Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2011-2012 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Tied Level 5 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2011/12 Module Cap None.
Tied to X9A102
Tied to X9A302
Tied to X9A402
Tied to X9A602


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To facilitate the satisfactory development of a workable proposal for a thesis.


  • The focus of the module is on development of a thesis proposal in the form of an assignment prior to writing the Ed.D. thesis. The elements of a thesis are introduced. These include key themes such as understanding how to use theory to inform research, different ways of conducting research, theoretical and practical issues related to research design, theoretical and practical issues related to analysing data/information. Students will be asked to consider a line of research they are interested in, examine the research groups in the School of Education (SoE) and consider matching their interests to the strengths in the SoE. Ideas are taken to the Thesis Co-ordinator who will link the student to a supervisor. The student will work with the supervisor to produce a viable line of research. This proposal will be the basis of the 5,000-word assignment.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will be able to:
  • Identify a feasible research project.
  • Have a theoretical basis for their thesis topic.
  • Have a theoretical understanding of research methods.
  • Be aware of practical issues underpinning their and research in general e.g. ethics, sample sizes, administration.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Devise/propose a research design incorporating appropriate research methodology.
Key Skills:
  • The critical ability to work on ideas and issues independently.
  • The critical ability to present complex ideas succinctly and coherently in writing.

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

  • In terms of teaching, students will be introduced to issues relating to conducting a thesis in three sessions, two informal and one formal taught session. In terms of contact support, students will liaise with their supervisor and Thesis Co-ordinator throughout the taught and thesis phase of the Ed.D. In terms of documentation, students can access a thesis proposal and dissertation site on DUO. Students will produce a summary of their proposal during the taught phase of their programme and will produce a final 5,000-word summative assignment incorporating features of the module objectives. The assignment is assessed on a pass/fail basis
  • The module is taught via series of sessions that deal with specific research issues. Sessions are mixture of lectures and seminars depending on the needs of the students.
  • Typical delivery would be 4 x 3-hour sessions. ** Typical supervision will be approximately 6 hours of contact time with a variety of staff, e.g. potential supervisors, Thesis co-ordinator.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Seminars 4 See above ** 3 12
Preparation and Reading 288
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Pass/fail assignment 5000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

This assessment is ongoing via feedback from supervisors on potential proposals for the thesis. Each version of a research proposal will be discussed with the supervisor who will give written and/or verbal feedback.

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