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: Pre-requisites: Pass (50) at EDM007
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Dr Natthapoj Vincent Trakulphadetkrai
Email: n.trakulphadetkrai@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 to collect original data, 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 judg ement 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 by, for example, providing training in research methods.

Note: This module is completed by both part time and full-time students. Students will take 12 months to complete this module. All full-time students submit their dissertation in the September of the calendar year following their enrolment on the MA in Education programme. Part-time students may submit their dissertations on this September date, or in January, as their programme is flexible. The dates of submissions will be published on the Blackboard organisation for the MA in Education programme.  The actual terms for tutorial supervision would be adapted to the individual student.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Seminars 5 8 2
Tutorials 1 4 5
Guided independent study:      
    Wider reading (independent) 30 175 118
    Wider reading (directed) 5 10 5
    Preparation for tutorials 2 8 10
    Preparation for seminars 6 16 4
    Completion of formative assessment tasks 6
    Carry-out research project 70
    Dissertation writing 30 80
Total hours by term 55 251 294
Total hours for module 600

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Dissertation 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

One 15,000 word dissertation (including tables and figures, but excluding abstract, reference list and appendices)

Formative assessment methods:

Students will received regular written and verbal feedback.

Penalties for late submission:

The below information applies to students on taught programmes except those on Postgraduate Flexible programmes. Penalties for late submission, and the associated procedures, which apply to Postgraduate Flexible programmes are specified in the policy “Penalties for late submission for Postgraduate Flexible programmes”, which can be found here: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/files/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmissionPGflexible.pdf
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:

Resubmissions must be submitted within 12 months of the notification of failure. Information about dates for resitting EDM133 are given in the Module Handbook.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

1) Required text books: All textbooks are available from the University Library

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: Students must travel to their chosen educational setting for data collection, and manage their own costs relating to this.

Last updated: 26 October 2021


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