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2019/20 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

SOEE5493M Advanced Methods Training in the Environmental Social Sciences

Module manager: Dr Julia Steinberger

Taught: Semester 2 (Jan to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2019/20

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module is intended for Early Career Post Graduate Researchers embarking on study for PhD.It aims to ensure that PGR are fully equipped with specialist methodological knowledge. required for completion of the primary research. The skills learnt will be appropriate for the design of primary empirical research as part of PhD programme and for reporting in the first year transfer. The module will result in specific outputs for each student namely the production of a draft methodology for the primary research work to be done as part of the PhD thesis. This module is NOT assessed.


This module aims to introduce and guide PGRs from across the Faculty of Environment in the environmental social sciences through 3 separate advanced methods: spatial analysis, survey design and participatory research.

Learning outcomes
Knowledge outcomes will include methodological design and use, key references for methodology description and application, and a plan for the application of the methodology in individual research projects (PhD thesis).

Skills outcomes


The module will be run as a series of 3 short and fat workshops (2 days for each), each centering on one methodological approach. These workshops are not interdependent: the can be scheduled in any order, and the students can attend only one or all of them depending on their dissertation’s orientation.

The workshops will require preparatory work on the part of the PGRs, in terms of reading and preparing an outline of how they believe each research method could be applied to their PhD research: what kind of research questions it would answer, what kind of data would be required, what kind of analysis tools could be applied, and what kind of answer (result/outcome) could be obtained.

Each workshop will be run in 3 phases:
(1) A brief introduction to the method by the lecturer, followed by an open discussion with the PGRs regarding its potential for application in their dissertation research, based on their preparatory work.
(2) An intense application to a specific case prepared by the lecturer, providing the students with hands on experience of a condensed application of the method.
(3) An interactive session where the PGRs reflect and produce revised plans for application in their dissertation, and raise any further questions regarding this application: Identify strengths and weaknesses of the methods and specific challenges and any methodological advancement they may be contributing to.

The outcome will be for each PGR to have a better plan regarding their application of the method to their research interests and questions, including further readings, potential pitfalls and possible areas of specialised method application.

Teaching methods

Due to COVID-19, teaching and assessment activities are being kept under review - see module enrolment pages for information

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours0.00
Total Contact hours30.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)30.00

Private study

Reading and preparation for taught sessions.

Reading list

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 15/05/2017


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