Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
Number of credits: 120 [60 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites: GVMT Geography Research Tutorials
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Giuseppe Feola

Email: g.feola@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:

The aim of this module is to develop advanced student high-level skills in critical evaluation and understanding of current research problems and method and theory, and in designing, planning and implementing a major independent research project, through writing a dissertation of 20,000 words.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Through dissertation proposal, research and writing it is expected that the student will be able:
•to identify and appraise critically current research problems at the cutting-edge of Human Geography theory and practice;
•to demonstrate practical understanding and originality in research design, techniques, and implementation;
•to organise independently data collection, analysis and interpretation;
•to evaluate critically the construction and interpretation of knowledge;
•to structure written arguments and articulate complex issues clearly.
• to evaluate critically the construction and interpretation of knowledge
• to structure written arguments and articulate complex issues clearly

Additional outcomes:
It is also expected that students will be able:
•to develop personal responsibility and initiative in planning, managing and executing a major research project professionally;
•to make decisions during unforeseen and complex situations as the research progresses and develop self-reliance and -direction in addressing and solving problems.

Outline content:
Students will work with one or two dissertation supervisors to identify a suitable research topic, to identify an appropriate body of literature to interrogate, and to design the programme of data collection and methods of analysis to be employed. This will begin with a workshop for all Master dissertation students and continue through project supervision and the practical demonstration of research techniques. The supervisor(s) will give advice on drafts of the dissertation, but the emphasis is on self-reliance and independent research.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This subject-specific module will be taught by staff from the Department of Geography and Environmental Science. Each student receives individual supervision on dissertation research design, implementation and writing, from one or two members of staff with relevant expertise. Students will be allocated to supervisor(s) during the Autumn term, and work with them to establish the project. This will involve attending a research seminar for Masters dissertation students and regular supervision meetings. Research techniques and methods will be established through practical demonstration by the supervisors and a limited programme of exploratory fieldwork. Supervision will start in the Spring and continue in the Summer term and a substantial period of fieldwork will take place.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 2
Project Supervision 8 20
Demonstration 10
Fieldwork 20 220
Guided independent study 80 840
Total hours by term 120.00 1080.00
Total hours for module 1200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
A failed dissertation may be resubmitted in the following academic year, but it cannot carry forward more than a pass mark.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 31 March 2017

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