Designing and Communicating Research

Module titleDesigning and Communicating Research
Module codeERPM005
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Dr Shirley Larkin (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Through this module you will develop your knowledge and skills in designing different kinds of research projects. You will also practise communicating research to an academic audience through a number of different media (oral and written). You do not need any prior educational research experience before taking this module. In the formative work you will be required to work collaboratively to develop a research design to a brief. This aims to mirror the real world of educational research where we often work with others, be that other researchers, education professionals or our research participants. Group discussions and activities throughout the module will enable you to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different ways of conducting educational research. You will be introduced to different and innovative ways of conducting research which should stand you in good stead for designing your own future research projects. The one summative assignment involves producing a portfolio of work based on the module sessions and which reflects the learning objectives of the module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to develop your knowledge and skills in designing and communicating educational research. Designing research will involve formulating different kinds of research questions and cover various design and methodologies. Communicating research includes skills and knowledge about literature searching, and communicating research to different audiences through different mediums. Throughout the module visiting speakers including previous students will share their experiences of designing and communicating research. This module forms a foundation for work on the other three modules in the MSc in Educational Research programme.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Use and critically appraise a variety of educational research designs, dealing with complex issues, both creatively and systematically
  • 2. Communicate research clearly in different formats and media for specialist and non-specialist audiences

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Demonstrate a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
  • 4. Identify the needs of different kinds of audience, the needs of different kinds of publication/media and adopt appropriate styles for these to communicate research;

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Demonstrate sound personal judgment, even in the absence of complete data, but particularly in respect of ethically sensitive issues;
  • 6. Clearly communicate and present ideas when writing and speaking and to listen effectively and persuade rationally;
  • 7. Use a wide-range of IT effectively including specialist software for retrieval and storage of literature, critical appraisal of internet sources, and appropriate use of IT for communication and dissemination of research

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

Searching for and reviewing literature; systematic search strategies, recording and summarising identified sources, examining what is meant by critical analysis

Formulating different kinds of research questions and how they relate to different methodologies

Designing research using different design frameworks

Evaluating research and its contribution to knowledge in the field

Written formats for different audiences and dissemination: writing for academic, professional and other audiences, needs of the audience, needs of publication or medium, procedures for getting published, informal peer review

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 Activities3010x3 hour teaching sessions (lectures, workshops and seminars), including on campus teaching and recorded sessions
Guided independent study170Reading and assignment preparation
Guided independent study100Writing summative assignment


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Set exercise - oral presentation of research designs15 minute oral group presentation (1000 wds)1,2,3,6,7Oral and peer feedback
Draft sample of Research Design1,500 words1,2,3,5Written and oral

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 summary of an academic article re-written for a lay audience502,500 words1-7Written
A research design for an educational research project 503,0001-7Written


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
A summary of an academic article re-written for a lay audienceA summary of an academic article re-written for a lay audience1-156 weeks from notification of failure or re-entry onto programme
A research design for an educational research project A research design for an educational research project


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

BERA (2000) Good practice in educational research writing.:

Fink, A. (1998) Conducting research literature reviews. London, Sage

Hart, C. (1998) Doing a literature review. London, Sage

Hart, C. (2001) Doing a Literature Search. London, Sage

Holliday, A. (2001) Doing and Writing Qualitative Research. London: Sage.

Kroehnert, G. (1998) A Handbook for Presentation Skills. Basic Presentation Skills. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Locke, L. F, Spirduso W W and Silverman S J (eds) (1998) Reading and Understanding Research, London, Sage.

McInerney, D. M. (2001) Publishing your Psychology Research: A Guide to Writing for Journals in Psychology and Related Fields. London. Sage

Redman, P. (2001) Good Essay Writing: A Social Sciences Guide (2nd edition).London, Sage with Open University

Robson, C. and McCartan, K., (2015), Real World Research (4th Edition), West Sussex, Wiley and Sons Ltd

Silverman, D. (2000) Doing qualitative research. London: SAGE.

Thomas, G., (2013), How to do your Research Project (2nd Edition), London, Sage

Wolcott, H. (1990) Writing up qualitative research. Sage: Newbury Park, CA

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources



Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Education Research, Research Design, Communication, Dissemination

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Last revision date