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X1K107 Research Methods (Education) MA Postgraduate Taught 2012


UCAS code X1K107
Degree MA
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
Start Date 2012-10-01
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 8415

Course Content


This programme delivers high-quality research methods training, including practical experience with qualitative and quantitative data analysis software packages and detailed analysis related to research epistemology and the philosophy of social science.  It can provide opportunities to gain 'hands on' experience and contribute to current research projects, working, for example, with the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM).

The programme is suited to those hoping to later pursue a research degree (usually PhD) but who do not meet the research methods training entry requirements, as well as those who wish to apply for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship, as the programme is recognised by the ESRC for 1+3 funding.

The programme is a Faculty-wide course and modules are taught within the School of Education, the School of Applied Social Sciences (Sociology) and the Department of Psychology. This provides our students the opportunity to come into contact with students studying research methods in different disciplines across the Social Sciences. 

Core Modules

  • Research Design and Process (15 credits)
  • Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
  • Experiments in Education (15 credits)
  • Evaluating Educational Research (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (45 credits)


  • Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)


  • Fieldwork and Interpretation (15 credits)


  • Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)


  • Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)


  • Applied Statistics (30 credits)

Optional Modules

15 credits from:

  • Philosophy of Social Research (15 credits)
  • Computer Based Applications in Social Research (15 credits)

Teaching and assessment details

The programme will be assessed by assignments and a 12,000 word dissertation.

Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

A good honours degree at 2:1 (or international equivalent).  Significant relevant experience will also be considered.

English Language Requirement

An overall IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with no element under 6.0) or equivalent

English Language requirements


Requirements and Admissions

You can apply to our postgraduate programmes via our online application process.

Fees and Funding

Fees have not been set for this academic year.


The programme is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) for 1+3 funding, and eligible candidates can apply for funding for this and subsequent PhD study through the ESRC's 1+3 route. Other sources of funding may be available and students should refer to the Funding Database for further information, or contact the School.

Career Opportunities

Education, School of

Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.

For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please click here

Open days and visits

Campus tours

Are you interested in studying at Durham University? Then why not come along to one of our Campus Tours? They run regularly at Durham City and Queen's Campus, Stockton on Wednesday afternoons. For further information, please click here.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits

Department Information

Education, School of


The School has a lively postgraduate environment capitalising on the academic strengths and diversity of its large body of teaching and research staff, and its population of around 1,100 students.

We offer a range of high-quality postgraduate provision to suit our students' needs. Many of our courses are designed to offer optimum flexibility through their mode of delivery, whether through part-time teaching at evenings/weekends to suit those engaged in full-time employment, or through part-time International Postgraduate Programmes (IPPs) which are delivered through a combination of intensive summer school teaching and independent study. Our postgraduate provision offers training and development for the teaching profession as well as programmes for those interested in education as an academic discipline in its own right.

We regularly secure top ten placements in UK  university league tables such as The Times Good University Guide and The Complete University Guide, and are delighted to have been graded 'outstanding' by Ofsted in February 2011 for all aspects of our initial teacher training. Meanwhile 85% of the School's research was recognised as being of world-class or international quality in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.


Teaching Staff

Dr Richard Remedios

Masters in Research Programme Director in the School of Education
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 48415
Contact (email at


I am social psychologist interested in the factors that influence students' motivation for studying. I completed my undergraduate and postgraduate degree in Psychology at the University of Stirling in Scotland and came to Durham in April, 2006.

I am currently a Lecturer teaching courses on research methods and psychological theories of motivation. In terms of administration, I look after the Masters in Research Methods (Education) programme, oversee students in thesis across our Ed.D. programmes, convene a level 2 UG course on Research Methods and am the primary contact for recruitment in Taiwan for our International Postgraduate Programme (Summer School).

Research Interests

My main research interest is motivation and in particular the factors (e.g., personality, pressure to perform well) that influence individuals' motivation to perform achievement-related tasks (e.g., exams). Research areas I am currently working in include:

  1. Do students goals for studying change as they progress through their studies?
  2. What is relationship between goal adoption and student outcomes e.g. performance and motivation?
  3. What is the relationship between empathy and teaching quality?
  4. What is the relationship between empathy and peer-tutoring?
  5. Can young children recognize emotions (testing a new instrument for assessing the recognition of emotions)?
  6. What factors influence pupils' selection of careers?

I am also involved in a seminar series sponsored by the British Psychological Society entitled "Can current theories of motivation inform practice in educational contexts?" Next seminar: Wednesday, 16th December, 2009 at Durham University.

Potential areas I would like to supervise students.

  • Cross-cultural tests of Goal Theory and Self-determination theory
  • Changes in goal adoption over time
  • The relationship between empathy and educational outcomes
  • The relationship between theory-of-mind and educational outcomes
  • Developing a test of emotion recognition for young children
  • Developing a technique for assessing students' goals for studying implicitly i.e. not via questionnaires or interviews.

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