Postgraduate Module Descriptor

EDUM036: Secondary Education and Professional Studies

This module descriptor refers to the 2017/8 academic year.

Module Content

Syllabus Plan

The module introduces students to current thinking in Education and Professional Studies and develops students’ curricular, pedagogic and academic subject knowledge in the field of Secondary education.   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:

  • Theories of learning and motivation;
  • Psychology of teaching and learning;
  • The curriculum;
  • Educational ideology: What is education for?
  • Talk about it: The role of talk in learning;
  • Child and adolescent mental health;
  • Cognitive neuroscience and learning: Addressing ‘neuromyths’;
  • The impact of technology on learning;
  • Challenging notions of ability, intelligence and potential;
  • English as an Additional Language (EAL) 1: Understanding theories of additional language acquisition;
  • EAL 2: Connecting theory and practice;
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND) 1: Organisation and policy;
  • SEND 2: Teaching and learning;
  • Classroom and behaviour management;
  • Do you know what they know? Assessment for learning and the use of data;
  • Safeguarding and child protection;
  • Addressing (in) equalities and overcoming potential barriers: Taking ethnicity and sexual orientation as examples;
  • British values and the PREVENT strategy;
  • Writing a literature review;
  • Critically engaging with literature: Topical research;
  • Evidence in education: What can RCTs tell you – and what they can’t;
  • Ethics
  • Research methods design for teacher research: Action research;
  •  Research methods design for teacher research: Case study;
  • Professional practice: Widening participation, Challenging the gap, Unseen children, Pupils from black and minority ethnic backgrounds, Pupil safeguarding, SEND code of practice, Pupil premium.


The above topics will be addressed in a variety of ways:

  • Education and Professional Studies led input: a suite of online study materials which covers a range of topics relevant to your professional development as a Secondary teacher;
  • Introduction to Research: a series of online study materials that will introduce you to the expectations of working at Masters level and of carrying out a small-scale, classroom-based research study; 
  • Subject Seminars: will follow up and expand some of the Education and Professional Studies topics introduced in the Autumn term programme, in a subject-specific  context;
  • Professional Studies seminars: will follow up Education and Professional Studies topics covered in the Autumn term programme, in a specific school context;
  • Seminar Days: Five days when you will return to the university to share school-based work experiences and further develop the links between the theoretical and practical aspects of teaching. 

Learning and Teaching

This table provides an overview of how your hours of study for this module are allocated:

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

...and this table provides a more detailed breakdown of the hours allocated to various study activities:

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities20Education and Professional Studies lead input: self-study video and audio recordings with associated tasks to be completed weekly in the Autumn term
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities4Introduction to Research lead input: self-study video and audio recordings with associated tasks to be completed weekly in the Autumn term
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities8Research in Education taught sessions on seminar days, in subjects
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities18Subject Seminars in the Autumn term
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities20Professional Studies seminars in Spring and Summer terms
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities25Directed study tasks and framework tasks related to the Professional Studies seminars
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities10Seminar Days: follow up in a subject-specific context
Guided Independent Study20Completion of set readings from journals, textbooks and/or web-based resources
Guided Independent Study20Completion of set tasks
Guided Independent Study20Preparation for weekly debates and seminars
Guided Independent Study20Preparation for individual/small group presentations
Guided Independent Study115Preparation for and completion of formative and summative assessment (i.e. research plan/proposal, final report on research study)

Online Resources

This module has online resources available via ELE (the Exeter Learning Environment).