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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

Department: Education

EDUC43230: Self Directed Study - Subject Specific Issues in School-Based Education

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to X6K114 Education (Primary)
Tied to X6K214 Education (International - Geneva) - Primary
Tied to X7K414 Education (International - Geneva) - Secondary
Tied to X7K214 Education (Secondary)


  • None.


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • To enable PGCE students to undertake a detailed analysis of educational research specific to the themes covered by the module.
  • To enable students to research a small scale topic or issue of professional interest or relevance through the use of appropriate research strategies and to deepen their knowledge and understanding of the small scale topic or issue.
  • To explore different types of educational research and the various underpinning philosophical approaches.


  • The content of the self-directed study will arise from the work previously undertaken, particularly in the preceding Teaching and Learning in the Curriculum module, through explicit guidance aimed at making connections between university-based and professional school-based experiences.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • LO1 to demonstrate a critical in-depth understanding of the educational ideas and philosophies relevant to Professional Teaching Standards as the foundation of subsequent professional development as pre-service teachers.
  • LO2 to demonstrate a critical understanding of the factors which affect teaching and learning across a range of generic educational issues of contemporary significance.
  • LO3 to demonstrate a broad understanding of a range of research methods and their application to education matters.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • LO4 the ability to analyse and evaluate educational research, and the ideas deriving from this research, applied in different contexts.
  • LO5 the ability to identify and solve problems in specific educational contexts.
  • LO6 undertake a critical and enquiry-based approach to their professional practice so that it continuously impacts effectively on the outcomes for children and young people.
Key Skills:
  • LO7 to engage in collaborative learning opportunities in their specialist professional field of education and through collaboration engage in planning for their own further professional development.
  • LO8 to plan, conduct and evaluate small-scale academic research (empirical and conceptual).
  • LO9 to reflect on a range of educational research literature and to use this in the writing of academic assignments.

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

  • Lectures around a number of specific themes, issues and approaches to small scale educational research with a specific focus on case studies. Group work activity will facilitate a more in-depth student engagement with those themes, issues and approaches, through directed readings and tutorial tasks. The format of lecture and in particular group work exercise are appropriate in enabling student to critically discuss educational research. 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
Lecture 2 Lectures before and during the teaching and learning conference 3 hours 6
Seminars 2 Before and during the teaching and learning conference 2.5 hours 5
Tutorials 4 e-tutorials before and after the teaching and learning conference, Self-Directed Study mentor support 1 hour 4
Preparation and Reading 285
Total 300

Summative Assessment

Component: Assignment Component Weighting: 100%
Element Length / duration Element Weighting Resit Opportunity
Study Proposal - To pass this component, the student needs to gain their Self-Directed Study supervisor’s verification that their Study Proposal meets the requirements of the Approved SDS Ethics Application. The submission for this is marked as Formative 1 and Formative 2 in the module handbook. Both are compulsory. Pass/Fail 0% Yes
Assignment 5,000 words 100% Yes

Formative Assessment:

Preliminary summary and outline of the assignment and small-scale research study, with additional critical reference list to indicate reading undertaken. This is marked as Formative 1 and Formative 2 in the module handbook. Both are compulsory.

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