Geography, Earth and environment at Brighton

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Dr Nick McGlynn

Dr Nick McGlynn is course leader for Geography BA(Hons).

Tell us about the subject areas you teach at undergraduate level?

I teach Human Geography, specialising in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and queer (LGBTQ) equality issues and community spaces.

What are some examples of activities that students in your subject area participate in during their studies?

With all of the progress that’s been made it’s easy to forget that LGBTQ people still face marginalisation and exclusion in our society, and really value having distinct LGBTQ spaces. One of the field trips I lead takes students to the Soho area of central London. We explore why Soho became an LGBTQ neighbourhood over the past 40 years, and document changes to the area by making our own ethnographic observations. Students get to visit LGBTQ venues, observe the nightlife, and hear from experts like local journalists about the politics of LGBTQ spaces and the issues faced by Soho businesses and residents.

Read more about the Soho trip

Human Geographers often use ‘qualitative’ data, like audio-recorded interviews or written stories. But graduates from lots of degrees leave university not really knowing what to do with this kind of data! I teach students how to analyse qualitative data effectively and rigorously, so that they can evidence the conclusions they draw from it. This includes training in step-by-step techniques like Reflexive Thematic Analysis (RTA), and specialist software like NVivo which helps organise and manage very large qualitative datasets. Students practice these during our 2nd year Morocco field trip, using them to analyse the data they gather in the field while doing their own group projects.

What do you enjoy most about teaching at undergraduate level?

Getting to see students learn and develop during their time with us. It’s so great when you see a student’s marks consistently getting better and better, because they’re listening to their feedback and actually enjoying what they’re learning!

What support is available to undergraduate students at Brighton?

We’ve got a really superb staff-to-student ratio, so we get to teach in small classes and genuinely get to know our students. This means we’re able listen and give advice tailored to individuals, their needs and their situations. No student here is ever just another face in the crowd!

What’s your favourite location in Sussex and why?

I love walking along the Brighton seafront. In winter you wrap up, watch huge waves crash and roar as flocks of starlings swirl around the pier. In summer it’s shorts and t-shirts, baking in the heat as you go to get an ice-cream. Amazing all year round!

Listen to Nick’s podcast

Podcast: Nick talks discusses his research into LGBTQ communities in both rural and urban areas and his high energy teaching style

Watch a video

Find out more about Dr McGlynn’s research.

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