Many geography students complete a dissertation, or other substantial research project, in their final year of study. A number of resources are available online to help you plan your project, collect and analyse appropriate data, draw conclusions and present your work well.
The following list of online resources to aid online student research is dynamic. If you know of other resources you think we should be sharing, we’d be happy to hear from you at firstname.lastname@example.org
The Society does not accept responsibility for the content of the external sites. Inclusion on this list does not equate to an endorsement of any content or organisation. Please contact the external site for questions regarding individual resources.
Online courses and guides
Learning from the past: a guide for the curious researcher
British Library and University of Nottingham (UK)
A free online course introducing sources of information for researchers, with a particular emphasis on those available online.
Guide to Secondary Data Sources in Geography
Dr David Michael Kidd, Kingston University London (UK)
A downloadable guide to secondary data sources for geography dissertations.
Access resource (.doc)
The re-use of qualitative data is an under-appreciated field for innovation
Dr Anna Tarrant and Dr Kahryn Hughes, London School of Economics (UK)
A blog post stating that the value and potential of data re-use and the associated methodology of qualitative secondary analysis (QSA) is often overlooked.
Geography Matters collection
Open University (UK)
A series of short articles, videos and podcasts by geographers from the Open University.
Open University (UK)
A series of free online courses on a range of topics from the Open University.
UK Data Service Webinars
UK Data Service (UK)
Webinars and online courses from covering social science data and data management.
An online repository of dissertations and theses on a range of subjects, including those held by the Library of Congress (requires institutional login).
Online training and workshops on building skills and tools for listening to and sharing stories.
Syracuse University (USA), King's College London (UK) and Universidade Federal Fluminense (Brazil)
An open access, seven-part video series on conducting ethnographic research.
Guidance on Conducting and Supervising Community-Oriented Psychology Research During COVID-19
University of Brighton (UK)
Pedagogical guidance, research design resources and signposting to key ethics policies for use by student researchers and supervisors of community-oriented psychology research.
Open access data
UK Finance Data
UK Finance (UK)
Downloadable data from the banking and finance industry, organised spatially.
Energy Performance Certificate Data
Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (UK)
A rich dataset of 18 million properties across the UK, incorporating over 90 variables.
National Biodiversity Network (UK)
Data on UK species and habitats, available to analyse and view via an online map viewer.
Britain on Film
British Film Institute (UK)
Films of various locations around the UK, viewable on a map.
Office for National Statistics (UK)
Official labour market data for the UK.
A Vision of Britain Through Time
University of Portsmouth and JISC (UK)
Historical census data, maps, reports and gazetteers of the UK.
University of Liverpool (UK)
A free online tool for visualising UK census data.
National Co-ordinating Centre for Public Engagement (UK)
A guide to running virtual meetings, events and interviews.
UK Data Service
UK Data Service (UK)
Open access international economic, social and population data.
Environmental Justice Atlas
An online atlas incporporating social conflict and environmental issues.
EDI Data Portal
Environmental Data Initiative (USA)
A repository of data from publicly funded research in the USA.
The Times Archive
The Times (UK)
A searchable archive of The Times newspaper, including filterable results and scanned or plain text articles.
Bringing together housing, land and planning geospatial datasets
Geospatial Commission (UK)
A collection of 60 datasets, available through the Open Government License
WorldPop/University of Southampton (UK)
Open spatial data on population and demographics.
Doing Fieldwork in a Pandemic
Deborah Lupton, University of New South Wales (Australia)
A compilation of tools and resources for collection data, including online discussions, interviews and videos.
Access resource (Google doc)
GDSL Teaching Links
Geographic Data Science Lab (UK)
Useful links and courses for Data Science and GIS-based dissertations.
Enhancement Themes resources
QAA Scotland (UK)
Resources, activities and guided reflections to help develop transition skills, introduced by a blog post highlighting their usefulness in times of uncertainty.
Digital Ethnography Collective Reading List
London School of Economics (UK)
A selection of recent publications in the fields of ethnography and anthropology.
Dataseta and Project Ideas
University of Edinburgh (UK)
A selection of useful links and resources, with particular focus on disaster risk management, energy and climate change.
Children, Youth and Families Resources
Geographies of Children, Youth and Families Research Group (UK)
Links, resources and literature relavant to research in the field.
Geography and Education Resources
Geography and Education Research Group (UK)
A crowd-sourced compilation of data sources and secondary data analysis guidance for Geography and Education research.
Doing your dissertation during the COVID-19 pandemic
Social and Cultural Geography Research Group (UK)
Lists of online resources incorporating research methods, data sources, anaysis and webinars.
Doing qualitative research on inequalities during Covid
Living with Data (UK)
Resources about doing qualitative research in socially distant times, with a particular focus on researching with marginalised, diverse, minoritised or hard-to-reach groups and communities.
Masters Dissertation Scheme
Consumer Data Research Centre, University College London (UK)
A scheme linking student research projects with business and industry, opening access to data and sponsorship.