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Independent Study 2

Module titleIndependent Study 2
Module codeEFPM129
Academic year2021/2
Module staff

Dr Katherin Barg (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Not all busy professionals want or need to take a fully taught module. It may be that you have a specific issue relating to practice, research or theory which you would like to pursue. This Independent Study Module (ISM) allows you to follow your own interests and to develop your own projects/investigations. For example you may wish to research the development of a set of resources for a particular aspect of your teaching; to investigate a particular form of assessment; to explore a political, historical, philosophical or social perspective on Education; or to work on a leadership issue. There are many other types of projects you might wish to pursue. You will have an initial discussion with the Module Leader about your proposed project. You do not need to be currently employed in a teaching post to undertake this module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principal aim of this module is to enable you to develop a stronger understanding of a specific issue relevant to Education.

Specifically, the module aims to:

  • enable you to develop your understanding of a specific issue in Education

  • develop your knowledge in a particular field and the pedagogical implications of a specific issue

  • support your ability to explore a specific issue in an appropriate academic manner

  • develop your ability to plan, analyse and evaluate academic and practice oriented resource material

  • enable you to communicate and disseminate the results of your investigation

  • support your ability to manage your time and to work independently

  • develop your ability to write in an academic way about a specific issue

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. demonstrate systematic understanding of a specific educational issue
  • 2. demonstrate your knowledge of a particular educational issue and its pedagogical implications
  • 3. demonstrate critical awareness of a particular educational issue

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 4. critically evaluate academic and other resource material
  • 5. synthesise material relevant to a specific educational topic
  • 6. present data and findings in a form appropriate for educational contexts

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 7. manage your own learning and show the independence required for masters level work
  • 8. demonstrate effective communication by expressing ideas and opinions, with confidence and clarity, to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes
  • 9. think creatively about the main features of a given problem and develop strategies for its resolution

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module’s precise content will be decided initially in discussion with the Module Leader and thereafter in negotiation with your ISM tutor. Therefore there is no specific syllabus for this module.

The format of the module will consist of an initial discussion with the Module Leader. At this meeting the initial scope and focus of the topic will be discussed. Following this discussion you will be asked to create a short written outline of your topic of interest. The Module Leader will then allocate a module tutor who will have specialist knowledge of the substantive field of your topic and/or have expertise in the particular methodological or pedagogical approach you wish to pursue. The tutor will develop a project proposal with you.

The module tutor will provide 4 hours of support, the form of which will be negotiated between tutor and student. The tutor may provide guidance for suggested reading material and resources; and advice on methodological/ethical issues, practice/policy issues, academic writing/referencing; etc. depending on the nature of the topic. In addition you will have access to a range of material through the Exeter Learning Environment on-line resources and the university library.

The module should be completed within 6 months.

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 Activities82 x 2 hour sessions of online self-study to be introduced to the module, establish a topic and share assignment ideas. 4 hours support from a tutor. This may be face to face, by telephone or on-line. The timetable for this support and the specific type of support will be negotiated between tutor and student at the beginning of the module
Guided Independent Study50Initial literature search and reading.
Guided Independent Study122Main study activity. This will vary according to the type of project or investigation and may include, for example, further reading, data collection and analysis, policy analysis.
Guided independent study20Preparation of draft report.
Guided independent study100Preparation of components of summative assessment item.


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Draft ReportMinimum 1,500 words (or equivalent)1-9Written and verbal feedback

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
A 7,500 word equivalent submission of material which must include at least 2,500 words of theory and context.1007,500 words (equivalent)1-9Written Feedback


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
As aboveRe-submission of the original form of the assessment, but revised to take into account any assessment feedback1-96 weeks


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Reading will depend on the topic chosen. Below are some generic texts on writing and studying at Masters level:

Brandt, C. (2009) Read, Research and Write. London: Sage.

Poulson, L. & Wallace, M. (2004) Learning to Read Critically in Teaching and Learning. Sage: London.

Ridley, D. (2012) The Literature Review: A Step-By-Step Guide for Students. London: Sage.

Wallace, M. and Wray, A. (2016) Critical Reading and Writing for Postgraduate Students. London: Sage.

Wyse, D. (2007) The Good Writing Guide for Education Students. 2nd ed. London: Sage.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources


Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Independent Study Module

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date