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Place Studies

Based at Magdalen Farm Centre, Dorset

and on the Costa Brava, Spain

West Dorset

This unit is available as both a day visit and part of a residential stay at Magdalen Farm.

 

Our fieldwork takes place in the villages of Thorncombe and Winsham, both within easy walking distance from Magdalen Farm Centre. Rural deprivation, counter-urbanisation, lack of services and poor availability of affordable housing have all left their mark on the villages and yet both are still vibrant communities full of life and activity.  

We use a wide range of secondary data sources (2011 Census, 2015 Indices of Multiple Deprivation and a variety of media sources) to create an informed perception of each village. Fieldwork to both settlements provides data that can be compared to and inevitably modifies this initial perception to help students understand the reality of life in this rural area.

This initial activity is an ideal introduction to enable students to develop a range of hypotheses which can be used as a basis for a variety of NEA coursework projects, or it can stand alone as a piece of fieldwork to support the diverse places content.

Further details of fieldwork can be found here.

Spain

Our fieldwork takes place is a variety of small settlements about 30 minutes drive north of our main base in Platja D'Aro. We udertake a mixture of qualitative and quantitative fieldwork activities in rural settlements, all with varying populations and characteristics such as accessibility, service provision and type, tourist facilities, distance from the coast, tranquility etc.

 

Students develop a range of hypotheses which are tested with field and secondary data. Examples are

  • tourism service provision is proportional to accessibility,

  • tranquility is inversely proportional to proximity to the coastline,

  • seasonal population is proportional to proximity to golf courses and safe swimming beaches

  • the relative proportion of older to younger residents in a settlement is proportional to the public transport provision

This initial activity is an ideal introduction to enable students to develop a range of hypotheses which can be used as a basis for a variety of NEA coursework projects, or it can stand alone as a piece of fieldwork to support the diverse places content.