Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 40 [20 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Summer / Autumn / Spring module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Maria Kambouri
Email: m.kambouri@reading.ac.uk

Module Co-convenor: Prof Richard Harris
Email: r.j.harris@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module represents the student's major piece of independent work, the culmination of their critical writing on the course. As such it provides an opportunity for students to design and conduct research through an extended research project.  This is a largely independent study supported by a number of taught sessions, one to one or group supervision and some further group ‘surgeries’.  Students may engage in either primary research (conducting their own experiments, surveys etc. to gain new knowledge) or secondary research (collating knowledge from other people's research to produce a new synthesis).  Students will give a presentation on their research-in-progress at a mid-point during the module.


Students will develop research skills particular to the design of their research project, conduct an ethically sound research project and then report on their findings within an 8,000 word dissertation.

Assessable learning outcomes:

On successful completion of the module, students will be able to:

  • Design a feasible research project which will allow for independent work

  • Critically evaluate published research studies to critique the merits of these leading to a systematic review of the literature in an area relevant to the research project

  • Communicate the progress of a project in a presentation

  • Write an effectively organised paper with a cogen t argument, demonstrating critical analysis of evidence to support judgements and using proper referencing conventions 

  • Apply the conventions of academic writing to devise and sustain a relevant, systematic argument

Additional outcomes:

On successful completion of the module students should also be able to:

  • Use ICT to produce tables and data

  • Share preliminary findings in a coherent and logical manner

Outline content:

Students will be introduced to the module during the Summer Term of Part 2.  Following submission of a dissertation proposal supervisors will be allocated. Students may be supervised individually or within group tutorials.

At the end of the Autumn Term they give a presentation on their research which is intended to focus ideas about the research project before students embark upon the major data collection period of their dissertation.

Students wil l submit draft chapters for formative feedback.  The final submissions of written dissertations will be in the Summer term.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

Following introductory lectures, supervision tutors will give guidance on initial ways of undertaking the research and refining the focus of the study, research design, methodologies and ethical considerations. A series of lectures at different points throughout the year will support student learning. ‘Surgery’ workshops are offered, to provide further support. 

Students’ research skills will be developed through independent reading, with support from indivi dual or group supervision. Their study may be library-based, secondary research only or primary research, involving visits, interviews, and/or practical activities as appropriate.

Students are expected to submit drafts of some sections for comment by the supervisor.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 2
Seminars 2 2
Project Supervision 2 2
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 40 40
    Preparation for tutorials 3 6 4
    Preparation for presentations 20 38
    Carry-out research project 108
    Dissertation writing 48
    Essay preparation 48
    Reflection 10 10 10
Total hours by term 80 208 112
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 80
Oral assessment and presentation 20

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

  • Dissertation 8,000 words – submitted Summer term (80%)

  • Presentation on literature review & potential research design – delivered Autumn term (20%)

Formative assessment methods:

  • Research proposal

  • Draft chapters: literature review, methodology & methods, results & discussion

  • Regular supervision tutorials – either individual or group

  • Drop-in ‘surgeries’

Penalties for late submission:

The Support Centres will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.
The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Resubmission during the summer resit period.

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: Travel, accommodation and subsistence: Own expense for data collection purposes

Last updated: 25 October 2021


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