Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Geographies of the body GEOG4083

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 4 (SCQF level 10)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1 (Alternate Years)
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes
  • Available to Erasmus Students: Yes

Short Description

This course focuses on the social geographies of the human body and the different ways in which society organised around 'the somatic' with specific reference to difference and exclusion.


2 * 2 hours per week (most weeks) and a field class.

Requirements of Entry

Mandatory Entry Requirements

Fulfilment of entry requirements to Level 3 Geography

Excluded Courses



There will be an essay of 2500 words. (40%)

A group presentation based on observational practice (15%)

Final examination of 1 question in 90 minutes. (45%)

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? Not applicable for Honours courses

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 

Course Aims

■ To provide the conceptual apparatus for students to engage with a range of substantive issues concerning the social geographies of the body, embodiment, culture, health and welfare.

■ To foster critical historical and contemporary perspectives on how human bodies are spaces which have been managed and regulated through institutions, state legislation and social-moral norms in Western society.

■ To ensure the appreciation of bodies as sites of power and resistance and as specific kinds of geographies through which social relations are organised.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Evaluate theoretical perspectives on the relations between society and the space of the human body

■ Articulate why and how 'the body' has become an important spatial unit for analysis in the discipline of human geography and beyond.

■ Describe how embodied 'difference' is articulated through different geographic scales (bodies, institutions, communities and cities) and at different times.

■ Develop comparisons between different ways of managing and regulating bodies over time and in different historical and contemporary contexts

■ Analyse the relations between the management of individual bodies and the regulation of the body of society in a Western context.

■ Discuss how power and resistance are evidenced and experienced through different body spaces with different kinds of social outcomes.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.