Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Geography


Type Open Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to NONE


  • Any Level 1 or level 2 GEOG module.


  • NONE

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • NONE


  • To examine the causes and consequences of contemporary social, cultural, economic and political transformations in a variety of post-socialist and non-Western contexts in a comparative form.
  • To explore the connections between local and global change, while emphasising the specific ways in which transformation is experienced and lived in the different contexts.


  • Theorising transition
  • Sameness and difference: the dangers of transitology
  • Legacies of socialism and colonialism
  • Restructuring governance
  • Globalisation and economic change
  • Social reproduction and the transformation of livelihoods
  • Tackling inequalities, old and new
  • Identity politics and the contested meanings of transition
  • The symbolic spaces of transition

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Demonstrate a thorough understanding of the causes and consequences of social, economic, political and cultural change in a variety of post-socialist and non-Western contexts
  • Explain and critically evaluate different theoretical approaches to the study of transformation
  • Discuss the differential lived experiences of those transformations and demonstrate how they articulate with matrices of identity such as gender, race, class and generation
  • Understand and examine critically the changing scales and spatialities of lives, from the personal to the global
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Apply the conceptual and methodological tools required for a critical analysis of transformation
Key Skills:
  • A high level of written communication skills

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

  • Lectures will be used to impart basic facts and information necessary to fulfil the aims of this course
  • Concepts introduced in lectures will be explored in more depth in seminars
  • Students will develop presentation skills in a seminar talk that constitutes the formative assessment
  • Students ability to interpret and apply theoretical concepts will be tested through an examination and in an essay

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 18 weekly 1.5 27
Seminars 2 term 1 2 4
Tutorials 1 term 2 1 1
Student Preparation & Reading 168
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5 x sides A4 100% None
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
End of Module Examination 1.5h 100% None

Formative Assessment:

Seminar presentations with feedback

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