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Module DXX-3003:
Field Course: Barcelona

Module Facts

Run by School of Natural Sciences

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Eifiona Lane

Overall aims and purpose

  1. To introduce and develop knowledge base of the physical, economic and cultural resources, geography, history of the city of Barcelona and the autonomous region of Catalonia Spain;
  2. To develop competence in applying, investigative and analytical methodologies to a non-British, European situation, and to adopting appropriate investigative strategies and tolerances in relation to cultural, political and linguistic differences;
  3. To develop critical knowledge and understanding of issues and practice in regional development in the context of Barcelona as a regional capital and Catalonia as an autonomous region within the European contexts;
  4. To further critical knowledge and understanding of issues, resources, policy and practice in relation to planning, business,heritage and nature conservation, sustainable tourism, culture and language in Barcelona and Catalonia. Specific themes will be selected for each cohort field visit and will be introduced during the first staff lead seminar.
  5. To apply and further study skills and competence in investigating and gathering data in a new place based and geographical setting, collating , analysing, interpreting and evaluating that date and presenting findings in a range of coherent forms – the planning presentation , extended research essay, and short tasks .

Course content

This single semester, 20-credit module at Level Six (third UG year) includes the following elements and is assessed 100% by coursework: -

• Seven-day residential field study visit to Autonomous Region of Catalonia its capital city of Barcelona. A detailed itinerary is provided in the field visit handbook for the group which includes a period of individual research

• A series of one-hour staff lead preparatory seminars, Wks1-5. These are compulsory and a register will be taken.

• Directed investigative and analytical research task to inform a 10 minute formal power-point presentation for week 5. This will be undertaken in pair groups each tackling a set theme of choice relevant as background research for the study tour.

• During the visit, organised group visits, with guided tours to sites and resources relevant to the students’ degree subjects, will be conducted with full regard to University Health and Safety guidance. Students will agree to a module code of professional practice and behaviour whilst on the visit.

• Best use of free time during the visit will be planned in advance in order to gather field based material/observations to inform your choice of research report. On return you will be required to submit an individually written, evaluative and analytical report by the end of the semester (exact date to be circulated later).

Assessment Criteria


Grade A- and above 1] An outstanding performance, exceptionally able 2] The relevant information accurately deployed 3] Excellent grasp of theoretical/conceptual/ information in pursuit of the assessed work’s objectives.
4] Strong evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.


Grade D- to D+ 1] No major omissions or inaccuracies in the deployment of information / skills 2] Some grasp of theoretical conceptual practical elements 3] Integration of theory/practice/information present intermittently in pursuit of the assessed work’s objectives.


Grade C- to B+ 1] Much or most of the relevant information and skills accurately deployed 2] Good /adequate grasp of theoretical/conceptual/practical elements 3] Good / fair integration of theory /practice/information in pursuit of the assessed works’ objectives 4] Evidence of the use of creative and reflective skills.

Learning outcomes

  1. To develop knowledge and understanding of a range of geographical issues as exemplified in Barcelona and Catalonia.

  2. To develop field based skills and competence in collating, analysing, interpreting, evaluating and reporting individual research in a new geographical setting.

  3. Competences in presenting field based and academic web based research findings and conclusions in both an essay and short report format.

  4. Ability to plan and execute a clear and well-structured group based PowerPoint presentation.

  5. Carrying out a simple and informal peer review process.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Pre-field work research based presentation 10
Individual Research Report 40
Short tasks based on field work 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Drop in sessions not timetabled

Group Project

Oral presentation 1 x 2 hours


7 day fieldtrip (10hours per day)

Private study

Private and self-guided study


4* 1 hour preparatory weekly workshops up until week 5.


Transferable skills

  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Safety-Consciousness - Having an awareness of your immediate environment, and confidence in adhering to health and safety regulations
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others


Resource implications for students

Students are required to contribute towards the costs of their travel, accommodation and subsistence. Appropriate field wear and equipment eg camra, ruck sack and shoes

Talis Reading list

Pre- and Co-requisite Modules

Courses including this module