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Durham University

Faculty Handbook 2022-2023

Module Description

Please ensure you check the module availability box for each module outline, as not all modules will run each academic year.

Department: Education

EDUC1511: Contemporary Issues and Evidence in Education

Type Tied Level 1 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap None. Location Durham
Tied to X1C8 Education Studies - Psychology
Tied to X1F8 Education Studies - Geography
Tied to X305 Education Studies
Tied to XL33 Education Studies - Sociology


  • None


  • None

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None


  • To introduce students to a range of contemporary issues in education and the nature and scope of the supporting evidence.


  • The students will be introduced to contemporary debates in education led by an expert in that area. Current topics may include aspects of the curriculum, structures and systems.
  • Curriculum and Learning: What type of curriculum should be studied at school? What is the value of sex and relationships education?
  • Society and Identity: Do girls really do better than boys at school? How can education work within a global world? Can education create social justice?
  • Structures and Systems: How are people included or excluded from education? Should politicians have a say in education?
  • Throughout, there will be reference to key ways researchers use evidence, theories and arguments in education.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Students will develop knowledge and understanding of a range of contemporary issues in education.
  • Students will develop an understanding of how evidence can be used to support theory and practices in education.
  • Students will develop an understanding of what counts as evidence in education.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Students will be introduced to and learn to use appropriate frameworks for the evaluation of evidence in education.
  • Communicate effectively orally and in writing on issues related to evidence and issues in education.
Key Skills:
  • Students will learn to use and evaluate a range of sources - including academic and non-academic sources.
  • Students will develop the ability to evaluate a theory or idea in education.
  • Students will develop the ability to construct and present written and oral arguments.

Modes of Teaching, Learning and Assessment and how these contribute to the learning outcomes of the module

  • 10 x 2 hour lectures/workshops: these will introduce students to a contemporary issue in education and will be facilitated by experts in the field from the School of Education. Each workshop will be supported by preparatory and follow-up readings and a learning task that students will do in preparation for the associated seminar.
  • 10 x 1 hour seminars: these will offer students an opportunity to discuss the issues introduced in the workshops and the associated follow-up reading and task. These will also introduce the induct students into the academic community, learning about study skills, critical thinking skills and essay preparation.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lecture 10 Weekly 2 hours 20
Seminar 10 Weekly 1 hour 10
Reading and preparation 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2000 words 100% Yes
Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Annotated Bibliography 1250 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Formative will include feedback on one bibliography source entry. Formative work will include feedback on essay plan and ideas.

Attendance at all activities marked with this symbol will be monitored. Students who fail to attend these activities, or to complete the summative or formative assessment specified above, will be subject to the procedures defined in the University's General Regulation V, and may be required to leave the University

If you have a query about a specific module or degree programme, please contact the appropriate department.

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