Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Research Skills in Human Geography
Academic Year
Semester 1 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive
Registration on the L700 degree scheme.
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Lecture 20 hours
Practical 20 hours
Lecture 10 hours


Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Semester 1: 3,000 word project essay addressing research techniques in human geography   20%
Semester Assessment Semester 1: Analysis of quantitative data workbook  20%
Semester Assessment Semester 2: GIS and Mapping workbook  20%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Seen exam on the conceptual frameworks in human geography  40%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission or retaking of all failed components. Marks for passed components will be carried forward in the recalculation of the overall mark.  60%
Supplementary Exam Resit exam  40%

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

Describe the dominant conceptual frameworks in human geography and identify the relevant types of qualitative and quantitative techniques that are associated with these.

Appreciate the advantages and limitations of a range of qualitative techniques in particular research settings.

Apply descriptive and inferential statistics to analyse quantitative data sets where appropriate.

Produce maps and graphic representations of geographical data, including the use of computer mapping, remotely sensed data and GIS.

Brief description

This module is designed to develop the practical skills of human geography students and equip them to undertake their own independent research project at the end of their second year. The module comprises 4 sections, each representing a distinct set of practical skills. The first section introduces students to the dominant conceptual frameworks used in human geography for the construction of research questions; this section is assessed via a seen exam (40% of the overall mark). The second section introduces students to research techniques in human geography, and is assessed via a project essay (20% of the overall mark). The third and fourth sections focus on the analysis of quantitative data and GIS and Mapping respectively. Both of these are assessed via project workbooks, each worth 20% of the overall mark.


The module is organized around 4 sections:

Section One: Conceptual Frameworks in Human Geography (10 classes over semesters one and two). Contents to include: Spatial Science; Humanism; Marxism and Radical Geography; Feminist Geographies; Postcolonial Geographies; Poststructural Geographies; More-than-Representational Geographies.

Section Two: Research skills in Human Geography (5 classes over semester one). Contents to include: Research Frameworks; Historical and Archival Sources; Questionnaires; Interviewing and Focus Groups; Transcribing Texts; Analyzing Texts.

Section Three: Analysis of Quantitative Data (5 classes over semester one). Contents include: Descriptive statistics; Inferential Statistics; Correlation; Regression.

Section Four: GIS and Mapping (5 classes over semester two). Contents include: Advanced Mapping and Time Series Data; Remote Sensing Image Display and Enhancement; GIS Maps; Graphs and Contour Plots; Map Production.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The use of statistical analysis, including descriptive statistics, quantifying sampling error and introductory inferential statistics.
Communication Demonstrated via written and graphic modes of presentation
Improving own Learning and Performance Independent reading
Information Technology Competency in using a variety of software as well as the internet for sources of information, computer mapping and word processing
Personal Development and Career planning Many of the skills developed are transferable to non-academic contexts and students are made aware of this wider applicability.
Problem solving Demonstrated via choosing of relevant conceptual frameworks and associated techniques for particular research context
Research skills Reading, thinking and writing skills demonstrated
Subject Specific Skills The acquisition, analysis and presentation of geographic data
Team work Team work and discussion wil be involved in some lectures

Reading List

Should Be Purchased
R.J Johnson, Derek Gregory, Geraldine Pratt and Micheal Watts (2000) The dictionary of human geography Blackwell: Oxford Primo search
Essential Reading
Agnew, J., Livingstone D., and Rogers, A. (1996) Human Geography: an essential anthology Blackwell: Oxford Primo search Chang, K. (2006) Introduction to GIS. Goodwill Primo search Clifford, N. J. and Valentine, G. (2010) Key Methods in Human Geography Sage: London Primo search Clifford, N.J. et al. (2009) Key concepts in Geography Sage: London Primo search Cloke, P. et al. (2004) Practising Human Geography. Sage: London Primo search Cloke, P., Philo C., and Sadler, D. (1991) Approaching human geography Paul Chapman: London Primo search Ebdon, D. (1978) Statistics in Geography: a Practical Approach. Blackwell, Oxford Primo search Johnston, R.J. (1991) Geography and Geographers: Anglo-American Human Geography since 1945 Edward Arnold: London Primo search Livingstone, D. (1992) The geographical tradition: episodes in the history of a contested entreprise Blackwell: Oxford Primo search Rogers, A. and Viles, H. (2003) The Student's Companion to Geography. Blackwell, Oxford Primo search Walford, N. (1995) Geographical Data Analysis. Wiley: Chichester Primo search
Recommended Text
Creswell, T. (2012) Geographic Thought: a critical introduction Wiley: London Primo search Gould, P. (1985) The Geographer at work Routledge Kegan Paul: London Primo search Harvey, D. (1989) The urban experience John Hopkins Press: Baltimore Primo search Kuhn, T. (1962) The Structure of Scientific Revolutions University of Chicago Press: Chicago Primo search Massey, D. (2001) Progress in human geography Geography on the agenda 25 (1) pp.5-17 Primo search Slater, D. (1978) Radical geography: alternative view points on contemporary social issues The poverty of modern geographical enquiry Metheun Press Primo search White, G. (1972) The professional geographer Geography and public policy 24 (2) pp.101-104 Primo search Dorling, D. and Shaw, M. (2002) Progress in human geographer Geographies of the agenda: public policy, the discipline and its (re) 'turns' (a response to Doreen Massey) 26 (5) pp. 629-64 Primo search Gould, P.R. (1979) Annals of the Association of American Geographers Geography 1957-1977 Vol. 69, 139-151 Primo search Hart, J.F. (1982) Annals of the Association of American Geographers The Highest Form of the Geographer's Art Vol. 72, No. 1, pp.1-29 Primo search Harvey, D. (1974) Transactions of the institute of British geographers Transactions of the Institute of geography for what kind of public policy? 63 (1) pp. 180-24 Primo search Morrill, R. (1969) Antipode Geography and the transformation of society 1 (1) pp.4-10 Primo search Peet, R. (1978) Radical Geography: alternative view points on contemporary The development of radical geography in the United States Metheun Press Primo search


This module is at CQFW Level 5