GY245      Half Unit
Quantitative Methods in Geography and GIS

This information is for the 2022/23 session.


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 (GIS). 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 will use GIS in their future undertakings. 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 GIS 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; regression output interpretation; dummy variables
  3. Regression analysis: hypothesis tests
  4. Regression analysis: classical assumptions; omitted variables; reverse causality; heteroscedasticity; multicollinearity
  5. Regression: 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


In the Department of Geography and Environment, teaching will be delivered through a combination of classes/seminars, pre-recorded lectures, live online lectures and other supplementary interactive live activities.


This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures across Michaelmas Term.


This course includes a reading week in Week 6 of Michaelmas Term.

Formative coursework

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

Indicative reading

Studenmund, A.H., Using Econometrics: a practical guide. Longman: London.

Bernhardsen, T (2002), 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%, 3000 words) in the LT.

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 32
2:1 40.7
2:2 23.2
Third 1.5
Fail 2.6

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2021/22: 87

Average class size 2021/22: 18

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Course selection videos

Some departments have produced short videos to introduce their courses. Please refer to the course selection videos index page for further information.

Personal development skills

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