Geography: Policy and Practice (MSc)

Study critical debates on policy and civil society from the local to the global.

The MSc Geography: Policy and Practice offers a unique opportunity to study human geography at postgraduate level in a context intimately connected to current policy developments and debates. The degree is informed by contemporary critical theory, and focuses on a range of scales from the domestic and local, the urban and the regional, the national to the global.

This degree is designed to capitalise on the distinctive capacities of the School of Planning and Geography as a leading centre of expertise in research and teaching in both human geography and spatial policy. The school's staff and students are actively engaged in geographically-related policy development for a range of governmental, corporate, and voluntary bodies, as well as critically investigating broader forms of political and civil society activity.

The degree will develop an integrated and critically aware understanding of geography, policy and practice. It offers:

  • The advanced study of geography as an academic discipline and the changing external context in which it engages;
  • A critical understanding of geography and its relationship with policy, particularly in the fields of: Economy; Environment and Sustainability; Housing; Planning, Development, and Regeneration; Society; and Transport;
  • Development of the ability to apply knowledge and understanding of geography to complex issues, both systematically and creatively, to improve the functioning of policy and practices within society;
  • Enhancement of lifelong learning skills and personal development so students can strengthen their ability to work with self-direction and originality and to contribute to geography, policy, and society at large.

Course Structure

The MSc Geography: Policy and Practice is offered as a one year full-time course.

It is divided into two parts:
Part 1 comprises a teaching programme of core and option modules over two semesters.
Part 2 comprises an individual dissertation in a geographically-related subject of their own choice. This may focus on more 'theoretical' or more 'practical policy' related issues according to preference. Non-UK students may wish to submit proposals relating to their interests and experience in their country of origin. The dissertation will be developed in consultation with members of staff.

The following list relates to the modules for the academic year 2013/14. Please note that these may be subject to change.

Core Modules

The teaching programme is focused around three core modules:

  • Space, Policy and Practice: Geography, the State and Civil Society
    exploring the relationships between geography and policy, and current policy developments.
  • Contemporary Debates in Human Geography: The State of the Art
    addressing the key current issues and debates in human geography, concerning the philosophical understanding of the social world, culture, economy, identity and power.
  • Geographical Research in Practice
    investigating and applying the latest developments in geographical research techniques and the dissemination of research findings.

Option Modules

The core modules are complemented by a range of option modules that offer the opportunity to apply these geographical insights in a range of speciality areas.

Modules are also complemented by internal and external seminars hosted by the School's Research Groups, Centres and the Innovation and Engagement Unit.

The modules are assessed through continuous assessment (a variety of seminars, essays, project work and practical exercises) and examinations. Where required there is room for flexibility in setting alternative, comparable assessments.


The course offers the knowledge and expertise for the pursuit or development of a career in business, local government, academia, or broader civil society.
Our Alumni collectively represent the variety of potential careers and jobs that our current (and future) students may embark on.


This MSc is suitable for graduates in geography, planning, science and social science.

Entry Requirements

Applicants should normally hold a first or second class Honours degree in an appropriate subject. A minimum standard in English language of IELTS 6.5 or equivalent will be required for students whose first language is not English. Pre-course English Language tuition is available.

School Contact

Name: Dr Crispian Fuller

Telephone: +44 (0)29 208 74705



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