Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024


Department: Geography


Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to a range of debates in urban geography and cognate debates in urban studies
  • To enable students to appreciate and understand the changing economic, political, social and cultural character of cities in the 21st Century


  • The module will address key themes in urban geography, for example:
  • Theories and concepts of urbanization and urbanism
  • Urbanization in the global north and global south
  • The city and mental life
  • Urban infrastructure and inequalities
  • Public space and spatial exclusions
  • Global cities and smart cities
  • Migration
  • Urban economies
  • Urban communities and diversity
  • Urban politics and policy

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate knowledge of a range of debates in urban geography
  • Understand the range of perspectives and approaches to urban geographical enquiry
  • Appreciate diverse perspectives and challenges faced by urban communities and stakeholders
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
  • Critically evaluate available evidence on urban forms and processes
  • Discuss and write effectively about these debates, approaches, forms and processes
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate expertise in critical reflection and analysis
  • Communicate critical urban geographical analysis through written/oral/visual modes
  • Evaluate evidence from a range of sources (academic, media, social media, governmental and other institutional sources)
  • Demonstrate ability to formulate critical and sophisticated arguments from the above-mentioned sources
  • Demonstrate capacity to improve their own independent learning and performance by gathering information from a range of bibliographic and electronic sources with a view to the critical appraisal of a particular topic
  • Demonstrate a range of skills including the ability to evaluate and synthesise information obtained from a variety of sources
  • Demonstrate capacity to evaluate the merits of contrasting theoretical and conceptual approaches

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

  • Basic facts on urban geography and urban development processes are introduced and explained in lectures
  • Concepts and alternative academic approaches are introduced in lectures and discussed and developed in tutorials and through formative feedback
  • Factual understanding, critical evaluation of diverse perspectives and effective writing are tested in exams and summative assignments.
  • Communication skills in oral and visual modes will be developed through group presentation work.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 16 Terms 1,2 and 3 2 hours 32
Tutorials 4 Terms 1 and 2 1 hour 4
Presentation 1 Term 1 1 hour 1
Preparation and Reading 163
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Group presentation Component Weighting: 15%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Group presentation 10 minutes 100%
Component: Individual Essay Component Weighting: 35%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Individual Essay 4 x A4 sides 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online 24 hour unseen examination 2 hours (recommended) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment is provided during small group discussions in the tutorials occurring throughout the module. Feedback provided during the group presentation task (1st summative) will contribute to students’ development of their individual essay (2nd summative) on a linked topic.

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