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Unit information: Curriculum Research (Level M) in 2014/15

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Unit name Curriculum Research (Level M)
Unit code EDUCM5040
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Mrs. Dourneen
Open unit status Not open



Educational and Professional Studies and Curriculum Practice

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

Description including Unit Aims

This unit introduces students to the theory and practice of teaching, learning and research in their own main subject (one of ten designated secondary curriculum subjects). It supports them in developing the skills they need to become effective practitioners and to make informed decisions about their teaching. It introduces them to examples of good practice and to recent research in relevant topics. It is taught through university-based sessions with colleagues in the same subject and school-based sessions in which they work on the skills they are developing with experienced practitioners. Subject-based work models good practice and introduces students to a range of research based perspectives which enable them to make decisions about their own professional identities. It encourages them to explore various teaching styles and evaluate their possibilities through personal experience and reference to a range of literature.


This unit aims to allow students to develop a sound research and evidence based approach to their professional practice. It offers them a range of experiences, both university and school based, from which they can consider their own personal professional development. It aims to present aspects of the basic theory which underpins secondary teaching at subject level and begin to develop their skills in planning, teaching and evaluating lessons. It aims to enable them to reconceptualise their subject knowledge so that they can use it effectively in teaching. It aims to support them in developing the full range of professional skills required of a teacher.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

  • Understand aspects of learning theory relevant to their own subject;
  • Use research and other professional literature to inform their development as teachers;
  • Use their subject knowledge effectively to underpin their teaching;
  • Create effective learning resources
  • Present well structured accounts of their learning within their subject.

Teaching Information

Students will take part in subject-based sessions during university-based periods of the course (12 weeks throughout year) and work in a subject department for the school-based elements (24 weeks). During subject based sessions they will engage in a variety of activities, from lectures to seminars and practical workshops. In school they will observe practice, teach classes and take part in regular tutorial sessions with a subject based mentor.

Assessment Information

During the year students will carry out a range of formative tasks designed to develop their teaching skills. They will base a formal assessment on one of these, as appropriate within their specific subject. Because of the different nature of school subjects this will vary, but will be based on practical activities underpinned by research in the appropriate professional literature.

The formal presentation may include:

  • A research seminar presented by the student and documented;
  • A written research-based assignment of about 4000 words;
  • A practical task, supported by documentation of the underpinning research.

Reading and References

See attached lists of six titles in each subject area – it is not appropriate for all subjects to offer the same list. All books are currently on subject reading lists and available or in the process of being purchased.