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


  • The module explores how different dimensions of people’s social and cultural identities both vary across space and also influence how spaces are used. It therefore unpacks how a range of key social and cultural differences play out in people’s lived experience of places and spaces.
  • To develop understanding of contemporary social and cultural issues
  • To introduce the changing ways in which geographers have approached social and cultural issues
  • To develop with students their understanding of key approaches, issues, theories and debates in social and cultural geography


  • The module will involve a core set of lectures which will introduce key current themes and debates in social and cultural geography. These may include, for example:
  • Geographies of species
  • Geographies of body size and shape
  • Geographies of sexuality
  • Geographies of age and the life-course
  • Geographies of (dis)ability
  • Geographies of class
  • Geographies of race

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students are expected to be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of key approaches, theories and debates in social and cultural geography
  • Critically assess and debate a number of the current questions facing social and cultural geography
  • Demonstrate appreciation of the spatialities of social and cultural phenomena, and of competing explanations for these, and develop clear lines of argument
  • Show a detailed understanding of selected areas of social / cultural geographical research through extended reading
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Understand and synthesise some key literatures in social and cultural geography
  • Demonstrate detailed understanding of a selection of key issues covered by the module
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate information management skills, including gathering information from a range of bibliographic and electronic sources
  • Demonstrate planning an effective and well argued essay
  • Demonstrate skills of critical assessment and analysis in relation to key literatures and debates
  • Demonstrate the development of ideas and argument in written work

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

  • Teaching and Learning:
  • Social and Cultural Geography will be delivered through a set of in-person lectures and a workshop for each of four thematic blocks
  • The workshop for each thematic block will develop and demonstrate more detailed understanding and skills of critical assessment through discussion of key issues
  • Independent learning, including reading widely, is supported with reading lists and other learning resources for students to deepen their understanding of different perspectives and explanations
  • Assessment:
  • Oral formative feedback provided during the workshops will prompt independent learning and practice of the skills that enhance learning outcomes
  • The summative essay enables students to practice and build further their literature-related and critical appraisal skills, and to demonstrate detailed understanding of specific topics and debates
  • The summative exam enables students to demonstrate broader understanding of the subject in the construction of substantiated arguments and connection of themes across the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 15 Weekly 2 hours 30
Workshops 4 2 in Term 1; 2 in Term 2 1 hour 4
Independent Learning/Prep & Reading 166
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online 24 hour unseen examination 2 hours (recommended) 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5 x sides A4 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative feedback is provided through oral feedback on workshop activities. Feedback is also given on summative coursework that will help students in exam preparation.

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