Coronavirus (Covid-19) Information

Module XAE-2033:
Researching Childhood

Module Facts

Run by School of Education and Human Development

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Margiad Williams

Overall aims and purpose

Note: this module will be run as a short, fat module in weeks 1-7

The module aims to develop students’ understanding of the theoretical frameworks and methodologies which underpin approaches to research in the field of childhood and education. It looks at how methodology is used to produce firm evidence and how to use the evidence for analysis. The appropriate steps to use in carrying out ethical research with children are explained and guidance is given on how to use different skills to investigate and to present findings in a research report. Students will formulate, in discussion with a supervisor, a research proposal – being clear about methodology adopted and how that influences their approach. The module prepares students for dissertation module XAE3023 in BA Childhood Studies.

Course content

The module focuses on: • research skills, dissertation writing skills, and choosing the right methodology for the students' research field;
• principal modes of data collection, including interviews, focus groups, and questionnaires. • examples from the lecturer’s own research and from other work within the School including the experiences of doctoral and post doctoral researchers. • philosophic bases of research, discussing and explaining the nature of a dissertation and identifying and selecting an area of study; • main concepts involved in forming the questions to be studied and making a hypothesis.

Assessment Criteria


A satisfactory knowledge and understanding of ethical issues regarding researching with children, the ability to select methodology and be able to design and present a plan for a research project.


A good knowledge and understanding of ethical issues regarding researching with children, the ability to select appropriate methodology and be able to design and present a robust plan for a research project.


A comprehensive knowledge and in depth understanding of ethical issues regarding researching with children, the ability to select appropriate methodology from a range of sources, and be able to design and present a polished and comprehensive plan for a research project.

Learning outcomes

  1. Confidently and competently present prepared and impromptu speeches

  2. evaluate key theories and debates in research methodology, including the significance of qualitative and quantitative research approaches, and understand how they relate to researching with children and young people

  3. demonstrate critical understanding of the range of ethical considerations of undertaking research with children and young people and be able to evaluate the various methods

  4. formulate a research proposal, including selecting appropriate research methods, on a topic relating to children and young people

  5. critically discuss academic, peer-reviewed literature that is relevant to the research topic

  6. critically discuss the different methods of research, and be able to reflect critically on their limitations and advantages in relation to a range of contexts

  7. demonstrate critical understanding of the content of a good research report

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ORAL Bangor Oral Presentation Scheme

Student will attend weekly peer led sessions where presentation skills will be learnt and developed through practice and feedback. In order to gain the full 25% students will need to deliver two prepared speeches (25% each), two impromptu speeches (10% each), partake in 3 of the 6 small roles (20%) and finally audience participation (10%).


Students will work in groups to decide on a research topic, develop research aim(s) and questions and develop a questionnaire. Students will then individually analyse data from the questionnaire and prepare a research report on the results.

FORMATIVE ASSESSMENT Dissertation proposal

Students will be allocated to a supervisor in preparation for their third year dissertation. Students will need to write a research proposal based on their supervisor's project. It will consist of a literature review of the topic and proposed research methods.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


1 x 2 hour, weekly on-line session, weeks 1-6 Semester 1 [12 hours] Preparation for Assignment 2 (1 x 2 hour session?) and supervision of research proposal with supervisor in Semester 2 (4 sessions x1 hours) [6 hours]

Private study

7 hours activity per week, weeks 1-6 Semester 1 in preparation for weekly on-line sessions [42 hours]

Independent study for Assignments 1 and 2 [140 hours]


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Numeracy - Proficiency in using numbers at appropriate levels of accuracy
  • 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
  • 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.

Subject specific skills

  • apply multiple perspectives to early childhood issues recognising that early childhood studies involves a range of research methods theories evidence and applications
  • integrate ideas and findings across the multiple perspectives in early childhood studies and recognise distinctive early childhood studies approaches to relevant issues
  • reflect upon the ethics of studying babies and young children and their families and communities
  • generate and explore hypotheses and research questions relating to early childhood in an ecological context
  • carry out empirical studies ethically involving a variety of methods of data collection including observation relating to early childhood in an ecological context

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses: