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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2020-2021

Programmes in Social Sciences & Health

This page lists any key changes made to advertised undergraduate programmes due to start in 2020-21 in Departments in the Faculty of Social Sciences & Health, 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 Anthropology

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

Degree Structure

In 2020-21, our Level 2 Anthropology Field Course module will not run for students on the BA and BSc Anthropology, BA Anthropology & Sociology or BA Anthropology & Archaeology programmes. From 2021-22, a revised version of this module will be offered at Level 3 instead.

Fieldwork/Placement opportunities

Opportunities for placement and international links/study abroad in future years may be affected by wider restrictions relating to Covid-19 in operation at the time.

For BA Anthropology & Sociology students, the optional Level 3 Community Placement module will not run in 2020-21 due to Covid-19 and pressures on placement agencies. This is expected to be reviewed and reintroduced when possible for future years, but cannot be guaranteed at present due to the unpredictability of the wider circumstances.

For BA Anthropology & Archaeology students, L1 fieldwork in Easter term (as part of module ARCH2191) remains unaffected at the present time, though will be reviewed in light of further Covid-19 restrictions if necessary. Some one-day fieldtrips for L1 students will be replaced by virtual fieldtrips and online briefing sessions.

Course Delivery (Anthropology 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.

An additional seminar per term has been added to the Level 1 module Health Illness and Society. This is to enhance blended delivery of the module by increasing contact hours, specifically via small group sessions intended to provide students with more opportunities to interact with their tutors and each other than they would when whole group "plenary" sessions are delivered online.

Seminars will be delivered either face-to-face or online via Zoom. Lectures will be delivered both asynchronously and synchronously. Synchronous "live" lectures will be recorded for students not able to attend at the appointed time. Practical sessions involving the handling of skeletal material, fossil casts and artefacts will be replaced with "virtual labs" and online tasks in Michaelmas, with the possibility of holding face-to-face sessions in Epiphany if circumstances allow.

Tutors will remain accessible online for queries during designated hours, and opportunities for interaction with other students will continue to be built into the programme. This approach will be reviewed periodically in light of changing circumstances as the programme and wider situation progresses.

+Department of Archaeology

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

Degree Structure

In 2020-21, the Level 2 Anthropology Field Course module will not run for students on the BA Anthropology & Archaeology programme. From 2021-22, a revised version of this module will be offered at Level 3 instead.

Fieldwork/Placement opportunities

Level 1 fieldwork in Easter term (as part of module ARCH2191) remains unaffected at the present time, though will be reviewed in light of further Covid-19 restrictions if necessary. Some one-day fieldtrips for Level 1 students will be replaced by virtual fieldtrips and online briefing sessions.

Opportunities for placement and international links/study abroad in future years may be affected by wider restrictions relating to coronavirus in operation at the time.

Course Delivery (Archaeology 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.

Modules including practical and laboratory classes have been restructured so that any such elements of the module are held in Epiphany term with social distance measures in place. Some practical sessions will be augmented by instructional videos and interactive online sessions. There are plans in place to deliver these virtually if Covid-related lockdowns are implemented in the future.

+Combined Honours in Social Sciences

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in Combined Honours.

Degree Structure

There are no changes to the structure of the Combined Honours 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 Social Sciences & Health webpage, and on the comparable Arts & Humanities 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 Education

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the School of Education.

Fieldwork/Placement Opportunities

On the BA Primary Education, in light of social distancing requirements and the reduction in placement opportunities, there will be no visits to schools until the block placement in summer 2021.

Course Delivery (Education 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 2020-21, the timetabling of modules has been amended with some modules being taught in one term rather than across the entire academic year. Module options are balanced across Michaelmas and Epiphany terms.

+Department of Geography

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

Fieldwork/Placement Opportunities

In 2020-21, as part of the Introduction to Geographical Research (BSc) module (GEOG1232), BSc Geography students will either undertake a week of residential fieldwork in an overseas location (Portugal) immediately prior to Term 2 or, in the event that the overseas field trip cannot take place, will cover alternative, comparable content delivered by the four field-trip leaders as separate components, two pre-Term 2 and 2 in early Term 2.

In 2020-21, as part of the Introduction to Geographical Research (BA) module (GEOG1222), BA Geography students will undertake alternative sessions and assignments in lieu of the two, one-day large group field trips which would ordinarily take place.

Course Delivery (Geography 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 2020-21, changes include: in Human Geography (GEOG1071), nine additional asynchronous 1 hour activity sessions have been added; in Introduction to Geographical research (BA) (GEOG1222) additional synchronous (live) and asynchronous content has been incorporated in Term 2 to replace field and practical elements; in Geographies of Crisis (GEOG1241) seven online virtual, 1 hour drop-in Q&A sessions have been added; and in Understanding Earth’s Principles (GEOG1251), face to face practicals have been replaced with online practicals delivered in asynchronous (recorded) format with synchronous (live) discussion, alongside additional asynchronous lecture and synchronous seminar discussion sessions.

+School of Government & International Affairs

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the School of Government and International Affairs (SGIA).

Course Delivery (SGIA 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.

+Durham Law School

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Law School.

Course Delivery (Law 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 Sociology

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

Fieldwork/Placement Opportunities

The optional Level 3 Community Placement module will not run in 2020-21 due to Covid-19 and pressures on placement agencies. This is expected to be reviewed and reintroduced when possible for future years, but cannot be guaranteed at present due to the unpredictability of the wider circumstances. Similarly, whilst we anticipate being able to continue offering the Level 3 ‘Issues in Criminal Justice’ (‘Inside Out’) module in conjunction with local prisons, this is contingent on prisons continuing to be able to facilitate this.

Course Delivery (Sociology 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 for at least the first term of 2020-21 (with this being reviewed as the academic year progresses). 

During this period, the lecture content in most modules will primarily involve asynchronous (pre-recorded) online delivery alongside relevant teaching and learning activities (e.g. specific breakout tasks which would ordinarily have been completed during a ‘live’ lecture), ensuring all students can access this material equally; a few modules may take an alternative synchronous online workshop format instead of lectures where this is essential to the teaching approach. 

In addition, socially-distanced in-person face-to-face seminar sessions are currently expected to be available during 2020-21 at Level 1 for the Classical Sociological Theory and Introduction to Criminological Theory modules. There will be synchronous (‘live’) online seminar sessions involving direct online interaction with tutors for other modules where there are not in-person seminars or live online workshops. Tutors will remain accessible online for queries during designated hours, and opportunities for interaction with other students will continue to be built into the programme. This approach will be reviewed periodically in light of changing circumstances as the programme and wider situation progresses.

+Department of Sport & Exercise Sciences

See our full programme regulations for undergraduate programmes offered in the Department of Sport and Exercise Sciences.

Degree Structure

On the BA Sport, Exercise & Physical Activity, students will undertake 2 core modules at Level 1, rather than 5, increasing flexibility. All previously core modules remain available as options. This will be followed with 3 core modules at Level 2, and 3 core modules at Level 3. This is specified in detail – alongside all current module options – in the BA Sport, Exercise & Physical Activity programme regulations.

On the BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences, students will undertake 3 core modules at Level 1, rather than 5, increasing flexibility. All previously core modules remain available as options. This will be followed with 3 core modules at Level 2, and 3 core modules at Level 3. This is specified in detail – alongside all current module options – in the BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences programme regulations.

Fieldwork/Placement Opportunities

The Level 3 Sport in the Community optional module (SPRT3201) had been amended for 2020-21 delivery, to enable us to offer it to students as a blended digital and onsite placement. We will review whether it can be re-introduced as a full placement in future years. However, if this is not feasible, we will aim to continue to run it as a blended digital and onsite placement option.

The Level 2 Sport, Media and Society optional module (SPRT2311) will not run in 2020-21, meaning that film-making opportunities are not currently available. We will review whether it can be re-introduced in future years.

Course Delivery (Sport 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.

For modules key to the BA Sport, Exercise & Physical Activity, seminar teaching has been identified as priority module activity for the timetable, to ensure face to face contact with students in the new academic year. Seminar teaching and workshops can also be moved online, if and as required.

For modules key to the BSc Sport and Exercise Sciences, practical laboratories and some seminar teaching has been identified as priority module activity for the timetable, to ensure face to face contact with students in the new academic year. If it is not possible to deliver practical laboratories, demonstrations will be recorded and made available on-line, and field-based testing procedures (which can be conducted in COVID-19 safe conditions) will be instructed. Seminar teaching and workshop activities can also be moved online, if and as required.

This page was last updated on 13th August 2020.