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Research Skills and Project Design - ENV00048I

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  • Department: Environment and Geography
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Daryl Stump
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: I
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

This residential fieldtrip (with a York-based alternative for those who cannot or do not wish to travel) introduces students to a range of data collection and analysis techniques, and provides students with first-hand experience of working within a team to design a research project that addresses a well-defined problem or knowledge gap.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This field trip will provide students with an understanding of the natural, anthropogenic, developmental and sustainability challenges faced within a field trip location, and considers how different stakeholders within these locations may perceive and react to these issues in different ways. Working within small teams, the module will provide students with an understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of a range of data collection and analysis techniques including field sampling, qualitative and quantitative methods, assessment techniques, and the application of analytical tools. These skills are vital in order to become competent with assessing, understanding and dealing with environmental and geographical problems.

The module will provide a firm foundation for the third year dissertation or MEnv dissertations and teach students how to obtain and utilise information from primary and secondary sources. The course will enable the development of analytical, problem-solving and team-working skills, as well as allowing the application of related theoretical knowledge and developing the skills needed to present and justify an original research design.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content aims:

  • Develop knowledge of a range of field-based research methods and forms of data analysis, and enable students to choose between different research methods in order to address a defined question or problem

  • Develop the skills needed to identify different stakeholders within the study location and recognise that these different stakeholders may have conflicting views

Academic and employability skills aims:

  • Develop team working skills

  • Develop skills in data synthesis, collection, handling and analysis

  • Develop communication skills, specifically the ability to present the rationale for a proposed course of action and to justify the proposed methodology

Module content

The open exam assessment element for this module will consist of individual, hour-long open exams occurring on three of the days of the field trip

Indicative assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Group presentation: project proposal
N/A 70
Daily short-answer open exam on strengths, weaknesses, and possible applications of the field technique(s) learned
N/A 30

Special assessment rules


Indicative reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination: Multiple choice questions online
short-answer open exam on strengths, weaknesses & possible applications of the field technique(s) learnt
N/A 30
Oral presentation/seminar/exam
Individual presentation on field trip location / field study site convenient to student
N/A 70

Module feedback

Oral feedback on presentations; written feedback on presentations and open exam within standard feedback turnaround time

Indicative reading


The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University constantly explores ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary. In some instances it may be appropriate for the University to notify and consult with affected students about module changes in accordance with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.