GEG-30020 - Rural Geographies
Coordinator: Simon Pemberton Tel: +44 1782 7 33165
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 6
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2022/23


Available as a Free Standing Elective





Entry requirements are assumed to be those for entry to the course.

Barred Combinations


Description for 2022/23

The division of 'rural' and 'urban' is one of the oldest ideas in Geography. But is the idea of the rural still relevant today? Why should we bother with it? How might it be changing? What are the consequences for those living or working in rural areas? This module helps students to respond to such questions. Through drawing upon a range of concepts and theories of relevance to rural geography and the discipline of geography more widely, a focus is placed on the definitions and meanings that have been attached to the rural and their genealogy. Such work alerts us to a number of critical issues in respect of the development of a more fluid, hybrid, relational and arguably 'progressive' conception of rural space. In so doing, it then becomes possible to critically analyse how rural society and economy has changed over the last 50 years, and the associated restructuring processes of relevance. These have increasingly impacted differentially - both temporally and spatially - on rural localities and the everyday lives of those in rural areas. Consequently, there is a need to consider the ways in which national and local governments alike, as well as rural communities themselves have attempted to respond to such changes and the effectiveness of responses. Through use of case studies and the opportunity for exploration of key issues of relevance, the module enables students to come to original conclusions about the future of rural areas and to critique the likely outcomes of current trajectories of development.

This module aims to provide students with an understanding of the key geographical changes that have occurred in rural areas since 1945, including rural society and economy, and the ways in which the rural is planned and governed.
In particular, the module introduces students to current debates of relevance to the sub-discipline of rural geography, as well as the broader discipline of geography itself. It aims to explore the move from functional, bounded and static-based definitions of the rural to a much broader approach focussed on social constructions, relations and networks and the increasing hybridity of both production and consumption patterns. Through a range of contemporary case study material the module will develop the skills necessary for students to evaluate and critique explanations of changes in rural practices, policies and governance, and the increasing unevenness of outcomes for those living in rural areas.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

select and interpret different conceptual approaches to defining rural areas: 1
select and interpret the relevant literature concerning current approaches and debates in rural geography
: 1,2
identify key economic, social, cultural, and political changes and their impact on rural spaces: 1,2
evaluate how, and to what extent, rural planning and policies have attempted to deal with changes in the rural economy and rural society: 2
evaluate the appropriateness of responses by national and local governments, rural communities and other organizations to such changes: 2
identify and critically evaluate key geographical concepts relating to the changing nature of rural areas: 1

Study hours

10 x 1hr lectures
5 x 1hr group discussion
5 x 1hr seminars
1 x 2hr practitioner discussion
1 x 2hr feedback session
50 hours essay preparation
50 hours tender and report preparation
private study
26 hours seminar preparation

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 50%
2000 word essay
2000 word essay focussed on key concepts / debates introduced within the module. Students will choose from a number of titles.

2: Research Proposal weighted 50%
3000 word tender document and outline of response
3000 word research tender (proposal) and response (report) combined. 1500 words of the document will set out the way in which the rural 'problem' is to be approached. 1500 words will then discuss potential responses that could be developed to respond to the problem.