Political Geographies

This information is for the 2020/21 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Murray Low STC.S512


This course is available on the BA in Geography, BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development, BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit and to General Course students.

Course content

An introduction to the relevance of a geographical perspective for explanation of contemporary political processes, and of a political perspective for explanation of contemporary geographies, at scales from the local to the global. Topics covered include: states; geopolitics; empires and national states; citizenship rights, migration and national 'closure'; nationalism, territory and identity; geographies of elections and representation; democratization; globalisation, neo-liberalism and governance.


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online/in-person lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures across Michaelmas Term and Lent Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of MichaelmasTerm and Week 6 of Lent Term

Formative coursework

Students will be expected to submit one formative essay per term of up to 1,500 words.

Indicative reading

Detailed reading lists will include journal articles, but indicative texts include: J Agnew, Making Political Geography, 2002; C Barnett and M Low (eds.) Spaces of Democracy 2004; J Agnew & S Corbridge, Mastering Space, 1995; K Cox, M Low and J Robinson (eds) The Sage Handbook of Political Geography, 2008.


Exam (75%, duration: 3 hours) in the summer exam period.
Essay (25%, 2000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2017/18 - 2019/20 combined)

Classification % of students
First 38.2
2:1 43.6
2:2 9.1
Third 7.3
Fail 1.8

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2020/21 academic year some variation to teaching and learning activities may be required to respond to changes in public health advice and/or to account for the situation of students in attendance on campus and those studying online during the early part of the academic year. For assessment, this may involve changes to mode of delivery and/or the format or weighting of assessments. Changes will only be made if required and students will be notified about any changes to teaching or assessment plans at the earliest opportunity.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2019/20: 23

Average class size 2019/20: 12

Capped 2019/20: No

Value: One Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication