Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.
Tied to X9KC07


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module aims to help learners:
  • understand the fundamental concepts relevant to intercultural communication;
  • critically analyse intercultural issues such as prejudice, ethnocentrism, stereotypes, etc. with theories developed in recent years;
  • become familiar with approaches and models to studying and dealing with issues in interactions between people of different cultures;
  • develop knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary for living and studying abroad and for analysing that experience.


  • The module contains four themes:
  • Theme 1: What are the key concepts and theory (Knowledge)?
  • Theme 2: What are the appropriate attitudes towards otherness in intercultural communication (Attitudes)?
  • Theme 3: What are the effective strategies commonly adopted by intercultural communicators in interactions with otherness?
  • Theme 4: What intercultural and communication issues arise in living and/or studying in a foreign land (Effective Intercultural Communicator)?

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowing key concepts related to intercultural communication and theories for developing understanding of otherness and self and building up intercultural competence.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Skills to making the familiar unfamiliar and unfamiliar familiar and to bringing cultures into relationships in intercultural communication.
  • Collection and analysis of ethnographic fieldwork data relating to Intercultural issues.
Key Skills:
  • evaluating research evidence;
  • problem identification and solution;
  • written and spoken communication skills;
  • searching reviewing the literature;
  • skills associated with working independently.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Teaching and learning are through lectures, seminars, and ethnographic fieldwork etc. Each mode is estimated in number, frequency and duration as indicated below:
  • Students are expected to spend about 300 hours in total on this module. In addition to the taught sessions, students are expected to work independently on each module, on the ideas directly related to the module, the essay and the Key Skills. This ‘out of class’ work will sometimes be directed by the tutor; reading relevant to the next session, preparation for a discussion or research into a related area for instance. In addition to these directed tasks, students are expected to spend time developing their understanding of the ideas in the module and their Key Skills. Preparation for essays and independent reading and research as well as reflection on the ideas from the module support the development of Key Skills.
  • This module is taught spread during eight weeks in the first term. The ethnographic field work will be carried out in the first term as well.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 7 See above 1 hour 7
Seminars 7 See above 2 hours 14
Tutorials 1 One off 3 hours 3
Ethnographic fieldwork 1 One off 10-20 hours 20
Preparation and reading 256
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5500 words max 100%

Formative Assessment:

1. Presentation (individually or as part of group) of readings on one of the seminar themes. 2. Feedback to essay outlines (all individual students are required to submit an outline for the essay).

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University