Learning Outcomes for the Module
To enable students to plan, conduct, reflect upon and write a 8,000 word evidence-based (empirical) research project. The topic will be based on a research topic of the student’s choice, one that is relevant to their studies and which has been agreed and developed as a Research Proposal in ED5012 in consultation with their dissertation supervisor.
- Planning and writing literature reviews;
- Adopting research paradigms and conceptual/analytical frameworks;
- Identifying and designing research strategies;
- Developing research questions and research objectives;
- Engaging with research ethics and researcher reflexivity/positionality;
- Conducting fieldwork and data collection;
- Understanding and applying qualitative research methods;
- Understanding and applying quantitative research methods;
- Understanding and conducting data analysis and report writing; and
- Adopting a self-directed topic of study within the field of education studies.
Please use the appropriate headings to group the Learning Outcomes (LO). While it is expected that a module will have LOs covering a range of knowledge and skills, it is not necessary that all four headings are covered in every module. Please delete any headings that are not relevant. You should number the LOs sequentially to enable mapping of assessment tasks.
At the end of this module, students will be able to:
1.Demonstrate an understanding of different perspectives, concepts and theories and their application to ‘real world’ issues through interpreting and critically analysing a research topic against the background of selected appropriate methodologies and research strategies.
- Frame a research topic using relevant knowledge which draws on and synthesizes various types and sources of literature and evidence.
- Construct and implement a realistic and operational research timetable according to agreed deadlines and milestones as well as engage in data collection research methods that make use of selected appropriate research paradigms and methodologies.
- Critically reflect on and analyse different forms of data generated through fieldwork and purposefully carry out ethical and professional research.
- Relate conclusions drawn from the data analyses directly to the aims and objectives of the study as well as identify and evaluate any potential ‘impact’ generated through the study in terms of contribution to knowledge, stimulating debate and/or affecting organisational practice/policy.
- Ability to put learning into practice through engaging with ‘real world’ problems and working creatively with others to solve problems and generate practical
- Ability to write with clarity, objectivity and precision that conforms to academic writing conventions.
- Develop core skills in project management and design as well as transferable skills in report writing and effective time and resource management.
- Ability to systematically review and combine different sources and types of data and evidence while developing evaluative, analytical and critical thinking skills.
- Ability to think and engage as independent researchers who develop a research agenda that generates knowledge of interest to various stakeholders, communities and organisations.
- Ability to develop vital skills and experience as professionals engaged in practices of building industry contacts, professional relationships and knowledge networks.
Teaching/ learning methods/strategies used to enable the achievement of learning outcomes: For on campus students:
- Important module and assessment documents including Student code of conduct, Module handbook, Supervision logs, Project Report Guidelines, Ethics Form, Supervisor pro-forma, Feedback sheet and Personalised timetable.
- Important reference and support information including Write it right, Article chapter review template, Referencing well video, Guidance and FAQ for accessing support, Learning Achievement Assistants (LAAs), Academic writing support, Harvard referencing - How to guide, Endnote - How to guide, and Library and Learning Services.
- Core and recommended reading list with links to free-to-access e-books available through the UEL library
- Teaching schedule with lecture material, hand-outs and recommended reading included with key concepts and models highlighted and revision notes or summaries provided as appropriate.
The learning content will be organised in a number of topics and clear indication will be given to the students as to how they are advised to progress through the topics. Each topic will have its own learning outcomes and will contain advice on how to engage most effectively with the learning materials for the topic. Alongside the summative assignment or dissertation (weighting 100%), there will two forms of formative assessment to enable the module leader to monitor students’ progress at different stages of the module. Feedback on coursework will be provided electronically and students will be able to discuss their feedback with module leaders and tutors. During the course of the academic year the following methods of teaching, tutorials and student support will be available to you on this module: 12 taught sessions, 12 tutorials, and 6 individual supervision sessions. To guide and support students through the research process, each student will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will help student to focus on appropriate issues related to their chosen topic and provide support and guidance throughout the stages of data collection, generation, presentation and analysis.
- The project is designed to give you an opportunity to present evidence of scholarship in a field related to education studies.
- It must demonstrate familiarity with relevant literature, the use of research skills and systematic analysis of evidence.
- It must seek to improve personal knowledge and understanding of professional practices in a defined area associated with education studies.
- Above all, a research report should present new perspectives on professional knowledge and practices. It should, at minimum, confirm validity of continuing accepted practice of the known, in a contemporary context. At best, investigation should result in progress from the known to the unknown, and it should demonstrate the boldness of original thought, defended by sound debate.
- Competent reporting of an investigation focused on a succinctly-defined problem or focus area.
- Critical discussion of previous research in the field presented in relevant literature.
- Evidence of personal investigation, including data collection, report and analysis of findings and a statement of further questions for immediate and/or future action resulting from your enquiry, perceptions and consequent thoughts.
- Proposals for future development or research both in the immediate practical situation and more widely.
- Statements of what you have learned as a result of the investigative process and how the work has, or should, improve your professional knowledge, understanding and skills.
The dissertation is designed to enable you to select a field of study which is of personal interest to you and of future value to you as someone with interests in the professional, working field of education studies. Within this chosen area, you should select a topic for investigation which focuses on the quality of provision associated with your programme of study.
The dissertation will usually follow the conventions of an evidenced based (empirical) enquiry related to first-hand information (data) gathering in settings such as schools, colleges, training organisations, youth organisations and their associated staff or student groups.
It is part of the rationale of a dissertation that you conduct a good deal of this work under your own guidance and initiative. However, you will be allocated a supervisor who will help you:
- Focus down on the chosen research topic;
- Determine exactly what you are investigating and the key questions for research;
- Expand your review of literature for the section in the dissertation;
- Identify ethical issues you will have to consider and address;
- Investigate your data;
- Formulate appropriate conclusions.
Each supervisor has only a limited time allocation per student. You will therefore have just six formal sessions with your supervisor. It is important that you take full advantage of the opportunity to meet with your supervisor and that you make the visits totally focused on what you want to know. Your supervisor will support your initiative and provide feedback about your work progress within the specified time periods mentioned above.
A supervisor cannot give advice on your final draft submission and so you need to make good use of your individual tutorial sessions well before the time of final draft so that you know that you are moving along the right lines. You should remain in close contact with your supervisor and make an advance booking for tutorials during the specified time periods. Individual consultations with supervisors are your responsibility to arrange and so please be pro-active in this respect.
To help you gain maximum benefit from the supervisions and tutorials the following should be observed:
- You must negotiate supervision times with your supervisor. Each supervision has a time limit of 20 minutes. You must maintain a record of the supervision meeting by completing the supervision log.
- If you fail to use a scheduled tutorial time, no replacement will be made available. Responsibility for your own work is expected; no one will chase you to meet the requirements.
- There will be no tutorials concerned with the dissertation during the fortnight preceding the submission date. Supervisors can take no responsibility for the quality of your work, if you do not take advantage of their expertise during the allocated time.
- If progress is inhibited through illness or other personal difficulties, seek advice from your supervisor or the Module Leader.
- Make an appointment to meet with your supervisor at least one week in advance.
- Arrive with a carefully prepared progress report and notes of issues you wish to raise. An abstract of your work to date is good practice and may save you time at the end of the whole process. It is your responsibility to bring your Supervision log which you must fill in at each session. The supervisor will note your attendance and sign accordingly.
- It is not the supervisor’s responsibility to proof-read the work, nor to re-draft sections for you. The supervisor advises modifications, additions and potential for further investigation lines.
- Discuss and set realistic targets for your work, and keep to them.
- Consider what the supervisor has to say in a positive manner. Try to keep an open mind and be prepared to consider a range of viewpoints. If all you are doing is reporting someone else’s ideas, without offering something of your own, the research report will lack the element of originality and academic rigour, which it should contain.
- You must accept the academic conventions for writing research reports, so be prepared to accept the supervisor’s guidance in this aspect of your work.
- At the end of a tutorial, the supervisor will sign your supervision log and record the advice given to you. This action plan will be reviewed at your next tutorial. You are given a proforma to assist. Keep this safe, as you will need to present it with your dissertation report.