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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Research (EDU)

Postgraduate Course: Research Design in Higher Education (REDU11068)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course on Research Design in Higher Education has been designed to dovetail with the 20 credit course Researching Higher Education that examines overarching aspects of both quantitative and qualitative research. The intention is that cumulatively the courses Reading and Analysing the literature on Higher Education, Researching Higher Education, and Research Design in Higher Education, together with the dissertation will give participants a sound foundation for conducting research in their workplaces and/or for entry to doctoral study.

The course explores the various aspects of research design and requires students to develop a proposal based on a research design and methodology that is consistent with the nature of their chosen research question and well aligned with the particular philosophical assumptions and interpretive frameworks underpinning it. As with Researching Higher Education, consideration is again given to the contrasting value positions and researcher stances that may drive inquiries into higher education, but importantly, students now have to take a stance and show how it informs their own design of research. A key concern, therefore, lies in raising awareness among course participants that methods are chosen in light of the research questions identified and the philosophical stance espoused by the researcher. The course emphasises linkages to participants┐ own professional practice requiring them to identify a research question that is both significant and researchable within the time frame of the MSc. Teaching activities focus on introducing students to the various aspects of a good dissertation proposal, highlighting the various considerations driving the research design.

Course description The various aspects of a research proposal;
Approaches to the identification of appropriate research questions;
Aligned research design--differences in research design depending on research question, philosophical assumptions and interpretative frameworks selected
Sampling procedures;
Strategies and instruments for data collection ┐ interviews, questionnaires, documentation, focus groups;
Issues of validity and reliability and the evaluation of evidence.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. 1. identified appropriate research questions and how they might be addressed by particular methodological approaches and data collection methods;

  2. 2. planned a programme of research, demonstrating alignment of the particular methodology chosen with the philosophical assumptions they espouse and the interpretive framework selected;

  3. 3. planned a programme of research, showing an appropriate level of critical awareness of issues relating to research reliability and validity, and ethical considerations;

  4. 4. articulated clearly the kinds of conclusions and recommendations they will be able to make given the research design choices they have made;

  5. 5. presented a proposal for a research project in accord with the relevant academic conventions.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Carolin Kreber
Tel: (0131 6)51 6668
Course secretary
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