EDM169-Research Methods Part A and B

Module Provider: Institute of Education
Number of credits: 60 [30 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer / Autumn module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2021/2

Module Convenor: Prof Alan Floyd
Email: alan.floyd@reading.ac.uk

Module Co-convenor: Prof Elizabeth Mccrum
Email: e.m.mccrum@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

  • Understand the importance of ethics in the research process

  • 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:

  • Designing research projects: introduction to research methodology; research design; undertaking a literature review and developing research questions; research ethics

  • Collecting data: sampling strategies; data collection tools (for example, observations, interviews, questionnaires)

  • Analysing data: analysing and presenting qualitative data; analysing and presenting quantitative data

  • Reporting Research: how to write research reports

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

This module runs over 2 academic years.

Teaching and learning activities will include lectures, presentations on current research by Institute staff, practicals (for example, in the use of SPSS), group discussions amongst peers, online learning activities, 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 200 200 200
Total hours for module 600

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 40
Report 60

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This module will be assessed in two parts:

  • Assignment one - Essay (4000 words)

  • Assignment two - Research Proposal (8000 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:

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:
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: 26 October 2021


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