Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2019-2020 (archived)

Module EDUC40520: A discipline-specific project on learning and teaching

Department: Education

EDUC40520: A discipline-specific project on learning and teaching

Type Open Level 4 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2019/20 Module Cap


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • The aim of this module is to offer practitioners the opportunity to enhance their own practice. The vehicle for achieving this aim is a project focused on a selected aspect of academic practice as identified by individual participants in consultation with the PGCert course team. Ideally the outcomes of this project would be recognised as contributing to an understanding of the student learning experience, to the teaching or assessment of subject matter, or to the design or evaluation of learning materials in whatever form. ‘Teaching’ in this context includes postgraduate supervision and ‘learning’ similarly includes the process of research-as-learning. In terms of scholarship, the outcomes of the project, and perhaps the design of the project itself, would be expected to contribute to ‘best practice’ in the discipline.


  • The formulation of a suitable project, its content, and its practice focus will be negotiated between the practitioner and the PG Cert Course Team. The form of the project may, for example, be based on a self-contained piece of action research, a threshold concepts analysis of a course, the trialing of new teaching methods based on variation theory, or a critical literature review of ‘best practice’ and its implementation in a subject or disciplinary context.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Reflect on, and critique their own professional practice. A demonstration, where appropriate, of the progression of their academic practice, or the practice of the department. A demonstration, where appropriate, of the application of underpinning theory.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The production of texts (for example, papers, book chapters) or materials (for example, text- or web-based) that demonstrate proficiency in a key aspect of their academic role as university teachers.
Key Skills:
  • These, where present, will depend on the nature of the project.

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

  • There is no taught component in this module. The learning that takes place will derive from the findings of the project, and a consideration of their impact on practice at either a personal, or departmental level. Since this module is project based, and to do with the scholarship of learning and teaching, it is anticipated that participants will require an element of supervision from the programme team, both in the initial conceptualisation and refinement of the aims and outcomes of the project, and in its methodology.
  • It is not possible to stipulate in advance, in a decontextualised sense, how much contact time will initially be needed to establish the content and methodology of the project. Neither is it possible to similarly stipulate in advance the frequency and duration of discussions as the project progresses, or anticipate how much specialist input including formative comment will be required. It can only be stated each project will be supported by the programme team or, (as appropriate) a designated member of the programme team, who will be responsible for tracking the progress of the project within agreed upon time lines, and that individual participants can expect a minimum of four hours and a maximum of eight hours of such supervisory contact time.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Individual supervision 4 - 8
Project work 192 - 196
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Summative Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Written summary of teaching related project 3,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Formative assessment will be provided as, and when, required within the agreed upon timelines and structure of the project. This formative assessment will take the form of written feedback and face to face discussion on, for example, draft outlines of the conceptualisation of the project, the methodology to be followed, and interim progress reports.

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