Geography Fieldwork

A Level

Types of fieldwork

3. Types of fieldwork

This website takes the enquiry approach to help you structure your independent investigation. But here are other valid approaches to fieldwork. It is also possible to incorporate elements of these other approaches into a geographical enquiry.

Hypothesis testing

Use geographical theory to generate hypotheses. Test each hypothesis by collecting appropriate field data, then analyse data using statistical tests.

Discovery fieldwork

Explore a place for yourself by making observations, taking photographs or collecting objects. Consider urban drifting, where you take a structured but unplanned journey through a city.

Discovery fieldwork includes ethnographic techniques such as participant observation.

Places can also be explored using creative writing, images and film. Here the evidence can be interpreted by iconological content analysis, image analysis and coding.

Sensory fieldwork

Explore a place by sense of smell, touch, sight, hearing or taste. You can deprive other senses, perhaps with a blindfold, to heighten awareness of the target sense.

Possible strategies include sound mapping, back-to-back field sketching, aroma mapping and emotional mapping.