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2018/19 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG2762 Research in Human Geography: Ideas, Methods and Tutorial

10 creditsClass Size: 20

Module manager: Dr Stuart Hodkinson

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

Year running 2018/19

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG2561Research Methods: Ideas and Practice in Human Geography

This module is not approved as a discovery module


This module strives to provide students with:
- a maturing understanding of the core ideas underpinning human geography and the ability to argue coherently on geographical topics
- skills in critical reading and reviewing
- knowledge of the respective strengths and weaknesses of different approaches to conducting research in human geography and the social sciences
- an awareness of key principles in research in human geography, paying particular attention to one of the following: social data, GIS and spatial analysis, and qualitative research methods
- confidence in putting methods of data collection and analysis into practice, paying particular attention to one of the following: social data, GIS and spatial analysis, and qualitative research methods
- advanced skills for writing up and evidencing geographical research effectively
- the ability to develop a proposal for a conceptually grounded piece of geographical research.

Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes comprise:
NB students will normally take Strand D, plus ONE from Strands A, B or C.

A) Qualitative Research Methods Strand
1. Understanding of principles of qualitative research design;
2. Awareness of principles of data collection related to interview methods and participant observation;
3. Knowledge of techniques of strategies for analysing qualitative data;
4. Sensitivity to the particular ethical issues that can arise in qualitative research;
5. Awareness of a diversity of qualitative approaches;

B) Social Data Research Methods Strand
6. Understanding different types of numerical data and techniques for their analysis;
7. Developing skills in interpreting numerical data;
8. Understanding of different types of geographic and attribute data (and their sources);

C) GIS Research Methods Strand
9. Understanding of geographical information systems (GIS) and spatial analysis concepts;
10. Awareness of different functions of GIS and techniques for spatial analysis and when to apply them;
11. Confidence in using GIS and spatial analysis in geographical enquiry/dissertation work.

D) Final Year Project Strand:
12. Grounding in the analysis of geographical data that students might encounter;
13. Ability to formulate an independent research project;
14. Developing skills in compiling, summarising and critically analysing different literatures and data sources.

Skills outcomes
Use of techniques of data analysis in geography
- The use of Geographical Information Systems
- Methods of qualitative interviewing and other qualitative techniques within human geography and the social sciences


The module runs over semester 1 and semester 2. However, class contact time will be concentrated in either Semester 1, or Semester 2, depending on the strand which the student elects to follow.
Semester 1 focuses on Qualitative Research Design and Methods.
Lectures, seminars, practicals and tutorials will introduce students to:
1. Key methods and issues in qualitative research including: the rationales for using qualitative methods; principles of research design (such as site selection and sampling); research ethics; and techniques of data collection and analysis.
Semester 2 focuses on the development of writing and research design skills and Quantitative Research approaches
Lectures, seminars, practicals and tutorials will introduce students to:
3. Social Data OR GIS and Spatial Analysis including: numerical approaches to research; spatial data analysis and visualisation; data acquisition and mapping; and cartography.
4. Bibliographical search methods and accessing data sources.
5. Literature review writing skills
6. Skills related to the development of ideas for research and the understanding of the early stages of research planning.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours63.00
Total Contact hours37.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)100.00

Private study

Completion of assessment tasks; independent reading; initial bibliographical research to help frame and develop a project research proposal.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

In addition to formal assessments, student progress will be monitored through:
- Tutorial discussions with staff to gauge the general understanding of the main methods and concepts discussed in this module and assess progress over the 2 semesters.

- Practical/seminar sessions with staff to monitor students’ comprehension and ability to proceed with practical tasks and projects.

- Staff review of draft literature review plans, and summative assessment of 500 Final Year Project initiation form

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Literature ReviewReview of literature and evidence relating to Final Year Project topic: 1500 words60.00
PracticalONE from: a) Qualitative methods project – 1200 words equivalent, b) Data analysis exercise - 1200 words equivalent, c) GIS/spatial analysis portfolio - 1200 words equivalent40.00
Written WorkFinal Year Project Initiation Form. Outline of project choice and idea - 500 word formative only.0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Final Year Project Initiation Form is 'pass-to-progress'

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 19/09/2017


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