Run by School of Natural Sciences
20.000 Credits or 10.000 ECTS Credits
Organiser: Dr Graham Bird
Overall aims and purpose
The over-arching aim of the module is to encourage students to think critically about the development of the subject of Geography, to understand relevant conceptual frameworks in which the subject operates and how this is manifest within geographical research. The module will also focus upon how geographical research develops, both in terms of conceptual epistemologies but also practically in terms of research design.
The module will begin with a focus on the development of geography as a subject and the paradigms that have developed within the subject. The module will then move on to focus on how research within geography has developed and the nature of key epistemologies within the subject. Finally, the module will turn towards the issue of evaluating existing literature, identifying research gaps and developing a research proposal and agenda. Key themes include: • The foundation of Geography and the cosmographic tradition o ‘-graphy’ not ‘-ology o The Renaissance o Geography and empire • Key paradigms o Postivism o Critical rationalism o Uniformitarianism o Feminist and Marxist geographies o Critical realism • Realities, entities and classification • Knowledge gaps within the geography • Research questions: context and rationale • Planning research
C- to C+ Demonstrates an understanding of key concepts and theories and is able to explain their relevance to the development of geography. An awareness of how geography has developed as a subject and an ability to communicate this clearly to others. Demonstrates some limited engagement with the relevant literature and is able to identify areas for further research. An ability to produce a research proposal that meets most of the requirements, but one that could be improved in terms of style and/or content.
A- and above High-level and critically-aware understanding of key theories and concepts and an ability to synthesize information from a wide variety of sources with accuracy. A thorough understanding of how geography has developed as a subject and an ability to communicate this to others. Demonstrates an ability to critically-evaluate existing research and use this to identify a novel and original research gap. An ability to produce a highly-developed research proposal in a suitable style that fully meets the brief provided.
B- to B+ Demonstrates a good understanding of key concepts and theories and is able to explain in some detail their relevance to the development of geography. A well-developed awareness of how geography has developed as a subject and an ability to communicate this clearly to others. Demonstrates engagement with the relevant literature with accurate referencing skills and is able to identify areas for further research. Demonstrates an ability to produce a research proposal that addresses a majority of the requirements but one that could be improved in terms of style and/or content.
An ability to critically apply knowledge of key geographical concepts to the study of a range of fields within the discipline.
An ability to critically evaluate and synthesize existing research.
An ability to identify avenues for further research and produce a research proposal.
An ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
|Seminar paper 1||10.00|
|Seminar paper 2||10.00|
Teaching and Learning Strategy
Private and guided self-study including preparing for assessments.
3 * 1 hour and 2 * 3 hour seminars
1 * 2 hour workshop
10 * 2 hour and 1 * 1 hour lectures
- Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
- 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.
- Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
- Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
Subject specific skills
- Develop and identify research question(s) and/or hypotheses as the basis for investigation.
- Recognize and apply appropriate theories and concepts from a range of disciplines.
- Consider issues from a range of interdisciplinary perspectives.
- Apply subject knowledge to the understanding and addressing of problems.
- Awareness of the concepts of spatial and temporal scale in understanding processes and relationships.
- Appreciation of the reciprocal nature of human-environmental relationships.