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Full Time Masters Degrees in Geography, Durham, United Kingdom

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The MA in Geography (Research Methods) - or MARM - aims to give a broad training in social science research methodology as well as more specific training in the approaches and techniques used in human geography. Read more
The MA in Geography (Research Methods) - or MARM - aims to give a broad training in social science research methodology as well as more specific training in the approaches and techniques used in human geography. There is a balance between theory and practical application. The degree programme includes skills training and reflection on personal experience, and those students who are going on to MPhil/PhD work are encouraged to relate what they learn to their future research. Most of the teaching is in small groups and emphasises student engagement and discussion. The MARM is an ESRC recognised Masters training course and all modules are designed and delivered in line within the ESRC's requirements. All modules include formative and summative assessment. The teaching programme is delivered in Terms 1 and 2. From Easter onwards students work on their dissertation with the support of an allocated supervisor.

Course Structure

The MARM is composed of six core (compulsory) modules and a choice from three optional modules. The core modules total 150 credits and, in addition, students take 30 credits from the optional modules adding up to a total of 180 credits. The course is delivered by the Department of Geography, the Department of Anthropology, the Department of Psychology and the School of Applied Social Sciences (SASS).

Core Modules

-Philosophy and Theory in Contemporary Human Geography
-Research Frontiers in Human Geography
-Using Geographical Skills and Techniques
-Perspectives on Social Research
-Fieldwork and Interpretation: Qualitative Research Methods
-Dissertation

Optional Modules available in previous years include:

-Statistical Exploration and Reasoning
-Applied Statistics
-Quantitative Methods in Social Science

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Despite the phenomenal technological progress of the 20th century, most people still live with the acute and chronic consequences of age-old hazards such as floods and earthquakes. Read more
Despite the phenomenal technological progress of the 20th century, most people still live with the acute and chronic consequences of age-old hazards such as floods and earthquakes. This MSc is for students who want to receive specialised scientific training in physical hazards that pose large risks to communities living throughout the world. Students on this programme will receive theoretical and practical training for understanding and quantifying hazards. They will learn about how hazards persist over long periods of time instead of merely as single events, but are composed of many smaller sub-events or how their effects are widespread.

Course Structure

Students take the following core modules, and a selection of elective modules, which, when combined, add up to 180 credits:
Core Modules:
-Understanding Risk (30 credits)
-Risk Frontiers (15 credits)
-Fundamentals of Risk Research (15 credits)
-Dissertation by Research (or) Vocational Dissertation (60 credits)

Elective Modules available in previous years include:
-Hydro-Meteorological Hazards (30 credits)
-Spatial and Temporal Dimensions of Hazard (30 credits)
-Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience (30 credits)
-International Relations and Security in the Middle East (15 credits)
-Strategic Asia: Policy and Analysis (15 credits)
-European Security (15 credits)
-Social Policy and Society (30 credits)

Learning and Teaching

Understanding and managing risk is ultimately about choice. All elements of society, from individuals to governments, must make decisions – conscious or not – about the ways in which they perceive, interpret, balance, and mitigate risk. Risk permeates our day-to-day lives in ways that are now recognised to be much more complex than the hazard-vulnerability paradigm, which dominated risk research until the 1990s, recognised. A deeper understanding of the nature of risk, its emergence, and its interface and position within societies, has emphasised the need to take a much more complex view in which a general understanding of the ways in which risk is generated, experienced and managed needs to be combined with a specific understanding of particular science or policy areas.

The primary aim of this Masters programme is to equip students with a general understanding of risk; whilst simultaneously providing specific training in elements of risk-related research. This will be achieved through an interdisciplinary framework for understanding risk from a variety of perspectives. Students will learn theoretical and practical approaches to identifying and framing risk, as well as the underlying physical and social mechanisms that generate it. They will also examine the relationship of risk to knowledge and policy, and will be made aware of the array of advanced tools and techniques to assess the physical and social dimensions of risk under conditions of uncertainty. They will also be trained in the substance and methods associated with a range of science and policy areas, and be expected to demonstrate that they can combine their general training in risk with their specific understanding of the substance and method associated with the chosen area, through either a research-based or a vocational dissertation.

All students will undertake a suite of core modules (120 credits) which provide students with a range of skills and knowledge which result in a unique focus in risk combined with training in interdisciplinary research methods. These modules are:
-Understanding Risk
-Fundamentals of Risk Research
-Risk Frontiers
-Dissertation

Students then also select a suite of elective modules (another 60 credits). Students can choose to receive specialised scientific training in:
-The social dimensions of risk and resilience, and/or
-A combination of approaches to risk.

Electives can be selected from:
-Hydrological Hazards
-Spatial Temporal Dimensions of Hazards
-Social Dimensions of Risk and Resilience

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The MSc (by Research) admits any student with a Bachelors degree or higher in a science or social science subject, of the required standard, to study in science-facing aspects of Geography. Read more

The MSc (by Research)

The MSc (by Research) admits any student with a Bachelors degree or higher in a science or social science subject, of the required standard, to study in science-facing aspects of Geography. This is a research degree, leading to presentation of a thesis and, if University conditions are met, graduation with an MSc degree. Full-time students must study for a minimum of one and maximum of two years to obtain this degree.

This, along with the Master of Arts (by research), provides experience of advanced research but without the commitment to a minimum of three years study required at the outset of a PhD. Because it is a 'science' degree, it is suitable for students with a science or engineering background, including physical geography.

Many of our students choose the MSc route as a means of helping them to decide if a PhD is for them or not. Others use the MSc as a means of gaining the further qualification necessary for progression in their career. Finally, some choose the MSc simply because they want to research something that has always interested them, aided and guided by experts in their chosen field of research. The emphasis is very much upon independent but supervised research. All students have at least two supervisors, who will guide students through to completion of a substantial piece of work which must be original, significant and contain publishable material. Along the way training in generic and subject-specific skills will be provided by the Department, Faculty and University, together with careful monitoring and assessment of progress.

The MA (by Research)

The MA (by Research) admits any student with a Bachelors degree or higher in an arts or social science subject, of the required standard, to study in social science-facing aspects of Geography. This is a research degree, leading to presentation of a thesis and, if University conditions are met, graduation with an M.A. degree. Full-time students must study for a minimum of one and maximum of two years to obtain this degree.

This, along with the Master of Science (by research), provides experience of adavanced research but without the commitment to a minimum of three years study required at the outset of a PhD. As it is an 'arts' degree, it is suitable for students with a social science or an arts background, including human geography.

Many of our students choose the MA route as a means of helping them to decide if a PhD is for them or not. Others use the MA as a means of gaining the further qualification necessary for progression in their career. Finally, some choose the MA simply because they want to research something that has always interested them, aided and guided by experts in their chosen field of research.The emphasis is very much upon independent but supervised research. All students have at least two supervisors, who will guide students through to completion of a substantial piece of work which must be original, significant and contain publishable material. Along the way training in generic and subject-specific skills will be provided by the Department, Faculty and University, together with careful monitoring and assessment of progress.

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