APG5627 - Research in political ecology - 2018

6 points, SCA Band 2, 0.125 EFTSL

Postgraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit

Human Geography

Chief examiner(s)

Dr Julian Yates


Dr Julian Yates

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2018 (On-campus)




The unit introduces students to the multi-disciplinary field of political ecology, which considers the relevance of power and politics for shaping the relationship between humans and their environments. The unit explores the principles and analytical methods of political ecology; students will develop an understanding of political ecology frameworks and their diverse applications to real-world cases. The unit is organized into three parts. The first part introduces students to the field and key concepts of political ecology, conceptualises human-environment relations through society, nature, and capitalism, and introduces some methodological tools for political ecology research. The second part examines applications and variations of this framework, exploring different expressions and cases of human-environment interactions. The third part explores some future directions for political ecology, identifying some philosophical and methodological challenges in conducting, communicating, and reflecting on political ecology research and practice.


On completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  1. understand and explain the theoretical underpinnings of political ecology;
  2. identify and explain the ways in which power and politics influence human-environment relationships;
  3. analyse socio-environmental issues (e.g. environmental conflicts, conflicts over resources) by drawing on political-ecological arguments and approaches;
  4. select, evaluate, and adapt analytical frameworks for understanding the links between the political economy of development and ecological change;
  5. conduct research in order to apply political ecology frameworks to the analysis of real-world cases.


Within semester assessment: 100%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study