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CEG3701 : Residential GIS Fieldcourse

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Alistair Ford
  • Co-Module Leader: Professor Stuart Barr
  • Lecturer: Dr Craig Robson
  • Owning School: Engineering
  • Teaching Location: Mixed Location

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

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0
European Credit Transfer System


The aims of the module are:-

1.       To give the student advanced first - hand experience of the GIS flowline from collection, representation, analysis through to presentation
2.       To build on their existing skills in these areas studied in stage 2 and consolidate the learning within a practical environment
3.       To allow the student to develop, more fully, the links between literature and theoretical based knowledge and field - based reality. This will help to develop a realistic and critical perspective on the practicalities and limitations of field research.
4.       To introduce core themes and technologies that will be expanded upon in their stage 3 studies.
5.       To further enhance group based working and core presentation skills, and prepare them for their dissertation study.

Two introductory lectures will take place to familiarise the students with the study area and the working practices and goals of the course. From the duration of the course, two days will be devoted to data collection, a further 3 days will be utilised in data validation and analysis. Two days will be used for data presentation. The final day will be utilised in completing written and oral reports.
This fieldcourse will be subsidised by the School, although a minimised cost, of the order of £200, will be payable by each student for this course.

(external factors may require that the course be run in a non residential manner from Newcastle)

Outline Of Syllabus

A fieldcourse in the UK to be held around the commencement time of Stage 3 studies. The course will integrate the material introduced in Stages 1 and 2 to real world geospatial problems, particularly from the perspective of terrain analysis, precise GNSS data collection, hydrological analysis, remote sensing, image classification, and 3D visualisation. This will be achieved through a mixture of lectures and workshops on the fieldcourse itself, but mainly through practical application of data collection in the field. The fieldwork will consist of a series of tasks that form an integrated practical GIS exercise.

The use of GIS analysis and remote sensing data processing will be compared and contrasted for application to DEM generation for water flow analysis including precise control, data capture and accuracy assessment, illustrating their complementarity and the role and importance of transformations or datums, terrain interpolation, data collection methodologies, and image classification algorithms. Students will have the opportunity to develop practical field -based skills, be introduced to new technologies and analytical techniques and be able to plan and structure their activities as a group.

The course will highlight practical problems and issues faced by geospatial professionals when designing, collecting and analysing field data. It will highlight real-world solutions and workarounds that give a flavour of the imperfectness and reality of data collection and analysis, outside the confines of academia.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture31:003:00PiP or online synchronous as appropriate
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion94:0036:00group work
Structured Guided LearningAcademic skills activities72:0014:00In-person/online help sessions
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching12:002:00Group Presentations
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops12:002:00PIP on campus, computing practical
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork66:0036:00Fieldwork in the locality
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1107:00107:00Carrying-out self-guided fieldwork and tasks
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
CEG3702Residential Survey Fieldcourse
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

1.       Lectures introduce, develop and illustrate the study area and the existing available data and its shortcomings
2.       Fieldwork provides opportunities for student- led design and planning of the spatial data flowline as teams of 3-4 students. Training in fieldwork techniques and selection of suitable processes and analytical techniques and assistance in project design will be available from staff.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M50formal written individual reflective summary and report (1000 words).
Written exercise1M50A formal written report from the group (2500 words with calculations and results summary).
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 Presentation1MA group presentation of proposed methodology and field site given during the fieldcourse.
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

1. Coursework provides an opportunity to (i) synthesize, interpret and critically evaluate a range of literature and primary and secondary data concerning spatial data handling in the study area within the context of the tasks set and (ii) demonstrate the capacity to communicate concisely and effectively in writing and through graphical presentations and to report scientific research in an appropriate manner. The coursework is presented through a formal written group report critiquing the data, analytical and representational techniques applied and an individual report focusing on a critique of the methodologies applied during the exercise.

2. Field presentation provide an opportunity, within the context of group exercises, to present the initial results of fieldwork, the context of the projects and to reflect on the developments and execution of small-scale research projects conducted in unfamiliar surroundings.

Project work to be marked and scaled individually according to staff and peer assessment of respective inputs. The presentation will be assessed by staff.

Reading Lists