Student Pages
Postgraduate course

Methods in Human Geography

  • ECTS credits10
  • Teaching semesterSpring
  • Course codeGEO306
  • Number of semesters1
  • LanguageEnglish
  • Resources

Main content

Level of Study

Master level

Teaching semester


Objectives and Content


This course aims to train and prepare students for undertaking fieldwork and analyse data in connection with their master thesis.


Through lectures, discussions and group exercises, the course provides theoretical and research experience based knowledge of central research methods in human geography. Students are made to reflect upon relevant methods for their own master thesis project and on their researcher role. The course focuses on qualitative field methods and visual field techniques, the interpretation of qualitative data, the interpretation of visual data (photos) and texts (interviews, public documents, newspaper articles etc.) through the analysis of categories and metaphors, and discourse analysis. Students are trained in conducting household surveys and firm interviews, in the interpretation and analysis of statistics and survey data, and in carrying out case studies. The students should also acquire insight into ethical dilemmas and ethical guidelines for conducting research.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

  • Demonstrate an advanced understanding of central theoretical concepts and research methods commonly used in human geography, and are able to assess their relevance and use in qualitative and quantitative research approaches.


The student

  • can perform social role analysis
  • can conduct participant observation in familiar and foreign cultural contexts
  • can conduct fieldwork with special emphasis on interviews, observation, and photo elicitation
  • can carry out discourse analysis
  • can analyse own survey data
  • can critically assess secondary data sources, including statistics
  • can conduct case studies
  • can assess ethical problems in the research process

General competence

The student

  • can consciously engage in reflection upon social processes involved in data production and analysis.
  • can applying relevant theories and concepts in discussions of research methodology.
  • can independently plan a project's research design and apply appropriate research methods.

Required Previous Knowledge

Basic knowledge about social science methods

Recommended Previous Knowledge

GEO206/GEO221/GEO231/GEO292 or equivalent

Credit Reduction due to Course Overlap

GEO307 (5 ECTS)

Access to the Course

Open for students at Master´s level who meet the prerequisites.

Teaching and learning methods

2 lectures á 2 hours pr. week.

In total 10-12 lectures.

2 seminars á 2 hours.

6-8 weeks in total.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Participation in working groups and seminars.

Forms of Assessment

Take home exam, 2 days

Grading Scale

Grading A-F

Assessment Semester

Assessment in teaching semester. Students who have a valid document of absence or fails the exam may take a new exam in the following semester.

Course Evaluation

All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.


Department of Geography


Exam information