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Unit information: Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis in 2020/21

Unit name Explanation, Causation and Longitudinal Analysis
Unit code GEOGM0024
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Tranos
Open unit status Not open

A knowledge of regression modelling



School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science


The unit teaches the theory and methods of applied econometrics and modelling using a combination of the statistical computing packages, especially MLwiN and STATA, and focusing on how they may be applied to the modelling of social and environmental processes. The unit provides higher level quantitative and spatial statistical research training suitable for individual research projects and postdoctoral work.

Intended learning outcomes

On completion of this Unit students should be able to:

(1) Use MLwiN / STATA / R to undertake applied spatial data analysis with R

(2) Have knowledge of the field of spatial econometrics and how it can be used in applied policy and decision-making

(3) Understand how spatial properties and relationships are encoded and represented within Geographical Information Science for geographical data handling and problem solving.

The following transferable skills are developed in this Unit: written communication, numeracy, computer literacy, problem solving, analytical skills, planning project management

Teaching details

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • computer practical work; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements.

Assessment Details

A review essay of about 2000 words reflecting on the practice of statistics and its suitability for spatial and policy analysis (30%)

Individual project and report of about 3000 words, reporting on an applied data handling assignment (70%)

Progress is monitored by a series of computer exercises / practical sessions. Penalties apply for non engagement.

Reading and References

Jones, K. and Subramanian SV, (2012) Developing multilevel models for analysing contextuality, heterogeneity and change.

Field, A., Miles, J., and Field, Z. (2012). Discovering Statistics Using R. Sage.

Fortheringham, A. S., Brunsdon, C., and Charlton, M. (2000) Quantitative Geography: Perspectives on Spatial Data Analysis. Sage.

Angrist, J. D., and Pischke, J-S. (2009) Mostly harmless econometrics: an empiricist's companion. Princeton University Press.

Levit, S. And Dubner, S. J. (2007) Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores the Hidden Side of Everything. Penguin