ESC-10035 - Geographical Skills
Coordinator: Alexandre Nobajas Room: WSF14 Tel: +44 1782 7 34962
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office: 01782 733615

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

This module introduces students to a core set of essential geographical techniques and basic study skills and provides hands-on opportunity for practical engagement with such skills in both laboratory and field-based environments. As such, the module is intended to equip participants with the appropriate skills and expertise to enable real world problems to be approached with confidence and practical competence. Some of the topics covered include information literacy, basic statistical methods, Geographical Information Science, surveying and field based methods.

This module aims to develop an appreciation and understanding of both the general study skills and subject-specific practical skills required in the study and practice of geography. These will include such transferable skills as effective reading and note taking, essay writing, constructing an argument, and revision and examination techniques as well as such practical skills as information acquisition; techniques of data capture, manipulation and analysis, and visualization and cartographic representation; and field observation and interpretation.

Intended Learning Outcomes

recognise the essential characteristics of geographical data and evaluate alternative sources of geographical information including library and electronic resources; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3,4
describe, evaluate and use a range of specialised techniques for the collection and manipulation of geographical data; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3,4
correctly select and apply an appropriate statistical test to a variety of different geographical problems; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2
identify and evaluate alternative methods for the visualisation of geographical information; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3
make competent use of a variety of computer software packages for the management and manipulation of geographical information; will be achieved by assessments: 2
identify and recognise geographical processes operating in the local area; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3,4
work effectively as an individual and as part of a group to complete set tasks within the framework of good professional conduct set out in the course materials, including a professional and reflective approach, responsibility, personal integrity, respect for others, accountability and self-regulation; will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3,4
apply appropriate techniques of topographic and social survey to capture geographical information in the field and put into practice analytical and presentation skills already learned in the laboratory. will be achieved by assessments: 1,2,3,4

Study hours

Lab class (69)
Tutorial (15)
Field course (32)
Lab class/Tutorial preparation and completion (34)

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Group Report weighted 25%
Independent group report
Students are required to work in small groups (~4-6 students per group) to generate a report. The assessment will be field based and will take place within the University grounds. Students will be asked to create a map which explains the relationship between two variables and to perform statistical analyses to achieve a conclusion which explains said relationship. Report is equivalent to ~1000 words.

2: Group Project weighted 25%
Field work
Working in small groups (~4-6 students per group) at an off-campus field site in the local area, students will be expected to complete a group report which links the topics covered during previous practicals and their observations on the field. Students will be expected to show their awareness of the local environment and to produce a map with data captured by them during their field work. Outputs will be a series of maps and written annotations (equivalent to ~1000 words).

3: Exercise weighted 25%
Surveying exercise
Working in small groups (~4-6 students per group), students will apply the surveying techniques and methods covered during the practical sessions to complete a surveying exercise of an area of the University campus. Students will produce a plan based on their measurements taken in the field. Equivalent to 1000 words.

4: Portfolio weighted 25%
Discipline specific porfolio
Students will do a field day focused either on Human Geography or Physical Geography depending on their degree path and preferences and will complete a series of assessments which will expand and consolidate the contents covered during the module's practical sessions. A portfolio compiling the solutions to the discipline specific assessments will be submitted. Students will work as small groups (4-6 people). 1000 words equivalent.