Level of Study
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.
On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:
- 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.
- 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
- 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
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
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.
All courses are evaluated according to UiB's system for quality assurance of education.
Department of Geography