Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2012-2013 (archived)


Department: Education


Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2012/13 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to X1C1
Tied to X1F8
Tied to X1G1
Tied to X1Q3
Tied to X1V1
Tied to XL33
Tied to XV36
Tied to XV35
Tied to X1W3
Tied to X1C8


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To give students an appreciation of the different ways in which research can be carried out.
  • To help students understand ways to assess the quality of research.


  • Philosophical: paradigm issues
  • Literature reviews
  • Experimental designs
  • Scientific Method
  • Methods of data collection
  • Interviews and Case Studies
  • Questionnaires and Surveys
  • Observation in research
  • Ethics in Research

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will be able to: understand and evaluate different views about the nature of educational research knowledge and the purposes of research, and make comparisons between the kinds of knowledge claims that can be made about education and those in their joint discipline.
  • use and demonstrate knowledge about different kinds of educational research methods and designs, and the kinds of research questions for which they are appropriate.
  • appreciate the issues and complexities of collecting, analysing and interpreting educational research data.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • identify ways of accessing evidence related to educational research
  • interrogate the assumptions underpinning theory and research related to educational research;
  • identify strengths and weaknesses of different forms of educational research
  • understand the relationship between epistemology and research methods and be able to apply the relationship to analyses of educational research.
Key Skills:
  • think critically and independently;
  • analyse, synthesise, evaluate and identify problems and solutions;
  • communicate effectively with appropriate use of specialist vocabulary;
  • interpret and present relevant numerical information;
  • use ICT and a variety of library and IT resources;
  • improve their own learning and performance, including the development of study and research skills, information retrieval, and a capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on their own learning;
  • work to deadlines.

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

  • Teaching will consist of a mixture of lectures and seminars.
  • Lectures will introduce key ideas and knowledge.
  • Seminars will provide opportunities for discussion and detailed exploration of key issues.
  • Students will also receive support for their summative assignment.
  • Much of the work in seminars will be student-led, using a range of structured and supported activities.
  • Students will be provided with a study guide which will contain some key readings, guidance on the activities to be undertaken throughout the course and provide links to further references and sources of information.
  • Students will receive a course reader with all the readings for the seminars.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 12 Fortnightly 1 hour 12
Seminars 12 Fortnightly 2 hours 24
Preparation and Reading 164
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2500 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

A 2500 word assignment on an issue related to research methods. Written formative feedback will be given to students. Students MUST complete and submit this assignment to pass the module.

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