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Research Methods in Language Education 1: Researching Questions - EDU00119M

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  • Department: Education
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Jan Hardman
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This is the first of two Research Methods in Language Education modules. It is a compulsory module to prepare students to undertake an MA dissertation research project in the Summer term.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

  • To prepare students to consider the contexts for research in Language Education;

  • To develop knowledge and understanding of the essentials of research in the field of Language Education, including formulating research questions, literature searching and reviewing, and quantitative and qualitative research design;

  • To familiarise students with various research methods and quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques to conduct independent research on language educational topics.

  • To familiarise students with how to read research literature and reports in the field of Language Education with critical analysis, understanding, and insight to assess the strengths and weaknesses of such research.

Module learning outcomes

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

  • develop a good knowledge and understanding of educational research processes, including research questions, designs, methods, and quantitative and qualitative analysis techniques;

  • be familiar with commonly-used instruments in educational research, including questionnaires, interview schedules, and observation schedules;

  • be able to evaluate the appropriateness of methods and analytical techniques for different research topics and questions;

  • critically describe the strengths and limitations of different data collection methods and analysis techniques;

  • develop a clear understanding of the characteristics of scientifically rigorous educational research.

Academic and graduate skills

At the end of the module, students will have learned how to be able to:

  • critically evaluate academic arguments as presented in the research literature and reports using a range of methods and techniques;

  • manage a range of sources and critically assess the reliability and validity in informing and supporting academic argumentation.

Module content

Students will be provided with a weekly breakdown of the module content in the module VLE and class in Week 1.


Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Specific Timeframe Online Examination of 3 hours (time from release to deadline)
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Online Exam -less than 24hrs (Centrally scheduled)
Open exam : Specific Timeframe Online Examination of 3 hours (time from release to deadline)
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on the mock exam is provided in Week 10 to help prepare for the summative exam in Week 1 of the Spring term.

Test scores will be provided for the summative exam.

Indicative reading

Bryman, A. (2015). Social research methods. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 5th Edition

Cohen, L., Manion, L., & Morisson, K. (2007). Research methods in Education. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge. [Available as an e-book]

Cottrell, S. (2017). Critical thinking skills. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

De Brun, C. (2013). Searching skills toolkit: Finding the evidence. Oxford: BMJ Books.

Dörnyei, Z. (2007). Research methods in applied linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Wray, A. (2012). Projects in linguistics: A practical guide to researching language. London: Hodder Arnold. [Available as an e-book]

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.