Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Tied Level 5 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap None.
Tied to X9A102
Tied to X9A302
Tied to X9A402
Tied to X9A502


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce EdD students, in the taught phase of the programme to the presuppositions, practice and products of qualitative research in education.
  • To enable EdD students to prepare, in the taught phase of the programme, for conducting qualitative research in education.


  • As well as an understanding of the theoretical and epistemological issues informing qualitative educational research the module provides a step by step approach to qualitative research through lectures and workshops which concentrate on the key issues and questions educational researchers need to recognise, confront and resolve in conducting qualitative research in education. Issues and questions to be covered include:
  • the linking of methodological perspectives and practical strategies in qualitative educational research;
  • generating research problems and questions;
  • choosing appropriate qualitative methods for generating and collecting data;
  • principles of qualitative data analysis;
  • ethics, politics and practicalities of doing qualitative research;
  • the re-presentation, dissemination, and use of qualitative research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand critically the underlying rationale for qualitative research - in particular field research in education.
  • Understand critically the major approaches and techniques for conducting qualitative research in educational settings.
  • Understand critically the practical and ethical issues that arise in the conduct of qualitative research - in particular ethnographic research in education.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The critical ability to understand the skills necessary to prepare, undertake analyse and disseminate qualitative research in education.
Key Skills:
  • The critical ability to work on ideas and issues independently and as part a group.
  • The critical ability to present ideas through class presentation and writing.

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

  • Teaching of the module will adopt both a lecture and group work format. Lectures around a number of specific themes, issues and approaches to the conducting of qualitative research in educational settings will impart specific subject knowledge relating to the aims and learning outcomes specified above. Group work activity will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with those themes, issues and approaches, through group discussion, practical exercises and presentations on the planning, preparation, conduct, analysis and dissemination of qualitative research in education. The format of lecture and in particular group work exercise are appropriate in enabling student to both critically discuss and role play practical facets of the qualitative research process. Assessment in the form of a written assignment will provide the opportunity for students to present the extent to which they have understood and are able to engage critically with the themes and issues covered under the aims of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 6 Flexible because of the nature of the programme 1.5 hours 9
Seminars 7 Flexible because of the nature of the programme 3 hours 21
Fieldwork 1 Once 10 hours 10
Preparation and Reading 260
Total 300

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Feedback on key issues prepared in relation to the assignment and given according to departmental assessment policy.

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