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GES2000 - Research Methods in Geography and Environmental Science

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Billy Kariaga


South Africa First semester 2007 (Day)


This unit seeks to provide the student with introductory background in research methodology relevant to Geography and Environmental Science. Basic statistical techniques needed to carry out research will be introduced. These include measures of central tendency, spatial distribution, time series, probability distributions, hypothesis testing as well as correlation and regression will be covered to help students analyse and interpret geographic data. Library and online research techniques as well as field techniques including sampling and interviewing techniques will be covered.


Upon satisfactory completion of this subject, students will be able to

  1. collect, analyse and interpret quantitative and qualitative geographic data
  2. Be able to synthesise and interpret relevant material and to communicate ideas to others in a coherent manner, by either written or verbal means.
  3. Be familiar and proficient with some simple techniques for conducting qualitative and quantitative research.


Practical Exercises (2000 words): 45%
Oral Presentation (500 words): 10%
2 hour examination (2000 words): 45%

Contact hours

One one-hour lecture and a three-hour tutorial/practical per week.


A first year sequence in Geography and Environmental Science, or permission