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Applied Project (Academic)

Module titleApplied Project (Academic)
Module codeGEOM185
Academic year2023/4
Module staff

Dr Georgie Bennett (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Applying academic exploration to University of Exeter research. Students will be assigned a lead academic to be supervised by them in a project focussing on research. Research groups you can work with in Geography include Crysophere, Coastal and River Dynamics, Environment & Sustainability, Cultural and Historical Geographies, Space, Politics and Society, Earth System Scienceas well as centres and institutes including the GSI and CREWW.

Through the application of GIS to explore real-world challenges you will undertake your own independent, high quality and substantial research into a subject of your choice.

By drawing on skills and knowledge taught in the programme and with appropriate guidance and supervision, you will be responsible for designing, planning and implementing the study, as well as analysing the data and writing it up.

You will define your project over Terms 1 and 2 via seminars and workshops. By the start of the summer term you will have a project proposal agreed and an academic supervisor assigned.

Applying academic exploration to University of Exeter research offers you the opportunity to conduct original scientific research.

Module aims - intentions of the module

Apply and develop Geographical Information Science through the revolution of spatial analysis, mapping and geo-technologies. The Applied Project will allow you take gain experience in designing and carrying out a substantial research project. This will link the practical, theory and knowledge you gained during the taught components of the programme to a specific research challenge. You will be responsible for planning and conducting the research dissertation, with input from your academic advisor.

The module aims to increase your transferrable and employability skills. You will:

  • Identify a geo-spatial research project and UoE advisor.
  • Formulate a research method with clearly identified aims and objectives.
  • Problem-solve by linking theory to practice, developing tools and workflows applied to novel and unfamiliar problems.
  • You will collect environmental and/or social geo-spatial data and subject this to analysis and interpretation.
  • Gain an overview in a sub-them of Geography in which to situate your dissertation project, identify gaps in the research literature.
  • Demonstrate audience awareness - presenting research outputs effectively, ethically and responsibly.

The dissertation is an example of applied learning that is research-led and puts employability at the heart of the module, giving you an opportunity to design, plan and carry out a research-led theme incorporating geo-spatial analysis. The module will draw on the GIS MSc programme team’s transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary methodological expertise in sustainability research as well as links to industry and commercial partnerships.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Apply geospatial techniques to integrate, analyse, visualise and interpret location data, for natural and/or human environments.
  • 2. Apply appropriate location analysis or modelling techniques to solve complex problems whilst meeting research, time and budget requirements in the context of project design.
  • 3. Identify the originality of your geospatial research to deliver impact and insight, in line with academic conventions, quality standards and timescales.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. Consider the implications of sources of error, bias, imprecision, uncertainty, incomplete data on analysis, outcomes and uncertainty for decision making and project design.
  • 5. Recognise the different data requirements, applications and limitations of spatial data formats.
  • 6. Implement location data curation and quality controls, for example geometric accuracy, thematic accuracy, resolution, precision and fitness for use.
  • 7. Critically explore topics of relevance resulting in you becoming a knowledgeable expert in your research project.

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 8. Take personal responsibility for work objectives and delivery of outputs.
  • 9. Apply cartographic design principles and standards to present, visualise and showcase representations of location data which meets the needs of different end-users (e.g. scientific community and public awareness / outreach).
  • 10. Act with integrity and respect to ethical, legal, privacy, health and safety, and regulatory frameworks and in a way that promotes trust in the profession.
  • 11. Be an active agent of change, applying GIS skills to contribute to a sustainable transformation to the benefit of organizations and citizens.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Applied learning is achieved mostly through guided independent study followed up by advisor meetings for feedback and development. The first two terms focus on planning and development of research ideas. This is met through a short series of scheduled learning and teaching session related to:

  • Thinking about research
  • Research Ethics
  • Health & Safety
  • Research Literature
  • Identifying a project and advisor / partner

At the end of Term 2 you will formulate a detailed dissertation proposal, including risk assessment and ethics forms. You will be assigned a research advisor based on your proposal.

In Term 3 you will begin your project. You will arrange meetings with your research advisor on an individual basis. Other staff will be available by arrangement for other specialist advice if required.

Writing up will take place in August, with completion and hand-in of a dissertation reporting on your project due in September.

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 4Lectures (Terms 1 and 2)
Scheduled learning and teaching 2Seminars (Terms 1 and 2)
Scheduled learning and teaching 2Research Design Tutorial (Term 2 & 3)
Scheduled learning and teaching 34 x individual meetings* (Terms 3)
Scheduled learning and teaching 34 x individual meetings* (Terms 3)
Scheduled learning and teaching 4Methods workshop (Term 3)
Guided independent study 585Reading and research, data collection, analysis, report writing


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Dissertation proposal Form in Term 2 3-8, 10 & 11 Oral
Seminar evaluations and questions Term 1 & 2 1-11Oral
Tutorial presentation, question & answers Term 2 1-11Oral through staff and peer feedback
Meetings with academic advisor Term 2 1-11Oral

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
Applied Project dissertation 8012,000 words AllWritten
Applied Project non-technical output 20Multimedia output, equivalent to 3000 words e.g., story map or recorded presentation. AllWritten


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Applied Project dissertation Applied Project dissertation AllReferred/deferred period
Applied Project non-technical output Applied Project non-technical output AllReferred/deferred 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 50%) you will be required to redo the relevant assessment. If you are successful on referral, your overall module mark will be capped at 50%.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • You will be expected to read original theory articles?and those related to spatial analysis problem solving and research. 

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE

Module has an active ELE page

Indicative learning resources - Other resources

Key words search

Applied project, theory, practice, spatial data science, GIS, spatial analysis, applied learning, transformational learning, environmental solutions.

Credit value60
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites
  • GEO3239; GEOM183
Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date