Skip to main content

Unit information: Researching Educational Questions in 2021/22

Unit name Researching Educational Questions
Unit code EDUC10001
Credit points 20
Level of study C/4
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Barg
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces you to some of the key educational methods that spark debate in the field of education; in particular we are interested in asking questions of research methods that are concerned with social justice, transformation and the reproduction of inequality in and through educational research. We will consider how researchers in education set out to answer different questions, using a variety of research approaches. We will examine how particular traditions lead to different lines of enquiry founded on different ways of knowing. We will explore the advantages and disadvantages of choosing particular research approaches for different purposes. This process will help you to become a critical reader of education research and to appreciate how to assess the quality and rigour of individual research studies.

The aims of the unit are to enable students to:

  • understand how and why different traditions of enquiry within the field of education ask different questions and adopt different methods to answer them;
  • appreciate which key educational questions can be investigated through empirical research and which cannot;
  • develop a critical understanding of the types of methods used to collect, analyse and interpret data and the arguments that are advanced in this light;
  • appreciate what constitutes rigour in educational research and evaluation and consider how it can be defined in the context of individual studies;
  • appreciate the importance of conducting ethically-informed research in education settings.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:

  1. appreciate how educational issues and questions can be investigated from within particular disciplinary traditions;
  2. recognise the range of methods used to find answers to educational questions and some of their main advantages and disadvantages;
  3. critically appraise the choices researchers make when designing, conducting and reporting research.

Teaching Information

This unit will consist of a range of teaching activities including seminars, lectures, readings and discussions. Students will be expected to engage with readings and participate on a weekly basis.

Assessment Information

Formative assessment will be a 1,000-word essay in which you will interpret and critique a research paper.

Summative assessment will be a 2,000-word essay focused on assessing the strengths and limitations of one qualitative and one quantitative article on the same topic (100%)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. EDUC10001).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.