METHODS IN HUMAN GEOGRAPHY
Dr Jurgen Essletzbichler, Dr Russell Hitchings & Dr James Kneale.
Unit value: 0.5 units Year 2 Term 1
Introduction to the course
The course introduces students to a range of research techniques used in human geography, with particular emphasis on how and when to choose particular methods and the practical issues associated with their successful implementation. It is a prerequisite for anyone proposing to undertake a third-year dissertation involving any such methods.
• To introduce you to a range of social science research methods in human geography.
• To provide practical experience of finding, collecting and analysing different forms of data.
• To understand the potential and limitations of different forms of data in human geography.
• To prepare you for planning and implementing a successful third year dissertation.
• Accessing and downloading remote data sets: making use of the Internet.
• Geographical Information Systems (GIS): making sense of spatial data.
• Basic statistics: descriptive statistics, graphs, significance tests, correlation and regression
• The use of the EXCEL, GEODA and STATA software packages
• Principles of sampling and questionnaire design; coding, data entry and analysis of results.
• Interviews and focus groups: interviewing as a primary research method; framing questions; coding and discourse analysis.
• Observational methods and an introduction to ethnographic techniques.
• Archives, texts and images: newspapers, censuses, maps, photographs and a variety of literary and artistic sources.
Focus on London
These various analytical techniques are illustrated with reference to the historical and contemporary human geography of London. What insights can different forms of analysis provide about the human geography of this important world city and when are particular methods appropriate? Lectures will provide an overview of different research methods in human geography, with workshops providing the opportunity for practical experience of a range of different forms of data and data analysis.
There are two coursework assessments for this course. The first assessment evaluates your work with large data sets in human Geography, focusing on the 2001 census. The second assesses your ability to analyse and evaluate two further data sources relevant to the human geography of London. The first is due in shortly after reading week in the autumn term, and the second at the start of the spring term.
Anselin, L. (2005) Exploring Spatial Data with GeoDa: A Workbook. Available at .
Blunt, A. et al. (eds) (2003) Cultural Geography in Practice, Arnold.
Clifford, N.J. and Valentine, G. (eds) (2003) Key Methods in Geography, Sage.
Flowerdew, R. and Martin, D. (eds) (2005) Methods in Human Geography (2nd edn), Pearson.
Kitchin, R. and Tate, N.J. (2000) Conducting Research in Human Geography: Theory Methodology and Practice, Prentice Hall