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Durham University

Faculty Handbook Archive

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2017-18. The current handbook year is 2020-21

Department: Geography


Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2017/18 Module Cap Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce to students, a comprehensive survey and analysis of the diverse ways in which humanity and their environments - both physical and human - have interacted with each other over time.


  • An introduction to general concepts about human-environment interactions
  • Early human exploitation and the history of conservation
  • Review examples and case studies of society - environment & social science - physical geography linkages
  • Examined environment-societal interactions
  • Change in climate and eco-systems in relation to human history
  • Issues and agents - looking after the environment

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of the module students are expected to be able to:
  • understand at an elementary level the reciprocal relationships between humans and their environment
  • be familiar with a range of examples of the environmental impact of humans at different spatial and temporal scales
  • have an appreciation of the changing interactions between culture and nature over time
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module students are expected to be able to:
  • demonstrate a knowledge of the relevant literature
  • demonstrate, in the form of the summative assignment and the examination, their analytical skills in the topic area
  • demonstrate a sound knowledge of topical issues related to the environment
  • demonstrate an understanding of the evolution of the environment and how it came to be in its present condition
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module students are expected to be able to demonstrate an ability to digest, synthesize and critically evaluate, at an introductory level, issues related to the environment in its widest sense.

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

  • The lectures aim to provide students with an outline of key debates in the topic area, to discuss the literature that they should explore, and to give examples and case studies at a range of different spatial and temporal scales
  • The student preparation and reading time is partly devoted to writing the two course work essays and partly to the general and specific reading suggested by staff in lectures
  • During the tutorial workshops, students have the opportunity to raise and discuss human / environmental issues
  • The formative coursework essay allows students to demonstrate their knowledge of the literature and exercise their analytical skills in written form
  • This also gives students an opportunity to receive formative feedback on their progress
  • The end of year examination is a summative test of students' knowledge, understanding and analytical skills

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 Once weekly 2 hour 42
Tutorials 2 Term 1 & 2 1 hour 2
Preparation and Reading 156
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 33%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One tutorial essay - max 4 sides A4 100%
Component: Examination Component Weighting: 67%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
One two hour written examination 100%

Formative Assessment:

One Essay, max. 4 pages A4 in accordance with Departmental Policy on Coursework Length and Format. Written feedback provided

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