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Undertaking Educational Enquiry

Module titleUndertaking Educational Enquiry
Module codeEFPM006Z1
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Karen Walshe (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This is the final module of the MA Education online programme. It is a core module and therefore must be completed by all students.  Prior to undertaking this module you must have completed the first two core modules (Understanding Education and Understanding Learning); two 30-credit modules of your choice from the selection of optional modules available; and the Preparing for Educational Enquiry 30 credit module.

This 30-credit module will support you in designing and carrying out a small-scale research study in the field of education. This module is often referred to as the dissertation module because the main output is a dissertation reporting on your research study.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aim of the module is to enable you to design and undertake a small scale research study in an area of enquiry related to your own educational interest/professional context

Specifically this module will enable you to:

  • conduct a rigorous enquiry into a relevant and approved area of study within a particular field of education
  • use research methods appropriately as relevant to your area of study and research design
  • discuss implications of your study for educational theory/policy/practice/research.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Select and systematically use research methods appropriately to conduct a small scale educational research study
  • 2. Critically interpret evidence and discuss its relevance in depth to existing theory and its implications for educational policy, practice and/or research as appropriate
  • 3. Critically interpret evidence and discuss its relevance in depth to existing theory and its implications for educational policy, practice and/or research as appropriate Synthesise and communicate the outcomes of research clearly and with criticality to specialist and non-specialist audience

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 4. Evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the chosen area of study with an associated mastery of relevant academic literature and discourse
  • 5. Demonstrate critical awareness and capacity to manage the implications of ethical dilemmas and work pro-actively with others to formulate solutions

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Undertake research tasks competently with minimum guidance
  • 7. Exercise initiative and autonomous responsibility for the direction, management and completion of the research enquiry
  • 8. Demonstrate the independent learning capability required for continuing professional development by making relevant connections between theory, personal research and, where appropriate, professional practice

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

As this is the final module on the MA Ed online programme, there is little academic content. The majority of academic input is in the form of guidance from a supervisor who will support you as you undertake your educational enquiry. 

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching Activities1414 x 1 hour supervision tutorials via email/Skype
Guided Independent Study286Carrying out of research enquiry, for example, gathering data, analysing data, writing dissertation


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft sections of the research report (e.g. literature review; research methods; data analysis) as appropriate and as agreed with your supervisor.7,500 words in total1-8Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Essay (research report) 1007,500 words1-8Written and grade


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Essay (research report)Essay (research report) 7,500 words1-84 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

  • Bell, J. (2010) Doing your research project: a guide to first time researchers in education and social science. 5th edn. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill.
  • Creswell, J. (2014) Educational research]: planning, conducting, and evaluating quantitative and qualitative research. Fourth edition. Harlow, Essex: Pearson.
  • Brooks, R. et al  (2016) Ethics and education research. Los Angeles : SAGE
  • Selwyn, N. et al (2017) The BERA/SAGE Handbook of educational research. London: Sage Publications.
  • Smeyers, P. (2014) Understanding education and educational research. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Thomas, G.T. (2009) How to do your research project. London: Sage. Wellington, J. (2015) Educational research: contemporary issues and practical approaches. 2nd edition. London: Bloomsbury

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Educational research; dissertation; educational enquiry

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date