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Unit information: Study and Field Skills for Human Geographers (Bristol) in 2021/22

Unit name Study and Field Skills for Human Geographers (Bristol)
Unit code GEOG20018
Credit points 20
Level of study I/5
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. MacLeavy
Open unit status Not open

GEOG10002 Geographical History, Thought and Practices, GEOG10003 Key Concepts in Human and Physical Geography, and GEOG10004 Introduction to Quantitative Geography.


Either GEOG20012 Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography or POLI20001 Conducting a Research Project using secondary data

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This field-based unit links theory, policy and practice through work in and on a UK city – Bristol – and its population and hinterland. The unit will introduce students to a variety of human geography methods, both quantitative and qualitative, encouraging them – through structured and unstructured field encounters – to reflect on their strengths and limitations, the ethics of different methods, the forms of data generated, and their use in addressing a range of questions and problems. Research design, sampling, analysis and interpretation will also be considered.

The course provides material for the basis of day-projects in the field and will give students an opportunity to develop their methodological skills and awareness.

The aims of the unit are to:

  • Develop students’ skills in project design and formulation
  • Apply methods and analyse results both quantitative and qualitative
  • Provide an opportunity to undertake a range of research methods
  • Reflect critically on the links between theory and practice
  • Deepen their awareness of research ethics and their own positionality
  • Synthesise and write-up diverse material and evidence

Intended Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this unit, students will have:

1. developed their field skills;
2. put their learning into practice in a field setting;
3. reflected critically on their field encounters;
4. integrated their results and experiences into a report;

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

• Written communication
• Team work
• Numeracy
• Computer literacy
• Problem solving
• Analytical skills

Teaching Information

Briefing lectures, workshops, non-residential field work (including briefings in the field), drop-in discussion sessions

Assessment Information

Percentage of the unit that is coursework: 100%

Fieldwork portfolio (100%).


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. GEOG20018).

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.