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Study information

Geographies of Justice: Research Methodologies in Action

Module titleGeographies of Justice: Research Methodologies in Action
Module codeGEO2327
Academic year2019/0
Module staff

Professor Clive Barnett (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Module description

This module provides grounding in the skills required to understand and apply research methodologies used by human geographers and cognate social science and humanities disciplines. It does so by exploring the ways in which geographical research on inequality, welfare and wellbeing is produced, represented and debated. The module will introduce you to a range of quantitative, qualitative and spatial methods that are used in research and their use in academic and non-academic contexts. The module will be taught using lecture-based classes, workshops and tutorials.

This module is one of the compulsory modules for the second year BA Geography programme, as well as being compulsory for FCH students wishing to undertake a human geography field trip and / or dissertation.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of this module is to give you a thorough understanding of the relationships between data collection and generation, data analysis and interpretation, and the development of reasoned inferences. It will outline a framework for identifying the distinctive relationships between the generation of empirical evidence, the development of explanations and interpretations, and the application of research to issues and problems in academic and non-academic contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Describe the distinctive aims and purposes of a range of research methodologies used in human geography and related fields.
  • 2. Articulate the relationships between data, evidence, and explanation that characterise research methodologies used in human geography and related fields.
  • 3. Explain the uses of research methodologies in various fields of academic and non-academic practice.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Describe a range of approaches involved in collecting, analysing and presenting geographical information
  • 5. Illustrate the contested and provisional nature of geographical knowledge
  • 6. Identify a range of approaches to the generation, analysis, and application of geographical knowledge

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 7. Effectively, appropriately and critically interpret qualitative, quantitative and spatial information
  • 8. Identify, acquire, analyse and synthesise information from a range of sources
  • 9. Work independently to achieve consistent, proficient and sustained attainment
  • 10. Work as a participant and leader of a group and contribute effectively to the achievement of objectives

Syllabus plan

The syllabus plan is indicative of the issues we will explore in the module:

Part 1: Research Methodologies in Action

  • Problems of geographical reasoning
  • Using evidence and making inferences
  • Intensive and extensive research

Part 2: Working with Data and Evidence

  • Generating data
  • Making sense of data

Part 3: The Social Life of Methods

  • Doing things with data

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching19Lectures
Scheduled Learning and Teaching8Workshops
Scheduled Learning and Teaching3Group tutorials
Guided Independent Study120Additional reading, research and preparation for the module assessments

Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1 plan500 words1-6, 9Oral (tutorial)
Essay 2 plan500 wordsAllOral (workshops)

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay 1501500 words1-7, 9Written
Essay 2501500 wordsAllWritten

Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay 1Essay 11-7, 9August Ref/Def period
Essay 2Essay 2AllAugust Ref/Def period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to submit a further assessment as necessary. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 40%.

Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Banks, M. and Barnett, C. (eds.) 2013. The Uses of Social Science (Open University).
  • Clifford, N. et al (eds.). 2016. Key Methods in Geography (Sage). 
  • Gomez, B. and Jones, J.P. 2010. Research Methods in Geography (Wiley-Blackwell). 
  • Harris, R. 2016. Quantitative Geography: The Basics (Sage).
  • Hay, I. 2016. Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography (OUP).
  • Salkind, N. (ed). 2010. Encyclopedia of Research Design (Sage).

Key words search

Geography, human geography, research methods, quantitative, qualitative

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

GEO2328 Geographies of Consumption: Doing Human Geography Research

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date