Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)

Module EDUC43130: Professional Practice Enquiry 2

Department: Education

EDUC43130: Professional Practice Enquiry 2

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to MTL Programme


  • Modules 1 – 6.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To deepen teachers’ knowledge and understanding of an issue or problem relating to specialist practice
  • To plan, carry out and complete a research project relevant to specialist practice
  • To write up the research project in a format suitable for an audience of peers and teacher educators
  • To give opportunities for wider dissemination of research findings


  • This module relates to phase 3 of the MTL programme as one of the two 30 credit modules comprising phase 3 as described in the National Framework. The overall aim of this phase is ‘to further develop and deepen specific professional attributes, knowledge, skills and understanding through enquiry and the use of evidence in areas of expertise’ (National Framework).
  • This module is the second of two in Phase 3. This phase focuses on deepening a teacher’s knowledge and experience by undertaking research relevant to practice.
  • Students will be supported by coaches in carrying out a research project on the topic identified in Module 7. HEI input will provide introductory guidance on methods appropriate for practitioner inquiry research and writing up such projects.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • A systematic understanding of research, national frameworks and practical knowledge relating to the four content areas of MTL drawn on appropriately to develop practice (LO3)
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Designing, carrying out and critically analysing an M-level, practice-based enquiry in teachers’ specialist professional fields, exploring relationships between theoretical and practical knowledge and impacts on practice (LO8)
  • Making sound judgements on complex issues, even when evidence is incomplete and communicating conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences in their school and beyond (LO9)
Key Skills:
  • An open and questioning mindset in developing professional practice (LO12)

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

  • There will be HEI input from tutors through lectures, seminars and workshops. Lectures will be used to launch the module and introduce the students to new material relevant to the module topic. They will provide input on strategies for carrying out literature reviews, writing a literature review and preparing a small-scale research project. The associated seminars and workshops will help students to design, carry out and critically analysing an M-level, practice-based enquiry. Students will also receive one-to-one in-school support from coaches. HEI tutors will visit schools to provide extra support in the work context. Participants will also engage in directed and independent study and school-based tasks.
  • Assessment is by written work of 5,000 words.
  • The students will be required to write a research paper for an audience of peers and teacher educators. This will demonstrate understanding of research (L03) and the ability to design and carry out M-level enquiry (LO8). The requirement to communicate clearly their conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences in their school and beyond will show evidence of and reflection on dissemination of research findings (LO9) and an open mindset (LO12).
  • Role of school-based coach in module delivery
  • To aid student in designing a research project in conjunction with HEI tutor
  • To help facilitate data collection for the project
  • To act as a “critical friend” in preparing the project for publication and dissemination
  • To assist in finding and facilitating dissemination opportunities appropriate to the student’s school / work context
  • Role of HEIs in module delivery
  • To provide background academic content to support the learning outcomes of the module
  • To liaise with student and school-based coach to ensure progress is being maintained
  • To offer guidance on appropriateness of a research project
  • Assessment will be by two tasks:-
  • 1. Research paper written for an audience of peers and teacher educators
  • 2. Evidence of and reflection on wider dissemination of research findings

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 4 Conference 1 hour 4
Seminars/workshops 4 Conference 2 hours 8
HEI tutorial support 1 Visit to school 2 hours 2
Coach support 8 Weekly for 8 weeks 2 hours 16
Preparation, Reading, School-based tasks. 270
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
1. Research paper 4000 words 80% Yes
2. Reflection on dissemination 1000 words 20% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Feedback will be offered on a draft version of the written assignment at an appropriate stage prior to submission.

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