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Researching Education - EDU00016C

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Chelsea Sellers
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: C
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25
    • See module specification for other years: 2023-24

Module summary

The purpose of this module is to introduce students to some of the important aspects of educational research. They will develop the skills of reading, critiquing, designing and communicating educational ideas and research. For instance, they will learn to read empirical research articles critically and consider the pros and cons of different approaches to research. There will also be a focus on the philosophies that underpin decisions about research design before exploring different research methodologies and methods.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 1 2024-25

Module aims

The key aims of the module are:

  • Developing research literacy, including an understanding of different research styles in educational research and their philosophical foundations

  • Developing the understanding of how data is collected and analysed using qualitative and quantitative research methods

  • Being able to apply this research literacy to the critical evaluation of a body of research on a chosen educational issue

  • Based on a critical evaluation of this body of literature, be able to formulate research questions and identify appropriate research approaches for addressing them.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

By the end of this module students will be able to:

  • distinguish between different paradigms of educational research

  • critically review research literature and engage with research

  • consider the nature of research in educational studies

  • understand the design and construction of educational research in order to become research literate.

  • conduct a review of the literature research on an educational issue in compulsory education.

  • understand issues of sampling, reliability, validity and their interpretation from different approaches

  • consider issues of data collection within different methodological approaches

Academic and graduate skills

Students will develop their skills of:

  • communication,

  • searching for sources,

  • analysing issues and ideas.

  • engaging in group work,

  • formal and informal presentations to the group,

  • supplement their assigned readings with ones they have found,

  • critically examine issues and ideas relating to argumentation and research literacy.

  • develop their IT skills by interacting fully with the VLE (Yorkshare).

Module content

The following is indicative of the possible content:

The module will include the following themes:

Introductory unit

  1. Introduction research styles and research literacy

  2. Introduction to critical literacy - coloniality in research

Philosophies and methodologies of research

  1. Realism, positivism and quantitative methodologies

  2. Constructivism, interpretivism and qualitative methodologies

  3. Pragmatism and mixed methods

Quantitative research methods

  1. Reading quantitative research (including considerations of reliability and validity)

  2. Collecting quantitative data (including questionnaires, large data sets and research ethics)

  3. Analysing quantitative data

Qualitative research methods

  1. Reading qualitative data

  2. Collecting qualitative data (including interviews, observations and research ethics)

  3. Analysing qualitative data

Making sense of research

  1. Identifying areas of research interest

  2. Considering research designs (qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods)

  3. Conducting literature reviews


Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Write a literature review on a chosen topic
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay : Write a literature review on a chosen topic
N/A 100

Module feedback

Individual written feedback reports, with follow-up tutor meeting, if necessary. 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

Bryman, A. (2015) Social Research Methods (5th Edition). Oxford: Oxford University Press

Cohen, L. (2011) Research Methods in Education (7th Edition). London: Routledge

Moosavi, L. (2022) Decolonial Research Methods: Resisting Coloniality in Academic Knowledge Production (webinar series). DOI: 10.17638/

Luke, A. (2012) Critical Literacy: Foundational Notes. Theory into Practice, 51(1), 4-11

Shank, G and Brown, L (2007) Exploring educational research literacy. Abingdon: Routledge.

Wellington, J. (2015) Educational Research: Contemporary issues and practical approaches. Second edition. London: Bloomsbury.

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.