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Unit information: Comparative Research in 2021/22

Unit name Comparative Research
Unit code EDUCD0092
Credit points 20
Level of study D/8
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Mitchell
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

Much can be learned from the experience of other education systems, but disciplined and systematic comparative research also draws attention to the dilemmas of the transfer of educational policy and practice from one context to another. Drawing upon detailed analyses of contemporary comparative and international studies, and upon research projects carried out within the School of Education, this unit examines how we may best learn from, and apply, comparative perspectives in both our professional work and research and scholarship. The unit focuses upon the potential and pitfalls of education policy transfer, upon issues relating to the quality of education, upon the place of context and culture, and upon the importance of forging strong linkages between educational research, and policy and practice.


  • Develop critically informed expertise in the comparative analysis of education systems.
  • Deepen participants' knowledge and understanding of the educational implications and challenges generated by increasingly rapid international policy transfer.
  • Demonstrate the significance of socio-cultural context in educational research and development with specific reference to the analysis of tensions between local and international agendas.
  • Demonstrate how the above issues impact upon initiatives designed to improve the quality of education in a variety of different contexts world-wide.

Intended Learning Outcomes

At the end of the unit, participants will be able to:

  • Understand and actively participate in disciplined comparative and international research in education
  • Apply comparative perspectives in the advancement of educational research and development relating especially to the educational management and policy arena.
  • Situate contemporary studies of education within an intellectual framework that deals with the forces of globalisation, while simultaneously recognising the significance of post-modern and post-colonial analyses that highlight the influence of culture and context.

Teaching Information

This unit will be taught using a blended approach consisting of a mixture of synchronous and asynchronous activities including seminars, lectures, reading and discussions

Assessment Information

Completion of a 4,000 word essay is required on one of the selection of topics chosen from the course.


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. EDUCD0092).

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.