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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Geography


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Any Level 2 GEOG module


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module aims to:
  • Develop understanding of the multiple, diverse and changing economic geographies of money and finance
  • Enable appreciation and application of different ways of theorizing and conceptualizing geographies of money and finance
  • Engage critically in social and political issues in contemporary monetary and financial geographies, with particular reference to currencies, investment, markets and debt


  • It is often said that ‘money makes the world go round’, but money and finance take multiple forms and are marked by diverse and changing geographies. The module will seek to develop an understanding of the economic geographies of money and finance, and their attendant social and political issues, with particular reference to three topic areas:
  • The territorial geographies of currencies, focusing on the US Dollar and ‘stateless’ cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin.
  • The planetary geographies of investment, focusing on the transformations of investment in response to climate change.
  • The urban workplace geographies of markets, focusing on trading and traders in global financial centres.
  • The everyday geographies of debt, focusing on mass market credit in the USA and UK.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate advanced level understanding of distinct and shifting economic geographies of money and finance
  • Evaluate and deploy concepts and theoretical approaches when analysing geographies of money and finance
  • Critically reflect upon social and political issues in contemporary monetary and financial geographies
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Compare theoretical approaches for understanding a significant area of contemporary geographical concern
  • Apply key concepts when analyzing a significant area of contemporary geographical concern
  • Think critically and creatively about the social and political issues engendered by the economic organization of money and finance, and the contribution that geographical knowledge could make to addressing those issues
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate written communication skills
  • Reflect upon the relations between geographical research and a range of real world problems and issues
  • Showcase the ability to synthesise information and develop an argument on contemporary issues and problems

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Core lecture content will: (a) introduce the field of geographies of money and finance and the four specific topic areas (i.e. territorial geographies of currencies; planetary geographies of investment; workplace geographies of markets; and everyday geographies of debt; (b) outline the various theories and concepts utilised by geographers for thinking about these topics; and (c) make use of appropriate case study examples, both original and drawn from the extant geographical and social scientific research
  • Workshops will further explore each of the four topic areas, drawing on essential readings selected to facilitate engagement with the social and political issues provoked by the economic geographies of money and finance
  • Workshops will also feature diverse learning techniques including group debates and presentations, and responses to short films and other media, thereby facilitating students’ acquisition of skills, including oral presentation skills and team-working
  • Tutorials will provide for small group feedback on formative assessment and planning for summative essay
  • Formative assessment (annotated scrapbook) will: (a) develop students’ abilities to identify and critically reflect upon examples of prevailing representations and understandings of money and finance that circulate in the popular media, and to compare/contrast such representations and understandings with that which are offered by the geographical and allied academic literatures; and (b) prepare students for the summative essay assignment by beginning to broaden their research base beyond the secondary literature. Feedback on formative assessment will encourage students to further develop the potential of carefully selected examples from their scrapbook, such that those examples can provide illustrative case studies to be utilised in the essay assignment and by way of summative assessment.
  • Summative assessment (essay assignment) will require: (a) in-depth engagement with competing concepts and theories in the study of geographies of money and finance; and (b) application of concepts/theory to one of the four topic areas studied in order to further analysis and critical reflection on associated social and political issues.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 5 Approx bi-weekly 2 hours 10
Workshops 4 Approx bi-weekly 2 hours 8
Tutorials 1 Once 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 81
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay Max 5 pages A4 100%

Formative Assessment:

Annotated scrapbook: Each student scrapbook will collect together examples (e.g. news stories, speeches, statements, advertisements, blog entries, cartoons, etc.) from contemporary media sources (e.g. newspapers, magazines, websites, television, radio) relevant to at least one of the four topic areas in the geographies of money and finance. Each example will be accompanied by a short note explaining why it is of relevance and interest, and how it might be interpreted through insights taken from conceptual and theoretical literatures studied on the module.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department.

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