module specification

SS6P32 - Education Studies Dissertation (2022/23)

Module specification Module approved to run in 2022/23
Module title Education Studies Dissertation
Module level Honours (06)
Credit rating for module 30
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Total study hours 300
86 hours Scheduled learning & teaching activities
214 hours Guided independent study
Assessment components
Type Weighting Qualifying mark Description
Coursework 100%   Research report 9000-10000 words
Running in 2022/23

(Please note that module timeslots are subject to change)
Period Campus Day Time Module Leader
Year North Tuesday Morning

Module summary

This module provides students with the opportunity to conduct a small-scale qualitative research investigation and to develop skills of independent enquiry.


Module aims

This module aims to:

• enable students to identify and research a clearly defined topic;

• Support students in designing, executing and reporting on their investigation using recognised and approved qualitative educational research methodologies and the standard conventions for an academic report;

• encourage students to read widely in the area of their particular interest;

• allow students to gain experience of gathering, interpreting and presenting primary data;

• further students’ understanding of methods of educational enquiry;

• enable students to construct a substantial argument drawing on both secondary sources and primary data and to identify implications for further investigation;

• outline possibilities for further scholarly activity and research as graduates of Education Studies.


Students conduct an enquiry into a topic in education.  Appropriate topics are negotiated with seminar tutors and, subsequently, with individual supervisors. A wide range of topics may be considered, but students should demonstrate that their chosen topic is supported by a body of literature of relevance to the agreed proposal in order to be accepted.  Approved methods of enquiry are critically discussed in the project lectures and seminars. The selection, analysis and presentation of data are considered both in seminars and in work with individual supervisors. Consideration will be given to post-graduate study and the uses of research in relation to students’ employability.

Learning and teaching

Students attend bi-weekly scheduled sessions that operate as lectures in alternate weeks; in other weeks seminars, workshops and independent learning will be scheduled with a specific aim of supporting students’ reading of appropriate research literature.  They are also assigned to a supervising tutor who oversees and guides their work one-to-one through series of tutorials up to a maximum of 6 hours.

Guest researchers will be invited to discuss their research content and methodology in Enhancement Weeks 6 and 16.

Learning outcomes

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

• present a clearly argued and systematically organised study;

• demonstrate competence in an appropriate academic literacy;

• show how the chosen topic relates to existing research and theory;

• show evidence of analytical and critical use of relevant literature;

• explain and justify their chosen methods of enquiry;

• sustain clearly focused and logical arguments throughout the project, drawing on evidence from reading and from primary data;

• demonstrate a clear understanding of the limitations of the data collected, and thus of any claims that can be made by drawing on that data as evidence;

• demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the chosen aspect of education;

• identify the significance of research competence for their employability and further study.

Assessment strategy

100% summative coursework.  Formative feedback is given throughout the course of the module in a variety of forms:

• in lectures, workshops and seminars –frequent opportunities for tutor and peer feedback in small groups to complement more formal lectures;
• opportunities for students throughout module for formative feedback and one-to-one tutor feedback;
• supervising tutors will provide formative feedback on the draft Literature Review, methodology and research design
• the above will be complemented by on-going, one-to-one feedback from supervising tutors (up to six hours) until the week before submission.

The final summative assessment is a final research report


Becker, H. S. (1986) Writing for Social Scientists: how to start and finish your thesis, book or article Chicago: University of Chicago Press. Extracts from this book are included in several of the Guidance Sheets but you should read the whole book for yourself.

Burton, D., and Bartlett, S. (2009) Key Issues for Educational Researchers, London: Sage.

Delaney, C. (2008) Investigating Culture: An Experiential Introduction to Anthropology, Oxford: Blackwell.

Denscombe, M. (2007) The Good Research Guide (Third Edition), Buckingham: Open University Press

Hammersley. M. and Atkinson, P. (2007) Ethnography: Principles in Practice London: Routledge

(Ed.) Jacobsen, H.J. (2009) Encountering the Everyday: An Introduction to the Sociologies of the Unnoticed, London: Palgrave Macmillan. 

O’Reilly, K. (2005) Ethnographic Methods, London: Routledge.

O’Reilly, K. (2009) Key Concepts in Ethnography, London: Sage.

Silverman, D. (2005) Interpreting Qualitative Data: Methods for Analysing Talk, Text and Interaction: Methods for Analyzing Talk, Text and Interaction, London: Sage