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Changing place changing places

This core theme explores key theoretical concepts and perspectives in order to identify and research the geographical nature of place. The topic requires students to investigate a local place in which they study or live and at least one further contrasting place.

Place can be understood as a geographical nexus of connections and linkages between flows of people, resources, information, investment or capital, which all come together in and define a geographical location or locality. Students must have an awareness of how these shifting connections shape the demographic, socio-economic and cultural characteristics of a place and how this accounts for places to be so dynamic at all geographical scales.

Place can also be understood in terms of the cultural meaning attached to it by particular individuals and/or groups. How and why people perceive place in different ways may be based on their own identity, age, gender, sexuality or class, but it can also be based on the previous heritage or the current nature of a certain place. Students must develop an awareness that representations and meanings of place are constantly being remade over time and help to shape the actions and behaviour of individuals, groups, businesses and institutions in these places.


Resources to support changing places

Brand (2020) – ‘Capturing a ‘sense of place’ through fieldwork’, Teaching Geography

A description of how video ethnography techniques can evoke ‘atmosphere’, adding a perspective to the study of place and making A level fieldwork more meaningful.

Top Spec Geography: Changing Places by Emma Rawlings Smith, Simon Oakes and Alastair Owens

This book meets the requirements of the 2016 A levels in England and Wales. The book explains how meanings and representations that are attached to places help to shape human actions and behaviours that affect places and how relationships that exist between people, economy, society and environment can explain why places are constantly changing.

Changing Place; Changing Places

Twelve articles from Geography Matters, addressing the concepts of place and changing places, to support planning this core theme.


In this seven minute video, Dr. Charlotte Lemanski discusses urbanisation, its meaning and common misconceptions, where it is happening, key terminology and data used to measure the process.

Urban poverty

In this six minute video, Dr. Charlotte Lemanski defines poverty and urban poverty, the effects of urbanisation on poverty in the urban South, how urban poverty differs from rural poverty and the wider implications of urban poverty.

Thinking Global, Looking Local. Excerpts from Simon Oakes’ GA Annual Conference lecture, addressing ‘changing place, changing places, Part 1 and Part 2

Dr. Simon Oakes delivers an exciting session at the 2015 Geographical Association Conference in Manchester. His session supports the Eduqas AS/A level Geography qualifications first teaching in September 2016. Part 1 and Part 2 videos are all about the ‘Changing place; changing places’ core theme.

Part 1

Part 2


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