This information is for the 2022/23 session.

Teacher responsible



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

For students required to, or choosing to, submit an independent research project ('IRP') as part of a Bachelor's degree within the programmes' listed above.


GY245, GY246, GY247 or GY248 are a pre-requisite.

Course content

Students plan their own independent research project from start to finish on a geography topic of their choice. Carrying out the project generally includes reviewing the literature in their chosen topic area, formulating a viable and geography-relevant research question, analysing primary or secondary evidence or other material appropriate to the investigation (often a case study, data set, archival source, fieldwork observation, survey results or interviews, but also other material), and drafting the findings from their investigation into a final, polished submission. Students are expected to deal with the many procedural and analytical decisions that arise in independent research themselves, with guidance from Academic Advisers and others.


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

This course is delivered through a combination of classes and lectures across Michaelmas Term as well as methods surgeries through MT and LT

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

Formative coursework

Students are required to produce an extended proposal which they must submit during the MT. They will be expected to report regularly to their Academic Adviser on the progress they are making on their dissertation, at least during regular termly Advisee meetings, if not more frequently. Students may also choose to arrange additional oversight and update arrangements with either their Academic Adviser or PhD Adviser.

Students are also required to deliver a presentation on their dissertation project as part of the GY350 conference during the LT.


Research project (100%) in the ST.

Dissertations should not exceed 10,000 words, exclusive of appendices and other supportive material. Appendices may be used for supporting documentation and evidence, but not for discussion and analysis. 

Student performance results

(2019/20 - 2021/22 combined)

Classification % of students
First 45.6
2:1 42.1
2:2 9.6
Third 2.6
Fail 0

Key facts

Department: Geography and Environment

Total students 2021/22: 47

Average class size 2021/22: 16

Capped 2021/22: No

Value: One 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

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Specialist skills