Skip to main content


EDU3001 : Research Dissertation

  • Offered for Year: 2024/25
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Samantha Shields
  • Owning School: Education, Communication & Language Sci
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus

Your programme is made up of credits, the total differs on programme to programme.

Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 30
ECTS Credits: 20.0
European Credit Transfer System


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.

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 reading418:0072:00Recommended reading from supervisor. Editing in response to feedback on draft chapters
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading84:0032:00This will be reading and tasks in response to and preparation for the workshops
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.

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.

Reading Lists