EDU8399 : MA Education Research Dissertation

Semester 3 Credit Value: 60
ECTS Credits: 30.0


•       To enable students to develop an in-depth knowledge and understanding of a selected topic in the field of education research
•       To enable students to develop their knowledge and understanding of the research process by devising and conducting an original investigation in the field of teaching and learning
•       To provide students with the opportunity both to extend their repertoire of methodological skills and demonstrate a capacity for critical reflexivity
•       To heighten students’ awareness of the dilemmas encountered when undertaking educational research

Outline Of Syllabus

The module provides the student with experience of undertaking a substantial, independent empirical enquiry into an approved topic relating to teaching and learning. The research has to be presented in the form of a conventional dissertation of 20,000 words reporting on an empirical research study. Tutors will offer guidance on the research approaches used as well as the feasibility of a topic (within the teaching and learning field). All research projects will be expected to conform to the following requirements:

•       The project will draw upon primary data to address the research question (or questions)
•       The research will be appropriately contextualised with critical reference made to relevant published sources
•       An appraisal of the theoretical underpinnings of the research will be undertaken
•       A reflexive commentary on research methods will be provided and the strengths and limitations of the design discussed
•       The ethical issues raised by the research will be explored
•       The findings will be reported in an unambiguous and transparent manner
•       The discussion will include reference to the practical implications of the findings as well as indicating possible future lines of enquiry

The module includes:
1.       Regular meetings on a one-to-one basis with supervisor
2.       Regular group tutorials to report on progress

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1428:00428:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading180:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching22:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study180:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDissertation/project related supervision81:008:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is initially as part of the HASS Dissertation Preparation module (HSS8003). This is then followed up by a meeting with the DPD of the MA (res) where the topic and proposal are finalised. This enables allocation of supervisors from the members of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching. This module and tutorial combine to enable the students to explore issues of common concern relating to research design, methods and the conduct of their planned enquiries (including ethics). These initial sessions, together with subsequent group tutorials, will provide an additional source of support complementing the one-to-one tutorials with supervisors.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Dissertation3M10015000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The assessment will require the student to demonstrate their capacity to devise and carry-out an in-depth, independent inquiry in the area of teaching and learning. Particular focus will be given to the students’ capacity to take a critical standpoint to empirical research methods and approaches. It will reveal a critical grasp and detailed knowledge of the relevant specialist literature in the area, including salient concepts and theories. It will also provide evidence of the students’ capacity both to evaluate extant research and to reflect critically on the research process. In addition, it will require the student to demonstrate a knowledge and understanding of methodological issues, including those relating to ethics. Throughout consideration will be given to the student’s ability to develop a sustained argument that is supported by systematically collected evidence and their understanding of the contribution of education research to the creation and application of professional knowledge. Finally, they will be assessed on their ability to communicate the research findings clearly and unambiguously.

Reading Lists