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2017/18 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3601 Dissertation (Concise)

20 creditsClass Size: 60

Module manager: Dr Martin Purvis

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 View Timetable

Year running 2017/18

Pre-requisite qualifications

GEOG2561 and GEOG2761 or equivalent


GEOG2561Research Methods: Ideas and Practice in Human Geography
GEOG2761Research Methods in Human Geography

This module is mutually exclusive with


This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is designed for students who wish to undertake a focused programme of original research, leading to the production of a dissertation which resembles a paper in an academic journal in length and format. Working with an academic supervisor, students will define, execute and write up an independent piece of research.


Students who have successfully completed the module will present a dissertation which demonstrates their ability to:
- develop a research proposal of an appropriate scale and ambition;
- undertake a focused piece of original research and analysis, applying research techniques to which they have been introduced by the wider content of their academic programme;
- write-up their research and present it professionally in the format of a paper in an academic journal;
- manage their own time and project to ensure efficient and effective delivery.

Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes will be specific to each individual research project; students will, however, gain insights into many of the following:
- The dynamic nature of geographical thought and practice, and inter-relationships between the discipline and the social sciences/ humanities and/or the physical and natural sciences;
- Spatial patterns and relationships in human and/or natural phenomena;
- The geography of places and their constitution by environmental, economic, social, cultural and political processes, and the influence of places on these processes;
- The contribution of geography to the development of environmental, political, economic, social and cultural agendas, policies and practices

- The abstraction and synthesis of information from a variety of sources;
- The assessment and critical evaluation of contrasting theories, explanations and policies;
- The critical analysis and interpretation of data and text;
- The development of reasoned arguments;
- Solving problems and making reasoned decisions.

- The design, planning and execution of geographical research;
- The execution of a programme of bibliographical research and the identification of potential data sources;
- The undertaking of effective field and/or laboratory work – with due regard for safety and risk assessment;
- The collection, interpretation and synthesis of quantitative and/or qualitative data;
- The selection and use of appropriate methods for the analysis and presentation of information;
- Effective communication and presentation (in writing, verbally and through the use of graphics);
- Effective work organisation and time management.


Students will develop their own individual research proposal in consultation with staff, and as approved by the module leader.
Students will be assigned to Dissertation Support Groups (specific to this module) led by a member of staff, who will provide supervisory support at key stages in the development of the research.
A fuller description of the format of the dissertation and key stages in its formulation, development and delivery will be outlined in the module handbook.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Supervision Meetings21.002.00
Mentor input41.004.00
Private study hours193.00
Total Contact hours7.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

5 x 1 hour – peer-group meeting of Dissertation Support Group
188 hours – independent study/research

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored through regular contact (as individuals and as members of a Dissertation Support Group) with the academic supervisor. Meetings (in weeks 1, 3, 7, 9, 14 and 16) are positioned to reflect key stages in the development of the dissertation.
Students also produce two interim reports (submitted in weeks 5 and 15) which detail their progress to date; feedback on these reports is central to supervisory meetings in weeks 7 and 16. The interim reports are pass to progress.
Students are also required to complete a satisfactory Health and Safety form – reviewed by their supervisor and the module leader.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation6,000 words100.00
ProjectFirst interim report (1,500 words)0.00
ProjectSecond interim report (1,500 words)0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

The first and second interim reports are both 'pass-to-progress'.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 23/03/2016


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