EDU8995 : Research in Practice

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To further develop student knowledge and appreciation of the complexities and skills required to critically evaluate, interpret, and successfully undertake research.
To provide a deeper understanding of, and the facility to, actively use varied research designs and methods.
To explore the strengths and weaknesses of quantitative and qualitative methods, and the basic design principles of instruments that address particular research problems or questions.
To apply these basic design principles and concepts to a potential or actual proposal for their thesis/dissertation.
To develop knowledge about survey research, sampling, experiments, ethnography, questionnaires, interviews and observation.

Outline Of Syllabus

• What is research?
• Surveys and sampling
• Questionnaires
• Interviews
• Ethnography + Experiments
• Observation
• Using these methods in practice
• Quantitative data
• Qualitative data
• Evaluating research

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion180:0080:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture36:0018:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00Directed Tasks for completion before each lecture and online activities
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesFieldwork115:0015:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study157:0057:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

This module is taught through 3 days of interactive sessions. Usually this involves a series of mini-lectures interspersed with various learning activities.

Implicit in the design of each session, is an attempt to engender a deep and active approach to learning, but also to develop both subject knowledge and key skills. The lecture material, along with the directed tasks, will enable assignment work to be planned and developed. However, students are required to engage with critical reflection around what is useful in applying the theoretical and practical knowledge introduced on the module to enquiry and research in their own contexts.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2M1004000 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

There is a choice of assignments depending on where the student is in their current programme. Most students will complete Assignment 1; however those who are not at a point where writing a proposal is useful or appropriate will be able to complete Assignment 2.

Assignment 1
There are two parts to this assignment. You should complete both parts.

Part One
• A critique of two research articles in 1500 words.
Part Two
• A research proposal of 2500 words

The research critique should relate to your reading about research in practice and should contrast two articles exploring a similar content area but using different methodological approaches. You are expected to (briefly) set them in context in the wider field and to focus the majority of your discussion on critically examining the ways in which the studies have been carried out and the warrant of the knowledge claims made by the authors.

For the research proposal you should choose a research area that interests you (you’re your own experience and/ or studies). In most cases it is anticipated that the research proposal will also be your dissertation proposal. Your research proposal should answer three key questions: what you are trying to find out? And why? And how? Your writing should include a title, an outline of your proposed research focus and why you think it is an important area for investigation. You should also include some initial thinking about appropriate research methods.

Assignment 2
1. Identify an issue that is or has been the subject of research in the broad field of educational research. By detailed reference to at least two (we recommend 3-5) published accounts, analyse the implications of different research methodologies for the way in which that issue has been understood.


2. Identify a research methodology that is or has been important in the broad field of educational research. With reference to at least two (we recommend 3-5) published accounts of research which make use of this methodology, analyse the implications of its use for the field.

Reading Lists