EDM169-Research Methods Part A and B

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: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Dr Carol Fuller

Email: C.L.Fuller@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
Research Methods Part A and B aims to prepare students for research by developing an understanding of the range of methodological approaches to research as well as provide a critical understanding of the philosophy of research in relation to the role it plays in theory construction. This module will focus on research design and methods of data collection and analysis, including quantitative and qualitative techniques and skills. It will also consider the importance of ethics in research in the professional context. As a blended learning module, it is designed to be flexible, with part of the module delivered through lectures, seminars and mini-conferences and part delivered via the virtual learning environment (Blackboard). Specific sessions will be delivered by experienced university staff in the relevant area.

• To develop a critical understanding of the epistemology of research
• To develop a critical understanding of the range of methodological approaches to research
• To equip students with a knowledge of both quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and analysis
• To understand the process of research design, including formulating research questions.
• To understand the role of ethics in research
• To provide opportunities for interaction with experienced researchers

Assessable learning outcomes:
On successful completion of this module participants will be able to:
• Critically reflect on the nature of research
• Critically reflect on a range of methodological approaches
• Collect and analyze both quantitative and qualitative data
• Understand the importance of ethics
• Produce a research proposal appropriate to student’s area of study in Part B of the programme

Additional outcomes:
• Students will have developed increased depth to their understanding of a substantial body of knowledge in relation to research
• Students will have increased their ability to communicate complex information in both oral and written communication

Outline content:
Part A (Year One)

• Introduction to Research: this will explore the nature and philosophy of research in, different methodological approaches as well as ethical issues in research
• Quantitative Research: this will discuss the role and use of quantative methods, their strengths and limitations as well as the instruments used in data collection. Methods for data analysis will also be explored as well as practical sessions for example, using SPSS

Part B (Year Two)
• Qualitative Research: this will discuss the role and use of qualitative methods, their strengths and limitations alongside techniques for data collection. Methods of data analysis will also be explored
• Designing a Research Proposal: this will consider the process for designing a research study as well as guide students through the process of producing a research proposal in relation to their proposed area of study in Part 2

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
This module runs over 2 academic years.

Teaching and learning activities will include lectures, presentations/mini-conferences on current research by Institute staff, practicals (for example, in the use of SPSS), group discussions amongst peers, as well as individual/group tutorials. Independent study will be facilitated by written handouts and guidance concerning directed reading as well as on-line learning tasks that promote the intended learning outcomes

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10 10
Guided independent study 190 190 190
Total hours by term 200.00 200.00 200.00
Total hours for module 600.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 25
Report 50
Practical skills assessment 25

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This module will be assessed in three parts:

  • Assignment one - Essay (3000 words)

  • Assignment two - Content Analysis (3000 words)

  • Assignment three - Research Proposal (6000 words)

  • Not formally assessed - Proposal Presentation

Formative assessment methods:

Feedback will be offered on a draft version of each assignment up to a month before the final submission deadline.

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:
An aggregate mark of at least 50%.

Reassessment arrangements:

Students who fail the assessment will be given the opportunity to re-sit any tests they failed, and to do the coursework assignment for a second time but their overall mark will be capped at 50%.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 1 February 2018

Things to do now