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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5995M Programming for Social Science: Core Skills

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Andy Turner

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG5990MProgramming for Geographical Information Analysis: Core Skil
GEOG5991MProgramming for Geographical Information Analysis (WUN): Cor

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module provides foundation level skills in computer programming. It introduces different types of programming and software development practice in general and in a geographical context. It encourages sustainable software development through: the application of software licences; the production of well documented source code; software testing; version control; and the production of user documentation. It is based on the development of software for geographical data processing and visualisation in a series of supported practical exercises.


On completion of this module, students should have:
- A clear understanding of sustainable software development practice.
- Awareness of common issues in computer programming and in developing software.
- Awareness of useful resources for developing software.
- Practiced developing well tested, well documented source code and delivering a package of software.

Learning outcomes
Foundation level computer programming.
Practical skills in sustainable software development.

Skills outcomes
- Abstraction and synthesis of information from a variety of sources.
- Solving problems and making reasoned decisions.
- Plan, design, execute and report research.
- Undertake effective analysis work.
- Employ a variety of technical methods for the analysis and presentation of spatial and environmental information.
- Apply numerical and computational skills to data.
Use information technology effectively.


- Introduction to computer programming.
- Variables and scripting.
- Flow control and procedures.
- Data input
- Data processing
- Data visualisation
- Interfacing with GIS software.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning13.003.00
Independent online learning hours21.00
Private study hours91.00
Total Contact hours38.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Students will be given structured online learning materials that supplement the course in a variety of areas of interest to their research. As part of their project for the module, they will be expected to work through at least one set of materials.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The practical components will build up software which will be assessed in portfolio form. The projects will be set during the week long teaching period, and then three weeks later will be formatively assessed for progress during a half-day workshop. The final project will be due in some five weeks after this.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Project2,500 word equivalent70.00
PortfolioPortfolio of practical work (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

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 07/09/2020


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