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Unit information: Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design in 2021/22

Unit name Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design
Unit code GEOGM0015
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 4 (weeks 1-24)
Unit director Professor. Fannin
Open unit status Not open



Students will combine this unit with one of four pathway-specific units (one for each interdisciplinary pathway) and relevant research training in quantitative and qualitative methods. The pathway units are Contemporary Debates in Sustainable Futures, Global transformations: Issues and Trajectories, Contemporary Debates in Lifestyle Behaviours and Public Health and Conceptual Issues in Security, Conflict, and Human Rights.

School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

The module will fulfil the ESRC requirement for training in core research design, collection and analysis skills by addressing the on the ground characteristics and challenges of doing interdisciplinary research. On completion of the module students will be able to critically assess concepts such as interdisciplinarity, multidisciplinarity and transdisciplinarity. They will have an acquired knowledge and practical skills of how a range of research methods can be integrated in an ethically sound manner to examine interdisciplinary problems, and will have developed an appreciation of the importance of pertinent inter-disciplinary thinking.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of the unit, students will be able to:

  • Understand and communicate the complexities of defining and describing interdisciplinary research.
  • Appreciate the inherent and necessary interdisciplinarity of studying contemporary social science issues.
  • Demonstrate analytical and conceptual skills in their research design and written work.
  • Utilise relevant critical skills for the evaluation of evidence.
  • Address interdisciplinary problems from a range of social science perspectives.
  • Understand the ethical aspects of interdisciplinary research.
  • Demonstrate good communications skills when presenting to an interdisciplinary audience.
  • Demonstrate lateral, critical and analytical reasoning
  • Plan and implement applied research projects.

Teaching Information

This module will be delivered in sections by each of the three partner institutions.

Assessment Information

Formative: development of a group presentation

Summative: Assignment of 3,000 words. (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. GEOGM0015).

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.