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2021/22 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC2004 Research Methods

20 creditsClass Size: 80

Module manager: Dr Lou Harvey

Taught: Semesters 1 & 2 (Sep to Jun) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

Module replaces

EDUC 2102 Approaches to Research, Theory and PracticeEDUC 2081 Research Methods for TESOL

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

This module is designed for School of Education students who are new to research. It aims to give them a foundational understanding of what research is, why we do it, and why it is important. One of the distinguishing features of this module is that students will be introduced to methods of researching childhood and education through working on a small-scale group research project based on a real-world problem. This work will scaffold their proposal for their Final Year Project, on which they will be assessed at the end of the module. This approach will enable discussion of ethics, credibility, quality, and impact to be fully embedded into the module, and these will be considered and discussed alongside the main topic for each session.


This module provides an introduction to research approaches and methods in the fields of childhood and youth, language education and education more broadly. Throughout the module, which runs over two semesters, students will design a research project based on a real-world problem in their academic area. They will reflect upon definitions and philosophical underpinnings of research and their implications for making ethically-informed decisions. They will learn about the key concepts and principles of planning and conducting childhood and educational research, gaining hands-on experience of a range of methods and processes. Throughout the module there will be a strong focus on research impact, ethics, quality and credibility. The module will equip them with the knowledge and skills that you will need to design, develop, and conduct future research, including your final year project.

Learning outcomes
By the end of the module, students will be able to:
1. understand different research approaches in childhood, language education and education more broadly and their philosophical underpinnings
2. identify, understand and address ethical issues in research
3. identify and formulate research questions and appropriate data generation and analytical strategies for addressing these
4. understand key concepts regarding research quality, e.g. validity and reliability
5. understand the impacts of research in childhood and education.


Indicative content
Part 1: Developing an ethical research project
Philosophical underpinnings; approaches and paradigms; aims and rationale; research questions; literature review; theoretical frameworks

Part 2: Data generation including
Questionnaires; observation; interviews and focus
groups; mixed methods

Part 3: Data analysis
Different approaches to analysing data

Part 4: Interpreting data
Returning to literature/theoretical frameworks; addressing research questions; writing up and reporting

Part 5: Impact, dissemination, and public engagement
Bringing findings back to stakeholders; developing recommendations; why/how to engage the public with research; evaluating impact and engagement

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Group learning101.0010.00
Independent online learning hours20.00
Private study hours142.00
Total Contact hours38.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

Students will use this time to prepare their assignments. They will be organised into study groups to plan their research project and will meet online or face to face every other week (alternating with teaching weeks). Groups will be directed towards each stage of the project with specific readings and tasks.
Students will also engage in a number of individual tasks: in January-March, they will plan their research; they will access resources and complete tasks on the VLE; and they will do independent reading.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through:
• Portfolio assessment and feedback
• Monitoring (during teaching sessions) on student performance of tasks
• Encouraging, and observing the level of, student participation in class discussions
• Monitoring students’ completion of VLE tasks and contributions to VLE discussion threads
• Reading and providing feedback on a draft of the research proposal

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Research Proposalsee below40.00
Portfoliosee below60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Portfolio: I Literature review and research questions (700 words) 2 Research design and 500 word rationale 3 Data analysis and 500 word rationale 4 Impact materials and 500 word rationale Research Proposal 1 x 1200 words (for Level 3 dissertation)

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 30/06/2021 12:18:03


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