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2021/22 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

EDUC5928M Research Methods and Dissertation in MA TESOL programmes and MA TESOL Studies

60 creditsClass Size: 200

Module manager: Dr Diana Mazgutova

Taught: 1 Oct to 30 Sep (12mth) View Timetable

Year running 2021/22

This module is mutually exclusive with

EDUC5904MDissertation in MA TESOL programmes and MA TESOL Studies

Module replaces

EDUC5904M Dissertation in MA TESOL programmes and MA TESOL Studies

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This core 60 credit module provides you with the opportunity to exploit the knowledge and skills you have acquired through the other elements of your programme, and provides additional research-methods-specific knowledge and skills to enable you to carry out a small-scale research project on a topic of particular interest to you. This module provides a sound foundation for future classroom- and/or school-based research studies as well as PhD level research.


To give students the knowledge and skills needed to carry out a search of the literature on a chosen topic and an understanding of how to carry out small scale empirical research.

Learning outcomes
Learning outcomes are in line with the School of Education’s ‘Research Methods Standards Framework’ as seen through the prism of TESOL.

On completion of this module, students should be able to:

1. identify a topic of personal or professional interest in the area of language education, normally TESOL, to be researched further for the dissertation;

2. engage in discussion with a tutor concerning how the chosen topic might be investigated, taking into consideration:

 Formulation of research questions
 Research design
 Reviewing literature
 Qualitative research methods
 Quantitative research methods
 Sampling
 Analysis
 Quality in research
 Ehics

3. under supervision, carry out reading and study, and, if appropriate, empirical research on this topic;

4. under supervision, report the research in the form a written dissertation.

Skills outcomes
Time Management
Use of Knowledge


Students attend 8 fortnightly seminars on ‘Research Methods for TESOL’ covering semester 1 and semester 2.

Introduction to research in TESOL

 What is research?
 What you need to do for your dissertation?
 What are the available resources?

Issues in TESOL research 1: Traditions, approaches, research questions

Qualitative Research Methods 1: Interviews & Focus Groups 1

Qualitative Research Methods 2: Narrative Inquiry and Classroom Observation

Qualitative Research Methods 3: Data analysis and interpretation

Quantitative Research Methods 1: Questionnaires

Quantitative Research Methods 2: Statistical analysis and presentation

Issues in TESOL Research 2:

 Sampling
 Quality and ethics in research
 Planning your dissertation

At the beginning of Semester 2 students submit a dissertation proposal.

Based on the information provided in the proposal, students are allocated a dissertation supervisor who will discuss their dissertation proposal and meet with them on a regular basis as the study progresses.

Additional support:

 Early in the Research Methods seminar series, a ‘Dissertation Inspiration Symposium’ will be held as part of the TESOL Forum programme of activities. This allows current PGRs with Masters dissertation experience to outline to current students how they identified their Masters research topic and carried out their study.

 Early in semester 2 a ‘Dissertation Bazaar’ will be held. This would be attended and contributed to by as many MA dissertation supervisors as are available. This gives students the opportunity to meet potential supervisors and find out about their research interests and experience.

In the summer term, PGRs will provide a series of optional hands-on workshops relating to specific data generation instruments.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Supervision Meetings61.006.00
Private study hours577.00
Total Contact hours23.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)600.00

Private study

Private Study:
- 20% of this time to be spent on reading on professional development in TESOL and research methods
- 30% on data collection
- 30% on data analysis
- 20% on writing up the dissertation.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress will be monitored through the tutorials related to the ‘Research Methods for TESOL’ seminar series. Additionally, formative feedback takes the form of supervisor support in supervision meetings and comments provided in the course of the development of successive iterations of the proposal.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay or Dissertation12000 words100.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 20/09/2021


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