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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: Geography

GEOG1061: PLANET UNDER PRESSURE

Type Open Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham

Prerequisites

  • None

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None

Aims

  • To provide students with a comprehensive survey and analysis of the human transformation of the Earth, including the practices and systems that sustain the Anthropocene and the role of geographical knowledge in studying, managing and responding to environmental change.

Content

  • Introduces approaches, concepts and interpretative tools for understanding a planet dominated by human influences but where control of environments and ecologies remains elusive.
  • Surveys the role of human practices and physical systems in sustaining local, regional and global scale environmental change
  • Provides examples and cases drawn from aquatic, terrestrial and atmospheric environments across the global North and South, and over different periods of time
  • Explores the role of geographical knowledge in understanding, explaining and managing the challenges of living in the Anthropocene, and reconciling with a planet where humans now constitute a force of nature.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of the module students are expected to be able to:
  • understand 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 synthesize and critically evaluate, at an introductory level, issues related to the environment in its widest sense
  • demonstrate an understanding of the complexities, links and feedbacks between human activities and the environment
  • analyse and interpret qualitative and quantitative data on human-environment relations at a range of spatial scales

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

  • This module consists of 4 ‘blocks’ (each block led by a different member of the teaching team) plus a revision session at the end of the module. Each block consists of 10 hours of lectures.
  • 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.
  • Student preparation and reading time is partly devoted to preparing and writing the summative coursework essay and preparing for end of module exams; and partly to the general and specific reading suggested by staff in lectures.
  • A tutorial workshop (small groups, delivered in T1) will provide students with the opportunity to discuss human / environmental issues at the heart of the module, and will be anchored by a short individual assignment undertaken prior to the tutorial. Formative feedback on the tutorial discussion will be provided to each group post-tutorial.
  • A tutorial workshop (small groups, delivered in Term 2) will prepare students for the summative assignment.
  • The summative essay and end of year examination test students' knowledge, understanding and analytical skills.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 21 Once weekly 2 hour 42
Tutorial 1 Term 1 1 hour 1
Tutorial 1 Term 2 1 hour 1
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
Online 24 hour unseen examination 2 hours (recommended) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Tutorial discussion, anchored in a short individual assignment undertaken prior to the tutorial, with formative feedback on the discussion provided to each tutorial group


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



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