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 X9K907
Tied to X9A102
Tied to X9A302
Tied to X9A402
Tied to X9A502


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To provide particiants with the understanding that research has a theoretical knowledge base and is open to evaluation.


  • The focus will be on some key ideas of research in education which will be illustrated by research papers set in different educational contexts.
  • The purpose of educational research will be considered. In addition, the module will consider what is meant by research in education. The range of educational research traditions and paradigms and their underlying philosophies will be examined through the readings and exemplified during the teaching activities. The ethical implications for any research will be considered, both from the perspective of those involved in the research and the consequences for the validity of the research.
  • Specifically students will be taught about the language of research, qualitative and quantitative research paradigms, the appropriateness of different methodologies, ethics in educational research, validity and reliability with particluar reference to some frequently used methodologies and an introduction to quantitative techniques.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • An exploration of the philosophical basis of research and different approaches to conducting research and their strengths and weaknesses.
  • The exploration of research is specifically based on an educational research or topic of interest (thi can be related to professional practice).
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate educational research, more specifically:
  • Understand different research paradigms and their characteristics;
  • Show critical and reflective thinking on the limitations of different research methodologies;
  • Understand key concepts in the critique of educational research.
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate the ability to research literature, including for example: searching, synthesising, summarising and critiquing literatures;
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate educational research;
  • Use ICT when presenting assignments;
  • 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 preperation for and follow 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, individual tasks. Preperation for the essay involves students in wide reading and critical reflection on ideas of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 1.5 hours 10.5
Seminars 7 2.5 hours 17.5
Preparation & Reading 272
Total 300

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Verbal feedback is given to students' contribution during class teaching sessions. Staff can be contacted for individual help. Written formative feedback is provided for the academic outline of the essay.

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