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GEO2125 : Fieldwork at Home

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Rachel Woodward
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


This module aims to provide a critical understanding of the place of fieldwork in geography and, by means of practical fieldwork, an understanding of a key geographical issue in the north east of England. It provides an option for accessible, local, non-residential fieldwork, challenges students to think about the theory and practice of doing fieldwork ‘at home’, and offers an opportunity for an in-depth engagement with the geography of our home region, the north east of England.

Students will work with staff and peers to identify an issue suitable to be explored by practical fieldwork and work to develop a plan for fieldwork to be carried out under the supervision of a member of staff during a ‘field week’ in the Easter vacation.

As with all fieldwork modules, this module will demand considerable independent learning, critical thinking, planning and will enable students to understand the value and purpose of fieldwork in the geography curriculum.

Outline Of Syllabus

1. Introductory lectures and seminars (start of semester 2: 2 x 2 hours = 4 hours)
-       The place of fieldwork
-       What is ‘the field’?
-       North East geographies
-       Doing fieldwork
2. Planning seminars and tutorials (semester 2: 4 hours)
-       4 small-group and/or one-to-one meetings with relevant staff members to plan and develop fieldwork
3. Field work (Easter vacation – 5 7-hour days: 35 hours)
- meetings, archival work, site visits, observations, practical work, interviews, etc. as appropriate

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture22:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching41:004:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork135:0035:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1157:00157:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The introductory lectures place the planned fieldwork in both conceptual and empirical context, allowing students to understand the value and purpose of fieldwork and begin to plan their own work. The small group teaching supports students’ independent learning, providing a structure for the planning of their fieldwork. The ‘field week’ forms the primary focus of the module, giving students the opportunity to develop both fieldwork skills and substantive knowledge.

Assessment Methods

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

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Oral Presentation202M20Presentation to peers during fieldcourse. Arranged by School.
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M20Fieldwork Plan: 800 words
Written exercise2M60Fieldwork Report: 2400 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The plan and presentation structure 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.

Reading Lists