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Module XME-4401:
Research Methods in Education

Module Facts

Run by School of Education and Human Development

30 Credits or 15 ECTS Credits

Organiser: Dr Emily Roberts-Tyler

Overall aims and purpose

This module introduces you to quantitative and qualitative research in Education and will give you the knowledge and tools necessary to prepare you to undertake research for your dissertation. Throughout the module you will develop an understanding of the different approaches to educational research, ethical issues, and of the range of methodological tools that can be adopted to gather data. This module code XME4401 relates to the Full Time MA Education Studies (with placement). Part time MA Education Studies students take XME4001.

Course content

  1. An Introduction to Educational Research;
  2. The Research Question;
  3. An Overview of Quantitative Research Methods;
  4. Ethics and Educational Research;
  5. An Overview of Qualitative Research Methods;
  6. Evaluating research articles;
  7. Designing Questionnaires;
  8. Presenting Questionnaire data;
  9. Conducting Interviews;
  10. Analysing Qualitative Data;
  11. Assignment Guidance
  12. Single Case Experimental Designs;
  13. Case Studies;
  14. Action Research;
  15. Writing up research;
  16. Tutorial(s);
  17. Internet Research;
  18. Academic Writing;

Assessment Criteria


Assignment 1 (Exam): Some understanding of key concepts demonstrated, but limited depth to understanding and confusion on some concepts.

Assignment 2: Sufficient planning in relation to the learning outcomes; • Consideration given to planning and structure; • Discussion of at least one research approach and one method; • Links made between research aims and research findings; • Demonstrates some knowledge of research methods and relevant literature; • Demonstrates comprehension of different approaches to research; • Demonstrates some understanding of research study structure; • Demonstrates some understanding of research ethics.


Assignment 1: An excellent and thorough critical understanding of key concepts clearly demonstrated. Very little confusion of concepts.

Assignment 2:

Demonstrates an engaged and critical analysis of resources used, showing original insights on contrasting research approaches and methods; • Demonstrates strong capacity to contrast quantitative and qualitative approaches and a wide range of methods, showing original insights on the implications these may have for research findings; • Uses, and demonstrates a thorough understanding of, a range of relevant theoretical perspectives linked to methodology; • Produces original and challenging ideas in relation to research • Engages critically with a comprehensive range of research literature applied to research


Assignment 1: A good understanding of key concepts, with some good critical understanding demonstrated. Some confusion on some concepts, but a good general understanding.

Assignment 2: Showing sustained and relevant arguments regarding the strengths and weaknesses of research studies and particular research approaches/methods; • Employs theoretical perspectives and research methods literature to inform critical analysis of research studies; • Makes clear and informed links between research aims and findings; • Well planned in relation to learning outcomes and structure of argument; • Demonstrates applied knowledge of research methods and relevant literature; • Ability to compare and contrast different approaches to research; • Applied understanding of research ethics

Learning outcomes

  1. Demonstrate critical understanding of the range of ethical considerations of undertaking research.

  2. Critically evaluate a breadth of academic, peer-reviewed literature relevant to your research topic

  3. Formulate a research proposal, including selecting appropriate research methods, on a topic relating to education.

  4. Critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of qualitative or quantitative approaches and mixed methods in educational research.

  5. Demonstrate a critical understanding of key concepts in research methods

  6. Critically understand and justify the use of different research methods and practices relevant to students’ own areas of interest and/or practice

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Written Essay 50

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Seminars/workshops will take place during the timetabled sessions (some midweek, and some weekend sessions)

Private study

Private study and research


Lectures will be delivered via some midweek sessions, some teaching weekend sessions, and some Panopto (online) content.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team
  • Caring - Showing concern for others; caring for children, people with disabilities and/or the elderly
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Show originality in the application of subject specific knowledge and understanding.
  • Adapt and transfer ideas from one educational context to another.
  • Identify problems, evaluate solutions and critique research associated with educational practice.
  • Acquire and analyse data in an educational context.
  • Adopt an ethically sound approach to research with children and vulnerable adults.
  • accommodate new principles and understandings
  • select a range of relevant primary and secondary sources, including theoretical and research-based evidence, to extend their knowledge and understanding
  • use a range of evidence to formulate appropriate and justified ways forward and potential changes in practice
  • analyse and interpret both qualitative and quantitative data.
  • an understanding of the significance and limitations of theory and research
  • collect and apply numerical data, as appropriate
  • present data in a variety of formats including graphical and tabular

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: