Educational research is a wide-ranging field that draws upon many different disciplines and methodologies. This introductory module aims to help you navigate this complex field by providing an overview of the common paradigms and methodologies that you are likely to encounter in educational research. The module enables you to find, read, and critically appraise educational research conducted by others. The module also provides you with opportunities to practice relevant skills (e.g. searching for research literature, critical reading and writing, creating an academic poster) while discussing ideas with your peers. The module has a mix of plenary lecture sessions and smaller seminar groups led by a team of tutors.
Aims and Objectives
Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:
- Understand the philosophies that underpin education research
- Provide formative feedback to your peers
- Critically read and evaluate educational research articles and reports
- Identify and evaluate the main paradigms of research in education
- Evaluate the dominant research designs and methodologies in education
- Present the findings of research to peers and tutors
- Engage in discussions and debates about educational research with your peers and tutors
- Interpret and critique research in the field of education
- Identify and use the main bibliographic databases for finding educational research
- Reflect on your own assumptions about educational research
- Identify and situate research in the field of education.
The content of the module will typically cover:
- Searching for education research
- Criticality and reflection in reading and writing about education research
- Recognising the underpinning philosophical perspectives for research designs
- Reliability and validity in research
- Identifying and critiquing research questions in published research
- Constructing a critical analysis of published research
- Presenting research
Learning and Teaching
Teaching and learning methods
The teaching and learning methods will include lectures and seminars that involve group discussions and activities, poster presentations, and self-directed study. Self-directed study means that most of the study time for this module takes place outside the lectures and seminars; this is one of the hallmarks of Masters level study. You are responsible for undertaking further reading and searching out articles and books that are of interest and relevance to you and tutors will make suggestions for further reading. Reading for the module is divided these into three categories: Essential, Extra, and Exceptional.
- The Essential further reading is exactly what the term implies - core reading that you really must do in order to consolidate and extend the themes and ideas introduced in the lectures.
- The Extra reading is that which will benefit your understanding by extending your understanding a bit further; this will always be in addition to the Essential reading and you may want to dip into these as time allows.
- The Exceptional reading (additional to both Essential and Extra) is for those of you who really want to push yourselves; this reading will deal with more complex, nuanced and higher-level arguments about the topics being studied.
In addition to the suggested reading there is likely to be some 'homework' from the lecture sessions that we want you to work on, read and prepare for the following week. You must come to the session prepared so that you can engage in the activities and discussions that will take place.
|Wider reading or practice||50|
|Preparation for scheduled sessions||36|
|Total study time||200|
Resources & Reading list
Additional info. There are two main texts that we recommend students choose between. Note that earlier editions of these texts are also fine to use though the exact content of chapters may differ from the guidance below, which is based on the most recent edition. Note that the first edition of "Introduction to research methods in education" is by Punch only.
Punch, K. & Oancea, A. (2014). Introduction to research methods in education. London, UK: Sage.
Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2018). Research methods in education. Abingdon, Oxon, UK: Routledge.
This is how we’ll formally assess what you have learned in this module.
This is how we’ll assess you if you don’t meet the criteria to pass this module.
Repeat type: Internal & External