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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Postgrad Research Courses (School of GeoSciences)

Postgraduate Course: Research Design in Human Geography (PRGE11002)

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 Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course is aimed at Postgraduate Research students (MScR, MPhil and PhD). It provides training in research design necessary for students undertaking independent research at the postgraduate level in Human Geography and related areas of the humanities and social sciences. These skills are relevant to the proper management, execution and dissemination of advanced research. The course delivers training in a range of generic transferable skills, linking them to relevant research issues. The course also teaches students how to design research projects and the significance of considering a range of issues (practical, ethical and intellectual) relevant to successful research planning. Specific emphasis is given to the relationship between theory and empirical practice in research. Themes include: ontological questions relating to the human, spatial and environmental sciences; the role of fieldwork in geographical research; the ethics of research; researching across disciplines; the dissemination of research; the relevance of data management and data analysis. This work will be undertaken in a way that is responsive to the specific research interests of students undertaking the course.
Course description The class is a mix of lectures, student led discussions and invited speakers (including PhD students from the second or third year).

2. W2: Getting started ¿ working with your supervisor

3. W3: Research Questions and Research Design I

4. W4: Research Questions and Research Design II

5. W5 Part I: Theory and Practice
W5 Part II: What is ¿The Field¿?

6. W6 Part I: When Things Don¿t Go to Plan
W6 Part II: Hearing Previous Experiences (Guest Presentations)

7. W7: Library Information

8. W8: Research Crossing Disciplines

9. W9: Research Ethics

10. W10: Presentations-Discussions: Literature Review

11. W11: Essay due

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements The course is targeted towards 1st year PhD students. MSc students with an interest in research are welcome.
Additional Costs N/A
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  40
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 174 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Course Essay: 100 %; Literature Review Presentation: 0%.

The course essay is 3000 words (normally taking the form of a literature review on the student's research project). Each student also does a Literature Review Presentation for summative assessment only.

The essay is due in week 11.

Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Develop the skills required for Postgraduate Research study and understand where appropriate training is available;
  2. Understand technical and other issues relevant to written, oral and visual dissemination of research findings;
  3. Understand the procedures for planning and scoping a viable research topic;
  4. Understand the role of ethics in research;
  5. Communicate in written form, a critical evaluative summary of literatures relevant to their proposed research topic.
Reading List

Area: Special Issue: Special Section: Interdisciplinarity: Framing, doing and application, 41:4, 2009.

Back, L. 2002 Dancing and wrestling with scholarship: Things to do and things to avoid in a PhD career, Sociological Research Online 7(4).

Barnett, C. 2010. Geography and Ethics: Justice Unbound. Progress in Human Geography, 35:2, 246-255.

Buller, H. 2009. The Lively Process of Interdisciplinarity. Area: Special Issue: Special Section: Interdisciplinarity: Framing, doing and application, 41:4, 395:409.

Foster, K. and Lorimer, H. 2007. Some reflections on art-geography as collaboration Cultural Geographies. 14(3): 425-432.

Burgess, J. 2005. Follow the argument where it leads: some personal reflections on 'policy-relevant' research. Transactions of the Institute of British Geographers NS 30: 273-281.

Castree, N. 2006. Geography's new public intellectuals. Antipode, 38 (2):

Dewsbury, J.D. and Naylor, S. 2002. Practising geographical knowledge: fields, bodies and dissemination. Area 34(3): 253-260.

Dorling, D. and Shaw, M. 2002. Geographies of the agenda: public policy, the discipline and its (re)'turns'. Progress in Human Geography 26(5): 629-646.

Parr, H. 2001. Feeling, reading and marking bodies in space. Geographical Review 91(1-2): 158-167.

Phillips, E.M, and Pugh, D.S. 2000. How to manage your supervisor, in Phillips, E.M, and Pugh, D.S. How to Get a PhD, Open University Press, Milton Keynes.

Saunders, R. Home and away: bridging fieldwork and everyday life. Geographical Review 91(1-2):88-94.

Slater. T. 2012. Impacted geographers: a response to Pain, Kesby and Askins. Area 44 (1) p.117-119.

Staeheli, L and Mitchell, D. 2005. The complex politics of relevance in geography.
Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 95(2): 357-372.

Valentine, G. 2005. Geography and Ethics: Moral Geographies? Ethical Commitment in research and Teaching, Progress in Human Geography 29: 4, 483-487.

Ward, K. 2007. Geography and public policy: activist, participatory, and policy Geographies. Progress in Human Geography 31(5): 695-705.

Whatmore, S. 2002. Geographies of/for a more than human world: towards a relational ethics. In: Hybrid geographies: natures, cultures, spaces. Sage Publications, London.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsPRGE11002,research design,human geography,transkills,research ethics,Postgraduate Research,PhD
Course organiserDr Sukanya Krishnamurthy
Tel: (0131 6)51 4657
Course secretaryMiss Sophie Ramette
Tel: (0131 6)50 5854
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