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The University of Southampton

GEOG2008 Researching Human Geography

Module Overview

Pre-requisite for GEOG2035

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• To introduce students to the range of key concepts and approaches in human geography, their strengths and weaknesses, and examples of research using these approaches. • To introduce students to the range of data sources and methods used in human geographical research, their strengths and weaknesses, and examples of research using these data sources and methods. • To introduce students to some associated concerns of research design (sampling, reliability, validity etc.). • To introduce students to the range of research undertaken by human geographers based at the University of Southampton.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Become familiar with the range of available approaches to human geography, including their relevant strengths and weaknesses.
  • Become familiar with the range of data sources and methods available to human geographers, including their relative strengths and weaknesses, and some related research-design concerns
  • Become experienced in discussing these approaches, data sources, methods, strengths, weaknesses, and concerns in talk with fellow students and in writing for assessment


Part 1: Conceptual themes in human geography • Introduction: key conceptual tensions in Human Geography • Local / Global: understanding scale and networks • Society / Space: understanding how social identities can produce material and symbolic space • Masculinity / Femininity: understanding gendered spaces • Modern / Postmodern: understanding spatial order and disorder Part 2: Research methods in human geography • Ontology, epistemology, normativity... or, what questions do we ask and how do we answer them? • Secondary data sources: statistics and archives • Surveys and questionnaires • Interviews and focus groups • Ethnography and participatory methods • Creative methods • Visual analysis • Discourse analysis

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

lectures, in-class exercises, seminars

Independent Study120
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Livingstone. The Geographical Tradition. 

Gregory et al. The Dictionary of Human Geography. 

Flowerdew and Martin. Methods in Human Geography. 

Cloke et al. Approaching Human Geography. 

Cloke et al. Practising Human Geography. 

Clifford et al. Key Methods in Human Geography. 

Kitchin and Tate. Conducting Research in Human Geography. 

Peet. Modern Geographical Thought. 

Hay. Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography. 

Aitkin and Valentine. Approaches to Human Geography. 

Davies et al. Researching Human Geography. 

Cook and Crang. Doing Ethnographies. 

Kitchin and Thrift. The International Encyclopedia of Human Geography. 

Daniels et al. An Introduction to Human Geography. 

Johnston and Sidaway. Geography and Geographers. 

Cloke et al. Introducing Human Geography. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay  (1500 words) 50%
Exam  (2 hours) 50%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: GEOG1004

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