EDM114-Independent Study in Education

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Dr Fiona Curtis

Email: f.r.curtis@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The module aims to offer the opportunity to students to investigate critically an area of academic literature and/or focus on their professional practice and development through an investigative study, which will be drawn together into an academic assignment.  The student may choose the theoretical basis which underpins his/her work, and the work should identify the implications of this choice.  Similarly the content focus and research methodology is at the student’s discretion and should be identified and justified in the work.


  1. To identify a topic of central concern to the student’s personal and professional development, related to an area of education with evidence of current research literature

  2. To negotiate, with the module convenor, an argument for the focus of the task/assignment including appropriate aims and learning outcomes

  3. To conduct a literature search and other suitable investigations to establish an academic base for the student’s field of study

  4. To devise and submit an appropriate assignment whose marking criteria reflect the learning outcomes indentified in point 2

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Identify a manageable and appropriate research question in relation to their chosen topic area

  • Critically present alternative ideas as these develop the argument that relates to the chosen area of focus of study

  • Have an appropriate understanding of contemporary theories and approaches to the focus relating to an area of education

  • Have an understanding of ethical issues, if appropriate

  • Present an argument in a written assignment

Additional outcomes:

  • Identify and locate sources of information

  • Discriminate between sources of information

  • Access distance learning resources and other learning support tools

Outline content:

The content of this module will depend upon the topic chosen by the student. Guidance will be given on selecting a focus for the study, ethical considerations, sources of literature and library resources.  Students will then be given a further minimum of one individual tutorial with a tutor who has specific expertise in the area or research methodology and there will be further opportunities to review progress and focus on the literature either face to face, by email or Skype Topics must be related to an aspect of education and to the overall aims of the programme. The chosen topic may be covered by validated modules not running at a particular time or may be rooted in the student’s immediate personal and professional development framework.


Supervision will be co-ordinated by the module leader, but will be allocated according to the topic chosen.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

One to one tutorials, on-line support materials.

Contact hours:
Tutorials/seminars 7 – 9
Other contact (eg study visits)  
Total hours 7 – 9
Number of essays or assignments 1
Other (eg major seminar paper)  

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

A 4500 word essay related to a specific aspect of education as chosen by the student, in consultation with the module leader.

Formative assessment methods:

Students will be set regular tasks on which they receive feedback from the tutor.

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information: http://www.reading.ac.uk/internal/exams/student/exa-guidePG.aspx

Assessment requirements for a pass:


Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmissions must be submitted within one calendar month of the notification of failure.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

Last updated: 20 April 2018


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