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2023/24 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG3675 Geographical Research Opportunities

20 creditsClass Size: 25

Module manager: Paul Morris

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

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Level 2 average mark of at least 60% in Geography

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG3665Professional Work Placement

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module provides students with an opportunity to experience, and to contribute directly to, the cutting-edge research conducted in the School of Geography. Students spend a year working closely with a member of academic staff on a genuine research topic, which, unlike the student-led dissertation, is designed by the supervisor. Topics may range across the entire spectrum of research conducted within the School of Geography, and are negotiated on an individual basis between students and supervisors. Students interested in this module should make contact in advance with members of staff whom they may wish to work with, to discuss potential topics. Bi-weekly supervision meetings help to guide students through the task, and facilitate the development of topic-specific research skills and knowledge. By the end of the module, students should have made a valuable contribution to the research activity of the School of Geography, and they should have gained an insight into what it is like to work in academic research. This module is particularly suitable for those students considering studying for a research degree (e.g., MA or MSc by Research, PhD) after their undergraduate studies, and/or those considering a career in research.


On completion of this module, a student should have:
1. gained knowledge of the intellectual and methodological basis of a particular research question, as practised by academic researchers;
2. undertaken a substantive piece of research, guided by a suitable academic supervisor;
3. developed an informed basis from which to decide whether to pursue a career in research through study for a higher degree; and
4. gained insights into, and skills associated with, the conduct of a research project and the presentation of research results to an appropriate audience.

Skills outcomes
A Knowledge and Understanding
A1 The dynamic nature of geographical thought and practice and the inter-relationships between the discipline and the physical and natural sciences, the social sciences and humanities

Plus relevant items from list A2-A10, according to research placement topic

B Cognitive skills
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
C4 Collect, interpret and synthesise different types of quantitative and qualitative geographical data
C5 Recognise the ethical issues involved in geographical debates and enquiries

Plus where relevant to specific research placement topics
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)

D Key skills
D1 Learn in familiar and unfamiliar situations
D2 Communicate effectively (in writing, verbally and through graphical presentations)
D4 Use information technology effectively (including use of spreadsheet, database and word processing programmes; Internet and e-mail)
D5 Identify, retrieve, sort and exchange geographical information using a wide range of sources
D7 Manage time and organise work effectively
Plus where relevant to specific research placement topics
D3 Apply numerical and computational skills to geographical information


Semester 1:
(a) Initial engagement with Supervisor on a research project, and commencement of associated research work. Initial presentation of research agenda to student peer group and module managers.

Semester 2:
(b) Completion of research project or students component of larger project; production of final research report and presentation to relevant research/peer group.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Supervision Meetings101.0010.00
Private study hours186.00
Total Contact hours14.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

- Teaching methods are flexible and will be tailored to meet the needs of individual students undertaking specific research placement
Projects, and the needs of individual faculty research projects.
- There will be a common element of individual training and supervision, combined with independent study.
- Students will devote time to a bespoke set of tasks common to research projects, depending on the type, stage and purpose of the
supervisor┬┐s project. This may include bibliographical research, data collection and analysis, writing up research results. The specific
nature of these activities and the balance between them will vary between individual topics and students.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Students meet regularly with individual academic mentors and engage with other academic staff through participation in research cluster meetings.

The module managers also convene group meetings at the beginning and end of term 1 to ensure that students are receiving appropriate supervisory support and are suitably advanced in the development of their research.

Students receive written feedback on the research proposal submitted at the start of Semester 2.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Poster Presentation1 PowerPoint slide20.00
Report3,500 words80.00
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: 28/04/2023 14:56:06


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