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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2021/2022

Teaching & Learning Hours

Every module outline includes a summary of the teaching and learning hours associated with that module under the Teaching methods and learning hours header. This enables you to see the number and duration of core teaching activities (e.g. lectures and seminars), and expectations around preparation and self-directed study, for each of your modules.

Our modules also include a summary of planned formative and summative Assessments, outlining whether you will need to complete coursework, examinations (which may be physical or online), project work or any of our other assessment types.

Teaching & Learning in 2021-22

We are currently planning a high-quality residential experience, including substantial in-person teaching and learning, for academic year 2021-22. Our priority will be to deliver an exceptional student experience whilst ensuring that we minimise transmission of Covid-19 on campus. We’ll act in accordance with the latest UK Government mandates and guidelines and monitor the virus level closely, both on campus and in our locality, so we can respond quickly to any changes and put in place additional measures as necessary. Our commitment to the health and safety of our community means that if we need to vary planned teaching methods to protect our students and staff we will look to do so.

In practice, as in any year, some module content may be delivered digitially (for example, to accomodate large numbers of students who would otherwise not fit within a lecture class), and if social distance restrictions are brought in, or if we need to take action to protect students and staff, we will consider moving content online, in line with government and other relevant guidance, as necessary. We may need to make some variations for planned laboratory classes (for example, changing our approach to lab partners) for health and safety reasons. Some planned field trips may not be able to go ahead, or the location of fieldtrips or field work may change in light of national or international travel restrictions (for example, we may move fieldtrips from one country to another, move locally, or offer an online version). Our departments will keep you informed of any changes that prove necessary during the coming year.

Where possible, we will seek to offer online provision for students unable to travel to the University for health reasons or due to travel restrictions on a termly basis. The process for requesting online only study - and a list of accredited and/or practical programmes where online study is not feasible - can be found in our Student FAQs.

We will review our plans throughout the year, and if conditions and guidelines change, we will adapt and respond.

Teaching & Learning in 2020-21

In 2020-21, teaching and learning activities will be delivered on a blended basis, with all programmes offering some face to face and some digital sessions. To ensure that you get the maximum benefit from in-person contact with lecturers, we have prioritised high-value interactions, for example discussion groups and workshops, for face to face delivery. You'll be able to see which classes will be available on a face to face or digital basis when the University timetable is published in the coming weeks.

In general terms, lectures and other larger group activities will be delivered digitally. These may be available as live (synchronous) and/or pre-recorded (asynchronous) sessions. Lectures will generally be asynchronous, and there may be some changes to published duration for asynchronous sessions, for example where sessions would typically otherwise be broken up with group discussion or activities. Teaching in smaller-group settings – such as seminars, tutorials and practicals will be delivered face to face on campus, where it is possible and can be done safely. Other small group teaching sessions will be available digitally.

In cases where staff may be shielding, seminars and other classes may also be delivered online. Wherever possible, there will be online provision for students unable to attend face to face sessions for health reasons.

We will review our plans throughout the year. As conditions and guidelines change, we will adapt and respond. If current social distance restrictions are increased, we will consider moving more content online, in line with government and other relevant guidance. If requirements are relaxed further, we will review the timetable to see if we can safely increase the amount of face to face teaching we can make available.