Skip to main content

Unit information: Narrative and Life Story Research in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Narrative and Life Story Research
Unit code EDUCD0070
Credit points 20
Level of study D/8
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Reed
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will critique ‘narrative’ as a root metaphor for understanding and describing human experience, provide participants with an overview of contemporary narrative research and develop critical awareness of the implications of particular methodological choices and positions. Debate, discussion and structured activities will facilitate the presentation, comparison, evaluation and justification of specific forms of narrative research at both micro levels (such as narrative analysis) and macro levels (such as narrative approaches to educational inquiry).


  • To explore and critique the ‘narrative turn’ in research methodology.
  • To develop knowledge and critical understanding of a range of narrative ‘positions’ and their various histories and purposes.
  • To enable participants to identify, articulate and situate their own developing approach(es) to narrative inquiry

Intended Learning Outcomes

Participants will be able to:

  • Engage in debate and discussion about narrative world views.
  • Identify and describe different narrative approaches, their development, their purposes and their interrelationships.
  • Present, articulate and situate their own developing approach to narrative inquiry.

Teaching Information

Teaching and learning opportunities will include tutor and student presentations, guided reading and critical image viewing, seminars and workshops.

Assessment Information

Either an assignment or video-paper, inclusive of inter-related images/film sequences or a written assignment of 4000 words.

Reading and References

  1. Clandinin, J and Connolly, M (2000) Narrative Inquiry: Experience and story in Qualitative Research, San Francisco: Jossey-Bass
  2. Freeman, M (1998) Mythical Time, Historical Time and The Narrative Fabric Of The Self, In: Narrative Inquiry, 8(1) 27-50
  3. Riessman, C (2008) Narrative Methods for the Human Sciences, Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
  4. McQuillan, M. (2000) The Narrative Reader, London: Routledge.
  5. Roberts B (2002) Biographical Research, Buckingham: Open University
  6. Speedy, J (2008) Narrative inquiry and Psychotherapy, Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan