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DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Education

Undergraduate Course: Educational Studies 4: Independent Research Project in Education (EDUA10172)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits40 ECTS Credits20
SummaryThis 40-credit course further develops students' research skills by involving them in designing, implementing and writing up a small-scale piece of research. Lecture and workshop activities during semester one build upon the research input of the first three years. Whilst a primary focus in the taught part of the course is the development of skills, knowledge and habits that will enable students to complete a successful research project, this is situated within the wider aims of the ITE programmes of developing the capacity for critical engagement with research and developing an enquiring disposition.
Course description The bulk of the taught element of Educational Studies 4 takes place in semester one of 4th year. In the introductory phase, students engage with general principles of research design, building on what they have learnt in Educational Studies courses in years 1-3 (and equivalent courses on the MA Primary Education with Gaelic programme). Content in this phase includes ethical considerations in relation to research in educational settings, the identification of a worthwhile topic for study and the generation of appropriate research questions or hypotheses.

The middle phase consists of specialist input in a range of research methods. There is an element of student choice to reflect the different kinds of research that students may want to undertake: a route provided by colleagues in Sports Science supports those students who wish to study aspects of biomechanics, sports physiology and skill acquisition in relation to primary or secondary physical education; a route that includes techniques such as critical discourse analysis which supports those students who do not wish to undertake data collection in schools or other educational settings; and a general route consisting of a range of qualitative and quantitative methods supports students undertaking a variety of qualitative, quantitative and mixed-methods projects in primary and secondary schools. The teaching of research methods builds upon what students have already learned in years 1-3, enabling them to extend and deepen their knowledge, and apply it to their own research design.

The final (2-week) phase considers the 'bigger picture', inviting students to reflect upon the role of research in their own practice as early career teachers, and introducing them to the complexities of the relationship between research, educational practice, and education policy.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Full Year
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 400 ( Lecture Hours 10, Dissertation/Project Supervision Hours 2, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 20, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 8, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 360 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Students write up their research projects as 8000-word dissertations: this is the single summatively assessed activity for this 40-credit course. Students on the MA Primary Education with Gaelic programme may write their dissertations in Gaelic.

Formal formative assessment takes place through the submission of a research proposal (all students) and completed ethical guidance form (students undertaking data collection in a school or other educational setting) at the end of semester 1. Students on the MA Primary Education with Gaelic programme must complete their research proposal in Gaelic and provide an English translation. It is expected that these research proposals will have been the focus of discussion and guidance in supervision meetings and email contact, and their satisfactory completion is a condition of progression to the project itself. Students may only progress to the project phase upon submission of a satisfactory research proposal: if the proposal has not been submitted students will be advised that they are not authorised to progress and any dissertation they may submit will not be eligible to be marked. In addition, no student may carry out research in a school or other educational setting unless the ethical guidance form has been completed and signed off by the supervisor.
Feedback Students receive feedback from supervisors during the research design stage, and guidance during data collection and writing up. Feedback on a draft chapter or equivalent will be provided by supervisors during the write-up process. Written feedback will be provided on the dissertation: this will be limited since students will have had significant feedback throughout the process.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. identify significant and researchable questions arising from professional concerns
  2. design, justify and implement a small-scale piece of research. (If this involves empirical work, this should take place in the placement school setting.)
  3. analyse data and draw out findings of significance to their professional practice and to the teaching profession
  4. communicate their research intentions, design and findings in clear, accurate and scholarly language
Reading List
Baumfield, V., Hall, E. & Wall, K. (2012) Action Research in Education: learning through practitioner enquiry. London, Sage.
Cohen, L., Manion, L., and Morrison, K. (Eds.) (2011) Research Methods in Education (7th ed). London, Routledge.
Denzin, N. & Lincoln, Y. (2012) The Landscape of Qualitative Research (4th ed). London, Sage.
Grieg, A., Taylor, J. & MacKay, T. (2012) Doing Research with Children: a practical guide (3rd ed). London, Sage.
Hoy, W. K. (2009) Quantitative Research in Education: a primer. London, Sage.
Punch, K. (2009) Introduction to Research Methods in Education. London, Sage.
Thomas, G. (2009) How to do your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences. London, Sage.
Thomas, J., Nelson, J. & Silverman, S. (2011) Research Methods in Physical Activity (6th ed). Illinois, Human Kinetics.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserMs Rachel O'Neill
Tel: (0131 6)51 6429
Course secretaryMs Elizabeth Dunn
Tel: (0131 6)51 4191
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