BA Geography with International Study / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code GEOG30000
Credit rating 40
Unit level Level 3
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


All single honours Geography students are required to write a dissertation, based on an individual choice of topic. The dissertation is an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to choose and refine research aims, select appropriate methods and techniques for research, and to write up the analysis and interpretation of the findings in a logical and well-structured document supported by references to the relevant academic literature.


  • undertake an original research project related to the aspect of Geography 
  • develop detailed research questions that are theoretically grounded and practically feasible to answer
  • choose, learn to use and apply appropriate geographical research methods and techniques
  • organise and execute a timetable for data collection, analysis and write-up
  • produce a well-structured and clearly written dissertation presenting your findings supported by relevant literature


The dissertation is a student-led and directed research project. The development of the dissertation begins in the second year, and it is recommended that students undertake some or all of their data collection during the summer prior to the final year. The analysis of data and writing up process through the third year is supported by three scheduled meetings with the dissertation advisor (twice in semester 1 and once in semester 2). There will also be four ‘surgery’ sessions led by the dissertation coordinators, three in Semester 1, and one in Semester 2. A ‘draft chapter’ is submitted at the start of Semester 2 for formative feedback and discussion with the dissertation advisor. The dissertation hand-in takes place mid-Semester 2. 

Teaching and learning methods

Feedback will be provided in the following ways during this course unit:

- Discussions with dissertation advisor in group and 1-to-1 meetings
- Written and verbal feedback from the dissertation advisor on one draft chapter
- Advice and support from the Dissertation Coordinators, via Dissertation Surgery Sessions, VLE FAQ, and consultation hours. 

Knowledge and understanding

  • Understand the theoretical framework for geographical research 
  • Understand the role of the individual researcher in advancing geographical knowledge

Intellectual skills

  • Critical reading of primary research literature in geography
  • Data analysis and interpretation

Practical skills

  • Practical experience in geographical research methods
  • Experience in writing, formatting, editing and presenting a complex, multi-chapter document of up to 10000 words and containing images, tables and/or appendices

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Time management and project coordination
  • Project design incorporating sampling design and research strategies
  • Self-motivation, self-discipline and organisation

Assessment methods

(1) Formative Assessment Task:
Draft ‘chapter’ submitted at start of Semester 2. This is planned and discussed at a 1-to-1 meeting with Dissertation advisor at the end of Semester 1.

Up to 2000 words

How and when feedback is provided:
Written feedback from the dissertation advisor within 15-working days. Verbal discussion of feedback at 1-to-1 meeting.

(2) Assessment Task:
Dissertation: An individual write-up of an original research project developed, designed, and undertaken by the student, starting in Year 2. This is a multi-chapter document.  

8000-10000 words

How and when feedback is provided:
The dissertation is the single most important piece of work in the degree programme and a rigorous marking procedure is maintained to ensure equivalent and fair marking. Each dissertation is marked independently by two academic members of staff according to clearly defined marking criteria (as shown in the Geography Undergraduate Dissertation Handbook). Both staff members mark the dissertation “blind”, i.e. they do not know whose dissertation they are marking.  After the marks have been released, students may view the feedback sheets, and any marking resolution forms generated in the marking process; this is typically after the conclusion of the moderation process, after the appropriate Exam Board.


Recommended reading

Flowerdew, R. and Martin, D. (2005) Methods in Human Geography: A guide for students doing a research project, Harlow, Prentice-Hall.
Gomez, B. and Jones, J.P. III (2010) Research Methods in Geography, Chichester, Wiley-Blackwell.
Greetham B (2009) How to write your undergraduate dissertation, Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Kitchin R and Tate N J (2000) Conducting research into human geography: theory, methodology and practice, Harlow, Prentice Hall.                                               

Parsons, T. and Knight, P.G. (2005) How to do your dissertation in geography and related disciplines, London: Routledge.
Peters, K., 2017. Your human geography dissertation: designing, doing, delivering. Sage.
Walliman N (2004) Your undergraduate dissertation: the essential guide for success, London: Sage.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Lectures 4
Tutorials 3
Independent study hours
Independent study 393

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Nate Millington Unit coordinator
Anna Hughes Unit coordinator

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