Module Details

The information contained in this module specification was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change, either during the session because of unforeseen circumstances, or following review of the module at the end of the session. Queries about the module should be directed to the member of staff with responsibility for the module.
Code ENVS313
Coordinator Dr KL Burrell
Geography and Planning
Year CATS Level Semester CATS Value
Session 2021-22 Level 6 FHEQ Second Semester 15


This third year course will introduce students to specific geographical developments in Poland since 1939. The course will be structured around three key time periods: second world war, socialism, post-socialism. Within these, shifts in the control and use of space will be explored. The second world war theme will consider the impact of war on population and territory in Poland, and the subsequent contestations surrounding wartime memory within the country. A key focus will be on museums and memorial sites as contested sites of memory. The second part of the course will consider the spatial dimensions of everyday life under socialism, including: political uses of public and private space, queuing and the shortage economy, imagined geographies of the west, resistances. The final section will investigate changes in Poland since 1989 - to what extent the country has 'returned to Europe', the impact of shock therapy on social geographies, and how Poland is still working throug h socialist legacies. Special attention will also be given to Polish migration, before and after EU accession. Ultimately this module will enable an in-depth empirical knowledge of a key site of change in contemporary Europe, while encouraging deep engagement with a range of historical, political, social, cultural and post-socialist geographical readings.

Learning Outcomes

(LO1) A deep understanding of the specific contexts of historical, political, social and cultural geographies of Poland

(LO2) An in-depth knowledge of the contested nature and emplacement of wartime remembering in Poland, the spatial dynamics of life under socialist rule, and seismic changes in Poland since 1989

(LO3) A wider appreciation of shifting geo-political developments in Europe over the last few decades

(LO4) A good familiarity with the sub-disciplinary field of socialist/post-socialist geography

(S1) Adaptability

(S2) Problem solving skills

(S3) Communication skills

(S4) International awareness



Introduction, quiz, overview;
Historical Geographies of World War Two;
Contested Pasts and Places: Remembering World War Two;
Katyn - Andrzej Wajda film;
Seminars - contested memory sites - link to assessment;
Introduction to socialist Poland; geographies of political culture;
Social & cultural geographies of everyday life under socialism;
Resistance movements; collapse of socialism;
Post-socialist geographies: overview and key developments;
Post-socialist geographies: seminars on key topics;
Geographies of Polish migration;
Overview and revision.

Teaching and Learning Strategies

Teaching Method 1 - Pre-recorded Lectures
Description: This teaching method is used to present information on key themes. These lectures will be pre-recorded and students will watch them independently. Lectures are widely used in this disciplinary area.
Attendance Recorded: n/a

Teaching Method 2 - Teams discussion Seminar
Description: This teaching method is used to encourage students to explore and discuss course materials in greater depth and to enhance their skills as independent learners. The lectures will be supported by timetabled weekly Teams remote seminar discussions, for each lecture theme plus assessment support and revision. Students will need to prepare specific topics for each session. This approach is widely used in this disciplinary area.
Attendance Recorded: n/a

Teaching method 3
If safe, on campus teaching will be used at three points during the module - for the module introduction and for workshops supporting the two assessments

Teaching Schedule

  Lectures Seminars Tutorials Lab Practicals Fieldwork Placement Other TOTAL
Study Hours   3



Timetable (if known)              
Private Study 112


EXAM Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 2 There is a resit opportunity. This is an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :2 For 2020/21 this exam will be conducted remotely as a timed release unseen paper  2 hours    50       
CONTINUOUS Duration Timing
% of
Penalty for late
Assessment 1 There is a resit opportunity. Standard UoL penalty applies for late submission. This is not an anonymous assessment. Assessment Schedule (When) :2  2500 words    50       

Recommended Texts

Reading lists are managed at Click here to access the reading lists for this module.