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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

No such Code for prog: LMV1
No such Code for prog: LMV2

Department: Geography

GEOG2462: SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH IN GEOGRAPHY

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to F800 Geography
Tied to F803 Geography with Year Abroad
Tied to CFG0 Natural Sciences
Tied to FGC0 Natural Sciences
Tied to CFG1 Natural Sciences with Year Abroad
Tied to CFG2 Natural Sciences with Placement
Tied to LA01 Liberal Arts
Tied to LA02 Liberal Arts (with Year Abroad)
Tied to LA03 Liberal Arts (with Placement Year)
Tied to LMV0 Combined Honours in Social Sciences
Tied to LMV1
Tied to LMV2
Tied to LMVA Combined Honours in Social Sciences (with Year Abroad)
Tied to LMVP Combined Honours in Social Sciences (with Placement Year)

Prerequisites

  • GEOG1232 (INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH BSc) or GEOG1222 (INTRODUCTION TO GEOGRAPHICAL RESEARCH BA)

Corequisites

  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • GEOG2472 (SOCIAL RESEARCH IN GEOGRAPHY)

Aims

  • To provide a historical perspective on the development of geography as a discipline and philosophical reflection on the nature of physical geography
  • To enable students to learn the principles and practice of: good research design; rigorous data construction and interpretation; the presentation of research findings; and the appraisal and evaluation of research. This will be achieved through group work associated with virtual fieldwork and through practical projects
  • To enable students to acquire and understanding and experience of a range of important research methods
  • To support students' Research Project Proposals

Content

  • Lectures will cover historical and philosophical reflections on the nature of physical geography, key approaches to physical geography research including quantitative methods and research design
  • Linked practical exercise on data analysis
  • Practical exercises on advanced techniques in physical geography. Students will choose 2 from a selection of project exercises. Possible examples include:
  • 1. Environmental reconstruction using micropalaeontological and / or sedimentological techniques
  • 2. Evaluating and / or predicting sea-level rise/flooding and their potential impacts
  • 3. Water quality analysis
  • 4. Measuring recent glacier change/tropical deforestation using remote sensing data
  • Group project design, implementation and presentation based on virtual fieldtrip
  • Formulation of Research Project Proposal

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • demonstrate a critical awareness of the nature and development of physical geography as a discipline, and a basic understanding of the relationship between various approaches to the discipline
Subject-specific Skills:
  • On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
  • design original investigations in physical geography
  • work individually and within a group to collate data relevant to testing an hypothesis
  • collect, analyse and present data from original and secondary sources
  • plan a substantial piece of independent geographical research on an approved topic
Key Skills:
  • Data collation and analysis
  • Project design and implementation
  • Group work and presentation skills (fieldtrip presentation)

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Lectures will be used to impart basic facts and information necessary to fulfil the aims of this course
  • Understanding of the nature and development of physical geography as a discipline will be tested by the research project proposal and fieldtrip report
  • Concepts introduced in lectures will be explored in more depth in workshops, practicals and tutorials
  • Practicals will provide students with experience and understanding of research design and technical expertise in a range of research methods applicable to independent research and will be assessed by the practical reports
  • Tutorials will aid students in the development of their Research Project Proposal
  • Workshops and virtual fieldwork will provide experience of independent research design
  • Students will develop their individual and group working skills through practicals and virtual fieldtrip projects, which will also provide training and experience in project design implementation and presentation
  • Students' ability to work in a group, designing, completing and presenting the results of a research project (including a critical understanding of the research methodology employed, project formulation, data analysis and interpretation) will be tested by the virtual field trip report
  • The research project proposal will test the ability of each student to design an individual research project
  • Formative assessment consists of a data analysis practical report in Term 1 which tests key skills in data handling and analysis; an outline research project proposal in Term 2 designed to assess research planning and problem formulation
  • The summative assessment consists of four key elements (research project proposal, two practical exercises, fieldtrip presentation, and fieldtrip report) which respectively assess the key learning outcomes: research design and hypothesis testing; analyse and present data from original and secondary sources; group work and presentation skills; and data analysis and critical interpretation.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 Varies 2 hours 18
Lectures (Health & Safety / Ethics) 2 Varies 1 hour 2
Lectures 1 Varies 1 hour 1
Tutorials 6 Varies Varies 3
Practicals 10 Weekly for 10 weeks 3 hours 30
Fieldwork 1 Easter Vacation 6 days 48
Seminars (Fieldtrip preparation) 4 Varies 2 hours 8
Workshop (optional drop-in sessions) 5 Varies 1 hour 5
Q&A drop-in session (H&S / Ethics) 2 End of Term 2 0.5 hours 1
Preparation and Reading 285
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Research project proposal Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research project proposal (max 4 pages) 100%
Component: Practical exercise 1 Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
practical exercise 1 maximum 5 pages or equivalent in mixed media 100%
Component: Practical exercise 2 Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
practical exercise 2 maximum 5 pages or equivalent in mixed media 100%
Component: Fieldtrip Presentation Component Weighting: 10%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Powerpoint presentation 15 minutes 100%
Component: Field trip report Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Field trip report maximum 10 pages 100%

Formative Assessment:

Data analysis practical report (Term 1). Outline research project proposal (2 pages) (Term 2). Fieldtrip notebook – receive feedback during residential fieldtrip.


Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University



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