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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.

No such Code for prog: LMV1
No such Code for prog: LMV2
No such Code for prog: X4F8

Department: Geography


Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to L702 Geography
Tied to L704 Geography with Year Abroad
Tied to F800 Geography
Tied to F803 Geography with Year Abroad
Tied to LA01 Liberal Arts
Tied to LA02 Liberal Arts (with Year Abroad)
Tied to LA03 Liberal Arts (with Placement Year)
Tied to LMV0 Combined Honours in Social Sciences
Tied to LMV1
Tied to LMV2
Tied to LMVA Combined Honours in Social Sciences (with Year Abroad)
Tied to LMVP Combined Honours in Social Sciences (with Placement Year)
Tied to CFG0 Natural Sciences
Tied to FGC0 Natural Sciences
Tied to CFG1 Natural Sciences with Year Abroad
Tied to CFG2 Natural Sciences with Placement
Tied to X1F8 Education Studies - Geography
Tied to X2F8 Education Studies - Geography (with Year Abroad)
Tied to X3F8 Education Studies - Geography (with Placement Year)
Tied to X4F8


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • The module introduces students to a broad range of concepts and approaches in physical geography, using scale, from global to local, as the organizing framework.


  • The module provides an integrated framework for the study of the environmental systems of the Earth
  • The module examines five important themes in physical geography through a variety of scales, from global to local: 1) Climate processes and change; 2) Quaternary glaciations and landscapes; 3) Sea-level change; 4) Water and water resources; and 5) Active tectonics and mountain environments
  • The module will also address the interconnections between these themes

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • understand the importance of time and rates of change through a consideration of contemporary Earth processes and longer-term environmental change
  • understand how humans have affected these processes and changes
  • apply these themes at a conceptual level and with reference to selected case studies provided in lectures and student readings
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • understand general principles (e.g. timescales, spatial variability, procees and form) of Physical Geography and relate them within and between the key themes of the course
  • critically engage with key issues in Physical Geography
  • understand the range and scope of approaches to Physical Geography
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of the module students are expected to be able to:
  • assess and interpret material presented in lectures
  • present logical written arguments
  • critically evaluate a range of literature on selected themes in Physical Geography
  • abstract information from multiple sources

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

  • The module framework is based on a programme of lectures.
  • These lectures provide the context in which facts and introductory concepts are conveyed, contributing to building knowledge and understanding.
  • Lectures are complemented by self-paced tutorial exercises in which concepts introduced in lectures can be explored in more detail, and which will allow students to develop their ability to undertake independent work. Each tutorial is supported by an interactive drop-in session to allow students to ask questions and receive feedback on their work.
  • Comprehensive reading lists provide students with the means to undertake independent study and learning.
  • Two essays (one formative, one summative) provide students with scope to explore in greater detail selected themes drawn from module.
  • A short film/video will contribute to the module learning outcomes by providing students the opportunity to demonstrate their comprehension of module content, to evaluate evidence, synthesise information, and, in a self-directed manner, to communicate complex information through its contextualisation.
  • The remainder of the summative assessment is based on an unseen examination paper designed to assess student's acquisition of (1) the technical aspects of the module by means of short-answer questions; and (2) the interdisciplinary nature of the learning outcomes by means of an essay-style question.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 34 Twice weekly 1 hour 34
Drop-in sessions 5 Five times annually 1 hour 5
Self-paced tutorial exercises 5 Five times annually 1 hour 5
Preparation and Reading 156
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Examination Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Online 24 hour unseen examination 2 hours (recommended) 100%
Component: Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 1 (max 4 x A4 sides) 100%
Component: Video short film Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1 video short film (4 minutes in length) 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment includes one formative essay (max 4 x A4 sides) plus detailed feedback given on the summative essay.

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.