The University of Southampton

EDUC8025 Thesis Studies

Module Overview

Thesis studies prepares students for the research thesis stage of the EdD by supporting skills in making links between knowledge of substantive areas and research methodology and the student’s own research topic. The module aims to equip students with skills to identify and formulate research questions and design a study that will enable those questions to be answered

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Prepare you for the research thesis stage of the EdD • Develop your ability to make links between your knowledge of substantive areas and research methodology and your own research topic • Equip you with skills to identify and formulate research questions and the design of a study that will enable those questions to be answered. • Be skilled in working through the doctoral research process, from initial planning to constructing the thesis; • Develop a viable research proposal (including the development of a research problem and set of research questions); • Construct a potential methodological framework for research (including the research design and set of research instruments); • Appreciate the practicalities of carrying out research (including fieldwork, access and ethical issues)


• Choosing a topic - strategies for settling on a topic and discussing how to narrow this down to a manageable area of research. • Developing a proposal - how to define (and refine) research aims and questions and finding a gap in existing literature, as well as discussing the audience for whom the proposal is designed. • A good thesis - examining the key indicators and characteristics of quality in a doctorate thesis • Critiquing the literature - exploring the construction of a literature review, as well as how to best utilise literature and what key strategies to use in tacking the literature. • Individual one-to-one tutorial to work on developing ideas and plans for the thesis

Special Features

You will develop practical and further academic skills around constructing a doctoral level thesis. This will assist in completing the thesis proposal stage of their doctorate and also help with the longer term goals of producing doctoral-standard work. The module will provide learners with wider transferable skills that will assist them in both their professional and potential future academic careers.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

This module will involve a series of four taught sessions (including lectures and seminar discussion) where key elements of the rationale for a thesis will be explored, as well as individual tutorials where issues particular to individual students can be examined. The sessions will be practically-orientated, focusing on preparation for thesis, and incorporating examples and illustrations from previous thesis work. Students will be asked each week to contribute to writing a draft proposal for their thesis which will provide them with an opportunity for formative feedback on their ideas. Students will also get an opportunity to informally present their ideas which will also allow for further feedback on their ideas

Independent Study150
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Cryer, P. (2006). The Research Student’s Guide to Success. 

Moore, N. (2006). How to Do Research: The Practical Guide to Designing and Managing Research Projects. 

Tinkler, P. and Jackson, C. (2004). The Doctoral Examination Process: A Handbook for students, examiners and supervisors.. 

Phillips, E.M. & Pugh, D.S. (2005). How to Get a PhD: A Handbook for students and their supervisors. 

Murray, R. (2006). How to Write a Thesis. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Essay 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal

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