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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5007M Geodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Paul Norman

Taught: 1 Mar to 31 May View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students should have completed the PGCert year of the programme before attempting this module, or be able to evidence equivalent prior learning through other educational programmes or work experience.

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG5191MGeodemographics and Database Marketing (WUN)
GEOG5255MGeodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

Area characteristics about neighbourhoods have widespread use in analyses which inform policy decision making in public (local and national government), and private (commercial) organisations as well as the third sector (charities). Area characteristics are also linked to individual level data to determine variations in health and educational application, for example.On this module, students will learn how to construct a variety of area measures and methods to incorporate these in analyses. The knowledge and skills involved are highly useful in many career settings including academic, public, private and third sector settings.


This module equips students to analyse and use area (neighbourhood) characteristics to underpin decision making (local planning, policy evaluation, marketing etc). A range of measures are introduced and applied at the small-area level (urban/health research), urban-rural classifications (environmental, planning and social science applications) and geodemographics (business and marketing). Students will consider:
1. Sources of census, admin and commercial data for measuring area characteristics
2. How to devise small-area indicators (from a theoretical and applied perspective)
3. How to use these indicators in a variety of applications
The module is taught using hands-on practical activities and accompanying reading and private study.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Identify and critique appropriate census, administrative, survey and commercial data sources for measuring area characteristics.
2. Apply data reduction techniques to generate indicators of area type and appreciate their applications.
3. Construct, test, evaluate and apply geodemographic classifications at the area level, and relate these to lifestyles and purchasing behaviours.
4. Appreciate: ethical and confidentiality constraints when working with individual and small-area data; conceptual issues of scale including MAUP and ecological fallacy.


An indicative syllabus for this module is show below:

1. Overview of data sources (census, admin, commercial, survey) and data reduction (multivariate to single indicator). Creation of measures of deprivation and their application in health research. Definitions of small area geographies, their pros and cons.
2. Introduction to administrative data and large scale surveys, admin data as a tool for measuring neighbourhood characteristics. Urban-rural classification.
3. Introduction to geodemographics, creating geodemographic classifications using k-means.
4. Applications of geodemographics, individual level classifications, ‘future’ geodemographics and novel data sources.
5. Individual records attached to area types; confidentiality risks. Assessing individual outcomes relative to area type.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Discussion forum82.0016.00
Individual Support81.008.00
Independent online learning hours48.00
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study and online learning includes directed and independent wider reading, independent practical work and researching/undertaking module assessments and related tasks.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided via discussion boards where students are encouraged to post questions, comments, practical outputs etc. Note that the outputs requested here will differ from those required as part of the summative portfolio.
The module leader will also provide support via email and Skype/Collaborate Ultra during the learning stages, in advance of assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportProject report (2,500 word equivalent)70.00
PortfolioWeekly outputs from practicals (1,500 word equivalent)30.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 05/08/2020 17:04:15


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