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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5004M Professional and Personal Development

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Dr Luke Burns

Taught: 1 Mar to 31 May View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG5022MProfessional & Personal Development
GEOG5811MGIS in the Workplace (WUN)

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module aims to develop students’ technical skills through exposure to alternative software. The module responds to the changing landscape of industry by enabling students to make use of software packages currently used by leading organisations. It achieves this primarily through hands-on computer practical tasks with an ongoing emphasis on professional development. This module will provide students with both a working and critical understanding of how such packages work, their respective pros/cons and how they can be applied more widely. Students will also be introduced to the research process with a view to developing their own research ideas and considering how these may be explored. The latter aims to prompt early dissertation preparation.


This module seeks to:

- Enhance student technical skillsets by widening experience of in-demand GIS and other software packages, beyond ArcGIS.

- Provide an opportunity for students to learn a range different spatial and statistical techniques and apply these in different software environments.

- Provide an opportunity for students to independently carry out and critically evaluate spatial and statistical analyses as well as various software packages.

- Develop awareness of the research process and how research is conducted, specifically: research rationale, literature scoping and research design.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will:

1. Have practical experience of using several software packages and applying quantitative techniques to different datasets.

2. Be able to navigate and evidence competency when using software and data at the fore of contemporary industry.

3. Be able to evidence technical abilities that stretch beyond traditional GIS and spatial analysis skills/software.

4. Appreciate the process through which research ideas are developed and carried through to publication.


1. The importance of professional development.

2. Students will learn and develop skills in a selection of software packages. Taught software packages will vary based on industry demand, licencing, availability, staffing etc.

3. Critical reflection and professional development appraisal.

4. Undertaking research: The important stages.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Supervision Meetings81.008.00
Discussion forum82.0016.00
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, following detailed software learning guides, independent practical work and researching/undertaking module assessments and related tasks.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided during practical activities whereby students will be encouraged to post outputs to devoted unit-by-unit discussion boards. This will allow for peer critique in addition to staff comments. Note that the outputs requested here will differ from those required as part of the summative assessment.

The module leader will also be on hand to provide support (email / Skype / discussion board / Collaborate Ultra) during the software learning stages, in advance of assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Practical3 x outputs from: three software tasks (25% per output), each taught over two weeks)75.00
Oral PresentationResearch design video pitch25.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Students will be required to learn three software packages (likely from scratch) and demonstrate an appreciation of the research process. Each task will be taught over a two-week period, thus occupying the full eight weeks of the module. A detailed guide will be provided for each of the 4 units, with an assessed task for each.

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 31/05/2023 16:25:01


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