GY207      Half Unit
Economy, Society and Place

This information is for the 2021/22 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Callum Ward


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

Why do people choose to live in particular places? Is it simply a trade-off of affordability and housing space or are other factors at play? Through what other mechanisms is the choice of residential location influenced and how significant is the outcome? We address these and other questions focussing on the role of culture in nuancing class-based explanations of the relationship between people and place. In so doing we examine the inter-relatedness of economy, governance and society in influencing the choice of places where people live. We consider how these choices might confer social advantage or disadvantage to individual households and the significance of this for policy makers. We use a series of place-based typologies and phenomenon to relate the theory to practice. Examples might include but are not limited to; suburbanisation, rural second homes and gentrification. 


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


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures in Lent Term. There is no teaching in week 11 due to the anticipated second year geography field trip. 


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

Formative coursework

The formative work will be an essay plan that directly prepares students for the summative work.

Indicative reading

  • Bourdieu, P. (2005) ‘Habitus’. In Jean Hillier and Emma Rooksby (eds) Habitus: a sense of place. 43-5.
  • Mace, A. (2017), Spatial capital as a tool for planning practice. Planning Theory 16(2) 119-132.
  • Peck, J. (2011). Neoliberal Suburbanism: Frontier Space. Urban Geography, 32(6), 884–919.
  • Savage, M. The Lost Urban Sociology of Pierre Bourdieu (chapter 45). In Gary Bridge and Sophie Watson (eds) The new Blackwell companion to the city. 511-520.


Essay (100%, 3000 words) in the ST.

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Student performance results

(2018/19 - 2020/21 combined)

Classification % of students
First 37.4
2:1 47.7
2:2 11.2
Third 0.9
Fail 2.8

Important information in response to COVID-19

Please note that during 2021/22 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 differing needs of students in attendance on campus and those who might be studying online. For example, this may involve changes to the mode of teaching 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 2020/21: 47

Average class size 2020/21: 13

Capped 2020/21: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication