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Unit information: Introduction to Quantitative Geography in 2021/22

Unit name Introduction to Quantitative Geography
Unit code GEOG10004
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Dr. Timmerman
Open unit status Not open



GEOG10003 Key Concepts in Human and Physical Geography; GEOG10002 Geographical History, Thought and Practices

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The unit is comprised of two elements. Digital Data & Geography provides an introduction to the use, processing and presentation of spatial data to examine geographical phenomena. Geographical Data Analysis develops skills for empirical enquiry using quantitative methods and software. Both elements provide foundational ability in IT and analytical skills, which are used and developed in subsequent years.

Element 1: Digital Data & Geography - A ten-week element, with a weekly 1 hour lecture and a timetabled practical (also includes an introduction to the School's IT facilities during week 0 - the introductory week). The key topics are: knowing about the sources and nature of geographical data; the use of software packages for displaying, summarizing and mapping geographical data; an introduction to GIS and using numerical data to examine and interpret geographical phenomena.

Element 2: Geographical Data Analysis - This element provides an introduction to the perspectives and methods of geographical data analysis. The key topics covered are: Spatial Analysis; probability theory, inference and hypothesis testing; Models, functions and simple regression.

The aims of this Unit are

  • to introduce students to the distinctive nature of geographical data
  • to introduce techniques, methods and good practice for the collation, analysis and display of geographical data
  • to develop a critical approach to quantitative, empirical enquiry
  • to develop IT skills and to introduce IT facilities available in the School
  • to introduce students to the planning and execution of research-based projects using quantitative research designs

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this Unit students should be able to:

Element 1 covers ILOs 1-3; Element 2 covers ILOs 4-8

  1. Appreciate the diversity of geographical data that is available in digital form.
  2. Collate digital geographical data, summarize and display it in graphical and map form.
  3. To appreciate how geographical data may be used to help analyse socio-economic and policy problems.
  4. Recognise the need for data analytical techniques in terms of description, modelling and inference.
  5. Select appropriate techniques for the task in hand.
  6. Use and interpret computer output from a statistical software package.
  7. Appreciate the distinctive nature of geographical data.
  8. Undertake a geographical research project using analytical skills.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • Written and verbal communication
  • Team working
  • Numeracy
  • Computer literacy
  • Problem solving
  • Analytical skills Planning
  • Project management

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • practicals; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Information

Element 1

15% Group project and presentation [ILOs 1-3]

10% online examination in January [ILOs 1-3]

Element 2

35% Practical folder documenting GDA project [ILOs 4-8]

40% online examination at the end of the unit [ILOs 4, 5, 7]

Total for unit 100%.

The award of credit is conditional on achieving a mark of at least 40% in the final examination.

Plus two formative online exams, one in teaching block 1 and one in teaching block 2. Feedback for these formative assessments will be in the form of individual reports in addition to an overall report sheet. Engagement with these formative assessments is compulsory and credit for the unit will be withheld for non-engagement.


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOG10004).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.