoretical contexts. Theoretical understandings of the intersectionality of race, gender and sexuality will also be explored, highlighting their impact on all aspects of people’s lives. The complexities of analysing race, gender and sexuality are applied to representations in cultural forms, such as media and film. The module also demonstrates how the concepts covered have been influential in shaping public policy.
- Unfinished business: the fight for social justice
This module critiques the role of the state in promoting social justice and looks at the role of charities and civil society in holding government to account and working for social justice. It includes an examination of the key concepts in, and development of, contemporary welfare to provide historical context to contemporary social justice issues. You will interrogate the role of the state in social justice through a series of historical and contemporary social policy debates and case studies, such as in-work poverty, homelessness, ‘problem families’, and the ‘hostile environment’.
- Black British history: concepts and debates
This module explores the concept of black history within British historiography, engaging in debates around its definition and representation. You will critically examine concepts relating to the construction of race, including theories of ‘political blackness’, the ‘Black Atlantic’, ‘Pan-Africanism’, ‘multiculturalism’ and ‘decolonisation’. You will explore the rich histories of black Britons in the eighteenth, nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Films, documentaries, music and art will be analysed. You will visit libraries and archives including the Black Cultural Archive and Autograph ABP.
- International planning perspectives
The module compares and contrasts key challenges facing spatial planners across a range of international settings and the extent to which both the challenges and the policy responses are mobile across international borders. A range of planning cultures and planning practices will be examined in order to facilitate a comparative analysis of diverse approaches to planning in different contexts. The module primarily explores spatial planning at the strategic level. In practice this can refer to planning activities at the regional, national and international levels.
- Urban tourism
The module explores the growth of tourism and hospitality as a dynamic driver of post-industrial economies, analysing models from around the world. It also seeks to understand how different urban environments such as city centres, historic cities, and other honey pots cope with the pressure of high levels of use and why some areas such as northern European seaside resorts, face intractable problems in developing their leisure economies. The module also consider models to measure economic and social impact. Assessment: 100% coursework.
- Tourism and social justice
The module explores why the distribution of costs and benefits of tourism are unequal (social justice). We explore the political economy of tourism in both developed and less developed countries and analyse power relations, stakeholder and policy networks and institutional relations. We look at the role of collective action and the tactics of the activist and campaigning organisations.
- Mass media, music and society
In this module we investigate mass media and music and its relation to society within the context of the political, economic, and social and technological environment. We'll explore the production, distribution and consumption of mass media and music and its perceived value in relation to key critical theories and debates. Assessment: presentation (50%) and 2,000-word essay (50%).
As a graduate of Human Geography BA (Hons), you’ll have a wide range of career opportunities. You'll be able to prepare and interpret maps, diagrams and other forms of spatial representation using appropriate IT and GIS technologies. You’ll be able to demonstrate specialist professional practice, policy and business skills and techniques relevant to careers in planning, housing or tourism. And you’ll be articulate in moving policy and development strategies toward more environmentally sustainable and socially just futures.
We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.
At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:
- An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
- Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.
Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.
Lecturers on this course are research active and have published recently in the leading internationally recognised peer reviewed journals in the field, including Urban Studies, Social & Cultural Geography, City, The London Journal, Mobilities, Regional Studies and Geoforum.
Teaching and learning
You'll be taught by experienced academics with wide-ranging research interests, including:
- Regeneration and restructuring of post-industrial Cities and economies
- Comparative urban regeneration
- The creation of urban public space
- City marketing
- Planning cultures and practices in post-socialist countries
- Social, economic and territorial cohesion in Europe
- Urban Agriculture
- Development along the Thames corridor
- Mobilising design
- Sustainability of the Utility Furniture Movement
- Sustainability education for Housing managers.
Your subject knowledge and your understanding will be delivered through a variety of teaching and learning strategies:
Lectures will deliver key topic areas across the programme. Guest speakers from public, private sector and third sector organisations, as well as academia, will bring specialisms and real world contextualisation. Interactive seminars and workshops will support the lectures and encourage you to actively participate throughout the academic year, learning from your peers and sharing knowledge and support amongst the diverse student body.
This kind of experiential learning is central to the teaching strategy of the course, which includes local site visits across London and residential field trips in the UK (Cornwall) and Europe (Southern France). Fieldwork is invaluable for putting into context what is learned in lectures, seminars and from the students own reading and self-directed research.
Self-managed learning activities will both supplement and consolidate what you do in class. These include reading texts and relevant journals, application of knowledge to additional problem-based exercises, engaging in coursework, group discussion, review of key topics and seminar preparation. Many of these activities are supported by the Moodle virtual learning environment (VLE).
You can find out the methods of assessment for each module are documented in Modules. The range of assignments that we use to assess your knowledge and understanding are diverse including:
- oral presentations
- poster presentations
- group work exercises
- data analysis (statistical, graphic and textual)
- laboratory work
- field reports
- GIS and mapping
- research proposals
- applied project work
- reflective commentaries on work-based learning
As an undergraduate Law and Social Science student, you will be allocated a named tutor during your first semester at LSBU. The role of your tutor is to be your primary contact for academic and professional development support.
Your tutor will support you to get the most of your time at LSBU, providing advice and signposting to other sources of support in the University. They should be the first person at the university that you speak to if you are having any difficulties that are affecting your work. These could be academic, financial, health-related or another type of problem.
You will have appointments with your personal academic tutor at least three times a year for up to 30 minutes throughout your course. You can contact your tutor for additional support by email.
- A Level BCC or:
- BTEC National Diploma MMM or:
- Access to HE qualifications with 9 Distinctions and 36 Merits or:
- Equivalent Level 3 qualifications worth 106 UCAS points
- Applicants must hold 5 GCSEs A-C including Maths and English, or equivalent (reformed GCSEs grade 4 or above).
Visit UCAS for tariff guidance.
If you have already completed some studies at another university, we may be able to consider you for advanced entry. Please see our advanced entry page for more information.
How to apply
International (non Home/EU) applicants should follow our international how to apply guide.
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Once we have made you an offer, you can apply for accommodation. You can rent from LSBU and you’ll deal directly with the university, not third party providers. That means we can guarantee you options to suit all budgets, with clear tenancy agreements and all-inclusive rents that include insurance for your personal belongings, internet access in each bedroom and on-site laundry facilities.
Or, if you’d rather rent privately, we can give you a list of landlords – just ask our Accommodation Service.
Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.
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Prepare to start
After you’ve received your offer we’ll send you emails about events we run to help you prepare for your course.
Before you start your course we’ll send you information on what you’ll need to do before you arrive and during your first few days on campus. You can read about the process on our Enrolment pages.
Fees and funding
Fees are shown for new entrants to courses, for each individual year of a course, together with the total fee for all the years of a course. Continuing LSBU students should refer to the Finance section of our student portal, MyLSBU. Queries regarding fees should be directed to the Fees and Bursaries Team on: +44 (0)20 7815 6181.
Year 1 FT Southwark SEPT
|UK/EU fee: £9250||International fee: £14470|
|AOS/LSBU code: 4839||Session code: 1FS00|
|Total course fee:|
For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for undergraduate students.
Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.
Possible fee changes
The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.
The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.
We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on our scholarships page.