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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

EDUC2301: Educational Research Methods

Type Tied Level 2 Credits 20 Availability Available in 2022/23 Module Cap Location Durham
Tied to LMVA Combined Honours in Social Sciences (with Year Abroad)
Tied to LMVP Combined Honours in Social Sciences (with Placement Year)
Tied to X1F8 Education Studies - Geography
Tied to X3F8 Education Studies - Geography (with Placement Year)
Tied to X2F8 Education Studies - Geography (with Year Abroad)
Tied to LMV0 Combined Honours in Social Sciences
Tied to XL33 Education Studies - Sociology
Tied to X3L3 Education Studies - Sociology (with Placement Year)
Tied to X2L3 Education Studies - Sociology (with Year Abroad)
Tied to X101 Primary Education
Tied to X103 Primary Education (with Placement Year)
Tied to X102 Primary Education (with Year Abroad)
Tied to X305 Education Studies
Tied to X306 Education Studies (with Placement Year)
Tied to X308 Education Studies (with Year Abroad)
Tied to XC81 Education Studies - Psychology (with Placement Year)
Tied to XC82 Education Studies - Psychology (with Year Abroad)
Tied to X1C8 Education Studies - Psychology


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To help students understand the purposes and implications of educational research.
  • To enable students to develop a critical appreciation of the different ways in which research can be carried out in education.
  • To help students understand ways to assess the quality of educational research.


  • The nature and context of educational research;
  • Epistemology and ontology in relation to educational research
  • Developing research questions;
  • Negotiating the research process;
  • Literature searches and reviews;
  • Critical appraisal of research;
  • Research design;
  • Ethics in educational research;
  • Data collection in educational research;
  • Data analysis and presentation;
  • Evidence in education;
  • Using theory in educational research;
  • Educational policy evaluation;
  • Enquiry, reflection and reflexivity in educational research;
  • Writing research proposals.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • By the end of the module, students will be able to: understand and evaluate different views about the nature of educational research knowledge and the purposes of educational research.
  • use and demonstrate knowledge and understanding about different kinds of educational research designs and methodologies, and the kinds of research questions for which they are appropriate.
  • appreciate the complexities of educational research in schools and other education settings
  • appreciate the issues and complexities of collecting, analysing and interpreting educational research data.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • identify ways of accessing evidence related to educational research
  • think critically and interrogate the assumptions underpinning educational research;
  • identify strengths and weaknesses in educational research
  • critically evaluate literature on a variety of contemporary educational issues
  • understand the relationship between the nature of educational knowledge and research methodology
Key Skills:
  • think critically and independently;
  • analyse, synthesise, evaluate and identify problems and solutions;
  • communicate effectively with appropriate use of specialist vocabulary;
  • interpret and present relevant numerical information;
  • use ICT and a variety of library and IT resources;
  • improve their own learning and performance, including the development of study and research skills, information retrieval, and a capacity to plan and manage learning, and to reflect on their own learning;
  • work to deadlines.

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

  • Teaching will consist of a mixture of lectures, seminars and workshops. A blended approach to learning will be utilised for some of the teaching.
  • Lectures will introduce key ideas and knowledge.
  • Seminars will provide opportunities for discussion and detailed exploration of key issues.
  • Workshops will provide an opportunity to explore specific aspects of educational research methods in depth.
  • Much of the work in seminars will be student-led, using a range of structured and supported activities.
  • Assessment will comprise of an essay and a research proposal, facilitating different opportunities for students to assimilate and demonstrate their learning from the module.
  • Students will be provided with a module handbook and learning will be supported by the virtual learning environment (VLE).

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 14 Weekly 1 hour 14
Seminars 10 Fortnightly 1 hour 10
Workshops 3 2 hours 6
Preparation and Reading 170
Total 200

Summative Assessment

Component: Essay Component Weighting: 60%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Essay 2000 words 100% Yes
Component: Research Proposal Component Weighting: 40%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Research Proposal 1500 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Written formative feedback on formative assignments will be provided; this may be provided to a group of students or an individual student dependent upon the assessment. Formative assessment tasks will be explicitly linked to the summative assessments.

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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