Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Postgraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2020-2021 (archived)

Module EDUC46630: Student Engagement: An agent of change for positive youth development and learning success

Department: Education

EDUC46630: Student Engagement: An agent of change for positive youth development and learning success

Type Open Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2020/21 Module Cap None.


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • A consideration of student engagement in research, policy and practice with a particular focus on educational interventions that show promise in enhancing students’ engagement.


  • Broad overview
  • In this module, we will consider theoretical and practical perspectives on student engagement focusing, in particular, on the following questions:
  • 1. What do engaged students look like?
  • 2. Why does student engagement matter?
  • 3. What are the antecedents and outcomes of engaged students and engaging contexts?
  • 4. How do contextual factors (schools, families, peers) influence students and, in turn, student outcomes?
  • 5. What is the relationship between engagement, learning and achievement?
  • 6. In what ways can student engagement be improved?
  • Summary of content
  • Promoting student engagement from childhood to adolescence as a way to improve positive youth development and school completion.
  • Profiles of school disengagement and person-centred analytic techniques.
  • Early warning indicators and intervention systems.
  • The intersection of student engagement and families – a critical connection for achievement and life outcomes.
  • Peer relationships and engagement; supporting peer relationships to promote engagement.
  • Developmental dynamics of student engagement; engagement across developmental periods.
  • Instructional interventions that support student engagement; key facilitators of student engagement from an international perspective; classroom strategies to enhance academic engaged time.
  • School discipline and student engagement; reducing suspension and increasing equity through supportive and engaging schools.
  • Creating caring classroom and school communities; social and emotional learning programmes and practices.
  • Nurturing motivation, engagement and resilience in students; the power of mind-sets.
  • Mental health interventions: empirical links between student engagement and mental health.
  • Measurement issues, instruments and approaches; measuring student engagement to inform effective interventions in schools.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Critical understanding of theoretical and empirical conceptualisations of engagement definitions, significance, contextual influences, student outcomes and promising educational interventions.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • By the end of the module, students will be able to:
  • Identify and critically evaluate key research, including policy documents, that have sought to clarify conceptual issues and promote student engagement through interventions that aim to increase positive educational outcomes.
  • Apply theoretical perspectives to practical issues relevant to student engagement in different educational contexts. •
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of recent research in student engagement and ascertain the quality and strength of the existing evidence.
Key Skills:
  • Demonstrate the ability to research literature, including, for example, searching, synthesising, summarising and critiquing the relevant literature.
  • Demonstrate the ability to evaluate educational research.
  • Use ICT when presenting assignments.
  • Organise and plan.
  • Formulate, analyse and solve problems.
  • Learn independently.

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

  • Lectures, workshops and seminars, including presentations from the students.
  • The objectives will be met largely through interactive workshops combining lecture and seminars with workshop tasks.
  • Each student will be required to give one 10 minute presentation in the course of the module; this will be summatively assessed.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 1 hour 9
Seminars and Workshops 6 2.5 hours 15
Presentation 4
Preparation and Reading 272
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 80%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 4000 words 100% Yes
Component: Presentation Component Weighting: 20%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Presentation 10 minutes 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Completion of an assignment outline with bibliography.

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