GEOG6097, Data Collection & Research Methods for Sustainability, is a module which aims to equip students on the MSc Sustainability programme with the skills necessary to plan and undertake independent research, with a view towards the summer dissertations and beyond. Students are taught qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection and analysis and are given the opportunity to practise these during the module.
Students receive instruction on fundamentals of research: academic integrity, ethics and risk assessments. They are shown where and how to search effectively for academic literature and how to use it to construct a literature review. Following sessions exploring different research methodologies which can be used for sustainability studies, the students get the opportunity to practice these principles before applying them to qualitative and quantitative reports which contribute to the assessment of the module.
The later stages of the module see the students receive a series of guest lectures showing how the methodologies and practices they have learnt are applied in real-world research projects. Finally, all elements of the module are brought together as the students reflect on what makes for good research and apply that to a research proposal demonstrating the skills which they have developed.