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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Geography

Undergraduate Course: Quantitative Methods in Geography (GEGR09004)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 9 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course provides a further introduction to statistical methods in Geography using relevant example from across the discipline. Course work is designed to give students experience in using the methods to analyse real world data and thereby gain insights into their value and limitations.

Please note this is a core course for students on the Geography Degree Programmes, and Sustainable Development (Geography Pathway). This course is open to all university students, however priority will be given to the degree programmes listed here.
Course description This course is intended to provide a broad introduction to the types of quantitative methods (principally statistical) used in both physical and human geography, with the goal of readying students for the use of these methods in their dissertation (and other) research. Material will be presented through both lectures and practicals, in which the practical session will build on the material introduced in lecture and instruct in how to apply the methods to actual data. Software tools to aid statistical analysis will be introduced through these practicals with particular focus on the R statistical software platform.

Topics introduced will include types of data, data presentation, correlation and regression, probability, significance and hypothesis testing, and nonparametric statistics (such as logistic regression).

Students grades will be determined through written coursework assessment (due before the exam diet) and lecture attendance (using the Tophat system).
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. understand differences between types of quantitative data (categorical, ordinal and scale) and when each is applicable
  2. comprehend, generate, and critically discuss presentations of quantitative data (both descriptive statistics and graphical presentations)
  3. carry out tests of relationships between different variables and determine which tests are most appropriate for a given set of data
  4. carry out formal statistical testing (e.g. differences of means) and be able to critique the test in terms of its results and assumptions
  5. demonstrate a broad, integrated knowledge and understanding of quantitative methods, their principles and appropriate application within Geography
Reading List
Most of the suggested readings will be from the Online Stats Book
for logistic regression, (

This resource contains discussions of a number of statistical subjects at all levels. A particularly valuable feature is the MCQ quiz sections that appear at the end of certain sections. In your review you are encouraged to attempt these questions to test your own knowledge.

We also recommend the following as a numbers free gentle approach to statistics:

Wheelan, Charles. Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from Data (New York, NY, W. W. Norton & Company, 2014). 282 pp. ISBN 978-0-393-07195-5

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Students will be able to demonstrate skills in the use of statistical methods and basic theory in Geography, as well as using SPSS software.

Students will also be able to demonstrate an ability to acquire and apply specialist knowledge.

Finally, students will be able to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
Course organiserDr Thomas Clemens
Tel: (01316) 51 40 16
Course secretaryMiss Carry Arnold
Tel: (0131 6)50 9847
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