CP0325 - Economic Change and Spatial Policy

SchoolCardiff School of Planning and Geography
Department CodeCPLAN0
Module CodeCP0325
External Subject CodeK400
Number of Credits20
Language of DeliveryEnglish
Module Leader Dr Oleg Golubchikov
SemesterSpring Semester
Academic Year2014/5

Outline Description of Module

This module aims to describe, understand and explain key features of contemporary economic change in the UK and EU, and to explore relevant public policy responses. The module is organised around three key themes: (1) the continuing process of restructuring away from manufacturing and towards services and the ‘new’ economy; (2) the consequences of economic change, focusing on the uneven development of places (via regional disparities) and people (through exploring unemployment, poverty and social exclusion); and (3) the role, scope and impact of selected public policy responses to these issues.  The module is intended to provide a largely empirical perspective which is informed by theory, and which aims to situate current economic processes of change and restructuring in the UK and EU within the broader contexts of globalisation, technological change and changing modes of regulation.

On completion of the module a student should be able to

1.    Demonstrate knowledge of the key features of economic change and of relevant empirical analyses.

2.    Understand the links between key aspects of economic change and the uneven economic development of UK and EU regions.

3.      Describe and evaluate the role and effectiveness of specific UK and EU public policy responses to relevant aspects of economic change and uneven development.

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


1. Awareness of the major challenges facing the UK and EU’s most disadvantaged regions, and the attendant spatial policy challenges.
2. Understanding of how different viewpoints and ideologies can influence the interpretation and mediation of economic change in advanced economies.
1. Ability to define, analyse and evaluate key theoretical, empirical and policy issues
2. Oral and written communication skills, specifically groupwork and presentation on a case study.
3. Research skills, particularly the use of library text, internet and electronic information resources for research and reference purposes.

How the module will be assessed

One written piece of coursework (75% of assessment), consisting of a 3,000 word essay. This will assess the students’ ability to define, analyse and evaluate key theoretical, empirical and policy issues. Students will choose one essay from a list of several topics. The aim of this coursework is to test for depth of knowledge and understanding of key theoretical and/or policy issues relating to economic change and spatial policy, and, where appropriate, test their ability to critically evaluate and synthesise key arguments and collate relevant data.

Students will also prepare a presentation to the rest of the class (25% of assessment) through working in small groups. This will require them to summarise and critically evaluate key readings on particular topics, as well as to collate relevant data and case study material.

The presentation will focus on key readings on particular debates such as economic inactivity and policy responses to them. This will test their ability to synthesise key debates and critically evaluate pertinent academic and public policy contributions to them.

Central to this module is the development of students’ ability to describe, define, understand and critically evaluate key theories and public policy debates around economic change. They are assessed through written methods and through an oral / powerpoint presentation but there is room for flexibility by setting alternative, comparable assessments for students with disabilities.

Type of assessment



(if applicable)

Approx. date of Assessment



Subject to be defined within the module

3000 words


Group presentation


Subject to be defined within the module



Assessment Breakdown

Type % Qualifying Mark Title Duration(hrs) Period Week
Written Assessment 75 N/A
N/A 1 N/A
Presentation 25 N/A
Economic Change And Spatial Policy - Group Presentation
N/A 1 N/A

Syllabus content

Introduction to economic change and the causes of uneven development

Globalisation, economic crises and the changing economic fortunes of places

Theorising economic change – from Fordism to post-Fordism

Structural change and the growth of new industries and sectors

Culture and creativity in economic change

Regional disparities in income, employment and output

Policy responses to economic change and uneven development

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.
N.B. Additional (topic-specific) references will be provided each week.
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