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IE9H5-30 Foundation Research Methods in Education (On-Line)

Academic year
Centre for Education Studies
Taught Postgraduate Level
Module leader
Judith Everington
Credit value
Module duration
12 weeks
100% coursework
Study location
Distance or Online Delivery
Introductory description

This module encourages students in understanding, designing and implementing research in the field of education. It will introduce you to a range of established research strategies and techniques, including data collection and analysis. These skills will enable you to design and carry out a dissertation research project, as well as to disseminate its findings. As part of this module you will present your research design and have the opportunity to receive feedback ahead of completing your dissertation.

Module web page

Module aims
  • To introduce students to various, sometimes competing theories and paradigms in educational research
  • Understand different types of research designs (eg, case studies, experimental designs, survey research)
  • Understand the pros and cons of using different methods for data collection (eg, interviews, questionnaires)
  • Consider and engage with the ethical issues as they arise during the conduct of research
  • Understand the use of different methods of data analysis, both quantitative and qualitative
  • Develop capacity for reflection on issues of generalisability and validity in educational research
  • Develop a research proposal
  • Prepare students for progression to a dissertation
Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Introduction to research methods in education
Research designs in research in education (eg, case studies, action research , survey research,
quasi experimental designs)
Quantitative and qualitative methods for data collection and analysis (eg, thematic analysis,
descriptive and inferential statistical analyses)
Ethics in research in education
Issues regarding reliability, validity and generalisability in research in education
Developing a research proposal

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • a) Understand competing paradigms and methodologies in educational research. Examine quantitative and qualitative research methods, as well as mixed method designs
  • b) Identify theoretical and methodological grounds on which education research is based. Analyse the relationship between research questions, research design and methods for data collection.
  • c) Assess the efficiency and effectiveness of educational research from different perspectives and methodologies. Develop a research proposal on a topic in education
  • d) Gain familiarity with different research practices in relation to various empirical investigations within educational settings; developing a research proposal and a plan upon which to build the Masters dissertation
Indicative reading list

Cohen, L., Manion, L., and Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education (7' Edition). London: Routledge/ Falmer.
Hartas, D et al (2010). Educational Research and Inquiry. Qualitative and Quantitative
Approaches. London: Bloomsbury
Muijs, D. (2004). Doing Quantitative Research. London: Sage.

Subject specific skills
  • examine, evaluate and deploy the findings of empirical and theoretical studies related to the chosen education-related topic and research questions
  • reflect upon the ethics of researching a particular education-related topic
  • generate and explore research questions relating to the chosen topic
  • create a proposal for undertaking empirical studies ethically involving a variety of methods of data collection
  • demonstrate an understanding of how to analyse data acquired using a variety of data collection methods
Transferable skills
  • Analysis and decision making
  • Application of numeracy
  • Communication skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Data handling
  • Emotional intelligence
  • Intellectual ability
  • Judgement and decision making
  • Negotiation
  • Planning and organisational skills
  • Problem solving
  • Reasoning
  • Using IT effectively

Study time

Type Required
Online learning (independent) 12 sessions of 3 hours (12%)
Private study 264 hours (88%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Independent study hours include background reading, completing reading/other tasks in preparation for timetabled teaching sessions, undertaking research using the library resources, follow-up reading work, working on individual and group projects, the completion of formative and summative assignments, revision.


No further costs have been identified for this module.

You must pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group A2
Weighting Study time
Research Proposal 50%

A 3,000-word research proposal.
especially practical aspects of
the proposal more generally.
Unlike the research proposal,
the reflective piece is expected to have a subjective orientation.
Students are expected to initially submit their research topic,
research questions and rationale (upload them to the Forum) to receive formative feedback from their tutor. This is important to enable them to develop a research proposal (3000 words) and a reflection piece (2000 words) as a summative assessment.

Reflection Piece 50%

A 2,000-word reflection piece.

consider theoretical and
especially practical aspects of
the proposal more generally.
Unlike the research proposal,
the reflective piece is expected to have a subjective orientation.

Feedback on assessment

Written feedback for both formative and summative pieces of work, posted at Forum, sent via emails and skype. Assignment feedback through Tabula.


This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of TIEA-X9Y6 Postgraduate Award in Foundation Research Methods in Education
  • TIEA-X30F Postgraduate Taught Childhood in Society
    • Year 1 of X3F1 Childhood in Society by Dissertation
    • Year 1 of X3F2 Childhood in Society by Dissertation (NPQICL)
    • Year 1 of X3F3 Childhood in Society by Professional Route (NPQICL)
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X35R Postgraduate Taught Education (Part-time - 2 year)
  • Year 1 of TIEA-X31L Postgraduate Taught Educational Innovation
  • Year 1 of TEQS-X3AN Postgraduate Taught Global Education and International Development
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X3V9 Postgraduate Taught in Islamic Education: Theory and Practice (Part-time - 2 years)
  • Year 1 of TEQA-X3V5 Postgraduate Taught in Islamic Education: Theory and Practice (Part-time - 3 years)
  • TEQA-X35S