Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024 (archived)


Department: Geography


Type Open Level 3 Credits 10 Availability Not available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham


  • Any Level 2 Geography module


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To explore geographies of visual culture in order to expand students knowledge and understanding of the politics of representation in the construction of people and places
  • To enhance students grasp of theoretical and methodological approaches to the analysis of visual geographies
  • To promote critical reflection on the cultural geographies of identity, representation and geopolitics with respect to ‘Africa’


  • Theoretical and methodological approaches to visual culture
  • Historical trends in the enactment and performance of ‘Africa’ and the legacies of empire in visualising the continent
  • Analysis of the visual representation of African people and places
  • Constructions of identity and difference in visual culture and media
  • The global image economy: analysis of the visual economy of documentary photography, photojournalism and African cinema

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Application of theoretical approaches to the analysis of visual culture and geographies
  • Critical awareness of the historical and political dimensions of cultural production and consumption
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Constructing visual analyses of geographical issues with respect to ‘Africa’
  • Demonstrating the role of photography and cinema in constructions of place and identity
Key Skills:
  • Assessing the merits of contrasting theories and methodologies used in the analysis of visual culture
  • Critically interpreting visual culture
  • Demonstrating an ability to formulate critical and sophisticated arguments and analysis
  • Demonstrating a capacity to communicate effectively in written assignments
  • Demonstrating an ability to gather, evaluate and synthesise information obtained from a variety of sources

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

  • Lectures will be used to impart basic information (empirical and conceptual) necessary to fulfil the aims of this course
  • Concepts introduced in lectures will be explored in more depth in workshops, which will be conducted by the lecturer and form the core of the course
  • Students will select one of three workshops, each workshop will be limited to 1/3 of the course enrolment to ensure small group teaching, and last nine hours over three weeks
  • Group work skills will be developed in a practical project, the results of which students present in a workshop talk that constitutes the formative assessment
  • When not in a workshop students will be undertaking course reading and contributing to the course blog
  • Students understanding of relevant visual methodologies and their ability to undertake critical analysis of visual materials will be assessed through a formative group presentation in the final workshop session
  • Students understanding of relevant theoretical and conceptual approaches to the study of visual geographies will be assessed through a summative essay

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 3 Varies 2 hours 6
Workshops 3 Varies 3 hours 9
Student Reading and Preparation 85
Total 100

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Essay Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Summative Essay Max 5xA4 100%

Formative Assessment:

Workshop presentations, with written 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