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ED50485: Research methods in international education and globalisation

[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)
Academic Year
Assessment Summary: CW 100%
Assessment Detail:
  • Coursework 1 (CW 30%)
  • Coursework 2 (CW 70%)
Supplementary Assessment:
Like-for-like reassessment (where allowed by programme regulations)
Learning Outcomes: Together, the MA IEG units contribute to programme learning outcomes 1-7 for knowledge and understanding. This unit makes a key contribution to learning outcomes 5 and 7-9 for knowledge and understanding as follows.
Having studied the unit, students will be able to:
5. cite examples of leading edge research in the field
7. explain, at an advanced level, key research methods in international education research (including methods of analysis)
8. critique methodologies and methods in IEG research and when appropriate develop new research questions and hypotheses
9. understand and address research issues, methods and ethical dilemmas applicable to their own small scale research projects, and on a larger scale
Unit specific learning outcomes are that students will be able to:
I. explain the major paradigms within which educational research in IEG is conducted and how this informs research in practice
II. evaluate critically the relationship between IEG research and IEG policy/ practice.

Aims: All programme units contribute to, and have been mapped to, the programme aims. All units contribute to aims 6 and 7. This unit will make a key contribution to Programme aims 2 and 4 to develop students':
2. reflective, analytical and practical research skills and, through this, explore beliefs, knowledge and assumptions about international education and globalisation as they intersect
4. practical research skills for studying the relationships between International Education and Globalisation together with direct experience of leading edge research and contemporary theoretical debates in the fields.

In particular the unit aims to develop students' critical understanding of:
1. the role and purpose of IEG research including the relationship between research, policy and practice in IEG
2. the relationship between philosophical / theoretical perspectives and research in IEG and the types of knowledge generated
3. the major methodological approaches and methods and associated analytical tools used in IEG research and the application of these
4. ethical and other issues and dilemmas in carrying out research in IEG
and to enable students to develop:
5. a range of practical research skills for different stages of an educational research process address including skills to address ethical and other issues dilemmas in carrying out research
6. a plan for a small scale research project in the fields of IEG (link to the Dissertation unit).

Skills: Together, the MA IEG units contribute to programme learning outcomes 1-8 for intellectual and professional practical skills. This unit makes a particular contribution towards 1-4, 8-11, therefore having studied the unit, students will be able to:
1. demonstrate sensitivity to the values, viewpoints and interests of others
2. act both autonomously and collaboratively in planning and implementing tasks
3. demonstrate clarity of thought and quality of argument in educational issues relating to international education and globalisation
4. make critical use of the literature and professional experience the field of Education, synthesising information from a number of sources in order to gain coherent understandings and make informed judgements in the absence of complete data
8. assess their own learning needs and enhance their future professional practice in international education and globalisation
9. formulate research questions and research foci in the field of international education and globalization that have relevance to professional practice
10. design a small scale research project to address a research focus
11. make critical use of appropriate theory and literature in small scale research project in the field, and on a larger scale
Additionally students will be able to:
* apply data analysis skills and methods appropriate to different types of data (including qualitative and quantitative).
Transferable/ key skills
Together, the MA IEG units contribute to programme learning outcomes 1-13 for transferable/ key skills. Therefore, having studied the unit, students will be able to demonstrate:
1. cross-cultural sensitivity and effective interpersonal communication skills
2. written and oral communication including presentation skills
3. critical and creative thinking skills
4. problem solving and decision making skills applied to complex and unpredictable situations and familiar and unfamiliar problems
5. independent study and learning skills
6.information skills including literature search
7. ICT skills for study, searching for information, networking, communicating ideas and discussing with others
8. ICT skills for academic and professional development
9. independent and group working skills
10. time management and organisation skills and prioritising workloads
11. producing work to meet agreed objectives and deadlines, responding appropriately to feedback from tutors and peers
12. exercising initiative and personal responsibility
13. self-evaluation of academic and professional performance as a basis for development.

Content: Through the unit sessions and study time individuals and groups will explore critically a range of questions to support their developing knowledge, understandings and skills. A significant theme running throughout the unit will be the preparation to undertake a small-scale research project (Dissertation) and the development of a research proposal for the project.
1. What is educational research and why do it? What is distinctive about research in the fields of IEG? What is the role, purpose and value of IEG research, for example for practice?
2. What are the key philosophical/ theoretical concepts that are the basis for different types/ genres of research in IEG?
3. How can you access, critique and evaluate research studies in the fields of IEG? (e.g. sources, searching, critical reading).
4. How do you identify 'researchable problems' and formulate research questions in research in IEG (that have relevance to professional practice)?
5. What is a typical research process or 'cycle'?
6. What are the major methodological approaches, research methods and associated analytical tools used in IEG research? How do you select and develop methods and tools?
7. What sorts of issues and problems do researchers in IEG face, for example, ethnocentric bias in the interpretation of findings, difficulties of establishing cultural and contextual sensitivity, access to data that is comparable?
8. What does it mean to do ethical educational research in IEG, for example, researching in different cultural contexts using cross culturally sensitive approaches?

A key resource for learning (and addressing the questions above) will be a series of real research examples, each adopting a different research approach. Each research example will highlight different types and aspects of research and will have potential application to the student's small-scale research project. The examples will be supported by a range of resources e.g. research plans, proposals, publications/ reports (outputs), data, ethical guidelines, consent forms.

Students will be required to probe and analyse the resources e.g. by identifying philosophical underpinnings, use of theory, discussing and debating issues, trying out interview schedules, analysing data, critiquing methods, critiquing reports, evaluating and applying findings.

Programme availability:

ED50485 is a Designated Essential Unit 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.
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