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New Directions in Educational Research - EDU00014H

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Sarah Olive
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

This module will relate the learning from core and optional modules that you have achieved during earlier stages of your degree programme to the latest, cutting-edge, methodologically- diverse educational research

Module will run

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

Module aims

This module will relate the learning from core and optional modules that you have achieved during earlier stages of your degree programme to the latest, cutting-edge, methodologically- diverse educational research. Intersections between these are flagged in italics under each week’s/tutor’s topic. As such, it is an opportunity for you to revise and enhance the understanding and skills that are identified in the benchmark statement for education studies. It will expand and further concretise your existing knowledge within these areas at an advanced level by introducing you to individual research projects and programmes involving members of this department. It also builds your graduate communication, organisational and interpersonal skills through weekly small group chairing of the sessions, much in the way of professional and academic research seminars, and weekly communal brainstorming.

Module learning outcomes

Students will be able to demonstrate:

  • a broad yet coherent understanding of cutting-edge educational research and foundational knowledge of education and related disciplines (e.g. sociology, linguistics, psychology and cultural studies) i.e. a synoptic understanding

  • an awareness of current education issues from across educational disciplines, contexts, the department’s four research centres

  • the ability to relate this awareness of specific, advanced and current issues to the knowledge and understanding that has been developed throughout the programme.

  • an understanding of key ideas concerning specialist knowledge for educational studies and English language and literature in education.

  • the ability to identify cross-cutting issues, ideas and themes across discrete research topics and projects – demonstrated in chairing, weekly communal brainstorming and exams.

  • skills for studying cutting-edge research in education and educational contexts, including reading, reflecting on and critiquing the latest research publications, policies and actions in writing and group discussion – in the latter, formulating and positing questions and feedback for researchers about their work.

  • high-level chairing and audience skills supported by dedicated sessions throughout the programme and emulating those demonstrated at academic and professional conferences


Module content


Classes will involve an introduction to the speaker, a research paper from a member of departmental academic staff on one of their recent or on-going research projects, followed small group discussion to develop questions or comments, leading to a Q&A (chaired by the small group heading up that week’ session) on a range of educational issues. Each class requires students to do preparatory readings. The weekly required readings, usually from the experts presenting and/or their research collaborators, and the follow-up activities will be clearly outlined on the VLE. Speakers each have a folder for their pre-readings and slides, these are arranged alphabetically and we be made available ahead of each session (at the latest).

Each student will be expected to undertake preparation for each session, in the form of reading and making notes. Students are expected to attend all sessions, and to be prepared to take full part in group discussion and the Q&A session (which they will take turns to lead in small groups – 2-3 students per group). The module will expand students’ knowledge of cutting-edge research in the fields of study and methodological approaches which they have engaged with over the course of their programmes. Tutors will introduce students to their own research in a range of contexts, from a range of disciplinary perspectives and methodological approaches, using a variety of media. Students will be expected to keep notes covering each session. which draws out recurrent themes, methods and other links. These notes will serve as a basis for revision and preparation for the final assessment. Students will be allocated to small groups for in-class discussion and all students are required to take responsibility for contributing to a good outcome.

Exact speakers, their topics and their order vary year on year, for example, due to the dynamic nature of individual's research programmes as well as staff availability. Speakers and their topics have included:

Prof. Emma Marsden - Educational research, right here, right now and Opening up Science: methodological transparency and replication

Prof. Rob Klassen – Teacher selection and situated judgement tests Dr Eleanor Brown - Education and development

Dr Clementine Beauvais - Literary and cultural representations of child giftedness

Dr Lynda Dunlop – Teaching and learning science in schools

Dr Sally Hancock – Social and cultural contexts of Higher Education Prof. Leah Roberts – The benefits and challenges of bilingualism in the classroom Dr Sarah Olive - Shakespeare in education globally

Prof. Vanita Sundaram – Addressing lad culture in Higher Education Dr Khaled El Ebyary - The impact of testing on learning and teaching

Dr Jeremy Airey – Professional Development and science classrooms

Dr Ursula Lanvers – Motivation among language learners

Prof. Ian Davies – Citizenship education

Dr John Issitt – Against measuring intelligence



Task Length % of module mark
New Directions in Educational Research
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
New Directions in Educational Research
N/A 100

Module feedback

Exams: The marks are returned to students in line with university policy. Please check the Guide to Assessment, Standards, Marking and Feedback for more information.

Formative assessments

Group chairing: students work in groups of 2-3 to introduce the speaker and to chair the Q&A session once during the module. They will receive verbal feedback from the module leader directly after the session.


Indicative reading

Journal articles, book chapters, textbooks, policy documents as provided/stipulated on the VLE for each session –usually from presenting tutors, their research collaborators or inspirations.


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.