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GEO2127 : Doing Physical Geography Research: Theory and Practice

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To further develop the skills acquired in GEO1096: Geographical Study Skills, to focus specifically on preparing for the dissertation (GEO3099)

To complement and support GEO2137: Key Methods for Physical Geographers

To explore the discipline of physical geography, including its academic history and scientific framework

To enable students to develop a physical geography dissertation research proposal

To explore the links between key skills (those required for a degree) and transferable skills (those required for subsequent careers)

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester 1:

Introduction to Geo2127

Changing approaches to the study of geography

Approaching research in physical geography

The Scientific Method, and it’s application in Physical Geography research

Primary data collection in physical geography

Introduction to the physical geography laboratories

Using secondary data in physical geography

Thinking about your dissertation ideas

Semester 2:

Introducing your DRP

How to write a literature review

Developing a research question

Making your dissertation work for you

Identifying theories, concepts and models

Dissertation conference

Risk Assessments and Ethics

Identifying viable research methods

Individual meeting with mentor

The first steps with your dissertation

Individual meetings with mentor

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture12:002:00Dissertation conference
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion158:0058:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture151:0015:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesPractical22:004:00Staff involved will be module leader
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching91:009:004:00hrs will be seminars led by TA's, 5:00hrs will be tutorials led by academic staff
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1110:00110:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, practicals and tutorials in order to meet the learning outcomes. The semester 1 lectures and related seminars and practicals enable students to develop a working knowledge of key ideas relevant to undertaking geographical research, whilst the semester 2 Lectures and tutorials introduce students to the process of developing geographical research and enables them to develop their own specific dissertation research proposals. This mix of teaching enables all components of independent research theory and practice to be introduced, and allows students the time and space to develop their own research proposals building on content from this and other stage 2 modules.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M401,750 word essay based on first 8 lectures of module
Research proposal2M602,400 word Dissertation Research Proposal
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first assessment assesses students’ knowledge of key geographical theories and concepts. This is a necessary set of knowledge to enable the Stage 3 Dissertation to be undertaken successfully. The second assessment – the Dissertation Research Proposal, assesses students’ knowledge, understanding and ability to plan the research process.

Reading Lists