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Motivation in Education - EDU00061M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Khaled El Ebyary
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2024-25

Module summary

The aim of this course is to examine research, theory, and practice relating to motivation in educational settings. Please note that this module is not linked specifically to language learning although it does include two sessions focused on motivation and language learning – but within a wider view on motivation in educational contexts.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Semester 2 2024-25

Module aims

This module will enable students to understand and interpret a range of motivational components in human behaviour observed in educational settings, and will help them make links between research on motivation and education. By reviewing most influential theories of academic motivation, students will have an opportunity to critically examine the current motivational theories and develop an integrative personal view of what motivates learning. In whole class and small group discussions students will be encouraged to formulate arguments and contribute to discussion with their views supported by evidence from research.

Module learning outcomes

Subject content

  • Review a number of theories of academic motivation
  • Gain knowledge of the roles of goals, tasks, values, interests, attributions, beliefs, incentives, rewards, and social and cultural processes in motivation
  • Apply the knowledge to understand and improve the learning of students
  • Critically examine current motivation theories, and develop an integrative personal view of what motivates learning

Academic and graduate skills

  • Formulate arguments and contribute to discussion
  • Develop academic writing skills
  • Participate in individual and group work and presentations
  • Demonstrate effective planning and time management
  • Word-process, manage files, use-email, VLE and the Web
  • Undertake empirical and literature research

Module content

Introduction to academic motivation

This session examines definitions of academic motivation and considers the relationship of motivation to learning and performance.

Self-efficacy theory

This session considers research and theory framed by social cognitive approaches and focuses on self-efficacy theory.

Mindset and Goal theory

This session examines the role of mindsets and goal orientation: people’s reasons for engaging in tasks.

Self-determination theory: Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation

In this session the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation will be discussed The contribution of Ryan and Deci’s Self-determination theory will be a focus of the session.

Motivation and language learning

This session will examine motivation in relation to language learning and will aim to answer the question: What motivates you to learn a foreign language?

Motivation and learning problems

In this session we consider how motivation might operate in different ways for students with learning difficulties.

Motivation in cross-cultural contexts

This session examines how theories of motivation stand up to scrutiny in cross-cultural research. Adaptation of motivation theories to cross-cultural educational settings will be considered.

Motivation and procrastination

In this session we examine what happens when our motivation clashes with what might be a universal tendency to delay action, even with sometime dire consequences.

Behavioural indicators of motivation

In this session we look at some possible indicators of motivation, and in particular, we look at how teachers might indicate engagement with students.


Task Length % of module mark
Essay: 3500 words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay: 3500 words
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

Schunk, D. H., Pintrich, P. R., & Meece, J. (2008). Motivation in education: Theory, research, and applications (3rd ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.

Remedios, R. (2012). Understanding psychological theories of motivation: An introductory guide. Routledge.

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.