Module Catalogue 2024/25

GEO2125 : UK field course research project

GEO2125 : UK field course research project

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Rachel Woodward
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System

Modules you must have done previously to study this module

Pre Requisite Comment



Modules you need to take at the same time

Code Title
GEO2043Key Methods for Human Geographers
GEO2137Key Methods for Physical Geographers
Co Requisite Comment

Stage 2 students must be registered on EITHER GEO2043 Key Methods for Human Geographers OR GEO2137 Key Methods for Physical Geographers in the academic year in which they take this module.


The aim of the UK Fieldwork Research module is to provide an opportunity for structured learning involving UK fieldwork in Geography, for students who prefer not to take a module requiring a residential fieldcourse involving significant travel. It is available to any student who has the necessary co-requisites. Fieldwork will be undertaken during the Easter vacation.

The module provides:

1. A critical understanding of the place of fieldwork in the discipline of Geography.

2. Structured learning to support:

a) the identification of a specific geographical issue or question for investigation via fieldwork;

b) the identification of appropriate fieldwork techniques or methods to be used, including equipment;

c) assessment and undertaking of pre-fieldwork preparation, including Health & Safety, risk assessment and assessment of ethical issues;

d) undertaking of fieldwork, including the collection of data necessary for the assessment.

3. Assessment through a pre-fieldwork plan and a post-fieldwork report.

Fieldwork for this module may not be undertaken outside the UK. Fieldwork will self-directed and self-led by the student, following the advice of the module leader. The type of fieldwork to be undertaken will depend on the topic chosen for investigation, but may include creative practice, observational work, ethnographic observation, interviews or site visits.

Outline Of Syllabus

Sessions 1-6 to be delivered in one-to-one or small group meetings (2 hours per session), as required by student numbers on the module. The content will be closely aligned to the research and fieldwork intentions of students taking the module.

1. Introduction: Geography and fieldwork

2. Traditions, practices and ethics of fieldwork

3. Choosing fieldwork strategies

4. Planning and preparation for fieldwork I (where, when, why)

5. Planning and preparation for fieldwork II (Health & Safety, risk, ethics)

6. Planning and preparation for fieldwork III (practicalities, accesibility and logistics)

7. Fieldwork: 35 hours across one or more weeks during the Easter vacation

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

1. A critical understanding of the role of fieldwork in understanding a specific geographical issue in the UK, including the possibilities and limits for data collection.

2. A critical understanding of ‘the field’ and its relationship to library, lecture and laboratory-based learning.

3. Knowledge and understanding of the importance of health & safety, risk assessment, and ethical issues, as they pertain to fieldwork.

Intended Skill Outcomes

Ability to work on own initiative and identify a key geographical issue suitable to be explored by means of practical field work

Ability to design a fieldwork plan and schedule relevant field activities

Ability to plan fieldwork to gain access to and information from experts, field visits and other sources

Ability to discuss field observations with peers and staff

Ability to connect field observations to academic literatures

Ability to consider and plan for appropriate health & safety, assessment of risk, and ethical conduct in fieldwork

Ability to reflect on learning in the field

Ability to produce fieldwork report

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching62:0012:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork135:0035:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1153:00153:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The 6 x 2hr small group teaching sessions will provide the conceptual and practical learning necessary for the successful execution of fieldwork. These sessions will be tailored to the students enrolled on the module, and in line with their specific requirements when undertaking non-residential UK fieldwork on their chosen topic.
The fieldwork itself is the primary focus of the module, giving students the opportunity to develop both fieldwork skills and substantive knowledge. Independent study prior to the fieldwork will be used for planning (which is assessed), and post-fieldwork will be used to write up the report which will constitute the remainder of the assessment.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M20Fieldwork Plan: 800 words
Written exercise2M80Fieldwork Report: 3000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Fieldwork Plan structures the students’ learning as they develop and plan their fieldwork, ensuring that they are meeting the interim learning outcomes and are prepared for practical fieldwork. The fieldwork report will assess the students’ ability to develop, plan and execute fieldwork at home and to reflect on fieldwork as a form of geographical learning. Together the assessments enable the students to demonstrate their achievement of both the knowledge and skill outcomes.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


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The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2024 academic year.

In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described.

Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2025/26 entry will be published here in early-April 2025. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.