ED3FDS-Special Study in Development or Learning

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

Module Convenor: Dr Anna Tsakalaki
Email: a.tsakalaki@reading.ac.uk

Module Co-convenor: Dr Anthony Zhang
Email: anthony.zhang@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
The aim of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to undertake, with guidance, an independent research project into a topic of their choice related to aspects of their practice. Students will be encouraged to engage in professional enquiry in a systematic, rigorous, critical and self-analytical manner and to provide a vehicle for improvement in the context of institutional and professional improvement.


  • Develop in depth knowledge of a particular aspect of children's development and/or learning.
  • Critically appraise professional advice from a variety of sources.
  • Identify and develop appropriate skills of enquiry.
  • Plan and carry out appropriate research
  • Examine the impact of research on practice

Assessable learning outcomes:
On successful completion of the module students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate literature in terms of the quality of argument and evidence versus opinion
  • Manage and implement practitioner based research to acquire current, coherent information
  • Apply the conventions of academic writing to devise and sustain a relevant, systematic argument
  • Critically evaluate both the results of the research and the impact of dissemination

Additional outcomes:

  • Recognition of the importance of ongoing research into practice for professional development
  • Ability and willingness to share good practice with colleagues.

Outline content:
There will be initial inputs on methods of enquiry. Students will draw upon their work – based experiences to select an area for further investigation. It must be an area which is focused, clearly related to professional development and deemed suitable by the tutor team. Students will formulate a research question or hypothesis and conduct a piece of primary research based around their work based practice. The study should be informed by extensive secondary research and engage the student in in-depth research and problem – solving. There will be an emphasis on ensuring that the study is ethical and realistic in scale.
Students will be expected to present their findings to a group of peers, evaluate the likely impact of their dissemination and to provide a written report on the research, identifying the implications for practice

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
The format of contact hours will take the form of :
Lectures and workshops, individual and small group tutorials for the face to face element of this module. Small group and individual discussions will form the online element.

Contact hours will be arranged to suit the cohort, with a flexible delivery pattern allowing students to take this module at the most appropriate point in their academic development.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 8 12 10
Tutorials 4 4 4
Placement 40 40
Guided independent study: 90 98 90
Total hours by term 142 154 104
Total hours for module 400

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 70
Oral assessment and presentation 30

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

1. An oral presentation to a small group of peers (30%)

2.An 8000 word essay (70%)

Formative assessment methods:
Feedback from personal tutors on progress in literature review (1500 words)

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:
40% aggregate

Reassessment arrangements:

Resubmission of coursework during the summer resit period following delivery of the module. Resubmission of the presentation is impractical during the summer resit period. Re-assessment will therefore normally be a detailed electronic presentation (e.g. PowerPoint).

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: There is no specific requirement for students to buy the core, or any additional, books: £23.99Thomas. G., (2017). How to do your Research Project: A Guide for Students in Education and Applied Social Sciences (3rd Ed.). London: Sage. ISBN-13: 978-1473948877 

£23.99 Cohen, L., Manion, L., &Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education (7th Ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. ISBN-10: 0415583365

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: 25 October 2021


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