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Empirical Dissertation - EDU00001H

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Lynda Dunlop
  • Credit value: 40 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2021-22 to Summer Term 2021-22

Module aims

  • To provide students with the opportunity to engage in depth with literature around a specific topic and demonstrate a high level of critical analysis

  • To give students experience in utilising the research skills and knowledge developed over stage 1 and stage 2 of the programme

  • To give students experience of generating a research question and/or formulating a hypothesis based on existing literature that is appropriate to their programme of study..

  • To give students experience in choosing and employing appropriate methods of investigation with which to address the question and demonstrate consideration of ethical issues when designing their study

  • To give students the opportunity to demonstrate their skills in academic writing, critical analysis and research design through a written report of their work.


Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • Formulate a clear research question which demonstrates engagement with appropriate literature and a detailed level of understanding of their chosen topic

  • Generate a testable research question &/or hypothesis and select appropriate methods of investigation including use of appropriate methodology e.g. qualitative or quantitative, selecting or developing appropriate measures, or designing experimental paradigms.

  • Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical issues involved in their research by producing an ethics proposal outlining their approach to these issues.

  • Demonstrate skill in data analysis using their chosen method and presenting their results in a clear and appropriate form

  • Interpret research findings with reference to existing literature

  • Reflect on the strengths and weaknesses of their design

  • Discuss the educational implications of their findings.

Academic and graduate skills

  • Formulate academic arguments in written and oral form

  • Manage a range of sources and critically evaluate the reliability and validity of these in informing and supporting academic argumentation

  • Analyse the ways in which theories and data from differing disciplines can inform each other and enhance understanding (in this case, of educational diversity)

  • Use the VLE and Internet effectively


Module content

Students are entitled to five meetings with their supervisor throughout Stage 3. A series of support workshops and drop-in sessions are also offered to complement dissertation supervisions. Workshops and drop-ins are led by the dissertation coordinator with support from programme leaders and colleagues across the university.


The typical schedule of workshops and drop-ins is as follows:

Autumn term

Week 2 Introduction to the dissertation workshop

Week 2 Dissertation supervision meeting (to be arranged with your supervisor)

Week 3 Ethics support workshops

Week 4 Literature review drop-in sessions (optional)

Week 5 Literature review drop-in sessions (optional)

Week 6 Academic integrity workshops

Week 6 Dissertation supervision meeting

Week 8 Survey research workshop (optional)

Spring term

Week 2 Drop-in support session

Week 2 Dissertation supervision meeting

Week 3 Academic integrity workshop

Week 4 Drop-in support session

Week 6 Drop-in support session

Week 7 Dissertation supervision meeting

Week 8 Drop-in support session

Week 10 Drop-in support session

Summer term

Week 2 Drop-in support session

Week 2 Dissertation supervision meeting (final meeting must take place by Monday week 2)

Week 4 Drop-in support session

Additionally there is a VLE module site for the dissertation, which includes a discussion board, where students can post anonymous questions relating to the dissertation. The discussion board is monitored by the dissertation coordinator, and answers to new questions will be posted twice weekly during term time. All students can view questions and answers.



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written feedback will be received on all assessments and reassessments. The feedback is returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

Indicative reading

Aron, A., Aron, E., & Coups, E. (2010). Statistics for the behavioral and social sciences: A brief course (5th ed.). New Jersey: Prentice Hall.

Pallant, J. (2010). SPSS survival manual: A step by step guide to data analysis using the SPSS program (4th ed.). Berkshire, UK: McGraw Hill.

Coolican, H. (2009). Research methods and statistics in psychology. London: Hodder.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.