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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3605 Physical Geography Dissertation

40 creditsClass Size: 400

Module manager: Dr Alan Grainger

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

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

GEOG2095 OR GEOG2117


GEOG2095Skills for Physical Geographers
GEOG2117Research project and skills in physical geography (geography

This module is not approved as a discovery module


Students should achieve the following
- develop a short research proposal
- undertake an independent piece of original research, analysis and writing
- present their research to a peer group
- learn to manage their own time and project to suit their needs and research programme
- successfully use techniques introduced in the programme in an applied manner
- demonstrate that they can produce a highly professional piece of work suitable for internal and external review.

Learning outcomes
On completion of the module, students will have successfully planned, implemented and written up an individual research project. They will develop a broad range of skills in the module including general communication, writing and roject management skills, as well as subject-specific skills that may include field work, lab work and various data analysis skills.

Skills outcomes
A Knowledge and Understanding
A1 The dynamic nature of geographical thought and practice and the inter-relationships within physical geography
A2 The diversity of global environments and the operation of, and inter-relationships between physical and biological systems over a wide- range of spatial and temporal scales
A3 Patterns and processes of environmental change and, potentially, their inter-relationships with human activities
A4 The theory and application of quantitative, visualisation and/or other spatial techniques across a wide range of geographical contexts

B Cognitive skills
B1 Abstraction and synthesis of information from a variety of sources
B2 Assessment and critical evaluation of the merits of contrasting theories, explanations, policies
B3 Critical analysis and interpretation of data and text
B4 Developing reasoned arguments
B5 Solving problems and making reasoned decisions

C Practical/professional skills
C1 Plan, design, execute and report geographical research both individually and as part of a team
C2 Undertake effective laboratory and field work (with due regard for safety and risk assessment)
C3 Employ a variety of technical and laboratory-based methods for the analysis and presentation of spatial and environmental information (e.g. GIS, water chemistry, etc)
C4 Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data
C5 Recognise the ethical issues involved in geographical debates and enquiries

D Key skills
D1 Learn in familiar and unfamiliar situations
D2 Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations)
D3 Apply appropriate analytical, numerical and/or computational skills to geographical information
D4 Use information technology effectively (including use of spreadsheet, database and word processing programmes; Internet and e-mail as required)
D5 Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange geographical information using a wide range of sources
D6 Work as part of a team and to recognise and respect the viewpoints of others
D7 Manage time and organise work effectively


Topic to be chosen in consultation with staff and approved by the module convenors

In February of Level 2 students will be assigned to Dissertation Support Groups (DSGs), consisting of approximately 8 students each led by a member of staff or a suitably qualified postdoctoral assistant with appropraite research interests/experience.

Full syllabus details are available in the module handbook, which can be found on the VLE.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Mentor input41.004.00
Private study hours393.00
Total Contact hours7.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)400.00

Private study

- 5 hours: peer group meeting
- 388 hours: independent study/research

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

- Mentors can monitor their students' progress through individual meetings as well as within group meetings of the DSG.
- Two interim reports (one in semester one and one in semester two both in level 3), are a crucial part of monitoring the student's progress and allows students to receive feedback on their progress so far. The interim reports are pass-to-progress.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation10,000 words100.00
ProjectFirst interim report (1,500 words)0.00
ProjectSecond interim report (1,500 words)0.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Work for this module is set in Level 2 (Semester 2, week 17). Completion of Health and Safety (including laboratory and field work related forms) form is pass to progress Interim reports are pass to progress.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 28/04/2023 14:56:06


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