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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgraduate Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Analysing the Environment (PGGE11198)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course follows on from Analysing the Environment (PGGE11198) to provide practical exposure to current land management ideas and looks at how environmental science can inform management. Through a mixture of practicals, group work, field visits and discussion students will have an opportunity to learn about site-specific management issues, and to explore one aspect of these in depth by carrying out their own research.

The course allows students to put into practice the methods learnt in PGGE11198. As well as developing skills in qualitative and quantitative data analysis, the course provides an opportunity to build up your group work skills and capacity for professional self-reflection.

The course is aimed at those with an undergraduate in either social or natural science. It is introductory in the sense that it assumes no prior experience of either, but quickly moves to Master¿s level, so prior study in this field is essential.

Course description Week 1. Intro to doing environmental sciences: what and why?
week 2. How do we do science: 2 perspectives
week 3. a. Developing and answering your research question. b. Excel and R training
week 4. Describing and visualising data.
week 5. Basic statistical tests, general linear models.
week 6. Beyond general linear models
week 7. Planning your research
week 8. Putting your plan into action
week 9. Fieldwork - no class
week 10. Analysis of your data
Week 11. Wrap up

This course provides an insight and experience of skills sets identified as currently desirable to both the student cohort and employment sector concerned with the wider environment and its study
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed:
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements Students MUST be studying on the following programmes to be accepted onto the course: MSc in Ecosystem Services, MSc in Environmental Protection & Management, MSc in Food Security, MSc in Soils & Sustainability.

Students on other programmes may be accepted but MUST request this via the course secretary.
Additional Costs Additional Programme Costs
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2015/16, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  50
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 5, Fieldwork Hours 2, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 66 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) A1: Short answer test. Set Fri W6 (due Monday W8) (40%)
A2: Research report and self-reflection (due Monday W12)(60%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. gain knowledge and experience of how to collect, record and organise qualitative and quantitative data
  2. select and then undertake the approprate type of analysis for a given data set
  3. report your results and analysis in a professional manner appropriate for your audience
  4. reflect about how you assimilate information from the literature, field visits and your own research
Reading List
These resources provide an overview of the course and are important references that you may need to consult. There will be one piece of required reading each week.

Quantitative statistics:
- Gardener, M (2011) Statistics for Ecologists Using R and Excel: Data Collection, Exploration, Analysis and Presentation, Pelagic Publishing. UK. [ebook and hard copy from the university library]

Qualitative approaches:
- Flowerdew R. & Martin D. (eds) (1997) Methods in human geography. Pearson Prentice Hall. [e-book, library]
- Clifford N. J. & Valentine G. (eds) (2005) Key Methods in Geography. Sage [hard copy, library]
- Silverman D. (2011) Interpreting Qualitative Data. 4th edition. Sage [hard copy, library]
Additional Information
Course URL
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1. Organisational skills to plan, execute and report on scientific investigation
2. Use of appropriate computer software (R or Excel) to organise and analyse data
3. Practical experience of collecting data including the use of interviews
4. Interpersonal skills - participating in team activities toward the completion of assignments and goals.

Study Abroad Yes, for some programmes
Additional Class Delivery Information each 2 hr session is a mixture of lectures and discussion or lab practicals
KeywordsData capture,handling,analysis and reporting,dissertation delivery,field skills,statistics.,Epistemo
Course organiserDr Aidan Keane
Tel: (01316)50 5094
Course secretaryMr Edwin Cruden
Tel: (0131 6)50 2543
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