module specification

AE6P06 - Action Research for Practitioners: Placement and Project (2023/24)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2023/24
Module title Action Research for Practitioners: Placement and Project
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 60
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 400
310 hours Guided independent study
90 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 20%   Podcast
Coursework 80%   Action Research Project
Practical Examination 0%   Placement
Running in 2023/24

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Wednesday All day

Module summary

This module offers an opportunity for independent study and aims to enable students to:
- Undertake a professional placement with children in an education setting
- Develop further professionally by pursuing a line of study which arises out of an aspect of her/his work with children.
- Extend professional competence by developing a critical understanding of the relationship between theory and practice
- Introduce some of the major positions/philosophies in relation to research methods
- Develop an understanding of the major research methodologies used in the field of early years/primary education
- Develop an awareness of ethics in relation to research Design, execute and evaluate a small-scale action research project and experience supervised independent study of an extended nature.
- Develop some of the skills required for post-graduate study


The module provides students with opportunities to further develop essential skills in professional practice with children through work based experience [200 hours]. Students will have opportunities to reflect on their placement experiences and in doing this undertake a piece of independent research. 

The individual project allows students 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 years/primary education.  The content of the project may be an extension of work already undertaken on the course or may arise out of an aspect of the student’s professional concerns, drawing together issues of theory and practice.

Some of the key areas include:
- Research theory
- Research design
- Ethics
- Research tools
- Critical reading and writing
- Data analysis
- Communicating your findngs
- Children’s perspectives
- Addressing diversity within research LO1,LO2,LO3,LO4,LO5

Balance of independent study and scheduled teaching activity

Learning will be supported through face to face tutorials, workshops and seminars (including accessing online resources) and independent study.  Students will also engage in a 200-hour placement experience within an educational setting.

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 by supervising tutors.

Learning outcomes

On successul completion of this module, students will be able to:

1. Generate and explore research questions relating to early years/primary education 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 education 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 action research. 
5. Demonstrate insight into an aspect of early years/primary education 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:

1. Satisfactory report from placement provider [pass/fail]

2. A 10-minute podcast detailing student’s action research proposal [20%]

3. Action research project 8,000 – 10,000 words [80%].  This should generally contain the following elements:

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


Core reading

ALBON, D., & ROSEN, R. (2014). Negotiating adult-child relationships in early childhood research.
BELL, J. (2014) (6th ed.) Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First-time Researchers in Education, Health and Social Science 5th edn. Berkshire: Open University Press
KIDD, W. (2018) Doing Your Action Research Project: A Guide for Education Students, London: Sage

Additional reading

DENSCOMBE, M. (2014) (5th ed.) The Good Research Guide for small-scale social research projects, Maidenhead: Open University Press

KOSHY, V. 2nd Ed. (2010) Action Research for Improving Educational Practice: a step by step guide, Los Angeles; London: Sage

MUKHERJI, P., & ALBON, D. (2015). Research methods in early childhood: an introductory guide London: Sage
PHILLIPS, D. K., & CARR, K. (2014). Becoming a teacher through action research: process, context, and self-study.
EASON, P., & BRADBURY, H. (2008). The Sage handbook of action research: participative inquiry and practice. London, SAGE Publications.
TOMAL, D. R. (2010). Action research for educators. Lanham, Md, Rowman & Littlefield Education.

WILKINSON, D. (2000) The researcher’s toolkit. The complete guide to practitioner research London: Routledge/Falmer