module specification

SE6054 - Reading Research and Research Methods in Early Childhood (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Reading Research and Research Methods in Early Childhood
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 150
30 hours Placement / study abroad
9 hours Assessment Preparation / Delivery
75 hours Guided independent study
36 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   A research project proposal 3,500 words
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Autumn semester LMET Distance Learning Not applicable -
Autumn semester North Monday Morning
Autumn semester North Monday Afternoon

Module summary

This module focuses upon the main research methodologies used in the study of early childhood, preparing students for their own research projects as well as enabling them to read and critique the research of others.

This core module aims to enable students to:

- Develop the ability to describe, analyse and constructively critique the major          research methodologies in the field of early childhood studies
- Develop an awareness of ethics in relation to research
- Apply skills in designing their own research projects
- Develop skills in critiquing published research

Prior learning requirements

Enhanced DBS
Students are expected to undertake 60 hours work placement providing for children in the birth to six age range as part of this module, normally in a group setting


Students will be introduced to areas such as qualitative and quantitative research design and different approaches to research e.g.  Action research, alongside a range of methods used in early childhood research.   The course will also focus upon ethical considerations in relation to early childhood research, and will devote time to looking at research that incorporates young children’s perspectives and addressing diversity within research.  The course will conclude with sessions on how to conduct a literature review and how to analyse and present data.  Throughout the course, students will be asked to critique published research on the topic of their research project LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

For taught course students theoretical input will be through lectures and seminars. Online students will receive the same theoretical input through bespoke on-line module materials with access to an allocated tutor who is available to support them online as well as by e-mail or by telephone.

All students will benefit from a blended learning approach through the use of Web Learn for supplementary materials, links to E-books, on-line discussions and self-assessment exercises such as quizzes and reflective tasks.

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching for all students – for taught students this will be in the context of tutor-led sessions while for distance learning students reflection will be promoted by the exercises incorporated into the web-based materials.  For all students experiential learning promotes their growing ability to act as a reflective practitioner.

Teaching and learning strategies and methods also focus on workplace skills and professionalism. All students undertake and reflect on observations in the workplace and weekly tasks and reflective exercises support increased knowledge and understanding. Observations, action research, work-related tasks and the use of development planning tools support the growth of practitioners’ professional competence. 

The development of transferable skills in presenting evidence, arguments and points of view to a range of audiences, through a range of media, including the use of ICT also supports individual learning.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:

1. Describe, analyse and constructively critique the major research methodologies used in the field of Early Childhood Studies
2. Apply ethics in relation to research
3. Understand a range of research methods and approaches and be able to articulate when to use them
4. Be able to critique existing research in the early childhood field

Assessment strategy

Students will demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through the submission of one piece of work at the end of the module. This will be a research project proposal that incorporates a rationale, an abridged literature review including a critique on one academic journal article that relates to the students proposed research question. A methodology section along with a discussion of ethics that relate to their research question that the students chosen is included in the research proposal


Bell, J. (2014) Doing your research project : a guide for first-time researchers (6th editiion), Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Education, E book

Christensen, P. and James, A. (Eds) (2017) Research with children : perspectives and practices /, London: Falmer Press, E book

Clark, A. and Moss. P. (2017) Listening to young children: the mosaic approach (3rd Ed), London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers, E book

Denscombe, M. (2014) The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects (5th Ed), Maidenhead: OUP, E book
Greig, A., Taylor, J. and MacKay, T. (2013) Doing Research With Children (3rd Ed), London: Sage

MacNaughton, G. (2009) Doing action research in early childhood studies: a step by step guide, Maidenhead: Open University Press

Mukherji, P. and Albon, D. (2018) Research methods in early childhood: an introductory guide (3rd Ed), London: Sage

Roberts-Holmes, G. (2014) Doing Your Early Years Research Project (3rd Ed), London, Sage.
British Educational Research Association (BERA) (2018) Ethics and Guidance, available at:

McNiff, J. (2018) Action research for professional development, available at:


Brooker, L. (2011) ‘Taking children seriously: An alternative agenda for research?’, Journal of Early Childhood Research, Vol. 9, No. 2, pp. 137–149

Electronic Databases: (available via London Met Library E Resources)

British Education Index (BEI)

ERIC (Educational Resources Information Centre)