GGES 6018, Data Collection & Research Methods for Sustainability and Environmental Science, is a module which aims to equip students on the MSc Sustainability and MSc Environmental Science programmes with the skills necessary to plan and undertake independent research as part of their studies and later in their chosen careers. Students are introduced to different research methods (quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods), with an initial focus on core quantitative research methods. They are then given the option to either continue learning quantitative research methods or to switch to receiving complementary training in qualitative methods.
In the first part of the module, students receive instruction on the fundamentals of quantitative data analysis. They are provided with relevant examples in Sustainability and Environmental Science and are given an opportunity to practice with these and write a quantitative report which contributes to the assessment of the module. They are also introduced to R programming language, which will be used throughout the module for all quantitative analyses.
The second part of the module focusing on further quantitative methods aims to introduce the students to statistical techniques relevant to data science applications. The alternative option focusing on qualitative methods aims to provide training on key concepts used in qualitative research. Students are also given an opportunity to apply the skills acquired in this part of the module to a project leading to a research report, which will also form part of the assessment of the module.