Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Research Skills in Human Geography
Academic Year
Semester 2 (Taught over 2 semesters)
Mutually Exclusive
Mutually Exclusive
Registration on the L700 degree scheme.
External Examiners
  • Professor Catherine Nash (Professor - Queen Mary University of London)
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Practical 8 x 3 Hour Practicals
Lecture 1 x 1 Hour Lecture
Practical 11 x 2 Hour Practicals
Lecture 6 x 2 Hour Lectures
Workshop 5 x 1 Hour Workshops
Lecture 13 x 1 Hour Lectures


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   Semester 2 : 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


This module is at CQFW Level 5