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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: L705
No such Code for prog: LMV1
No such Code for prog: LMV2
No such Code for prog: QRV0
No such Code for prog: QRVA

Department: Geography


Type Tied Level 3 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap 25 Location Durham
Tied to L702 Geography
Tied to L704 Geography with Year Abroad
Tied to L705
Tied to LA01 Liberal Arts
Tied to LA02 Liberal Arts (with Year Abroad)
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 QRV0
Tied to QRVA
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


  • GEOG2472 Social Research in Geography


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules



  • To critically analyse how global processes interface with locally specific social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental processes.
  • To employ field-based research in a large US metropolitan area in order to develop a specialist understanding of these processes and explore key concepts in human geography.


  • The global processes of change to be studied on the module, especially as they are sited in a large US metropolitan area, will reflect the research expertise of the teaching team in any given year. Themes covered in lectures, seminars, and workshops may include:
  • Migration, race and identity
  • Work and (in)formal labour
  • Urban political ecology
  • Transformations of the built environment
  • The field course will consist of 6 days spent in a large US metropolitan area (Chicago) and will involve:
  • 1 day of introduction to Chicago, covering themes developed in lectures
  • 2 days instruction on module themes (e.g. walking tours, talks with local experts, museum and historical site visits)
  • 3 days of student-led and guided activities around core themes, supported by the fieldtrip teaching team.
  • Daily field note writing.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • To understand how global processes shape and are shaped by local context.
  • To understand how a specific American city is shaped by—and contributes to—global change.
  • To deepen knowledge of key geographical literatures addressing global-local change.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • To utilise key concepts in human geography to understand how global processes shape and are shaped by local conditions.
  • To develop skills in ethnographic methods and research project development.
  • Demonstrate a capacity to carry out preliminary field research: by keeping detailed and reflexive notes; learning to make sense of those notes through an engagement with academic texts; learn-ing to prepare for and structure a diary of fieldwork; to engage critically with what it means to do fieldwork and with the spatial and temporal limits of that research work.
  • Demonstrate a capacity to reflect critically on the themes introduced in the course: to engage in depth with a range of texts presented as part of the course; to identify key arguments in a text and be able to analyse the claims; to evaluate the evidence that different texts offer; to make a judgement about whether the evidence is convincing and persuasive; to make judgements about the strengths and weaknesses of an argument in relation to the questions put forward as part of the course.
Key Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate a variety of communication skills including: evaluating and synthesising information from a range of sources including film, oral history, testimony, academic texts, artwork, and mu-sic; keeping an extensive field diary that critically reflects on their experiences of the field; re-searching, structuring and writing a longer research paper; responding, engaging and commenting on each other’s work.
  • Demonstrate a capacity to evaluate and build on academic performance: through the formative and summative assessments; responding to feedback; managing time effectively – in the field and in reading.

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

  • Lectures will provide background information and provide overviews of key theoretical approaches and themes in the recommended reading. Lectures will provide historical context and introduction to key debates on global change in Chicago.
  • Workshops will focus on close reading and critical engagement with key literature and will enhance students’ ability to identify key themes across texts.
  • Seminars will focus on close reading and critical engagement with key literature and theoretical texts, and will enhance students’ ability to identify key themes across texts.
  • Reading lists will provide students with key theoretical and thematic literature, as well as back-ground readings in preparation for fieldwork.
  • Reading lists, handouts, and lecture materials will be posted on duo to assist student learning.
  • The residential fieldtrip will introduce the students to specific themes through field-based re-search tasks.
  • Formative assessment of research topic selection in workshops, fieldnote taking during the fieldtrip, reflexive engagement with research during the fieldtrip.
  • Summative assessment of research project development skills, data collection and analysis through an annotated bibliography, research essay and field notebook.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 10 Varies 2 hours 20
Lecture (fieldtrip Health & Safety briefing) 1 2 hours 2
Workshops 6 Varies 2 hours 12
Field course 1 Easter vacation 6 days 42
Student Preparation and Reading 124
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Field Notebook Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Field Notebook and 1000 word essay 100%
Component: Annotated Bibliography Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Annotated Bibliography 100%
Component: Research Essay Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research Essay 5 x A4 pages 100%

Formative Assessment:

Verbal feedback on ideas and conceptual development for essays in workshops. Peer feedback on essay ideas in workshops. Verbal feedback on field notebooks during the fieldtrip. Peer feedback and collaboration in arranging fieldtrip activities.

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.