EDM133-MA Education dissertation

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Prof Helen Bilton

Email: h.o.bilton@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

The dissertation provides an opportunity for students to advance their knowledge and understanding of a particular subject area through an in-depth study of relevant sources and of advanced scholarship in the field, and to demonstrate their own independent capacity for research.

The dissertation is the pinnacle of the Masters study and provides an opportunity for students to put into action all their previous learning, advance their knowledge and understanding of a particular subject area through an in-depth study of relevant sources and of advanced scholarship in the field, and to demonstrate their own independent capacity for research. The theoretical basis will be around the subject the student chooses to study, alongside the theories of research. Through the consideration of a specific piece of study will enable students to inform and impact their own and others practice in the educational and training sectors.


  • Develop an understanding in depth of the chosen area; 

  • Produce a high quality, fully referenced dissertation (15,000 words) supported by appropriate evidence;

  • Develop and make use of all academic skills in identifying and defining a research topic, applying appropriate research techniques, analysing the data and where relevant, offering practical conclusions;

  • Display academic rigour in carrying out the agreed research and in presenting findings; 

  • Develop an argument for a considered and well informed dissertation. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

  • Provide an introduction setting out the topic and the approach and guiding the reader as to the content of the substantive chapters to come;

  • Establish a conceptual/theoretical context and provide a thorough review of the work already done in the particular field;

  • Set out a presentation and analysis of the material including, if appropriate, the relevant quantitative and statistical data;

  • Put forward a generalisation of the findings leading to conclusions and implications for policy and practice or research.

  • Define a research topic, conduct independent research, and present findings in an extended piece of written work;

  • Select and apply appropriate tools for analysing data;

  • Appraise and evaluate research data against research questions;

  • Engage critically with a wide body of literature and concepts;

  • Exercise informed and independent critical judgment through structured and reasoned argument;

  • Communicate effectively and fluently in writing, work independently, plan and deliver on time an individual project.

Additional outcomes:

• Research and write more independently.

• Develop increased policy analytical skills and awareness.

Outline content:

Introductory sessions and tutorials, development of initial dissertation outline, data collection, writing. Much of the content will be independent work.  

The specialist subject skills knowledge and understanding will very much be directed by the subject of the dissertation.

Global context:

This module will often deal with international or national issues in a variety of subjects.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The contact time for the dissertation consists of introductory group tutorials and individual supervision. EDM007 compliments and supports students' work on their dissertation, for example, providing training in research methods.

Note: This module is completed by both part time and full time students. The actual terms for tutorial supervision would be adapted to the individual student.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Tutorials 3 3 3
Fieldwork 10 10 10
Guided independent study 187 187 187
Total hours by term 200.00 200.00 200.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
One 15,000 word dissertation (excluding footnotes, reference list and appendices)

Formative assessment methods:

Students will received regular written and verbal feedback. 

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


Things to do now