Module Information

Module Identifier
GGM3820
Module Title
Research Methods in Human Geography
Academic Year
2015/2016
Co-ordinator
Semester
Semester 2
External Examiners
  • Professor Kevin Ward (Professor - University of Manchester)
 
Other Staff

Course Delivery

Delivery Type Delivery length / details
Seminar 11 x 3 Hour Seminars
 

Assessment

Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Essay of 2,000 words on Gregynog Theory School  30%
Semester Assessment Research proposal of 2,500 words  25%
Semester Assessment Portfolio of 10 practical exercises based on practical workshops 1-10.  30%
Semester Assessment Oral presentation of research proposal (15 mins) (to be recorded using lecture capture (video + sound))   15%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission or re-presentation of any failed component only if the overall module mark is a fail. Students unable to present their research proposal in the scheduled session will make a presentation to a panel of staff at a re-arranged time.  100%

Learning Outcomes

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

  1. Discuss the role of methodology as it mediates the abstract theories of ontology and epistemology on the one hand and the narrower, more practical concerns of methods and techniques on the other.
  2. Demonstrate an understanding of the relationship between, and rationale for using, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis.
  3. Appropriately identify and utilize a range of sources of qualitative and quantitative data.
  4. Appropriately select and apply a range of methods for the collection and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.
  5. Show an appreciation of the ways in which methodological concerns in human geography can be related to ethical issues and public policy debates.
  6. Effectively plan a research project, including research design, data collection and data analysis, and time management.
  7. Communicate a research proposal through written and oral presentations.

Brief description

This module develops competencies in the understanding and application of appropriate research epistemologies and methodologies within the field of human geography, with an emphasis upon their implementation. Throughout the module methodological issues are explicitly linked to forms of data collection, research design, and the changing practice of human geography. Students will acquire an understanding, through reading and critically engaging with both quantitative and qualitative sources of data, and of the different methodological strategies required for addressing particular research problems in human geography. They will also attend a short residential course "The Gregynog Theory School" which enables social science researchers working in the field of human geography in Wales to demonstrate, negotiate, and disseminate best-practice techniques of research. In doing this, the module will specifically focus on the connections between theoretically-driven research questions, research design, data collection, and data analysis.

Content

Section A: Evidence for research, sources and collection

1) Statistical sources with workshop on Qualtrics survey tool
2) Textual sources with workshop on discourse analysis
3) Interviews and participant observation with practical workshop

Section B: Data Analysis for Research, engagement and interrogation
4) Quantitative analysis: GIS and spatial analysis
5) Conversational and ethnographic analysis with practical workshop
6) Visual Methodology and lens-based research with workshop on iconographic analysis
7) Mixing methods
8) Dissertation planning

Section C: Ethics and Research
9) Research ethics and fieldwork safety with workshop on ethics and safety
10) Dissemination and Impact : Presentation of research proposals

Section D: Gregynog Theory School
Residential school delivered jointly with Cardiff and Swansea universities as part of the ESRC Doctoral Training Centre. The school involves detailed study and discussion of selected readings, led by staff from the three participating universities.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number Students will be introduced to quantitative data sources and methods for quantitative data analysis, and will discuss issues concerned with the use and interpretation of statistical analysis.
Communication Written communication skills developed through written assignments and oral communication skills through oral presentation. Approaches for communicating research to a range of audiences introduced and discussed, but not formally assessed.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be expected to undertake a significant amount of self-directed study and will reflect on their own capabilities, strengths and performance in designing a research project.
Information Technology Students will be introduced to digital and IT data sources and to software packages for qualitative and quantitative data handling, analysis and presentation.
Personal Development and Career planning The module is orientated towards developing skills and perspectives appropriate for a wide variety of careers.
Problem solving Problem solving skills will be developed through the design of a dissertation proposal
Research skills A wide range of research skills will be developed through the module, including skills of data collection and analysis, and research planning and management.
Subject Specific Skills Students will be introduced to the specific application of research methods in Human Geography
Team work Practicals will involve group discussion and exercises.

Notes

This module is at CQFW Level 7