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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23

Department: Geography


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to L8K507 Geography (Research Methods)


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To help students to situate their own research interests in the wider disciplines of human and physical geography. It explores ideas, concepts and problems that inform contemporary geographical research by considering human and physical geography in general as well as the student's own research work. Students should experience wider engagement with a group of geographers beyond their own department.


  • A range of topics relating to the module aims and objectives (e.g. popular and academic geographical imaginations, geographical imaginations and techniques in physical geography, geographical imaginations and techniques in human geography, thinking critically: the geographical production of geographical knowledge, physical and human geographers working together: opportunities and challenges, the interdisciplinary agenda, how human geography research gets done, how physical geography research gets done.Research group seminars;
  • The conceptual, epistemological and methodological issues surrounding fieldwork.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should have an awareness of some of the key advanced areas of debate within geography.
  • Students should have a broad perspective on geography as a discipline.
  • Students should understand how their own research fits into the wider array of theoretical frameworks within geography.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should understand how research practice is informed by theory and philosophy of geography.
  • Students should have an awareness of the limits and possibilities of their research in relation to the wider discipline of geography.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to develop critical thinking.
  • Students should be able to develop argument skills.

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

  • The module is delivered by a combination of staff-led and student-led sessions through presentations and small discussion groups. The module involves human geographers from Durham and Newcastle Geography departments. The autumn workshop takes place over two days and is organised around a series of themed presentations by staff, supervised reading sessions with small groups of students, and debate in larger groups. Staff give guidance on relative theoretical and philosophical debates and students are expected to contribute orally. The autumn workshop considers the range of different geographical imaginations which academic geographers encounter, doing research in 'other' places and the problems which research practice/fieldwork throws up, and the nature of knowledge construction in geography. The spring session also takes place over two days and takes the form of student presentations which are assessed formatively. Students are expected to demonstrate their critical thinking and show how their research practice is situated is informed by a clear theoretical framework. Summative assessment for MARM students takes the form of a written critical review of a key text in which the students are expected to demonstrate a critical understanding of an advanced debate.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Workshops 2 1 per term 14 28
Preparation & Reading 122
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment - critical review of key text from within the student's sub-discipline. 1000 words 100% Yes
Component: Oral Presentation Component Weighting: 50%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Oral Presentation 10 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

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