GY245      Half Unit
Quantitative Methods in Geography

This information is for the 2019/20 session.

Teacher responsible

Dr Davide Rigo


This course is compulsory on the BA in Geography and BSc in Geography with Economics. This course is available on the BSc in Economic History and Geography, BSc in Environment and Development and BSc in Environmental Policy with Economics. This course is not available as an outside option nor to General Course students.


GY140 Introduction to Geographical Research or a 1st year statistics course such as ST107 Quantitative Methods (Statistics) 

Course content

This course provides students with an introduction to quantitative methods for geographical analysis, specifically regression analysis and Geographical Information Systems.  An understanding of quantitative methods of this type is essential for those who wish to go on to do their own research and for those who those who will interpret and evaluate research in their future careers. The first part of the course is devoted to the principles of regression analysis as applied to quantitative social science. The second part of the course introduces students to the use of Geographical Information Systems in research. Theoretical discussion in the lectures is accompanied by practical computer classes in which students learn how to apply these methods on real data sets. The practical classes develop a range of skills which lead on to an assessed practical project.

Topics covered:

  1. Introduction to quantitative methods
  2. Regression analysis: linear models; parameter estimation; interpretation; R-squared; dummy variables
  3. Regression analysis: hypothesis tests
  4. Regression analysis: classical assumptions; omitted variables; reverse causality; heteroscedasticity; multicollinearity
  5. Regression: non-linear models; practical applications in project work
  6. GIS: Introduction
  7. GIS: Spatial representation; vector data; raster data; remote sensing; databases, joins
  8. GIS: Queries, spatial joins, overlay and data management
  9. GIS: Examples


15 hours of lectures, 9 hours of classes and 2 hours of workshops in the MT.

Students on this course will have a reading week in Week 6.

Formative coursework

Formative work is based solely on the statistical part of the course. A dataset is provided alongside a specific set of questions.

Indicative reading

Studenmund, A.H. (various) Using Econometrics: a practical guide.  Longman: London. ISBN: 032106481X. BLPES: HB139 S93

Bernhardsen, T (2002a). Geographic Information Systems: An Introduction. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

Breslin, P., Frunzi, N., Napolean, E.,Ormsby, T. Getting to Know ArcView GIS.  San Fransisco: ESRI Press.


Project (100%, 4000 words) in the LT.

Key facts

Department: Geography & Environment

Total students 2018/19: 68

Average class size 2018/19: 17

Capped 2018/19: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Leadership
  • Self-management
  • Team working
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Commercial awareness
  • Specialist skills