Skip to main content


Second Year Tutorials

Module titleSecond Year Tutorials
Module codeGEO2461
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Dr Geoff Main (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks



Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module facilitates your transition from Stage 1 to Stage 2, focusing in particular on developing your conceptual, analytical, and communication skills necessary for you to become an independent learner and researcher. The module is structured across a series of small group tutorials, supplemented by independent self-directed study. In Term 1, sessions build on the tutorial programme in Stage 1 to give you a solid grounding in engaging with research philosophies, active reading, referencing, and critically engaging with literature. In Term 2, tutorials are designed to provide a foundation for your transition into Stage 3 in supporting you in the development of your dissertation research proposal. This module is compulsory for all BA/BSc Geography, BSc Environmental Science and BSc Marine students.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to a) support your study across all other modules through the development of study skills and b) support you in the early stages of your dissertation projects.

In particular, the module will:

  • Facilitate your development as an independent learner
  • Direct your acquisition of a range of specialist and generic skills, including active reading and referencing.
  • Encourage you to take inspiration from and learn from your peers and the wider department in the development of research ideas
  • Introduce you to the process of designing, evaluating and implementing independent research projects

The module has the following objectives:

  • Time management (managing time effectively individually and within a group)
  • Collaboration (taking initiative and leading others, supporting others in their work)
  • Self and peer review (taking responsibility for own learning, using feedback from multiple sources)
  • Reflexivity (taking stock of your own weaknesses and identifying areas and approaches for self-development)
  • Research ethics (Understand the ethical implications of research design)

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Consolidate skills in critical reading, academic writing, and citing the work of others
  • 2. Demonstrate a working understanding of research design and potential practical issues/challenges
  • 3. Develop a proposal for a workable dissertation project with a specific and realistic research question

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Deploy, with guidance, established techniques of analysis, practical investigation, and enquiry within geography
  • 5. Evaluate the issues involved in research design and its application in the context of geography or environmental science
  • 6. Demonstrate consideration of relevant ethical issues in research design
  • 7. Develop an appreciation of, and strategies for, contingency planning in research design

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Communicate ideas, principles and theories using a variety of formats in a manner appropriate to the intended audience
  • 9. Critically examine own strengths and weaknesses in relation to professional and practical skills identified by others

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The programme comprises group tutorials (approximately 6 students) with your personal tutor across both Term 1 and Term 2. While the content of these sessions will be adapted to response to student needs each year, this will likely encompass the following:

  • Active reading
  • Research philosophies
  • Managing references
  • Writing abstracts
  • Q&As with third year students
  • Generating research ideas
  • Refining research questions
  • Ethics and risk assessments
  • Planning and writing literature reviews
  • Critical analysis

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 12Tutorial sessions (fortnightly)
Scheduled Learning and Teaching 2Lectures
Guided independent study60Preparation of research proposal
Guided independent study76Additional research, reading and preparation for module assessments, notebook


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Practical exercises linked to tutorials and related tutorial portfolioDemonstration of skills attainment through discussion and/or completion of exercises in class1-9Oral, in tutorials

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Methods poster 301 poster – 1000 words equivalent1-9Written
Dissertation proposal701500 words1-9Written
Ethics/risk assessment forms0Template provided6Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Methods posterMethods posterAllAugust Assessment Period
Dissertation proposalDissertation proposalAllAugust Assessment Period

Re-assessment notes

Deferral – if you miss an assessment for certificated reasons judged acceptable by the Mitigation Committee, you will normally be either deferred in the assessment or an extension may be granted. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of deferral will not be capped and will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment.

Referral – if you have failed the module overall (i.e. a final overall module mark of less than 40%) you will be required to resit the failed assessment. The mark given for a re-assessment taken as a result of referral will be capped at 40%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Carey, M.A., Steiner, K.L. and Petri Jr, W.A., 2020. Ten simple rules for reading a scientific paper. 
  • Mercer, D., 2018. Why Popper can’t resolve the debate over global warming: Problems with the uses of philosophy of science in the media and public framing of the science of global warming. Public Understanding of Science, 27(2), pp.139-152. 
  • Napier, N.P., Dekhane, S. and Smith, S., 2011. Transitioning to blended learning: Understanding student and faculty perceptions. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 15(1), pp.20-32.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Critical reading and writing, reflexivity, research design

Credit value15
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date