Module Identifier GGM2340  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Dr Peter R Merriman  
Semester Semester 2  
Pre-Requisite Enrollment in the MA in Space, Place and Politics  
Co-Requisite The restructured GGM1440 'Positioning Political Geography', as well as Generic Research Training - PGM0210, PGM0330.  
Mutually Exclusive The restructured GGM2240 (Researching Human Geography) and GGM2440 (Researching Local and Regional Economies)  
Course delivery Seminars / Tutorials   30 hours (15 x 2 hours)  
  Practical   15 hours (15 x 1 hours)  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Assessment ESSAY 4,000 word (max) essay50%
Semester Assessment ORAL PRESENTATION presentation of thesis plan to staff and students  20%
Semester Assessment THESIS PLAN 4,000 word (max) thesis plan30%
Supplementary Assessment Resubmission of failed components 

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
  1. Appreciate the role of methodology, as it lies between and 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 knowledge of the emergence and development of a range of methodologies within Political Geography;
  3. Display knowledge of the ways in which methodological issues are linked to forms of research design, data collection and analysis, and the changing practice of politico-geographical analysis;
  4. Form an understanding of the relationship between, and rationale for using, quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis;
  5. Show an appreciation of the ways in which methodological concerns in political geography can be related to ethical issues and public policy debates.
  6. Establish a critical position on methodological debates, especially in relation to their own field of inquiry;
  7. Demonstrate an understanding of the issues involved in planning a Masters' Thesis, including research design, data collection, and data analysis, and provide a detailed timetable and schedule of work regarding that thesis;
  8. Develop oral presentational skills in relation to communicating the content and timetable of their Masters thesis to their peers and academic staff.


I. What is Methodology?

II. Data and Evidence in Political Geography - Sources and Collection

III. Data Analysis in Political Geography

Brief description

Students will acquire an understanding, through reading and critically engaging with both quantitative and qualitative sources of data, of the different methodological strategies required for addressing particular research problems in political geography. In doing this, the module will specifically focus on the connections between theoretically-driven research questions, research design, data collection, and data analysis.

Module Skills

Problem_solving Students will generate research questions and appropriate means of answering them through the 4,000 word thesis plan.  
Research skills Students will undertake a significant degree of independent reading for the 4,000 word essay and 4,000 word thesis plan. Preparatory work will also be required for the oral presentation of the thesis plan.  
Communication Students will be expected to play a full role in small group discussions with their peers and with academic staff. The development of presentation skills will be assessed through the oral delivery of the MA thesis plan (20% of the module mark). In addition, students will be expected to present coursework with a high standard of academic writing, examined through the 4,000 word essay and the 4,000 word thesis plan.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be expected to undertake a significant amount of self-directed study, including extensive reading for the 4,000 word essay and 4,000 word thesis plan. In both cases, students will be required to develop self and time-management skills  
Team work The seminar and workshop components of this module enable students to develop skills and awareness of their role in the immediate context of discussion based interaction.  
Information Technology Students will be expected to use Information Technology in the presentation of their coursework. They will also become familiar with the use of Internet in the provision of academic writing, for example on-line journals (assessed through the essay and thesis plan). And, they will be exposed to a range of data management and analysis packages as part of their seminar and workshop participation (assessed through the essay).  
Application of Number Students will be expected to analyze and interpret, through a range of complementary methods, different forms of quantitative and qualitative data, and linked to addressing specific research questions (assessed through the essay).  
Personal Development and Career planning The module provides knowledge and understanding that is central to teaching geography at the tertiary and higher education sector level.  
Subject Specific Skills Students will be encouraged to situate themselves, and their work, within the broad sweep of recent developments in Political Geography (through the thesis plan).  

Reading Lists

** Recommended Text
Cloke, P., Crang, P. and Goodwin, M. (eds) (2001-2) Practising Human Geography Arnold, London
Eyles, J., and Smith, D. (eds) (1988) Qualitative Methods in Human Geography Polity, Cambridge
Macmillan, B. (1989) Remodelling Geography Blackwell (Oxford)
Mason, J. (1996) Qualitative Research Sage, London
Sayer, A. (1992) Method in Social Science Routledge, London
Walliman, N. (2001) Your Research Project Sage, London
Wilson, A. and Bennett, R. (1985) Mathematical methods in Human Geography and Planning Wiley, Chichester
Wrigley, N. and Bennett, R. (eds) (1981) Quantitative Geography Routledge, London


This module is at CQFW Level 7