University Homepage
DRPS Homepage
DRPS Search
DRPS Contact
DRPS : Course Catalogue : Moray House School of Education : Research (EDU)

Postgraduate Course: The sources of knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature (REDU11046)

Course Outline
SchoolMoray House School of Education CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course reflects the need for students to understand fundamental concepts that underpin research in order to be able to critically evaluate the strength of the research discussed throughout their programme of study. This course will explore how differing paradigms of research are reflected in research articles and publications. This will involve introducing students to contrasting genres of scholarly writing and to the research paradigms which underlie and inform the approaches taken in specific studies. Students will gain experience of undertaking some small data collection and preliminary analysis tasks in order to understand, through primary experience, the practical challenges of undertaking rigorous research.
Course description Indicative content
- The purposes of educational research and the criteria for judging it.
- Purposes and genres of educational texts, paradigms and methods of research.
- Taxonomy of social research.
- Observation, interviews, ethnography, action research and case studies.
- Data collection, management.
- Sampling, representativeness, and generalisability and trustworthiness as they apply to qualitative research.

Throughout the course the need to develop well-principled grounds for, and practices in, the interpretation of research articles and publications will be fore-grounded. Students will be made aware of the diversity of approaches taken and purposes pursued within the educational literature and the need therefore to remain alert to the fact that a 'one-size' approach might not be appropriate as they read and engage critically with different genres of writing.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2018/19, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Flexible
Course Start Date 06/08/2018
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 5, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 8, Formative Assessment Hours 25, Summative Assessment Hours 25, Revision Session Hours 35, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 0 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment (2,000 words)
Assessment of the course will involve an analytical review of an article or a set of linked articles. In addition students will be encouraged to complete shorter written tasks throughout the course. These will be used by the course team to identify any student who may be finding the transition to Masters level work particularly challenging.
Feedback Not entered
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
By the end of the course students will be able to:
1. demonstrate critical awareness of current debates concerning the purposes and interpretation of educational research;
2. evaluate strengths and weaknesses of different research paradigms and philosophies with reference to their own professional setting;
3. demonstrate understanding and skills in the analysis, evaluation and interpretation of specific forms of educational writing;
4. collect data with consideration for issues of data management, generalisability and trustworthiness.
Reading List
Indicative Reading
Allison, P. & Pomeroy, E. (2000). How shall we 'know?' Epistemological concerns in research in experiential education. Journal of Experiential Education, 23(2), 91-97.
Boyatzis, R.E. (1998). Transforming qualitative information. London: Sage Publications.
Bryman, A. (2001) Social research methods. Oxford: University Press.
Creswell, J. (1998). Qualitative inquiry and research design: Choosing among five traditions. London: Sage.
Creswell, J. W. (2003). Research design: Qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods approaches. London: Sage.
Guba, E. G. & Lincoln, Y. S. (2008). Paradigmatic controversies, contradictions and emerging confluences. In Denzin, N. K. & Lincoln, Y. S. (Eds.), The landscape of qualitative research (pp. 255-286). London: Sage Publications.
Donaldson, S.I., Christie, C.A. and Mark, M.M. (2009) What Counts as credible evidence in applied research and evaluation practice? Thousand Oaks, CA./London: SAGE.
Flick, U. (2002) An introduction to qualitative research. (Second Edition). London: Sage.
Golden-Biddle, K. & Locke, K. D. (1997). Composing qualitative research. London: Sage.
Hammersley, M. (ed). (1998). Reading ethnographic research. 2nd Edition London: Longman.
Hammersley, M. (ed.) 2007. Educational research and evidence-based practice. London: Open University / SAGE.
Hughes, J. (1990). The philosophy of social research. Harlow: Longman.
Midgley, M. (1978/1996). Beast and man. London: Routledge.
Phillips, D. C. (1993). Subjectivity and objectivity: An objective inquiry. In M. Hammersley (Ed.), Educational research: Current issues. London: Open University.
Robson, C. (2002) Real world research. A resource for social scientists and practitioner-researchers. Second Edition. Oxford: Blackwell.
Yates, L. 2004. What does good education research look like?: Situating a field and its practices. Maidenhead: Open University Press / McGraw-Hill.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Speak to programme directors for further information.
Keywordssources of knowledge,understanding literature
Course organiserDr Gale MacLeod
Tel: (0131 6)51 6448
Course secretaryMs Amelia Konorowska
Tel: (0131 6)51 6292
Help & Information
Search DPTs and Courses
Degree Programmes
Browse DPTs
Humanities and Social Science
Science and Engineering
Medicine and Veterinary Medicine
Other Information
Combined Course Timetable
Important Information