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GEO8015 : Doing Geographical Research

  • Offered for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Alison Stenning
  • 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 1 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 5.0
European Credit Transfer System


•       To enable the student to produce a coherent and viable research dissertation proposal in human geography.
•       To enable the student to place their research proposal within the wider research debates and literature of human geography.
•       To enable collaborative learning and presentation opportunities.
•       To develop student awareness of the wider practice of geographical research, including the application of research methodologies and techniques, the use of academic research in wider academic contexts and the dissemination of research findings.
•       To expand student knowledge of research and funding cultures and environments beyond the academy, including the private, public and voluntary sectors, and to develop student awareness of research dissemination issues.

The module engages the students in a variety of the research-based teaching and learning activities in the School of Geography, Politics and Sociology. The primary aim of the module is to help students develop a viable dissertation proposal, and to do this within the context of teaching and learning about wider practices in human geography research. Students will attend the Geography Research Seminar Series involving a combination of internal and external speakers. In Semester 2, detailed development of the Research Dissertation Proposal is assisted through Research Dissertation Proposal Workshops. In Semester 1, students attend Geographical Imaginations Part I which is a one day postgraduate training event. In Semester 2, students attend Geographical Imaginations Part II which is a one day postgraduate training event where students present their Research Dissertation Proposal to a group of peers.

Assessment of this module is through a written commentary on the Geography Research Seminar Series and an assessed presentation of the dissertation proposal at Geographical Imaginations.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Participation in Geography Research Seminar Series, Semesters 1 and 2.
2. Participation in Geographical Imaginations workshops, Semesters 1 and 2.
3. Two research proposal workshops, Semesters 1 and 2, leading to the production of a dissertation proposal.
4. Individual tutorial with Degree Programme Director, Semester 1, to discuss dissertation preparation issues.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching61:006:00Seminars - PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops23:006:00PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery61:006:00Departmental seminars - PiP
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Drop-in surgery hour - PiP
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study181:0081:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module will facilitate student preparation for the dissertation (GEO8089).

Seminars will help students structure their thinking around the dissertation in terms of identifying a suitable topic or theme for research, identifying relevant literatures and conceptual approaches, identifying suitable methodologies and data, and identifying suitable analytic frameworks for data analysis. Drop in sessions will help students think through the dissertation planning and preparation process. Two workshops - one on methodological issues and another based on student-led assessed presentations will further solidify their research training.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation151M50Powerpoint presentation of Research dissertation at Geographical Imaginations. To be scheduled by School.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M502,000 word written commentary on approved University seminars
Formative Assessments

Formative Assessment is an assessment which develops your skills in being assessed, allows for you to receive feedback, and prepares you for being assessed. However, it does not count to your final mark.

Description Semester When Set Comment
Oral Presentation1MGroup poster presentation at Geographical Imaginations event
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The PowerPoint presentation will assess comprehension of the research planning process and practice, and oral communication skills.

The written assessment will assess understanding of the research planning process and written communication skills.

Reading Lists