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The University of Southampton

EDUC2055 Research Methods in Education

Module Overview

This module aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of research methods in education. Working from research questions that might inform your future dissertation, the module builds on the Part 1 module: Researching Learning. You will cover fundamentals of a good research design and data collection and analysis, including both qualitative and quantitative techniques, with the research question always being central. The module will cover the steps necessary to prepare for your dissertation project. You will be encouraged to be critical and analytical. You will work independently and collaboratively and will benefit from feedback from both your tutors and your peers.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of research design for education;
  • Manage research projects in educational settings;
  • Critically evaluate and interpret information;
  • Actively investigate issues and collect evidence to assess their validity;
  • Report and effectively communicate the results of investigations;
  • Recognise the need to manage time and personnel.
  • Design, analyse, and evaluate quantitative and qualitative data and evidence;
  • Know methods to design appropriate research instruments for collecting primary data from educational contexts;
  • Know how to design an original research project;
  • Design your own piece of research, from initial research question to research design and data collection;
  • Design research instruments and select appropriate data analysis techniques for qualitative and quantitative educational data;
  • Carry out a range of qualitative and quantitative data analyses;
  • Report educational research findings in an appropriate format;
  • Use appropriate statistical and other research software;


Topics normally covered in this module will include: - An introduction to designing a good research question for a dissertation project; - Research design, including but not limited to issues like design setup and sampling; - Collecting data: observation, interview, focus groups and questionnaires as research methods; - Analysing qualitative (educational) data, for example ‘codes and themes’ and grounded theory; - Analysing quantitative (educational) data with SPSS (or other statistical software): this builds on Part 1 with two-group designs, ANOVA, basic regression; - Reporting data analysis results; - Structuring a research project;

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

A mix of lectures and seminars normally in two-hour sessions supported by directed reading and additional practical research activities. The sessions will include peer feedback and assessment opportunities, and whole group interactive teaching. Where useful, technology will be used to support the session (e.g. use of statistical software, questionnaire software, etc.). In addition, sessions will generally be supported by tutorials for additional questions, stretch targets and support.

Independent Study228
Total study time300

Resources & Reading list

Software. SPSS, available via

Sharp, J. (2009). Success with your Education Research Project.. 

Additional resources.  Online videos and resources will be made available.

Field, A. (2013). Discovering Statistics Using IBM SPSS Statistics. 

Punch, K (2009). Introduction to Research Methods in Education.. 

Lichtman, M. (2010). Qualitative Research in Education: a User's Guide.. 

Muijs, D. (2004). Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS.. 

Denscombe, M (2014). The Good Research Guide: For Small-Scale Social Research Projects. 

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education.. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework  (3000 words) 40%
Coursework  (3000 words) 40%
Coursework  (100 words) 20%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 40%
Coursework 40%
Statistics Test 20%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

Recommended texts for this module may be available in limited supply in the University Library and students may wish to purchase reading texts as appropriate.

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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