Logo Students

GEOP8000 – Research Project in Geography and Planning

2020 – Session 1, Fully online/virtual

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

Pdf icon Download as PDF
Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff Convenor
Andrew McGregor
Contact via 98507993
Greg Walkerden
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
Permission by special approval
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

This unit introduces students to the process of designing and undertaking research in the field of geography and planning and provides an opportunity to undertake a small supervised research project. Students will work with a supervisor within the department on their selected study option. The overall aim of the unit is to allow students to demonstrate a capacity for independent research. Enrolment in the unit is by special permission and students are required to contact the unit convenor with a proposed research topic at least 3 weeks before the start of the semester in which they intend to enrol.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Develop a critical understanding of research practice in geography and planning relevant to a specific area of research interest.
  • ULO2: Prepare and, where appropriate, execute a research project proposal of modest scope in the field of geography and planning
  • ULO3: Contextualise a research interest within the scholarly literature in geography and planning
  • ULO4: Demonstrate an understanding of contemporary research ethics processes and principles in the field of geography and planning
  • ULO5: Present written evidence of research skills at a high standard.

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

GEOP8000 is an individualised unit of study. To successfully complete the unit, you must complete the learning contract negotiated with your supervisor at a standard of performance that is appropriate to postgraduate study. 

To develop your learning contract please contact A/Prof Andrew McGregor, the unit convenor, prior to or as soon as you enrol in this unit (andrew.mcgregor@mq.edu.au).

Assessment and individual task assessment dates will be determined in the learning contract.  As a postgraduate unit it is suggested that the word length of the combined assessment tasks comes to approximately 5,000 words - however this may be adjusted according to the project and activity. Suggested configurations include study options A, B, C or D, as detailed above. Students need to select one of these four study options in discussion with their supervisor. 

Assessment of your performance in GEOP8000 will be agreed in your learning contract and marking criteria will be available through iLearn. You should keep a copy of your learning contract and ensure that your supervisor has a signed copy of the contract. 

All assignments must be submitted directly to your university supervisor via email as a word document and submitted via the relevant Turnitin link in the GEOP8000 iLearn site. The submission dates for the assessment tasks will be negotiated with your supervisor, but all tasks must be completed by the end of week 13 in the semester of offer. You must keep a clean electronic copy of your assignments.

In the event that you are unlikely to meet one of the assessment deadlines negotiated with your supervisor, you should discuss this with your supervisor or via email and request, with appropriate documentation and explanation, an extension before the deadline falls. If an extension is not requested or granted prior to the assessment deadline you must submit a Special Consideration request otherwise (a) a penalty for lateness will apply – two (2) marks out of 100 will be deducted per day for assignments submitted after the due date – and (b) no assignment will be accepted more than seven (7) days (incl. weekends) after the original submission deadline. No late submissions will be accepted for timed assessments – e.g. quizzes, online tests.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The overall aim of the unit is to support students in developing and demonstrating the skills and understanding necessary to undertake research in the disciplines of geography and planning.  In this unit students will be introduced to the task of developing research aims and questions, identifying and building upon relevant literature, and addressing questions of research methods, research ethics and research practice.  GEOP8000 provides a useful introduction to research practice and for students who may be interested in a Master of Research.

GEOP8000 is a supervised research unit (or work practice unit) in which you will be allocated to an individual supervisor who you will meet on a regular basis throughout semester. It is a requirement of the unit that the details of your project, assessment and supervision procedure are negotiated as a formal learning contract, signed by yourself and your supervisor and a signed copy provided to the unit convenor. Your supervisor will also be selected on the basis of your research topic and supervisor availability.  The unit provides a flexible framework for supporting research training, research development and small-scale research projects by students in a variety of postgraduate programs.

There is no set reading for GEOP810. Supervisors may provide a specific topic-based reading list, but as a research unit, it is anticipated that part of the task is to demonstrate your skills in searching and documenting literature relevant to your topic.

Unit Schedule

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

The unit schedule/topics and any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19. Please consult iLearn for latest details, and check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status

The unit schedule is flexible depending on the Study Option and the contract negotiated between student and supervisor.  In most cases the unit schedule will involve regular meetings with your supervisor.  It is important you come to these meetings having completed assigned tasks and ready to discuss progress and any issues arising.  Meetings can be in person or online.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
26/02/2020 Fixed typo.
26/02/2020 The revised version includes the four study options. There are also minor changes to the assessment text.