module specification

SE6P05 - The Project (Early Childhood Studies) (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18
Module title The Project (Early Childhood Studies)
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Professions
Total study hours 300
20 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
280 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Dissertation 100%   Dissertation 8-10,000 words
Running in 2017/18
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year LMET Distance Learning - -
Year North Not applicable Not applicable

Module summary

Students undertake a piece of independent research and study an area of particular interest in early childhood studies.

Prior learning requirements

Students should normally have already completed, or will study concurrently reading research and research methods in early childhood

It is expected that students will be in a work placement providing for children in the birth to six age range for a minimum of 2 hours each week throughout the module, normally in a group setting.

Module aims

This module offers an opportunity for independent study and aims to enable students to:
• Develop further professionally by pursuing a line of study which arises out of an aspect of her/his work with young children.
• Extend professional competence by developing a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and early childhood practice
• Gain experience of the processes and methodological and ethical issuesinvolved in conducting and completing a piece of research
• Design, execute and evaluate a small-scale research project and experience supervised independent study of an extended nature.
• Develop some of the skills required for post-graduate study


This is an individual project that allows the student to carry out a systematic investigation of a topic.  The area of investigation is chosen by the student and should arise from personal and professional interest in an area of Early Childhood Studies.  The content of the project may be an extension of work already undertaken on the BA (Early Childhood) course, may arise out of an aspect of the student’s professional concerns, drawing together issues of theory and practice, or may be drawn from other topics within the field of early childhood studies.

Learning and teaching

Learning will be supported in face to face and / or telephone tutorials, introductory workshops and seminars (including accessing online resources) and independent study.

Students will be expected to actively engage with additional materials and discussion opportunities that will be available via WebLearn . A record of tutorials will be kept and signed by both tutor and student.

Reflection and discussion are key to teaching 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. Observations and action research, closely related to their work, 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. Generate and explore research questions relating to early childhood that consider the context of children and childhood and the position of the researcher within the study
  2. Describe, analyse and constructively critique research and theoretical perspectives related to the research focus, accessing information from a wide range of sources, having regard to the relative validity of the information and it’s social, cultural and political context. 
  3. Demonstrate competence in research skills related to early childhood through designing and  carrying out an independent study using appropriate methods of data collection and engaging in critical reflection upon the ethics of studying children and their families 
  4. Discuss and evaluate research findings using theory to examine data and to develop plausible arguments; critically reflect on practice and present collected data in ways that are congruent with the chosen research paradigm.  
  5. Demonstrate insight into an aspect of early childhood studies and a commitment to embrace an anti-bias approach and act as an advocate for children and families.

Assessment strategy

Students will demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes through the submission of a dissertation.
This should generally contain the following elements,

1. An abstract.
2. A title and contents page.
3. An introduction to the study, outlining the rationale / context for the study.
4. A review of the literature central to the area studied.
5. A discussion of the methods of investigation used.
6. A presentation of the main findings from the data collected discussed in relation to research and theories relevant to the topic.
7. Conclusions.
9. Acknowledgements, appendices and a reference section.

Students’ individual supervisors will provide formative non-assessed feedback throughout the module. Students will agree a timetable for submitting draft chapters with their supervisor, who will provide written feedback.  The prerequisite module on research methods will also give formal formative assessment, preparing students for the project.


Aubrey, C. et al (2000) Early Childhood Educational Research - issues in methodology and ethics London: Routledge/Falmer
Bell, J. (2010) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for the First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science (5th editiion), Maidenhead: OUP E book
Christensen, P. & James, A. (Eds) (2008) Research With Children: Perspectives and Practices, London: Falmer Press E book
Clough, P. and C. Nutbrown (2007) A Student’s Guide to Methodology: Justifying Enquiry, 2nd ed., London: Sage
Costley, C., G. Elliott and P. Gibbs (2010) Doing Work Based Research: Approaches to Enquiry for Insider-Researchers, London: Sage
Denscombe, M (2010) The Good Research Guide (4th edition) Maidenhead: OUP. (NB the 2007 edition is an E book)
Greig, A. & Taylor, J., Mackay, T. (2007) Doing Research With Children (2nd edition), London: Sage
Harcourt, D., B.Perry and T. Waller eds. (2011) Researching Young Children’s Perspectives: Debating the Ethics and Dilemmas of Educational Research with Children, Abingdon: Routledge
Hewson, C. et al (2003) Internet Research Methods London: Sage Publications
Mac Naughton, G. S., A. Rolfe & I. Siraj-Blatchford, eds. (2010) Doing Early Childhood Research, 2nd ed. Maidenhead: Open University Press
Mukherji, P., Albon, D. (2010) Research Methods in Early Childhood, London: Sage
Roberts-Holmes, G. (2005) Doing Your Early Years Research Project, London, Sage.

Websites (British Educational Research Association)
The Social Research Association: