Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To teach students about the changing nature of society, particularly as it affects education.
  • to teach students about how education itself is changing and likely to change in the future, in response.
  • to acquaint students with issues where significant research is likely to be done in the future.
  • to equip them with some of the intellectual tools that will be required for such research.


  • The changing conditions of our society, affecting inter alia work, production, communication, the economy and the way we understand our personal identities, have major implications for education.
  • Education now begins to look less like something we do in specialist institutions, and less like something only for the young.
  • This module teaches students about a range of these changes, current and predicted.
  • It explicitly introduces students to issues where significant research is likely to be needed in the near future, and equips them with some of the intellectual tools that will be required for such research.
  • The seven areas covered are: Modernism and its discontents.
  • Late modernism, globalisation and turbo-capitalism.
  • The post-modern turn.
  • The crisis in values.
  • The technological solution.
  • Lifelong learning.
  • Workplace learning.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students should: be familiar with many of the changes affecting 'late modern' society.
  • understand how education itself is changing, and is likely to change, in response.
  • be sensitive to likely future opportunities for research in these areas.
  • possess a range of intellectual tools necessary for undertaking such research.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • the analysis of complex situations concerning human learning and development in particular contexts, including their own learning;
  • the use of examples of the implementation of education policies in practice;
  • provision of well argued conclusions relating to significant educational issues; Students should be able to demonstrate an ability:
  • to reflect on their own value systems and development;
  • to question concepts and theories encountered in their studies of education;
  • to interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research.
Key Skills:
  • think critically and independently;
  • acquire complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way;
  • construct and sustain a reasoned argument;
  • communicate effectively with appropriate use of specialist vocabulary;
  • use ICT and a variety of library and IT resources;
  • improve their own learning and performance, including the development of study and research skills, information retrieval, and a capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on their own learning;
  • work to deadlines.

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

  • Students will be introduced to a range of theories and concepts through a lecture and tutorial group work programme in which students will not only listen to formal lectures but be expected to engage in debate and reflection through group work exercises during the tutorial sessions.
  • Students will further develop their knowledge and understanding, apply and reflect on ideas and demonstrate key skills through a summative piece of assessment that requires them to critically evaluate ideas about education.
  • Students will also be required to produce formative work which requires them to demonstrate their understanding of the topics covered in the module.
  • The students will also be examined formally at the end of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 22 Weekly 1 hour 22
Tutorials 11 Fortnightly 1 hour 11
Preparation and Reading 167
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
2000 Assignment 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
two-hour examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

One written 1500 word assignment.

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