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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Education

EDUC2421: Learning Lives

Type Open Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to learning across the life course.
  • To introduce students to contexts of education outside of ‘standard’ provision.
  • To introduce students to theoretical and practical perspectives on education in relation to lifelong learning and wider contexts.
  • To introduce students to issues of social justice, diversity and inclusion in lifelong learning and wider contexts of education.
  • To introduce students to ways of researching lifelong learning and wider contexts of education and the impact of this on policy.


  • Purposes of life long learning education in relation to wider contexts.
  • Social theory and learning theory in relation to lifelong learning and wider contexts of education, such as transformative learning theory.
  • Other theoretical, methodological and practical perspectives on education in relation to learning across the lifecourse and wider contexts, such as life history/biographical methods.
  • The role of an educator and the learner in life long learning and wider contexts.
  • Context of Educations: Montessori education, forest schools and eco-learning; pupil referral units; home education; prison education; adult education and lifelong learning; medical education; therapeutic education for wellbeing.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module students will have:
  • increased their knowledge and understanding of lifelong learning;
  • increased their knowledge and understanding of some wider contexts of education;
  • increased their knowledge and understanding of the role of education in wider society and across the lifecourse;
  • increased their awareness of educational values, purposes and possibilities;
  • increased their awareness of the recipients of education in wider contexts and across the lifecourse and their needs.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Provision of well-argued conclusions relating to significant educational issues and contexts
  • To reflect on their own value systems and development
  • Acquired competence in argument and debate about education
  • To interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and practice
Key Skills:
  • Think critically and independently
  • Acquire complex information of diverse kinds in a structured and systematic way
  • Construct and sustain a reasoned argument
  • Communicate effectively
  • Improve their own learning and performance including the development of study and research skills
  • Use a range of printed and online resources
  • Work to deadlines

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

  • Students will be introduced to a range of educational theories and concepts through lecture, seminar, group work and guided reading. Students will develop their knowledge and understanding by actively contributing to seminars.
  • Students will further develop their knowledge and understanding, apply and reflect on ideas and demonstrate key skills through two summative pieces of assessment that requires them to critically evaluate contexts of education.
  • Students will also be required to produce formative work which requires them to demonstrate their understandings of a topic area covered in the module.
  • Students will organise and undertake visits to at least one and possibly several different ‘non-standard’ educational settings and incorporate reflection on this experience in one of the summative pieces of assessment.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 18 Term 1 and Term 2 1 hour 18
Seminars 10 Term 1 and Term 2 1 hour 10
Fieldwork 4 On arrangement – across Term 1 and Term 2 1 hour 4
Preparation and reading 168
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2000 words 100% Yes
Component: Portfolio Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio - to include a reflective and visual element such as a digital story 3000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Presentation related to key learning from the module and aspects of the summative assessments.

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

If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department.

If you have a question about Durham's modular degree programmes, please visit our FAQ webpage. If you have a question about modular programmes that is not covered by the FAQ, or a query about the on-line Faculty Handbook, please contact us using the Comments and Questions form below.