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Programme & Unit Catalogues

ED50326: Research methods in education

[Page last updated: 02 August 2022]

Academic Year: 2022/23
Owning Department/School: Department of Education
Credits: 12 [equivalent to 24 CATS credits]
Notional Study Hours: 240
Level: Masters UG & PG (FHEQ level 7)
Modular (no specific semester)
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework (CW 100%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: Completion of this unit, and associated course-work, should enable students to:
* understand the relationship between different kinds of knowledge and forms of explanation in educational research; how new knowledge in education is generated and the relationship between research and professional knowledge in education;
* understand key concepts in educational research (e.g., objectivity, subjectivity reflexivity) and how they inform research studies;
* be able to access, evaluate and review critically relevant research literature;
* be familiar with the major paradigms within which educational research is conducted; and understand how they relate to research in other social science disciplines;
* identify appropriate topics for enquiry and formulate research questions;
* be familiar with, and understand how to apply, a range of research strategies and designs appropriate to educational problems (e.g. survey, experiments, case study, ethnographic approaches, biographical/narrative approaches).
* understand ethical considerations, such as the connection between researcher and researched in educational settings.

* To examine critically the specific nature of research and enquiry in education, and its relationship to enquiry in other social science disciplines;
* To examine the theories and forms of explanation used in educational research; and the types of knowledge generated in educational research;
* To address the major ways of designing and conducting research studies to address a range of issues and problems in education;
* To consider the relationship between research, policy and practice in education.

* Application of a critical understanding of issues in educational research by evaluating examples of published research (T/A).
* Evaluating the claims of research and theoretical knowledge (T/F/A)
* Problem analysis, research and critical reflection/evaluation (T/F/A)
* Independent work and self-directed learning (F)
* Group and team work (F)
* Individual and group presentation skills (F)
* Written communication (A)
* Develop skill in communicating research to different audiences (T/F)
Key skills
1. Make critical use of the literature of the field of Education (T/F/A).
2. Make critical use of professional experience in the field of Education (T/F/A).
3. Undertake and educational study in an appropriately critical, original and balanced fashion (T/F/A).
4. Analyse, interpret and critique findings and arguments (T/F/A).
5. Collect, Analyse and interpret data appropriately (T/F/A).
6. Draw appropriate conclusions from and education research study, taking account of its strengths and limitations (T/F/A).
7. Select and justify the focus, scope and methodology of an educational research study (T/F/A).
8. Review, employ, and engage critically with an appropriate literature through the design, conduct and evaluation of an educational research study (T/F/A).
9. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems (T/F/A).
10. Evaluate research and variety of types of information and evidence critically, also making informed judgements in the absence of complete data (T/F/A)
11. Initiate change in practice appropriately (T/F/A).
12. Contribute to professional debate in the field of education (T/F/A).
13. Act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level (T/F/A).
14. Communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences (T/F/A).
15. Evaluate their own academic and professional performance (T/F/A).
16. Manage change effectively and respond to changing demands (T/F/A).
17. Manage time, prioritise workloads and recognise and manage personal emotions and stress (T/F/A).
18. Develop new or higher level skill, for example in information technology (T/F/A).

* Purposes for research in education.
* Major forms and traditions of research in education and their methodological implications (e.g. research on educational policy; educational settings; pedagogy; pupil learning and achievement).
* Critical literature review; and interpretation of research findings and claims to knowledge.
* Key concepts in educational research (e.g. objectivity, subjectivity and reflexivity); their application in the conduct of a research study.
* Identification of researchable problems in education and formulation of research questions.
* The logic of research designs and strategies on educational topics.

Programme availability:

ED50326 is a Designated Essential Unit on the following programmes:

Department of Education

ED50326 is Optional on the following programmes:

Department of Education


  • This unit catalogue is applicable for the 2022/23 academic year only. Students continuing their studies into 2023/24 and beyond should not assume that this unit will be available in future years in the format displayed here for 2022/23.
  • Programmes and units are subject to change in accordance with normal University procedures.
  • Availability of units will be subject to constraints such as staff availability, minimum and maximum group sizes, and timetabling factors as well as a student's ability to meet any pre-requisite rules.
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