Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2007-2008 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Available in 2007/08 Module Cap
Tied to X5K307
Tied to X5K207
Tied to X9K907


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to research a topic or issue of professional interest or relevance through the use of appropriate research strategies and to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the topic or issue.


  • The focus of the dissertation will be decided in consultation between the student, the module convenor and the supervisor. The title of the dissertation must be agreed at the commencement of the registration for the module.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A range of research paradigms and their charateristic methodologies; some underlying philosophical assumptions that are made in educational research;
  • What must be considered when the validity of educational research is evaluated;
  • How educational research can be used to investigate contemporary issues in Education.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to demonstrate the ability to evaluate educational research, more specifically will be able to:
  • under the direction of the supervisor, study an educational topic or issue in depth, appropriate to the degree programme;
  • identify and solve problems in specific educational contexts;evaluate educational research (either their own or others) use appropriate research strategies;
  • demonstrate the ability to work independently.
Key Skills:
  • Communication effectively in writing;
  • Work with a high level of autonomy;
  • Access and use literature.

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

  • With guidance via tutorial supervision and support material in the Study Guide and through individual research.
  • On submission of the dissertation title, students are assigned a dissertation supervisor who expores and helps define the focus of the research further. The final title is formally agreed and approved by the supervisor.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Tutorials As required 9
Support in Study Guide and with workshops 1 3 hours 3
Preparation & Reading 588
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 15,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

All students are given regular formative feedback from the supervisor on the progress of the dissertation through tutorial discussions and the presentation of draft material.

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