Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to X5K307
Tied to X5K207
Tied to X9A502
Tied to X9A402
Tied to X9A302
Tied to X9A102
Tied to X1K214
Tied to X9KC14
Tied to X9K907


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The module will aim to equip students with knowledge, skills and understanding which will enable them to demonstrate the ability to carry out and evaluate a pilot research project relevant to practice.


  • The module will introduce students to a range of approaches to research design and methods for application in the broad field of practitioner research.
  • The module will encourage reflection on practice and evaluation of (students’ own) research.
  • The module will also provide support for students in the development of a research proposal to enable a small pilot research project to be carried out. The project will be relevant (personally and/or professionally) to the students.
  • The module will also provide guidance on : planning research and the various aspects of this process; formulating a research problem; selecting cases for study; producing and analysing data; writing research reports.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • understand the main strategies and techniques used in educational research;
  • develop an effective research design in order to carry out a pilot research project;
  • apply a reflective and evaluative approach to research design and methods.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • plan, conduct and evaluate academic research and literature (empirical and conceptual);
  • reflect on their own practice;
  • identify and solve problems in specific educational contexts.
Key Skills:
  • Students’ essays will demonstrate their ability to:
  • research literature, including, for example: searching, synthesising, summarising and critiquing literatures;
  • use ICT when presenting essays;
  • organise and plan;
  • formulate, analyse and solve problems ;
  • Learn independently.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • Through lectures and seminar teaching supported by Study Guide resources. The Study Guide includes preparation for, and follows up on, teaching activities. This directed independent work is an important part of the module. Lectures enable the ideas of the module to be considered. Seminar work enables students to develop their understanding of the ideas and consider them in a range of professionally relevant contexts. Activities in seminars include a variety of active learning approaches including discussion, group work, presentations, question and answer sessions and individual tasks. Feedback on individual proposals for pilot research will provide individualised formative guidance. DUO enables staff and students to continue their interaction between teaching sessions.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 1.5 10.5
Seminars 7 2.5 17.5
Directed tasks in study guide and via DUO 6 5 30
Preparation & Reading 242
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

The interactive nature of the teaching sessions, with discussion, small group work, individual questioning, student presentations etc provides opportunity for informal formative feedback. Essay titles are introduced early in the module to enable ongoing discussion during the teaching sessions. In addition to contact with the tutor during teaching sessions, tutors can be contacted by phone or email. Since students are required to carry out research into an aspect of their professional practice, a Proposal Proforma is submitted and formative feedback is provided by the Module Convenor. Students are strongly advised to submit an outline (maximum 2 sides of A4) summarising the development of the argument in their essays at least 4 weeks in advance of the submission deadline for written formative feedback prior to the summative assessment.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University