Convenor: Dr Pushpa Arabindoo
Unit Value: 0.5 unit Year 3 Term 1
Brief Course Description
This course provides students with an opportunity to explore in-depth a specific physical or human geography topic under the supervision of a member of teaching staff. It allows students to develop their capacity for independent research and writing and to get a greater sense of what it practically means to be doing geography research. Individual members of academic staff will offer specific projects for students to undertake. These will then be posted on moodle and those students who are interested can then express a preference. After this point, the projects will be allocated based on the degree of interest expressed for particular projects and the academic performance to date of the students who are interested.
Students must have achieved an overall average of 60 percent or more in year 1 and year 2 to be considered for this module.
The module provides students with the opportunity to undertake an independent study under the one-on-one supervision of an academic member of staff. It allows students to obtain an in-depth understanding of a topical area of geographic research (e.g. an emerging field of literature or a specific data set). Through these means, students will develop and refine their capacity in the following areas:
1. critically judging and evaluating evidence;
2. critically interpreting data and text;
3. abstracting and synthesising information;
4. combining and interpreting different types of geographical evidence;
5. academic writing; and
6. independent study management.
The content of this module will vary according to each topic. A list of available topics is provided on Moodle. Students can view the topics and read more information about this module by following the following steps:
1. Log on to Moodle using your student username as usual
2. Select the GEOG 3054 module from the list of Geography modules
3. You will be asked to type in an enrolment key. Type: ‘3054’ and enter/return. You will then have access to the GEOG3054 site.
4. Browse the Course Information available on this site
5. Click on ‘Available Topics’ to read through the range of topics available for study.
6. If you are interested in applying to enroll in this module: Complete the ‘Topic Choices’ quiz by listing the topic letter (A, B, C etc) for each of your 1st to 5th preferences. This must be completed by 5pm 8 June.
* Student and topic selection results will be communicated to all interested students in August 2012.
Method of Teaching
After an introductory lecture, this course will be taught through supervision with an expert tutor (namely the academic who proposed the project concerned). Students will meet their supervisor for one-to-one sessions on four occasions during the term. General reading lists and course material will be provided on Moodle. Occasional plenary meetings for all students enrolled in this course will be called at key points throughout the term. Students will then present their initial findings towards the end of the term in an assessed presentation.
Form of Assessment and workload
This module involves 150 hours of study. Students will spend some 70 hours in independent study and a similar amount of time designing and writing their course work. Assessment of this module is by way of one 3000 word final report (90%) and a short presentation (10%).
The course will involved distinctly different readings depending on each topic of study. Guidance will be provided by individual supervisors, however, useful introductory books include:
Bell, J. 2005. Doing your research project. Maidenhead: OUP.
(chapters 5 and 6 on literature searching and reviewing)
Flowerdew, R. and Martin, D. 1997. Methods in Human Geography. Harlow: Prentice Hall (chapters 3-5 on preparing a research project)
Hart, C. 1998. Doing a literature review. London: Sage.
(especially chapters 3 and 6 on reading research and analysing ideas)
Northey, M., Tepperman, L., Russell, J. 2007: Making Sense: A Student's Guide to Research and Writing Oxford: Oxford University Press