Please note: there may be some adjustments to the teaching arrangements published in the course catalogue for 2020-21. Given current circumstances related to the Covid-19 pandemic it is anticipated that some usual arrangements for teaching on campus will be modified to ensure the safety and wellbeing of students and staff on campus; further adjustments may also be necessary, or beneficial, during the course of the academic year as national requirements relating to management of the pandemic are revised.

Research Design,Ethics and Impact GEOG5121

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Available to Erasmus Students: No

Short Description

This course introduces students to a range of qualitative and quantitative research methodologies. It equips students with skills in designing, conducting and applying research in different settings and ways to maximise research for societal and environmental impact.


2 hours of taught classes bi-weekly throughout Semester 1 and 2.

Requirements of Entry

Normally entry to an Earth Futures MSc programme

Excluded Courses





Dissertation Proposal - 50%

Mini research Project Report - 50%

Course Aims

This course aims to:

■ Introduce student to a range of qualitative and quantitative research and professional skills in preparation for an independent research-based dissertation project that provides a basis for doctoral study

■ Equip students with conceptual, methodological and technical knowledge to carry out high quality research for societal and environmental impact

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Provide a critical stance on a range of research methods and their applicability (e.g. GIS, quantitative, qualitative, archival)

■ Explain how various concepts and methods are used to carry out societally engaged research

■ Design and conduct an independent research dissertation project on an important social and/or environmental challenge

■ Analyse the ethics of 'field' research in a range of global contexts, including researching in the Global South

■ Provide evidence of critical thought through essay and dissertation writing

■ Provide evidence of the ability to organise work schedules to plan and conduct research and assessment effectively

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.