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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2020-2021

Programmes in Arts & Humanities

This page lists any key changes made to advertised undergraduate programmes due to start in 2020-21 in Departments in the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, in light of the global pandemic. Click on the departmental headers for further information about programmes and modules offered in each department.

Unless otherwise indicated, changes under each header apply to all joint and single honours programmes in the department. If there is limited or no information under a header, this indicates that no major changes to advertised content – beyond the move to blended delivery – are planned.

If you are studying a programme or modules in more than one department, please see each departmental entry for relevant information.

Please Note: these summaries show changes affecting new entrants to undergraduate programmes starting Level 1 in 2020-21. Any changes to programmes which affect continuing students will be communicated directly by academic departments. New entrants to the Foundation Programme will similarly be contacted directly by Foundation Programme staff.

+Department of Classics & Ancient History

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Department of Classics & Ancient History.

Course Delivery (Classics modules)

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

+Department of English Studies

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Department of English Studies.

Course Delivery (English Studies modules)

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

+Department of History

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Department of History.

Degree Structure

In 2020-21, at Level 1 students taking the single honours BA History will study five modules:

  • a core compulsory module, Making History (40 credits); and,
  • four optional modules: one medieval, one early modern and one late modern option, with a final module chosen out of all modules on offer at Level 1 in History, or a module worth 20 credits from another department, subject to availability.

Course Delivery (History modules)

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

+Liberal Arts

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in Liberal Arts.

Degree Structure

There are no changes to the structure of the Liberal Arts degrees.

Course Delivery

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

Some individual departments have made changes to their modules and delivery methods, and you can see further information on those changes under the various departmental headings on this Arts & Humanities webpage, and on the comparable Social Sciences & Health webpage.

You will also be able to see full descriptions of all of the modules running in 2020-21 from the main Faculty Handbook webpages.

+School of Modern Languages & Cultures

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the School of Modern Languages & Cultures.

Fieldwork/Placement Opportunities

We are hopeful that disruption to study abroad will be resolved by the end of 2020/21, and that incoming students will be able to participate in their planned Year Abroad in 2022/23. However, should disruption continue or re-emerge, then in cases where students are unable to travel to at least one of their planned placements abroad either temporarily or for the duration of a specific placement, the School will offer an online language and culture programme and will proactively liaise with UK-based and overseas partners to explore options for virtual teaching and learning. 

The School will also be flexible in terms of a) acceptance of virtual placements, b) residency requirements for the ‘with Year Abroad’ programmes, and c) assessment of the year abroad without compromising our usual high standards.

Course Delivery (Modern Languages & Cultures modules)

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

In the Michaelmas Term all language teaching will be online. Cultural modules will be delivered in a hybrid model, by which large groups (usually sessions labelled in the timetable as ‘lectures’) will be taught online and seminars will be taught face to face wherever possible, respecting any social distancing measures in place. Dissertation/project supervision, tutorials and academic advising will also be online.

+Department of Music

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Department of Music.

Course Delivery (Music modules)

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

Our modules involving specialised facilities (studio, recording equipment) will either be kept in the original form but using small groups or altered to be delivered online through seminars. Wherever numbers, facilities, and government/University policies on social distancing allow, we are prioritising practical music-making sessions for face to face delivery (such as Performance, Composition and CMT workshops and seminars).

Learning Resources & Support

The Music Department’s practice rooms will be available for use, as will the studios (for modules such as CMT) – albeit with limits on numbers of people granted access at any one time. Practical instrumental and vocal tuition (included as a component within Performance modules) will continue to be provided. However, the assessed public performance aspects of the Performance modules may be substituted with self-recorded videos in the interests of health and safety, and the recording component of Introduction to Ethnomusicology (in which students were required to attend live performances and conduct face-to-face interviews) has been replaced with other content. Similar changes have been made to modules running at higher levels of study in 2020-21.

+Department of Philosophy

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Department of Philosophy.

Degree Structure

For BA Philosophy and Psychology students, at Level 2 we have combined the six 10-credit Psychology core modules into three 20-credit core Psychology modules to provide greater cohesion.

Course Delivery (Philosophy modules)

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

In Philosophy, lectures will be available on an asynchronous (pre-recorded) basis. Discussion Groups and Seminars will be face to face where possible, alongside online discussion forums and timetabled sessions where necessary. Online office hours will be available, and Departmental workshops for undergraduates and postgraduates, and departmental research seminars, will be available online and recorded for asynchronous delivery.

+Department of Theology & Religion

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Department of Theology & Religion.

Degree Structure

In 2020-21, the Level 1 module Christianity in Context (THEO1171) has been renamed Introduction to The History of Christianity.

At Level 1, students undertaking the BA Theology & Religion will study:

  • four core compulsory modules: Worldview, Faith and Identity (THEO113120), Introduction to the History of Christianity (THEO117120), Introduction to Christian Theology (THEO119120) and Introduction to Biblical Studies (THEO193120); and,
  • two optional modules.

The Department has reviewed the curriculum to ensure that any student with a particular interest in a particular subject area within Theology & Religion - Biblical Studies, the Study of Religion, and Christian Theology (both historical and contemporary, including philosophy and ethics) – can take a considerable proportion of their degree (comparable to what would ordinarily be available) in that broad area. Where necessary, to honour this principle, the Department is running additional optional modules, and/or has developed new optional modules.

At Level 1, students undertaking the BA Religion, Society & Culture will study:

  • four core compulsory modules: Worldview, Faith and Identity (THEO113120), Introduction to the History of Christianity (THEO117120), Islam Observed: Ethnographic Accounts of Muslim Practice (THEO1951203) and God and Evil (THEO1901); and,
  • two optional modules.

The Department has reviewed the curriculum to ensure that any student with a particular interest in a particular subject area within Religion, Society & Culture - Biblical Studies, Religion & Society, and Christian Theology (both historical and contemporary, including philosophy and ethics) – can take a considerable proportion of their degree (comparable to what would ordinarily be available) in that broad area. Where necessary, to honour this principle, the Department is running additional optional modules, and/or has developed new optional modules.

Course Delivery (Theology & Religion modules)

In line with Durham’s approach to blended delivery in response to the global pandemic, teaching and learning activities will include socially distanced face to face sessions alongside online delivery during 2020-21.

This page was last updated on 13th August 2020.