Module Catalogue 2022/23

EDU3001 : Research Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2022/23
  • Module Leader(s):
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 20.0
Pre Requisites
Code Title
EDU2003Introduction to Research in Education
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment



This module will develop students' understanding and procedural knowledge about research methods to enable students to undertake primary research in the area of education studies.

Building on the previous research methods module and wider understandings of the educational context developed across the programme, diverse methods will be discussed in the context of overarching methodologies. Students will be supported first during the taught sessions of Part I to plan a piece of research, locating it in appropriate literature, developing a rationale and theoretical framing and choosing methods. The central achievement will be a written research proposal, which will focus their planning and structure their work towards the final dissertation. With some one-to-one supervision in Semester 2 and some whole-group sessions, student progress will be supported towards the central outcome of the module as a whole: the dissertation.

The taught sessions, support meetings and students’ independent work will:
• facilitate the development and demonstration of knowledge, understanding and techniques necessary to research independently and in-depth.
• provide students with the opportunity to complete a substantial piece of written work that satisfies the requirements of the programme's marking criteria.

This research project provides the student with direct experience of the research process including the formulation, development and completion of an extensive piece of independent work. Students are asked to focus on a particular area of education and they should draw upon their previous engagement with these areas over the course of their degree to help them consider and formulate a research question. As the research project is a piece of independent work, the content will vary from student to student; however, the following requirements apply in the choice of all topics:
• The chosen research topic must be feasible (in terms of available sources), lend itself to investigation at an appropriate level for final-year work, and relate to the chosen courses of study on the programme and/ or staff research interests.
• The project may fall anywhere on a continuum from empirical to library-based research, but students undertaking library-based work need to ensure that they are offering original interpretation or framing.
• All research must be accompanied by an approved ethics form.

Outline Of Syllabus

The module will provide an introduction to the dissertation structure, identifying a research topic, writing your research questions. The module will consider writing a research proposal, completing ethics paperwork, literature reviews, methodology chapters, data analysis, presenting findings, writing an abstract and writing a conclusion.

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

To build on:
? knowledge from EDU1001 and EDU2003 about the nature and range of education to understand the wider contexts of research (A3, A4)
? understanding of analysis methods from EDU2003
? knowledge of the historical and national contexts of research in education (A2) from EDU2003

To develop:
? nuanced understanding of theoretical foundations and practical requirements of research in education
? wider knowledge of possible research methodologies and practices, enhancing their knowledge and understanding of research methodology gained in the previous two years (A3)
? ability to evaluate published research using knowledge of context, methodology, theoretical framing and methods (B4, B5)

On successful completion of this module, students will have demonstrated:
? ability to undertake research into an aspect of education, relating aims and methods to the research question within an appropriate theoretical framework (A1, B6)
? ability to engage with advanced concepts, theories and approaches relevant to their area of study
? detailed understanding of chosen methodology (B3, A1)
? thorough knowledge of theoretical background and practices of chosen methods
? specialist knowledge and understanding of a specific area or aspect of education

Intended Skill Outcomes

To develop:
? ability to read, understand and evaluate research undertaken by others using a range of methodologies (B1, B4, C1, C3)
? skill in analysis methods for qualitative and quantitative data (D5)
? planning skills to plan research through formulating a research question and applying appropriate methods of data collection and analysis (B3, D6)
? skills to conduct a piece of research, present findings and discuss wider implications (D2, D3, D4)
? ability to develop a sustained argument that is supported by systematically collected evidence (B1, B2, B5)
? organisation and planning skills over an extended time period to produce a substantial piece of work (D7)
? communication skills to enable insightful communication through written work and in oral discussions with supervisor (B2, C5, C6, D1, D8)

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion114:0014:00Completion of the research proposal including research instruments
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion120:0020:00Database search and reading for literature review and/or using SPSS for quantitative data analysis.
Structured Guided LearningLecture materials81:008:00Asynchronous online videos – writing a literature review, data analysis techniques etc.
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion110:0010:00Completion of the ethics form including consent forms and letters for participants.
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading84:0032:00This will be reading and tasks in response to and preparation for the workshops
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading418:0072:00Recommended reading from supervisor. Editing in response to feedback on draft chapters
Guided Independent StudyProject work1200:00200:00Dissertation completion
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops82:0016:005 in sem 1, 3 in sem 2. If change to public health prevent PiP workshops:1hr synchronous recorded
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork52:0010:00Data collection
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery11:001:00Literature searching surgery. Synchronous online with Library colleagues
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery14:004:00Literature Searching resources provided by Library colleagues. Asynchronous online resources
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery81:008:00Synchronous online
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision41:004:00Students are encouraged to see their dissertation supervisor equating to 4 hours.
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesModule talk11:001:00Asynchronous online
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The central aim of the module is to support students to enable them to undertake an extended piece of primary research. It is necessary to balance teaching input with opportunities for students to read, reflect, and perhaps conduct empirical work, and so develop their own coherent ideas and insights. The Part I Teaching on this module aims to present detailed practical and theoretical background to a range of methods, allied with enabling student understanding of the wider context of research. The production of the research proposal is supported by this teaching, together with some specific teaching relating to the components of a successful research proposal, including ethical process and research questions. With the proposal complete, later sessions in Part I aim to support students to begin the process of literature review. A final drop-in at the end of the semester enables discussion of the feedback from the proposal and will prepare students for supervision so they can use this time appropriately to support the research process. The intention throughout the year, during Parts I and II of the module, is to support the student in their application of valid research practice to their area of interest, but also to develop their critical thinking and reasoning.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Research proposal1M201000-2000 words
Dissertation2A808000-10,000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The intention of the assessment framework is twofold. Firstly, the formative assessment of the research proposal will guide the student in conducting their research and presenting the results in the dissertation. Secondly, however, the summative aspect of the research proposal will be used to assess planning skills and the success of the student in applying ideas from the research methods teaching to their area of interest. The dissertation, and to a lesser extent the proposal, function as summative assessment of the student’s ability to present coherent understandings and offer critical insights. In the proposal this will be seen in their development of a rationale for their particular research project, while in the dissertation this aspect will take the form of successful theoretical framing and the development of coherent lines of reasoning based on appropriate evidence.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2022/23 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2023/24 entry will be published here in early-April 2023. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.