Royal Albert Bridge over the River Tamar

In this module, you will cover different ways of looking at transport, travel and mobility, and explore why geographers are among the best placed of all professionals to address the grand challenges posed by the way societies move around.

You will identify where people, goods and information go, and explain when, how and why they go there. You will learn that mobility underpins our economies but at the same time hinders economic growth through congestion; that it underpins our social activities but creates problems of exclusion; and that despite great strides towards cleaning up our vehicles, transport accounts for nearly a third of all global carbon dioxide emissions.

In this context, you will go on to look at the significance of a range of everyday experiences of being ‘on the move’. The reasons why and how people move—via private car rather than public transport, for example—can be understood really effectively by examining what people do and feel during the time they spend travelling. Such a focus, in turn, presents a useful starting point from which to promote and plan for more sustainable travel.

Finally, you will consider the mobility of specific groups of people and things. The often-competing discourses put forward by politicians and the media regarding the movement of people, products and services, resources and pollution, and ideas and beliefs have profound implications for how people relate to each other. This also affects what we think about different cultures, who has the right to be in particular places, and who should and should not belong in them.

In short, the world is on the move, and in this module, you’ll get to grips with the huge challenges associated with our apparently insatiable appetite for mobility.

Topics covered:

  • Transport, travel and mobilities as concepts and objects of study within geography
  • The policy and politics of transport in relation to the economy, the environment and society
  • The everyday experience of travel and mobility
  • Experimental methods for studying travel experiences
  • Intersections between mobilities and migration
  • Mobilities and territory, belonging and equity