THE UNIVERSITY of EDINBURGH

DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2022/2023

Timetable information in the Course Catalogue may be subject to change.

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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. Centred around a residential field trip to the Scottish Highlands (Covid restrictions permitting), we will explore how the environment today has been shaped by natural and human forces, and how these interactions define the land management today.

PLEASE NOTE THIS COURSE IS ONLY AVAILABLE TO 2ND YEAR STUDENTS ON THE GEOGRAPHY BSC DEGREE PROGRAMME.
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 course will run as a series of classes throughout semester wherein students are trained through the process of field project planning, culminating (covid restrictions permitting) in a week-long residential field trip to the Scottish Highlands during which students will undertake the research project they have planned in the preceding weeks. 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. Practical field training in geographical equipment on the residential field trip
4. 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 2022/23, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  32
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) 100% Coursework:
Tutorial participation (10%)
2x practicals during semester (15% each)
Group presentation (10%) on research plans and progress
Project "portfolio" developed throughout the semester and field trip, handed in at end of fieldtrip. This will include a literature review, project plan, and some details of data collection and analysis (50%)

Assessment deadlines:
Practical 1 (15%): Week 5
Practical 2 (15%): Flexible Learning Week
Group Presentation (10%): during Easter field course (week commencing 18 April)
Project Portfolio (60%): late April
Feedback 1) Formative feedback will be given throughout the semester via tutorial interactions forming part of the project-planning exercises and via written feedback on project proposals.
2) The residential fieldtrip and project work provides regular group feedback with academic staff, including via group presentations of research.
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, including GIS, statistical analysis and research data collection
  3. To develop critical awareness in developing data 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 research 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
Contacts
Course organiserDr Caroline Lehmann
Tel: (0131 6)50 6125
Email: Caroline.Lehmann@ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Beatrice Iba
Tel: (0131 6)51 4517
Email: Beatrice.Iba@ed.ac.uk
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