Study instructions and learning methods
The department endeavours to train people who are well suited to meet the challenges posed by the modern society. Both good academic knowledge and methodological skills are important. Among other methods, geoinformatics is a strong methodological area in the department.
The courses in geography include lectures, practical classes, seminars, literature and excursions. Many lectures are held in English, particularly in the MSc level. Most of the literature is in English. In examinations, students may answer in English. Students can also make use of the courses taught in English in other departments of the faculty (see the Faculty's www pages).
Preparing of a research plan for MSc thesis
The following contains some instructions for making a study plan for the MSc thesis. The better formulated is your plan, the easier will it be to carry out the practical work later on.
While defining the details of your research it is important to read some literature to become familiar enough with the topic. It may also be useful for you to consider, which skills you expect to need during your future professional life. If appropriate, try to incorporate those methods into your research plan in collaboration with your supervisor, in order to make your MSc thesis as useful for yourself as possible. However, you should not include such activities which are not realistic to accomplish due to economical or other realities.
It is always good to be ambitious with your plan but not too much of so. Rather, try to concentrate your work to the essential so as your limited work power will not be divided between too many different activities.
The final plan should be presented in MSc thesis seminar before the actual work will be launched (physical geography/human geography).
It is not uncommon that MSc students will get problems of how to proceed during the course of making their MSc theses. Any problems, please do not hesitate to turn to your supervisor. If necessary, research plans can be modified later on but this is generally not recommended.
Structure of a study plan:
Title and date (10 cp. or 20 cp.)
Your name and complete contact information including e-mail
Name of supervisor(s)
- Define shortly the scientific and practical background of your work. This should start from general topics and end up to such subjects that your work is about. If appropriate, you may define some concrete research hypotheses. Some literature references are welcomed but they should not bee too many. Typically, 1–1.5 pages is enough for this section.
- Just using a couple of sentences, describe what is the essential of your work; what is it all about.
- Prepare a list of specific objectives that are needed to reach the "general objective". Each of these objectives should be formulated shortly and precisely. Basically, each objective should be workable with the methods that are available for you.
Material and methods
- Describe shortly details of your study area and the overall methodology. Use flow charts if appropriate.
- Then describe shortly your foreseen study materials, source data, methods etc.
- The texts can be short yet still comprehensive enough to get an idea of your work. You should have appropriate methods to reach all of your objectives.
- In table or chart form, express the all the critical work phases and their timetables. Just believe that usually it takes 2–5 times more time to complete the final writing work than students tend to think.
- Does your work require specific funding for field work, laboratory analyses or for some other part? If yes, how will it be organised.
- Describe the possible linkages of your work with other research projects, institutions, processes or other instances.
- Prepare a preliminary list of contents of your MSc thesis, possibly also outlining the main contents of each chapter.
- In those works that include empirical data, the following main chapters are recommended:
2. Literature survey
3. Material and methods