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Unit information: Dissertation in 2015/16

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Unit name Dissertation
Unit code EDUCM1901
Credit points 60
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Dr. Manchester
Open unit status Not open




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

Description including Unit Aims

The dissertation unit will provide students with experience of using research and theoretical literature to inform research design; designing and conducting a small scale research project; and communicating research in a coherent and cogent manner. Further, the students will be required to draw on previous research methods units in the design, implementation, data collection and analysis of their research. This unit will support students to become critical readers of research literature, to use classroom innovations appropriately within the research process and to become independent generators of research ideas and practice within educational settings. The unit will also function as an important first step in supporting those students who wish to go on to further PhD study by providing the opportunity to test and evaluate their research practices and theoretical approaches.

Intended Learning Outcomes

  • focus a research topic with researchable hypotheses;
  • identify and draw on appropriate literature in the design and theorisation of a research study;
  • understand the range of theoretical viewpoints pertinent to the research study;
  • design and conduct a small scale research project on the teaching of science in educational settings;
  • ability to compare research methods and select an appropriate one for the research study;
  • utilise new technologies appropriately in the data collection and analysis process;
  • identify the relationship between research evidence and theoretical development.

Teaching Information

As with the other units, the teaching strategy will employ three broad approaches, where appropriate, with the aims of contextualising as well as theorising issues of central importance, the development of student autonomy, and the individualisation of study and support. However, these approaches will be individualised as befits the nature of dissertation supervision. These are:

Face to Face Teaching This will be centred on individual tutorials but may include small group teaching, including presentations from staff and students and practical workshops where appropriate to support students with similar needs.

ELearning ELearning approaches will be used to facilitate individualised study and support. These will include: on-line discussion (with individuals and groups, online supervision and peer mentoring, guidance and feedback. Critical use of Web resources will be encouraged.

Research To provide data for analysis for the dissertation study. The use of action research, small-scale empirical studies and observations of professional practice will be encouraged and facilitated.

Assessment Information

Completion of 15,000 word dissertation

Reading and References

Further reading will be specific to the students chosen area of research.