Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module EDUC40160: MSC Dissertation

Department: Education

EDUC40160: MSC Dissertation

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 60 Availability Not available in 2020/21 Module Cap
Tied to X9K009
Tied to X2K309
Tied to X3K609


  • • EDUC44030 Research Methods in Education.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable students to research an appropriate educational issue through the use of a justified research strategy and report the outcomes satisfactorily.


  • The focus of the dissertation wil be decided in consultation between the student and the supervisor.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of this module students will be able to:
  • Critically appraise a body of literature related to their specialist topic;
  • Apply an appropriate research approach to their enquiry;
  • Apply academic and professional ethical codes of conduct in the design and conduct of their research;
  • Evaluate the strengths and limitations of their research approach;
  • Appreciate the complexities of educational research;
  • Report on the outcomes of their enquiry in a scholarly fashion.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • Locate and analyse independently a relevant range of educational research;
  • Design and carry out an appropriate educational research study;
  • Demonstrate an ability to act on feedback;
  • Write a report in accordance with accepted academic conventions.
Key Skills:
  • By the end of the module students will be able to:
  • Communicate effectively both orally and in writing;
  • Demonstrate an ability to work independently;
  • Demonstrate an ability to work ethically;
  • Demonstrate an ability to solve problems;
  • Demonstrate an ability to manage their time effectively.

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

  • Workshops on elements of the research and writing process
  • Tutorial supervision
  • Resources supplied by tutors and peers
  • Formative presentation to peers
  • Formative feedback from tutors
  • Written summative assessment of a 15,000 word dissertation

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Supervision As Required 9
Workshops 5 1.5 hours 7.5
Summative Presentation 1 one day 7
Preparation, independent reading and writing 576.5
Total 600

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 15,000 words 85%
Ethics Application Pass/Fail 0%
Conference Abstract 300 words 5%
Conference Presentation 15 minutes 10%

Formative Assessment:

Element length/duration. Dissertation proposal 1000 words maximum. Draft dissertation material 20% minimum. All students are given regular formative feedback from the supervisor on the progress of the dissertation through tutorial discussions and the presentation of draft material.

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