Undergraduate Course: Educational Studies 4: Independent Research Project in Education (EDUA10172)
|School||Moray House School of Education and Sport
||College||College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 4 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Not available to visiting students
|Summary||This 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.
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)
||Other requirements|| None
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2020/21, Not available to visiting students (SS1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
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
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||There will two alternative, equivalent and exclusive forms of assessment for this course. Students have to choose ONE mode of assessment. A joint decision will be made between the student and an allocated member of staff (and where necessary the Course Organiser) concerning which format the student will pursue.
The alternative modes of assessment are either
1. An 8000-word dissertation. Students must achieve at least 40% for the dissertation to achieve a pass for this course
2. A Literature Review (3000 words; 50% final mark) and Research Plan (4000 words; 50% final mark). Students must achieve an average of at least 40% over these two assessment components to achieve an overall pass for the course.
If students are undertaking the dissertation mode then 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. 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.
If students are undertaking the Literature Review/Research Plan mode then formal formative assessment takes place through an on-going ┐Research Summary┐ document (1000 words equivalent). It is expected that this document will be the focus of discussion and guidance in supervision meetings and email contact. This research summary will be submitted as part of the research plan.
Students on the MA Primary Education with Gaelic programme must complete their research proposal or research summary in Gaelic and provide an English translation.
||In the dissertation mode 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.
In the Literature Review/Research Plan mode students receive feedback from supervisors as they plan for their literature review and guidance as they plan and write up their research plan. Feedback on a summary of the research will be provided by supervisors during the write-up process for the research plan. Written feedback will be provided on the literature review and research plan.
|No Exam Information
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- Identify significant and researchable questions arising from professional concerns
- Design, justify and implement a small-scale piece of research. (If this involves empirical work, this should take place in the placement school setting.)
- Understand how to analyse data and draw out findings of significance to their professional practice and to the teaching profession
- Communicate their research intentions, design and findings in clear, accurate and scholarly language
|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.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Dr Kevin Wright
Tel: (0131 6)51 6676
|Course secretary||Miss Lorraine Nolan
Tel: (0131 6)51 6571