The University of Southampton

EDUC6402 DETS Dissertation

Module Overview

The dissertation builds on work undertaken across other modules and provides you with an opportunity to undertake a piece of independent research in a chosen topic. Normally, your dissertation will be individually supervised.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Make your own contribution to educational understanding by presenting a coherent, detailed and sustained argument at length on an educational topic; • Develop advanced practical and analytical skills in a range of quantitative and/or qualitative research methods as an academic researcher and writer on educational and social matters; • Develop your own ideas and organise a project independently but with supportive guidance. • Refine and practice a range of skills which would be useful to you in further study or a professional/work based context.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the research process and understand methods of data collection and analysis and apply them in a self-reliant manner
  • Analyse and synthesise research findings
  • Produce and present a carefully argued dissertation
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the approaches by which research and critical awareness of debates in education can be utilised to construct a scholarly argument
  • Critically evaluate an appropriate range of relevant primary source materials and arguments reflected in other sources and propose a relevant area of investigation
  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of your chosen dissertation project, its potential impact on practice and the range of relevant scholarly literature and source materials
  • Choose and evaluate a feasible independent research design, project plan and structure
  • Devise appropriate research questions
  • Devise appropriate research methods to undertake a research project
  • Acquire appropriate Ethical and Research Governance approvals
  • Demonstrate an understanding of data collection and analysis methods


In studying this module you will cover aspects of the following: • Strategies for focusing and managing the research process. • Quantitative and qualitative methodologies and approaches to research. • Key data collection methods (surveys, interviews, focus groups, observation). • Methods for analysing and interpreting data. • Dissertation writing and presentation skills

Special Features

There are no special features for this module

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The teaching and learning methods will include lectures and workshops, discussions and self- directed study and individual tutorials.

Independent Study150
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Appropriate electronic resources and materials including the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) will be made available to you.. 

Creswell, J. (2002). Research Design: Qualitative and Quantitative Approaches. 

Yin, R. (2004). The Case Study Anthology. 

Bell, J. (2005). Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science. 

Krippendorff, K. (2004). Content Analysis: An Introduction to its Methodology. 

Fink, A. (1998). Conducting Research Literature Reviews. 

Neuendorf, K. (2002). The Content Analysis Guidebook. 

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

Patton, M. (2002). Qualitative Research and Evaluation Methods. 

Rubin, I., & Rubin, H. (2005). Qualitative Interviewing: The Art of Hearing Data. 

Guba, E., & Lincoln, Y. (1998). Competing paradigms in Qualitative research . In Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (eds). The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues. 

Strauss, A. and J. Corbin (1990). Basics of Qualitative Research. 

Fink, A. (2009). How to conduct Surveys: A Step by Step Guide. 

Kvale, S. (2008). Interviews: Learning the Craft of Qualitative Research Interviewing. 

McNiff, J., & Whitehead, J. (2002). Action Research: Principles and Practice. 

Oppenheim, A. (2000). Questionnaire Design. 

Muijs, D. (2004/8). Doing Quantitative Research in Education with SPSS. 

Wengraf, T. (2002). Qualitative Research Interviewing. 

Wragg, E. (1999). An Introduction to Classroom Observation. 

Willig, C. (2008). Introducing Qualitative Research in Psychology.. 

Lichtman, M. (2010). Qualitative Research in Education- A User’s Guide. 

Hopkins, D. (2002). A Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Research. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Dissertation  (17000 words) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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