module specification

YC3002 - Research Methods for Early Childhood Studies (2017/18)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2017/18, but may be subject to modification
Module title Research Methods for Early Childhood Studies
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 15
School Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 60%   Portfolio (2500-3000 Words) *FC*
Coursework 40%   Research Project Proposal (1250 - 1500 words)
Attendance Requirement 0%   Attendance
Running in 2017/18 No instances running in the year

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 critique the research of others.

Prior learning requirements

Students should normally have a minimum of three years full-time experience (or equivalent) of working with young children and their families. It is expected that students will undertake observation and practical tasks for a minimum of one and a half hours each week throughout the module, normally in a group setting.

Module aims

The main aims of this core module are as follows:
· To be introduced to some of the major positions/philosophies in relation to research methods
· To develop an understanding of the major research methodologies in the field of early
childhood studies
· To develop an awareness of ethics in relation to research
· To be able to apply the skills learnt both in designing own research projects as well as in
critiquing published research
· To develop the confidence to conduct their own independent project using an appropriate
All three graduate attributes are focused upon in the module i.e. A1, A2, A3


The ‘Research Methods in Early Childhood Education and Care’ course will explore what is meant by ‘research’ from philosophical, ethical and practical perspectives. Students will be introduced to areas such as looking at surveys and statistics, questionnaires, ethnography, and action 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. 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 using the method focused upon that week. Throughout the module students will maintain a portfolio focusing on a variety of research methods. Formative non-assessed feedback will be given in response to related weekly tasks.

Learning and teaching

Tutor input or the use of distance learning materials together with some online materials will support introduction of new information and research findings for discussion and analysis. Weekly tasks will further support learning through discussion and reflection.
Lectures and group work or use of distance learning materials 25 hours
Weekly tasks and analysis 30 hours
Independent assessment related learning 95 hours
Total hours 150 hours

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module students will be able to:
1. have demonstrated that they have gained a basic understanding of the major
positions/philosophies in relation to research methods
2. have developed an understanding of the major research methodologies used in the field of
Early Childhood Studies
3. have developed an awareness of ethics in relation to research (A3)
4. have developed basic skills in relation to research methods e.g. how to design a questionnaire
and be able to critique the work of others (A2)
5. have acquired the confidence to undertake their own piece of independent research – the
project – applying skills learnt during the course (A1)

Assessment strategy

Assessment instruments:
The assessment for this module is as follows:
Assessment Description Learning outcomes
A Portfolio of weekly tasks 1, 2, 3, 4
B Research Project Proposal – the research project proposal acts as formative feedback to students as to the feasibility of their proposed project (YC3P07N) 3, 5


Aubrey, C., David, T., Godfrey, R. & Thompson, L. (eds) (2000) Early Childhood Educational Research: Issues in Methodology and Ethics, London: Routledge
Bell, J. (1993) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for the First-Time Researchers in Education and Social Science, Buckingham: OUP
Christensen, P. & James, A. (eds) (2000) Research With Children: Perspectives and Practices, London: Falmer Press
Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2000) Research Methods in Education, 5th edition, London: Routledge/Falmer
Denscombe, M (2003) The good research Guide 2nd edition. Maidenhead OU press.
Greig, A. & Taylor, J. (1999) Doing Research With Children, London: Sage
MacNaughton, G.,Rolfe, S. and Siraj-Blatchford, I. (eds) (2001) Doing Early ChildhoodRresearch: International Perspectives on Theory and Practice, Maidenhead, OU Press
Roberts-Holmes, G. (2005) Doing Your Early Years Research Project, London, Sage.
Website: look up (British Educational Research Association) and search for their ethical guidelines used in educational research.