Programme Specification for the 2015/6 academic year

MSc MSC Educational Research (Distance Learning)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc MSC Educational Research (Distance Learning) Programme codePTS1EDUEDU03
Study mode(s)Distance Learning
Full Time
Academic year2015/6
Campus(es)St Luke's (Exeter)
Programme start date

09/2014

NQF Level7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The overall purpose of this MSc is to prepare you for the independent conduct of educational research. We have developed the programme to support research students and for students interested in a specific area of education.

It can be taken either as a stand-alone Masters or as a precursor to a PhD. The four taught modules of the MSc are required research training for all Four-Year PhD and MPhil/PhD students.

The programme meets the current ESRC training guidelines for the preparation of doctoral students and allows students to apply for ‘1+3’ ESRC studentships (see information on funding for further details).

For doctoral students the programme is designed to provide high quality training, both to enable you to carry out doctoral research and to equip you to pursue other research activities. Other potential career opportunities include practitioner and academic educationists: your acquired general social science research skills can be used in different contexts and applied to a variety of problems.

You will be able to specialise in a particular field of education, within a research preparation framework or context and benefit from collaboration with fellow students in small online groups on directed activities.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. a good grasp of the central ideas, concepts, debates, theories, philosophies and approaches employed by educational researchers;
2. a critical understanding of the main methodologies of educational research and strategies to decide which are appropriate to the problems they are investigating;
3. skills and understanding to conduct research projects independently using any of the main methodologies of educational research;
4. knowledge of and skills in the various forms of communicating and disseminating educational research.

The programme aims to equip you with:

4. Programme Structure

The taught course is designed to be equally accessible to both full, part time and distance students. The programme is made up of 4 taught modules and a dissertation:

ERPM000 The Nature of Educational Enquiry (NEE) 30

ERPM001 Interpretive Methodologies (IM) 30

ERPM002 Scientific Methodologies (SM) 30

ERPM005 Designing and Communicating Research (DCR) 30

ERPM004 Dissertation (15,000 words) (DI) 60

Students wishing to obtain the MSc award either as a stand-alone degree or as preparation for doctoral studies will have to complete all the 5 modules. However there are two options to those students intending to progress to doctoral studies.

Progression to PhD programme

The MSc can be undertaken as a stand-alone programme or as year 1 of the 4 year programme (see below) or the 4 modules are completed as a requirement for the 3-year MPhil/PhD programme (see below):

MSc as year 1 of 4-year PhD programme:

Students wishing to take the MSc in Education Research as year 1 of the PhD will use their dissertation to prepare a research plan for their PhD thesis (This will be the only option available to ESRC funded 4-year PhD programme 1 + 3 students). Students using the MSc as year 1 of the 4-year programme need to attain and average grade of 55 for their 4 modules and a grade of 55 for their dissertation to progress to year 2.

MPhil/PhD programme:

Students on this pathway undertake the 4 MSc taught modules. In order to progress to PhD students need to attain an average grade of 55 for their 4 modules. Additionally they need to submit a 5000 word conversion paper with a research plan for their doctoral study. This will be considered by a conversion committee. If they do not meet the criteria for conversion to PhD they can re-submit their plan on one more occasion only. If they do not convert to PhD, they exit the programme with a PG Diploma (for the 120 credits obtained by the successful completion of the 4 MSc modules – see below).

Stopping-off Points

The programme is in modular format and has immediate exit points in the form of Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits i.e. 2 modules) and Diploma (120 credits i.e. all 4 modules), organised in line with the national framework established by the QAA.

Where appropriate there has been conformity with the Education studies benchmarks – although these are not always appropriate because they are concerned with undergraduate programmes.  These benchmarks have been reinterpreted to confirm to Masters (M) level qualifications.  The programme meets the ESRC 2005 research training guidelines.  There is also conformity with general principles (1A – 12A) outlined in the QAA Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Programmes.

5. Programme Modules

The full list of modules is available (with module descriptions) at http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/graduatestudies/masters/edresearchmsc/campus/structure/

As a full-time student, you will take two twilight sessions each week during term time and an occasional session on a Saturday. Part-time students take one twilight session per week during term time and an occasional session on a Saturday.

Each module consists of ten sessions delivered through a blended system of learning.

Stage 1


Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ERPM001 Interpretive Methodologies 30No
ERPM002 Scientific Methodologies 30No
ERPM000 The Nature of Educational Enquiry 30No
ERPM005 Designing and Communicating Research 30No
ERPM004 Dissertation 60Yes
Total Credits for Stage 1

180


6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Secure subject specific knowledge and a systematic understanding of knowledge / critical awareness

Lectures, seminars, workshops, group tasks and student presentations.

You will have regular tutorials with your relevant module tutor and/or support from the supplementary programme – this is specifically designed for those needing academic support with the programme, for example, those for whom English is a second language. If you are studying the MSc as part of the doctoral programme, you will also have tutorial support from your research mentors, supervisory coordinator and/or supervisors during your first year

 

Formative and summative assignments including practical application of research methodology to specific problems, poster and conference presentations and written reports.

Each of the taught modules is assessed by a portfolio of work including a 5,000 word written assignment and a range of tasks and activities equivalent to 2,500 words. Your dissertation is assessed via a 15,000 word submission.

If you are studying the MSc as year 1 of the PhD programme, you need to reach an average grade of 55% over all 4 taught modules and 55% for the dissertation. The usual pass mark is 50%.

For details of the different teaching, learning and assessment methods used at Exeter please follow this link and click on any of the headings for further information.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Secure intellectual and academic skills to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sense in the absence of complete data and communicate their conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Lectures, seminars, workshops, problem-solving group tasks and student presentations, support for self-study and self-directed group and individual activities.

Formative and summative assignments including practical application of research methodology to specific problems, poster and conference presentations and written reports.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Secure professional, personal and key / practical / transferable skills including an ability to exercise their initiative and personal responsibility, decision –making in complex and unpredictable situations; and the ability to learn independently

Lectures, seminars, workshops, use of computer programmes, emails and the internet, problem- solving, group tasks and student presentations, support for self-study and self directed group and individual activities.

Formative and summative assignments including practical application of research methodology to specific problems, poster and conference presentations and written reports.

7. Programme Regulations

University Regulations on the number of credits to be taken and at what level for each stage of the programme can be found in the Credit and Qualifications Framework.

Progression

Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit. Regulations on condonement can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Assessment and Awards

For undergraduate degrees assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. Details of the weightings for each year of all programme lengths can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes and the classification of awards can be found in the Handbook for Assessment, Progression and Awarding for Taught Programmes.

You can also read details of Generic Marking Criteria.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic Tutoring

It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you with individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support fo the duration of your programme, and this support extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information on the College Personal Tutoring system, library provision, ELE resources and access to College support services can be found on the College webpages for current students.

Student Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

SSLCs enable students and staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Learning Resources

The University Library maintains its principal collections in the main library buildings on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, together with a number of specialist collections in certain Colleges. The total Library collection comprises over a million volumes and 3000 current periodical subscriptions.

IT Services

A wide range of IT services are provided throughout the Exeter campuses, including open-access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and St Luke's campuses, while most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Student Support Services

The University provides many support services including health and wellbeing, multifaith chaplaincy, family support, the Students' Guild and international student support.

10. Admissions Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates for undergraduate programmes must satisfy the undergraduate admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

13. Methods for Evaluating and Improving Quality and Standards

The University and its constituent Colleges draw on a range of data to review the quality of education provision. The College documents the performance in each of its tuaght programmes, against a range of criteria on an annual basis through the Annual Student Experience Review (ASER).

Subject areas are reviewed every five years through a College Academic Audit scheme that includes external contributions.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

College of Social Sciences and International Studies (CSSIS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSc MSC Educational Research (Distance Learning)

19. UCAS Code

C705

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date Date of last revision