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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2015/2016

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Fundamental Methods in Geography (GEGR08009)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
Summary****PLEASE NOTE THIS COURSE IS DESIGNED FOR STUDENTS ON THE GEOGRAPHY DEGREE PROGRAMMES ONLY - NOT APPLICABLE TO OUTSIDE DEGREE STREAMS (NON-GEOGRAPHY DEGREES)****

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to a range of geographical methods that will be feature again later in the degree programme.
The course will provide an introduction to qualitative methodologies in Geography, statistical techniques and the purpose and scope of both qualitative and quantitative methods within geographical research.
The overall aim of the course is to provide an introduction to fundamental methods of geographical research. The course will provide an introduction to qualitative methodologies in Geography, statistical techniques and the purpose and scope of both qualitative and quantitative methods within geographical research. We will consider relevant examples from across the full range of the discipline. We will examine methods for data collection, data description, analysis and tests of association and difference. Fieldwork is included to give students experience in undertaking geographical research to evaluate real world information. This will provide insights into the characteristics of the techniques and their overall value and utility within research.

The course aims to enhance the student learning experience within the Geography programme by developing underpinning methodological training at an early stage of the curriculum. Additionally it will assist in developing a strong group identity and better sense of belonging to the degree programme, particularly through the inclusion of the residential field experience.
Course description The overall aim is to provide an introduction to fundamental methods of geographical research.
The course focuses on methodology and explores the appropriate selection and application of research methods.
Statistics, methods of qualitative research and GIS are introduced; scales of measurement, descriptive statistics, central tendency, probability, sampling, hypothesis testing are considered.
The analysis of qualitative data, descriptive statistics, validation and verification are explored and report writing practised.


This course provides an introduction to a range methodologies and techniques in Geography using relevant examples from across the discipline. The lectures will provide an introduction to qualitative methodologies in Geography, statistical theory and the purpose and scope of both qualitative and quantitative methods within geographical research. We will examine methods for data collection, data description and analysis. Fieldwork is included to give students experience in using methods to capture and evaluate real world information and gain insights into the characteristics of the techniques and their overall value and utility.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs Fieldcourse costs: 80
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  142
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 12, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 4, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Fieldwork Hours 16, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Revision Session Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback There will be formal feedback on ALL field note books and an additional verbal feedback opportunity on notebooks and their content.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. To develop a broad and integrated understanding of geographical methods, their principles and appropriate application
  2. To have a critical awareness of the values, limitations and interpretation of qualitative and statistical techniques for both descriptive and inferential purposes.
  3. To gain practical experience and awareness of some principal methods and specialised techniques of data collection and analysis used in Geography
  4. To provide a basic knowledge of the skills needed to carry out analysis using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and basic computer-based statistical analysis, and to understand particular issues associated with the analysis of quantitative data.
  5. To synthesize and critically evaluate the ideas and issues identified during the lectures and fieldwork through project work.
Reading List
1. Clifford, N. and Valentine, G. (2010), Key Methods in Geography, London: Sage.

2. DeLyser, D., Herbert, S., Aitken, S. C., Crang, M., & McDowell, L. (2010). The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Geography. Sage Publications Limited.

Ebdon D (1985) Statistics in Geography, (2nd edn). Oxford: Basil Blackwell.

Robinson G M (1998) Methods & Techniques in Human Geography. Chichester: John Wiley.

Rogerson P (2001) Statistical Methods for Geographers. London: Sage

Shaw G and Wheeler D (1985, 1994, 2005) Statistical techniques in geographical analysis. Chichester: John Wiley.

Wheater C P and Cook P A (2000) Using statistics to understand the environment. Oxford: Routledge.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will be able to demonstrate a critical awareness of the values, limitations and interpretation of qualitative methods. Students will also show the ability to use statistical methods for both descriptive and inferential purposes, and demonstrate an awareness of GIS.
Finally, students will gain team and group working skills, and experience of problem solving.
Special Arrangements None
KeywordsStatistics,qualitative methodologies,GIS,fieldwork
Contacts
Course organiserProf Andrew Dugmore
Tel: (0131 6)50 8156
Email: Andrew.Dugmore@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Sarah Mcallister
Tel: (0131 6)50 4917
Email: Sarah.McAllister@ed.ac.uk
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