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Programme & Unit Catalogues

ED50333: Understanding learners and learning

[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: Having studied the unit, students will be able to:
* define learning from different theoretical and practical standpoints;
* explain the key ideas contributed by psychologists and others to our understanding of the process of learning;
* critically relate learning theories to their own ideas about learning;
* critically evaluate how research on brain structure and function contributes to our understanding of learning;
* identify individual differences in learning styles and preferences using a variety of approaches;
* promote in their own learners the ability to understand their own thinking and learning using metacognitive and other approaches and strategies;
* critically apply knowledge about learning and learners to their practice.

* To consider different perspectives on learning, on ways in which we learn and how learning can be supported;
* To present the major families of learning theories and consider their strengths and weaknesses;
* To recognise how approaches to teaching and instruction can be influenced by tacit and explicit learning theories;
* To debate how knowledge gained about learning and learners can be applied in practical educational and training contexts.

Skills: 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).
4. Analyse, interpret and critique findings and arguments (T/F/A).
9. Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems (T/F).
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)
12. Contribute to professional debate in the field of education (F).
13. Act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional level (F).
14. Communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences (T/F).
15. Evaluate their own academic and professional performance (T/F/A).
16. Manage change effectively and respond to changing demands (F).
17. Manage time, prioritise workloads and recognise and manage personal emotions and stress (F).
18. Develop new or higher level skill, for example in information technology (T/F/A).

Content: The unit will address the following areas:
* major families of learning theories
* implicit theories of learning
* learning styles and preferences
* learning about learning
* brain-based learning
* motivation and other factors affecting learning
* learning in adults.

Programme availability:

ED50333 is Compulsory on the following programmes:

Department of Education

ED50333 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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