Durham University
Programme and Module Handbook

Undergraduate Programme and Module Handbook 2023-2024

Module EDUC3322: Dissertation: Disciplinary Contexts of Education

Department: Education

EDUC3322: Dissertation: Disciplinary Contexts of Education

Type Open Level 3 Credits 40 Availability Available in 2023/24 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to


  • EDUC2301 Educational Research Methods or equivalent methods module, relevant to the dissertation topic, from another department.


  • <None>

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • <None>


  • To enable students to undertake an extended, independent piece of research (empirical or non-empirical) with an appropriate educational focus.
  • To enable students to draw upon the knowledge and understanding developed through the Research Methods module in Year 2, and other relevant education modules, to apply skills, knowledge and understanding in an academically rigorous context.
  • To provide students the opportunity to engage critically with research in relation to their chosen topic.


  • Dissertation on a substantial topic in the field of Education, in a topic that is chosen and developed by the student in collaboration with their supervisor and subject to departmental approval.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • On completion the student will demonstrate that they:
  • Have a clear understanding of their chosen topic, both their specific focus and the wider context of their chosen topic.
  • Can critically engage with literature related to their chosen topic.
  • Are able to clearly articulate the educational focus with their chosen topic.
  • Have the ability to carry out research under supervision using an appropriate, ethical and justified research approach.
  • Demonstrate appropriate understanding and application of research methodology and methods dependent upon the topic under investigation.
  • Have a clear understanding of and are able to draw on and use relevant educational theory and terminology.
  • Present their dissertation, applying the above, in a scholarly fashion.
  • Apply ideas relating to the research of educational practice.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Plan and devise a programme of work applicable to investigating the issue or chosen problem.
  • Survey and utilise literature relevant to the problem or issue and the programme of work.
  • Interpret and critique relevant texts.
  • Evaluate arguments and evidence.
  • Present theoretical and empirical material in a scholarly and readable manner.
Key Skills:
  • Clear and succinct expression in writing and discussion.
  • Comprehension of complex ideas and theories.
  • Use of reasoned evidence and argument to defend a case.
  • Identification of appropriate sources of evidence and information.
  • Clear and logical identification and solution of problems.
  • Reflection on the experience of conducting an extended piece of research.

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

  • Supervision, which monitors the development of the learning outcomes above, is appropriate to the writing of an independent study.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 2 1 during first term and 1 during second term 1.5 hours 3
Tutorials 6 Spaced throughout the year and as required 1 hour 6
Preparation and Reading 391
Total 400

Summative Assessment

Component: Dissertation Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Dissertation 12,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Two written formative opportunities; the first will be a 750-word research proposal and the second will be feedback on one chapter, as decided between student and supervisor. Supervision sessions will be offered to every student by their allocated supervisor where verbal feedback can be given on progress.

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