EDM163-Research Methods

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 30 [15 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Prof Carol Fuller
Email: C.L.Fuller@reading.ac.uk

Type of module:

Summary module description:
Research methods 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 facilitate participants’ understanding of the process of research design, including formulating research questions.
•To enable participants 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:
•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 quantitative 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
•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 B

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Teaching and learning activities will include lectures, presentations/mini-conferences on current research by Institute staff via Mediasite, practicals (for example, in the use of SPSS), group discussions amongst peers, as well as 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 15
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study: 280
Total hours by term 300
Total hours for module 300

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
There will be three assignments for a total of 6,000 words

•The first is the equivalent of 1,500 words and will be a critical reflection of research methodology (25%).
•The second will be 1,500 words and will require students to apply a research method to a small project (25%).
•The third assignment will be a research proposal of 3,000 words which will relate to students proposed area of research in Part B of the programme (50%).

Formative assessment methods:
Feedback will be offered on a draft version of each assignment.

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:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
One resubmission only. Resubmission is negotiated to be no longer than three calendar months of the notification of failure.

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: 26 October 2021


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