Geographies of Money, Finance, and Debt (012GA)

30 credits, Level 6

Autumn teaching

This module will:

  • provide you with a critical introduction to the role of money, finance and debt in contemporary global crises of inequality, democracy and environmental sustainability
  • position money, finance and debt as an inherently political subject that has long been neglected by non-economists
  • show how money, finance, and debt have distinctly geographical dimensions, with the power and wealth of cities such as London and New York contrasting with the decline of other regions in the UK and US, and the influence of financial centres in the Global North contrasting with regions in the Global South.

Despite assumptions that finance is now a ‘de-territorialized’ global phenomenon, the module will also show how the impacts of finance and debt are nonetheless still spatially constituted and experienced by real people in real places.

Topics will include:

  • an introduction to where money comes from and the politics of money creation
  • the drivers and impacts of rising private household debt
  • the role of global financial institutions in fossil fuel investment and climate change
  • the proliferation of cryptocurrencies and money reform movements.

Against the assumption (often promoted by those who work in finance) that money and finance are ‘too difficult’ for ‘ordinary’ people to understand, the module will show how developing a better grasp of contemporary financial practices and patterns is critical in challenging inequality and injustice within society.

Note that the module will be taught in a way that is accessible to all students and it requires no background in economics.


33%: Lecture
67%: Seminar


25%: Coursework (Essay)
75%: Written assessment (Essay)

Contact hours and workload

This module is approximately 300 hours of work. This breaks down into about 30 hours of contact time and about 270 hours of independent study. The University may make minor variations to the contact hours for operational reasons, including timetabling requirements.

We regularly review our modules to incorporate student feedback, staff expertise, as well as the latest research and teaching methodology. We’re planning to run these modules in the academic year 2024/25. However, there may be changes to these modules in response to feedback, staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let you know of any material changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.


This module is offered on the following courses: