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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Environmental Geography (GEGR08013)

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
SummaryThis course examines how the environment we experience today is affected by geographical forces, both physical and human. We will explore how the environment today has been shaped by natural and human forces, and how these interactions define the land management today.
Course description The overall aim of this course is to provide practical experience in planning and undertaking research in environmental geography, a branch of geography encompassing biogeography, sustainability and landscape change. The emphasis throughout the course will be in delivering key academic and transferable skills training which students can tailor to an area of geography of their choice, and which will act as crucial preparation for undertaking independent research in Years 3 to 4 of a Geography degree. The curriculum will include:
1. Practical classes in core geographical skills including GIS and Remote Sensing; statistical analysis
2. Training in research design including researching literature and developing a research question
3. Experience in team working, including acquiring data and presenting the outcome to peers.
Together with "Research Skills in Physical Geography" for Year 2, this course represents part of a new core BSc Geography pathway designed to provide a more integrated and logical progression in research skills training as preparation for Honours research.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  12
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Class mark from tutorials (10%)
2x practicals during semester (30%)
Project "portfolio" developed throughout the semester and handed in during Semester 2 exam period. This will include a literature review, project plan, and some details of data analysis (60%)

Assessment deadlines:
Practical 1 (15%): Week 5, Semester 2
Practical 2 (15%): Week 9, Semester 2
Project Portfolio (60%): Semester 2 exam period (~end of April)
Feedback Formative feedback will be given throughout the semester by PGR-marked practicals, and via tutorial interactions forming part of the project-planning exercises throughout semester.
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 how to design and undertake a geographical research project
  2. To gain practical experience and awareness of some principal methods and specialised techniques of data collection and analysis used in geography.
  3. To develop critical awareness in developing sampling strategies and managing data
  4. To synthesise and evaluate critically the ideas and issues identified during the process of researching and undertaking a geographical project
  5. To gain transferable skills experience in independent and team working
Reading List
A general useful text underpinning the purpose of the course:

Montello, D.R. and Sutton, P. (2013) An Introduction to Scientific Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Studies. SAGE: London.

Students will also be guided to appropriate academic papers guided by their choice of research project.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills 1) Gaining an awareness of all steps of project design
2) Experience in GIS and its application to project planning
3) Ability to work independently (practical work, undertaking independent background research)
4) Ability to work as part of a team
5) Presentation Skills
6) Critical thinking
KeywordsResearch Project Design,Fieldwork,GIS,Statistical Analysis
Course organiserProf Robert Bingham
Tel: (0131 6)51 4635
Course secretaryMiss Carry Arnold
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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