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GEO3099 : Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s): Professor Simon Tate
  • Owning School: Geography, Politics & Sociology
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 30
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 20.0


1.       To allow students to undertake original research in any aspect of Geography
2.       To foster an ability to undertake independent research and writing to see a complex project through from start to finish.

Outline Of Syllabus

Semester 1

Individual Progress Review I

On return to University, you will meet with your mentor for your first 1-to-1 progress review meeting. This meeting will your review data collection over the summer and revise your DRP ideas.

Individual Progress Review II
You will meet with your mentor for your mid-term 1-to-1 meeting to check on progress and next steps

Mid-semester 1: lectures on analyzing data in human and physical geography

Mid-semester 1: lectures on writing a human and physical geography dissertation

Mid-semester 1: computer workshops to support those doing quantitative and GIS-based dissertations.

Individual Group Progress Review III
You will meet with your mentor for your end-of-term group meeting to check on progress and next steps. This meeting will also discuss the draft chapter, which students submit for formative feedback in January.

Submit draft chapter for formative feedback at end of semester 1.

Review III
You will meet with your mentor for your 1-to-1 meeting to offer feedback on draft chapter.

Mid-semester 2: Submit final dissertation

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture102:0020:00pre-recorded and delivered online.
Structured Guided LearningStructured research and reading activities102:0020:00To support lectures
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision51:005:00Note that this is the minimum required to check progress. PiP.
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1355:00355:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is taught through a mixture of lectures, seminars, individual meetings and computer workshops The lectures provide the basic scaffolding about the dissertation project (eg how to analyse data, how to write-up the various chapters of a dissertation). These are delivered in a pre-recorded online format. Students support this delivery as projects progress at very different rates and the ability to watch a lecture when needed increases the relevance of the content. Individual meetings with mentors are PiP and provide the bespoke guidance students need to develop their project. Computer workshops provide bespoke support for those undertaking and quantitative and GIS-based dissertation, as student feedback in recent years has indicted that this extra support is needed. Overall, contact hours are set to balance support with the requirements of an independent project. In line with the requirement for independent learning, students will also be encouraged to recognize when they need additional support and contact staff.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation2M10010,000 words max length
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Essay1MDraft chapter of dissertation 0% weighted (formative feedback only)
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The Dissertation project is the summation of the student's efforts in undertaking an original research project of their own conception and design. The Dissertation will demonstrate how the students have formulated their research topic, situated them in the appropriate literature, developed a conceptual framework and methodology, undertaken research, analysed, interpreted and discussed findings, drawn conclusions and delivered a well-written, well- presented report to the appropriate academic standard. In line with the ethos of balancing support and independent learning, the draft chapter submission offers formative feedback to students, which will feed-forward to improve their final dissertation.

Reading Lists