Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences

Geography & Environmental Studies

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Geography & Environmental Studies

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The Geography & Environmental Studies Department at The Open University has a record of producing innovative research and teaching in both human and environmental geography. Our excellence in research has been recognised in the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021, where over 90% of our outputs and 100% of our impact were either "world leading" or "internationally recognised". Our courses cover topics such as sustainability, environmental policy, cities and globalisation.

In teaching we aim to generate materials that address pressing current issues and also convey significant approaches to the field. We pride ourselves on producing modules that are cutting edge, yet also accessible to those with no previous knowledge of geography, consistent with our commitment to The Open University's teaching mission. Our materials focus on key areas of public and political debate, such as the biophysical and social causes of climate change and environmental policy in an international context. One module, for example, explores new orientations and responses to increasingly strained entanglements between environment and society in a range of settings around the world, from urban infrastructure in the Global South to wildlife conservation in the UK.

Research in the Department of Geography is conducted through the OpenSpace Research Centre. The OpenSpace Research Centre promotes research on geographical and environmental concerns. Our research aims to be conceptually and empirically innovative, and designed to engage with diverse publics. The Centre encourages a vibrant research environment, drawing on research expertise both within and beyond The Open University and academia.

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