Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module EDUC45830: Education Enquiry

Department: Education

EDUC45830: Education Enquiry

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.
Tied to X9A802
Tied to X9A102
Tied to X2K207
Tied to X9K907


  • • None


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module aims to encourage students to think critically about and reflect upon their own professional practice - to become enquirers in their own professional context(s) and into their own practice. Students will be supported to think about links between education research, theory and practice, thinking critically about how these can be integrated in order to support their own professional learning. Student’s critical reflection on their own practice will usually focus on one area of practice that the student has identified as important to them, in their professional practice and context.


  • The module will encourage reflexive practice and enquiry, in order that students can understand and consider the effects of different approaches to changing their developing practice (rather than simply evaluating it).
  • The module will provide students with an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of education research (including some wider debates in education research and methods). Students will be encouraged to make and explore links between theory, research and practice.
  • The module will introduce to students a number of approaches to facilitate critical reflection on their own practice, provide opportunities to discuss these reflections and explore how they might influence their own professional learning.
  • The module will introduce students to practitioner enquiry, students will be encouraged to be flexible, reflexive, embracing of change, critical and informed.
  • The module will introduce students to a range of approaches to practitioner research, associated research design and methods.
  • The module will provide support for students in the development of a critically reflective portfolio, that is relevant (personally and/or professionally) to the student.
  • The module will introduce students to ethics in education research, with a particular focus on the ethics of researching one’s own practice and of the ethics associated with researching with children.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand the theoretical underpinnings and applications of practitioner enquiry.
  • Understand the theoretical underpinnings and applications of action research.
  • Apply a reflexive and critical approach to practitioner research, where the results of which will contribute to the student’s development as a professional and have the potential for wider impact (beyond the student’s own context).
  • Develop an effective research design in order to carry out a small-scale pilot research project within the 'enquirer as stance' model.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Identify, understand, and consider the effects of problematics in practice and/or specific educational contexts and adopt approaches to changing these.
  • Be reflexive of their own practice and consider the effects of ‘enquiry as stance’ positioning as an educator
  • Appreciate in depth 'enquirer as stance' model and apply to own practitioner research
  • Plan and conduct small-scale practitioner research, engaging critically with literature (empirical and conceptual) that supports professional learning.
  • Adopt approaches to changing their developing practice based on the process of practitioner enquiry.
Key Skills:
  • Engage critically with research literature, including, for example: searching, synthesising, summarising and critiquing literatures; these will include differing theoretical standpoints.
  • Engage with theory, practice and research evidence.
  • Organise, plan and present research.
  • Formulate, analyse and solve problems.
  • Be reflective and reflexive.
  • Learn independently, in co-operation and collaboratively.

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

  • Teaching and learning will be delivered via lectures and workshop style seminar teaching, which will be supported by DUO resources. Teaching will enable the key ideas of the module to be considered, students will follow up on lecture and seminar material in individual study time (preparation and reading). DUO enables staff and students to continue their interaction between teaching sessions. Seminars will be collaborative and discussion focussed, enabling students to develop their understanding of the ideas and consider them in a range of professionally relevant contexts. Activities in seminars include a variety of active learning approaches including discussion, group work, presentations, question and answer sessions and individual tasks. Assessment for the module comprises 1 formative assignment on which students will receive feedback relevant to their summative and 1 summative portfolio.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 7 1.5 10.5
Seminars 7 2.5 17.5
Directed (preparation) tasks via DUO 5 5 25
Preparation & Reading 247
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Portfolio 5,000 words plus appendices 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Formative Assessment: The interactive nature of the teaching sessions, with discussion, small group work, individual questioning, student presentations etc provides opportunity for informal formative feedback. The summative assignment will be introduced early in the module to enable ongoing discussion during the teaching sessions and beyond. The formative assignment will be directly linked to the summative assignment, in order that students can receive feedback on their ideas.

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