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

Postgraduate Course: Research Practice and Project Planning (PGGE11138)

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 aims to equip participants with skills in research methods and project management useful to the GIS professional in the work environment or research scientist. These include writing, presenting, organising, managing projects and time, and conducting field work. The course introduces the GIS dissertation and leads into the annual GIS mini-conference, where students contribute talks on their chosen field of research.
Course description The RPPP course comprises these core activities:
- A series of lectures and workshops on key topics
- A fieldwork project run in the Edinburgh area in conjunction with the Spatial
Modelling and Analysis and Technological Infrastructures for GIS courses;
- The AGI/EEO professional seminar series, comprising presentations from researchers and professionals in GIS and EO. The students will explore a variety of debates relating to the profession, and gain a clear sense of career opportunities. The seminar programme provides an excellent networking opportunity, which you should take advantage of.

The schedule for this course has been modified due to the COVID-19 pandemic and, with the exception of fieldwork, most activities will take place online unless the situation changes.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None.
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2024/25, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  0
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 22, Fieldwork Hours 11, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 163 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Formative assignments (do not contribute to course mark)

Weekly Assignment 1 - Literature Review; Set Wk1 due Wk2 (formative)
Weekly Assignment 2 - Produce a Reference List; Set Wk2 due Wk3 (formative)
Weekly Assignment 3 - Capital Greenspace Project Methodology; Set Wk5 due Wk7
Weekly Assignment 4 - Dissertation Discussion Diary; Set Wk 9, due Wk 12

Weekly Assignments 1-4 should be submitted by 10:00 on the Friday of the specified week (i.e. at the start of the lecture).


Summative assessments

A1: Capital Greenspaces Project - Group Presentation (30%)
A2: Capital Greenspaces Project Group Gantt Chart (with 200 words describing evolution) (and Group Project Report due in SMA) - due Friday in Wk11 (10%)
A3: Capital Greenspaces Project Individual Reflection (1 side A4; 400 words) - due 10am on first Monday of Semester 2 (10%)
(Dissertation Proposal - see MSc Handbook ¿ this is formative, i.e. 0%)
A4: Research Project Plan ¿ see MSc Handbook (30%)
A5: Presentation at GIS Conference (20%)
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. acquire a set of skills relating to problem-solving in the class-room and the field;
  2. become familiar with the use of field equipment in the acquisition, management and presentation of geographic information;
  3. be aware of further learning opportunities and take advantage of these as appropriate;
  4. undertake research, ensuring you can formulate an argument, locate and reference literature, plan a project, write a proposal, determine necessary resources and manage your time;
  5. understand business and career opportunities in the field of GI, understand the merits and limitations of each
Reading List
Allen, D. (2011) Getting Things Done: How to Achieve Stress-free Productivity, Piatkus
Bigham, J. (2011) Succeeding with Your Master's Dissertation: A Step-by-Step Handbook, Open University Press
Evans, C. (2008) Time Management for Dummies, John Wiley & Sons, London
Fitzpatrick, J., J. Secrist and D. Wright (1998) Secrets for a Successful Dissertation Sage Publications, Thousand Oaks, California. [ Largely focussed on undertaking a PhD; but still some useful advice ]
Hennessay, B. (2007) Writing an Essay: Simple Techniques to Transform Your Coursework and Examinations. How To Books, Oxford.
Hennessay, B. (2010) How to Write Coursework and Exam Essays. How To Books, Oxford.
Swetnam, D. and R. Swetnam (2010) Writing Your Dissertation: The bestselling guide to planning, preparing and presenting first-class work. How To Books, Oxford. [ written by one of our former GIS graduates !! ]
Copies of lectures are here:
(updated immediately prior to the lecture being given)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Special Arrangements Course only available to students on the taught or research MSc GIS programmes.
Additional Class Delivery Information 2 hour(s) per week for 10 week(s).
25/10/2018-28/10/2018- Kindrogan Weekend
Semester 2: Wk 11 - MSc Conference
KeywordsPGGE11138 GIS,professional research,project management,research design,presentation skills,effi
Course organiserMr Bruce Gittings
Tel: (0131 6)50 2558
Course secretaryDr Beata Kohlbek
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