Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2017-2018 (archived)


Department: Geography


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 15 Availability Not available in 2017/18 Module Cap
Tied to F8K207


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to understand the range of research methodologies available to human geographers, to determine the most appropriate for their research questions and to be able to apply selected methodologies effectively.
  • To ensure that students are aware of the ethical and political implications and practices of research.


  • Principles of good research design
  • Participatory research
  • Ethnographic research and participant observation
  • Documentation and archive research
  • Survey design and analysis
  • Semi-structured interviews and focus groups
  • Visual methods
  • Analysing qualitative data
  • Writing up qualitative research

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students should have a full awareness of issues and debates surrounding methodologies for human geography research.
  • Students should obtain an advanced level of knowledge of a range of research methodologies and techniques.
  • Students should be able to assess the appropriateness of different methods for their own research project and critically interrogate the limitations of various approaches.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students should be fully aware of what good practice is in human geography, how this is informed by and in turn informs research design, the constraints on good practice that can emerge and how to handle these constraints.
  • Students should understand the relationships between approaches, methods and techniques, the contextualisation of research questions, the design of a variety of research techniques, strategies for conducting research in the field, the analysis of data and interpretation of results, the ethical and political implications of research, and the ways in which findings may be used to build and contest knowledge.
Key Skills:
  • Students should be able to plan research carefully and appropriately for given research questions.
  • Students should be able to organise a research project, working effectively and professionally with colleagues and respondents.
  • Students should be able to explain and defend their research.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • The module is delivered through a combination of traditional lectures, discussion, hands on activities and student-led project work. Lectures are intended to provide an introduction to key methods in human geography, providing a framework around which students read further using the key reading list provided. Students have the opportunity to practice some of the techniques taught, under staff supervision. Opportunities are also provided for students to discuss, question and develop issues raised in light of their own planned research projects. In these tasks students are expected to demonstrate Subject Knowledge, Subject Skills and Key Skills as outlined above.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 10 weekly 1 10
Seminars 10 weekly 1 10
Preparation & Reading 130
Total 150

Summative Assessment

Component: Report Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Report 2000 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Oral Presentation.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University