Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2018-2019 (archived)


Department: Geography


Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2018/19 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to L702
Tied to L703
Tied to L704
Tied to L705
Tied to F800
Tied to F802
Tied to F803
Tied to F804
Tied to LA01
Tied to LA02
Tied to LMV0
Tied to LMV1
Tied to LMV2
Tied to LMVA
Tied to QRV0
Tied to QRVA
Tied to CFG0
Tied to FGC0
Tied to CFG1
Tied to CFG2
Tied to X1F8
Tied to X2F8
Tied to X3F8


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to a broad range of concepts and approaches in human geography, and the way in which these approaches and new ways of thinking have been developed in response to specific problems.
  • To use a variety of specific case studies to illustrate the latest concepts and approaches in geography, and how these concepts and approaches are responding to contemporary debates and societal challenges.


  • The module is based on an examination of different scales of inquiry in relation to several substantive themes within human geography. The module showcases cutting edge research currently being undertaken by members of the Geography Department.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate comprehension of a range of human geographical ideas, concepts and approaches.
  • Understand how and why geographers have developed new approaches in response to contemporary challenges and epistemological problems.
  • To recognise how differing ideas, concepts and approaches are reflected in research and in response to the diversity of places, meaning, human lifeworlds and the production of difference and inequality.
  • To assess, judge and critically evaluate competing intellectual positions.
  • Critically engage with key issues in human geography
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • Critically judging and evaluating evidence
  • Abstracting and synthesising information
  • Developing a reasoned argument
Key Skills:
  • Self-directed learning
  • Written communication
  • Contextualizing information

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

  • The module is based on a programme of lectures
  • These provide the context in which introductory concepts and related research case studies are conveyed, contributing to building knowledge and understanding ·
  • Lectures are complemented by small group tutorials where key skills relevant to undergraduate study are developed
  • Full reading lists provide students with the means to undertake independent study and learning
  • Formative assessment and 50% of summative assessment is set, marked and returned to tutors, who will provide individual feedback to support student development
  • Three essays (two summative) provide students with scope to explore in greater detail selected themes drawn from the module
  • The remainder of the summative assessment is based on an unseen examination paper designed to assess students' acquisition of the learning outcomes
  • NOTE: this module also includes a suite of transition study skills exercises, which are delivered to students electronically via duo for completion between early September and mid October (prior to the first tutorial meeting). Details can be found in the Formative Assessment text box below.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 38 Twice weekly 1 hour 38
Tutorials 5 Five times annually 1 hour 3
Preparation and Reading 157
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
unseen written examination 2 questions in 2 hours 100%
Component: Tutorial Essays Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
tutorial essay 1 max.4 sides A4 50%
tutorial essay 2 max.4 sides A4 50%

Formative Assessment:

Prior to their first tutorial, students will be asked to complete a series of transition study skills tasks based around the following indicative themes: Exploring academic literature Critical reflection Effective essay writing (introductions, paragraphs and conclusions) Note taking How to avoid Plagiarism Time management Marking previously submitted essays The tasks will be made available to incoming students via duo during September, with an expectation that they will be completed prior to their first tutorial, so that comprehensive group feedback can be given. Preparation for the second tutorial will involve familiarisation with the departmental assessment criteria and descriptors. Feedback on this formative task will inform discussion in the second tutorial, alongside further support for essay writing skills, in advance of the formative essay. Support for reading skills will be provided throughout the year through ‘guided readings’ which will be made available to accompany specific lectures. These will assist students in developing efficient and strategic reading skills when dealing with original academic texts. Other formative assessment includes one formative essay (max 4 x A4 sides) plus detailed feedback given on the two summative essays.

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