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Unit information: School Subject Updating 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 School Subject Updating
Unit code EDUCM0047
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Professor. Alf Coles
Open unit status Not open




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


This unit is designed for in-service teachers who want to update their own subject knowledge in a particular area. The unit will support further study, decided in negotiation with the tutor, in one or more areas of their specialist subject - chosen appropriate to the participant’s background knowledge and interests.

Participants may be able to attend a course of lectures in the relevant University Department or may be given tutorial guidance in reading. As well as the central work on developing subject expertise there are two further strands to the unit that support reflection and the drawing out of implications for classroom practice.

These two strands are outlined below:

  • The unit will involve participants in reflection on the process of learning new content and articulating this through links with cutting edge research on learning theories and education.
  • Participants will, in negotiation with the tutor, consider the implications of new knowledge and experience gained on the unit, to enhance their own practice, e.g., reflections on teaching the subject matter they have engaged with, or, designing a supported self-study module for students.

Unit Aims

  • To enable participants to extend their own knowledge of some branch of their specialist/chosen subject.
  • To support participants in reflecting on what it is to learn their subject as a self-motivated adult, linking to current education research.
  • To consider, as educators, the implications of this knowledge and experience for students' work.

Intended learning outcomes

By the end of the unit students will be able to demonstrate:

  • an awareness of a range of issues related to the active learning of their subject, with understanding.
  • that they have learnt some new subject knowledge and been able to reflect on the process of learning it.
  • developed their confidence as an independent learner within their subject.
  • applied knowledge and experience in their practice.

Teaching details

The unit will normally be conducted independently on the basis of an appropriate number of one-to-one meetings with the tutor who is supervising the student.

Assessment Details

Summative assessment:

The final assignment can be presented as a continuous piece of writing of 4000 words which:

  • gives the reader an insight into the new subject knowledge learnt and how this was achieved.
  • reflects on the process of learning, commenting on frustrations and times of breakthrough with some analysis related to theories of learning and readings in education.
  • considers the implications of the knowledge and experience gained for the participant’s own teaching practice.

However, in negotiation with the tutor it is possible to be creative about ways of satisfying these criteria outside of the format of a standard assignment.

Reading and References

The key texts for the MSc in Education are the research journals found in the Graduate School of Education Library and online.

Participants will also engage with journals specific to education within their specialist/chosen subject.

Other texts will be recommended dependent upon the subject content learnt and ways of learning it, negotiated with the tutor.