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Durham University

Postgraduate Module Handbook 2022/2023

Archive Module Description

This page is for the academic year 2021-22. The current handbook year is 2022-23
No such Code for pgprog: X9A102
No such Code for pgprog: X9A302
No such Code for pgprog: X9A402
No such Code for pgprog: X9A802

Department: Education


Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Not available in 2021/22
Tied to X9A102
Tied to X9A302
Tied to X9A402
Tied to X9A802


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To introduce EdD students, in the taught phase of the programme to the presuppositions, practice and products of interpretive research design in education.
  • To enable EdD students to prepare, in the taught phase of the programme, for conducting interpretive research design in education.


  • As well as an understanding of the theoretical and epistemological issues informing interpretive educational research the module provides a step by step approach to interpretive research through lectures and workshops which concentrate on the key issues and questions educational researchers need to recognise, confront and resolve in conducting interpretive research design in education. Issues and questions to be covered include:
  • the linking of methodological perspectives and practical strategies in interpretive educational research design;
  • generating research problems and questions;
  • choosing appropriate interpretive methods for generating and collecting data;
  • principles of interpretive data analysis;
  • ethics, politics and practicalities of doing interpretive research;
  • the re-presentation, dissemination, and use of interpretive research.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Understand critically the underlying rationale for interpretive research - in particular field research in education.
  • Understand critically the major approaches and techniques for conducting interpretive research in educational settings.
  • Understand critically the practical and ethical issues that arise in the conduct of interpretive research - in particular ethnographic research in education.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • The critical ability to understand the skills necessary to prepare, undertake analyse and disseminate interpretive research in education.
Key Skills:
  • The critical ability to work on ideas and issues independently and as part a group.
  • The critical ability to present ideas through class presentation and writing.

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

  • Teaching of the module will adopt both a lecture and group work format. Lectures around a number of specific themes, issues and approaches to the conducting of interpretive research design in educational settings will impart specific subject knowledge relating to the aims and learning outcomes specified above. Group work activity will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with those themes, issues and approaches, through group discussion, practical exercises and presentations on the planning, preparation, conduct, analysis and dissemination of interpretive research design in education. The format of lecture and in particular group work exercise are appropriate in enabling student to both critically discuss and role play practical facets of the interpretive research process. Assessment in the form of a written assignment will provide the opportunity for students to present the extent to which they have understood and are able to engage critically with the themes and issues covered under the aims of the module.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 6 Flexible because of the nature of the programme 1.5 hours 9
Seminars 7 Flexible because of the nature of the programme 3 hours 21
Fieldwork 1 Once 10 hours 10
Preparation and Reading 260
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Assignment 5,000 words 100%

Formative Assessment:

Feedback on key issues prepared in relation to the assignment and given according to departmental assessment policy.

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