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Unit information: Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis in 2021/22

Unit name Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis
Unit code GEOGM0024
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Dr. Tranos
Open unit status Not open

A knowledge of regression modelling



School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The unit teaches applied statistical analysis and econometrics using the statistical computing package R and focusing on how they may be applied to the modelling of social and spatial processes. The unit provides higher level quantitative and spatial statistical research training suitable for individual research projects and postdoctoral work. It focuses specifically on networks – both spatial and non-spatial – and utilises network concepts and spatial interaction modelling to study different social phenomena such as commuting and migration.

Intended Learning Outcomes

on completion of this Unit students should be able to:

  1. Understand the network structures of cities and urban systems.
  2. Recognise the function of networks in space.
  3. Visualise spatial and non-spatial networks.
  4. Conduct network analysis and spatial interaction modelling using econometric techniques applied in R.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit:

  • written communication,
  • 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
  • computer practical work; 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

A review essay of about 2000 words reflecting on the practice of statistics and its suitability for spatial and policy analysis (30%)

Individual project and report of about 3000 words, reporting on an applied data handling assignment (70%)

Progress is monitored by a series of computer exercises / practical sessions. Penalties apply 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. GEOGM0024).

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.