GV2FCX-Geography and Environmental Science Field Class 5

Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Pre-requisites: GV1TGE Techniques in Geography & Environmental Science
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Steve Musson

Email: s.musson@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

Field investigations are a fundamental part of human and physical geography. The field class is designed to introduce students to an integrated approach to field research drawing upon a range of methods and equipment for data gathering. It is planned that this field class will be based in the Netherlands or a similar European destination. Students will gain experience of analysing and presenting data and a number of themes will be explored including (but not limited to) the historical development of the landscape, the regional and national political economy, hydrology and other relevant environmental processes.


The field class is designed to introduce students to the techniques and equipment required by human and physical geographers in the field.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that students will be able to:

•    Accurately and methodically collect, organise, and analyse field data

•    Interpret field evidence in the context of wider academic literature

•    Demonstrate good collaborative team-working skills, including planning work programme and selection of appropriate methods of working.

•    Personally reflect on and discuss field work experiences

Additional outcomes:

Fieldwork necessitates teamwork and also requires a high level of ingenuity and tenacity. Students will begin to develop these skills through working in teams directly gathering field data. The analysis, interpretation and presentation of the field data acquired during each of the days will be conducted in the evening sessions.

Outline content:

Academic preparation day in Reading followed by field trip.

Depending on weather and local conditions, we will be based at two locations in the north and south of the Netherlands, with opportunities to study urban and rural environments and field sites of geographical interest. There will be opportunities for small group independent research work throughout the week.

Please note that attendance at all preparation sessions is a pre-requisite for going on the field trip. Failure to attend these sessions will result in a mark of zero for the module.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module comprises 5 days of work in the field. Students are required to complete field notebooks, and each evening there will be a short briefing to review the day’s work, and to introduce the following day’s programme. Students will be required to give a short team presentation each evening. Prior to departure, the students will attend preparatory sessions, and will be asked to write a short essay. 

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Fieldwork 50
Guided independent study 10 130
Total hours by term 20.00 180.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Report 40
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Evening oral presentations and class discussions.

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:

    Two hours

    Requirements for a pass:

    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Resubmission of coursework and/or re-examination

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Students will be charged up to £350 for participation on this field class and additionally will be required to ensure they have suitable clothes (waterproofs) and walking shows in order to complete field work safely.

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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