CP0211 - Spaces of Production: Economic Geography

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0211
External Subject CodeL721
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Crispian Fuller
SemesterAutumn Semester
Academic Year2014/5

Outline Description of Module

This module is about the spatial dimensions of economic activity i.e. why and where businesses create jobs and wealth, where people work and earn money, how and where firms create jobs and wealth, the role of the state in shaping the geographies of economies, and how the economy interacts with the physical environment. The module primarily focuses on analysing the three main general sectors of the economy – primary industries, manufacturing and the service sector, using both traditional and contemporary economic geography perspectives. It also considers the role of different actors (such as large transnational firms and governments) in shaping the geography of economic activity. The module uses lectures to introduce key analytical ideas, concepts and readings, and uses workshops and discussions to enable students to understand and explore these ideas in more detail.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

How the module will be delivered

This module will be taught over one semester and is divided into topics, with each topic time-tabled for one week. Each topic has one two-hour lecture session in which theoretical ideas, key concepts and debates are introduced, explained and illustrated. There will also be regular one hour seminar sessions or interactive workshops, in which students explore and discuss the application of these ideas through small group discussions, video presentations and case studies. Compulsory guided reading associated with each topic will be provided to supplement and deepen the taught component. This will be met, in part, through the application of e-learning and interactive Learning Central software.

Skills that will be practised and developed


Use theoretical propositions to guide the collection of case study material and data relating to the geography of economic activity
Use case study material and data to explore, illustrate and test theoretical propositions.
Read and understand intermediate level economic and geographical arguments about economic geography and explain them to others.
Lead small group discussions, using theoretical ideas, policy issues and interpreting evidence. 
Ability to manage conceptual and factual material through both oral and written forms; 
Ability to write clearly and competently, and to make reflective comments upon topics learned; 
Ability to use library, internet  and a virtual learning environment (Learning Central) effectively to extend the insights given in lectures;
Communication skills, especially small group discussions and debating relevant theoretical, empirical and policy issues.
Develop reasoned arguments, both orally and in written form, and demonstrate the ability to critically assess and evaluate evidence and claims;
Understand the difference between positive and normative analysis, and to understand why the diversity of epistemological and theoretical approaches is so important to geographical inquiry.
Understand that markets create wealth and can redistribute resources progressively (particularly over time) as well as generating social costs and increasing inequality;
Understand the role that governments can play in redistributing wealth and resources, as well as reducing social costs and inequalities;
Understand that the geography of economies can be significantly shaped by the self-interest of key players, including governments;
Understand how different viewpoints and ideologies can influence both theoretical and empirical analyses of the geography of economic activity. 

How the module will be assessed

Central to this module is the development of students’ ability to describe, define, understand and critically evaluate key theories and debates in economic geography and explore their empirical relevance. They are assessed through written methods but there is room for flexibility here by setting alternative, comparable assessments.

This module will be assessed by two pieces of written coursework each of which will constitute 50% of the final assessment.

The first assessment consists of a piece of written work exploring a debate around one of the key concepts in economic geography with a case study industry as illustration; the second assessment consists of an essay.

Type of assessment



(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment

Written case study


Subject to be defined within the module

2000 words




Subject to be defined within the module

2000 words


Assessment Breakdown

Type % Qualifying Mark Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 50 N/A
Spaces Of Production: Economic Geography - Coursework 1
N/A 1 N/A
Written Assessment 50 N/A
Spaces Of Production: Economic Geography - Coursework 2
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Introduction to the meaning and scope of economic geography.

Globalisation, supply chains and the food industry

Transnational corporations

New industrial systems and spaces

Services, the cultural industries and the geography of talent

The economic geography of the UK

Employment, unemployment and economic inactivity

Alternative economic spaces

Essential Reading and Resource List

Armstrong, H. and Taylor, J. (2000) Regional Economics and Policy, third edition,  London: Blackwell.

Coe, N., Kelly, P. and Wai-chung Yeung, H. (2007) Economic Geography: A Contemporary Introduction, Blackwell: Oxford.
Coe, N.M. and Jones, A. (2010) (eds) The Economic Geography of the UK. Sage: London.
Dicken, P. (2010) Global Shift: Mapping the Changing Contours of the World Economy. Sixth Edition, Sage: London.
Mackinnon, D. and Cumbers, A. (2011) An Introduction to Economic Geography: Globalization, Uneven Development and Place, Second Edition; Prentice Hall: London.
Pike, A., Rodrígues-Pose, A. and Tomaney, J. (2006) Local and Regional Development.  London: Routledge.

Background Reading and Resource List

Sheppard, E. and Barnes, T.J. (eds) (2000) A Companion to Economic Geography, Blackwell, Oxford.

Clark, G., Feldman, M. and Gertler, M.S. (eds) (2000) A Handbook of Economic Geography. Oxford University Press, Oxford.
McCann P (2001) Urban and Regional Economics. Oxford: OUP
Please note that specific reading will also be given with each topic.
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