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Unit information: Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design in 2013/14

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Unit name Advanced Interdisciplinary Research Design
Unit code GEOGM0015
Credit points 15
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Larner
Open unit status Not open



Students will combine this unit with one of four discipline -specific units with relevant research training in quantitative and qualitative methods depending on the particular MRes pathways: *Contemporary Debates in Environment, Energy and Resilience (UoB unit) *Global Transformations  Issues and Trajectories (Bath unit) *Contemporary Debates in Lifestyle Behaviours and Public Health (Bath unit) *Conceptual issues in security, conflict, and justice (Bath unit)

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

Unit specific skills:

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. Discipline specific skills:

Acquire relevant critical skills for the evaluation of evidence. Acquire the ability to address interdisciplinary problems from a range of social science perspectives. Understand the ethical aspects of interdisciplinary research. Personal and key skills:

Develop good communications skills when presenting to an interdisciplinary audience. Time management. Written and oral communication Lateral, critical and analytical reasoning Planning and implementing applied research projects.

Teaching Information

This module will be delivered in four face-to-face one day (five hour) sessions (Bristol x2, Bath x1, and Exeter x1). The first session will be co-delivered by the three unit directors at Bristol, and then each institution will take responsibility for delivery of one further day at their own institutions.

Assessment Information

Formative development of a group presentation, followed by summative group presentation (40%) Summative Individual Research Design Project of 3,000 words. (60%)

Reading and References

A course reader will be made available via Blackboard (or equivalent VLE) as the literature in this area is expansive. Indicative resources include:

Barry, A., Born, G. and Weszkalnys, G. (2008) Logics of interdisciplinarity. Economy and Society, 37(1): 20-49. Collins, H. and R. Evans (2002) The Third Wave of Science Studies: Studies of Expertise and Experience. Sage, London. Delanty, G. (2001) Challenging knowledge. The university in the knowledge society. Society for Research into Higher Education and Oxford University Press, Buckingham. Etzkowitz, H. and L. Leydesdorff (2000) The dynamics of innovation: from national systems and Mode 2 to a triple helix of university-industry-government relations. Research Policy 29, 10923. Nowotny, P. Scott and M. Gibbons (2001) Re-Thinking Science: Knowledge and the Public in an Age of Uncertainty. Polity Press, Cambridge. Repko, A. (2008) Interdisciplinary Research: Process and theory. Sage, London. Report of the Gulbenkian Commission on the Restructuring of the Social Sciences (1996) Open the Social Sciences. Stanford University Press, Stanford.

Taylor, P. J. (1996) Embedded statism and the social sciences: opening up to new spaces. Environment and Planning A 28, 191728. Weingert, P. and N. Stehr (2000) Practising Interdisciplinarity. University of Toronto Press, Toronto