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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: X9A802
No such Code for pgprog: X9A102

Department: Education

EDUC45830: Education Enquiry

Type Tied Level 4 Credits 30 Availability Available in 2021/22
Tied to X9A802
Tied to X9A102
Tied to X2K207 Education (International) (Last intake of students October 2019)
Tied to X9K907 Education [UK]


  • None


  • None.

Excluded Combination of Modules

  • None.


  • This module aims to encourage students to think critically about and reflect upon their own professional practice - to become enquirers in their own professional context(s) and into their own practice. Students will be supported to think about links between education research, theory and practice, thinking critically about how these can be integrated in order to support their own professional learning. Student's critical reflection on their own practice will usually focus on one area of practice that the student has identified as important to them, in their professional practice and context.


  • The module will encourage reflexive practice and enquiry, in order that students can understand and consider the effects of different approaches to changing their developing practice (rather than simply evaluating it).
  • The module will provide students with an overview of the theoretical underpinnings of education research (including some wider debates in education research and methods). Students will be encouraged to make and explore links between theory, research and practice.
  • The module will introduce to students a number of approaches to facilitate critical reflection on their own practice, provide opportunities to discuss these reflections and explore how they might influence their own professional learning.
  • The module will introduce students to practitioner enquiry, students will be encouraged to be flexible, reflexive, embracing of change, critical and informed.
  • The module will introduce students to a range of approaches to practitioner research, associated research design and methods.
  • The module will provide support for students in the development of a critically reflective portfolio, that is relevant (personally and/or professionally) to the student.
  • The module will introduce students to ethics in education research, with a particular focus on the ethics of researching one's own practice and of the ethics associated with researching with children.

Learning Outcomes

Subject-specific Knowledge:
  • Knowledge and understanding of the theoretical underpinnings and applications of practitioner enquiry.
  • Knowledge and understanding of a range of approaches to educational research including research design and methods.
  • Knowledge and understanding of the value of critical reflection and reflexivity in relation to educational research and their own professional learning.
Subject-specific Skills:
  • Identify and critically evaluate literature to explore links between educational research, theory and practice that are relevant to the student’s own professional practice.
  • Apply a reflexive approach to practitioner enquiry and demonstrate how this contributes to the student’s own development as a professional and the potential for wider impact.
  • Develop a research idea (in agreement with the module tutors), engaging critically with literature (empirical and conceptual), that supports professional learning.
Key Skills:
  • Engage critically with research literature, including, for example: searching, synthesising, summarising and critiquing literatures; these will include differing theoretical standpoints.
  • Engage with theory, practice and research evidence.
  • Organise, plan and present research ideas.
  • Formulate, analyse and solve problems.
  • Be reflective and reflexive.
  • Learn independently, in co-operation and collaboratively.

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

  • Teaching and learning will be delivered via lectures and workshop style seminar teaching, which will be supported by online resources. The approach to teaching will be blended, making use of in person, online live and asynchronous online learning activities where appropriate. Teaching will enable the key ideas of the module to be considered, students will follow up on lecture and seminar material in individual study time (preparation and reading). Online resources will enable staff and students to continue their interaction between teaching sessions. Seminars will be collaborative and discussion focussed, enabling students to develop their understanding of the ideas and consider them in a range of professionally relevant contexts. Activities in seminars include a variety of active learning approaches including discussion, group work, presentations, question and answer sessions and individual tasks. Assessment for the module comprises one formative assignment on which students will receive feedback relevant to their summative and one summative portfolio.

Teaching Methods and Learning Hours

Activity Number Frequency Duration Total/Hours
Lectures 9 1 hour 9
Seminars 6 2 hours 12
Tutorials 3 2 hours 6
Preparation and follow up tasks 5 5 25
Preparation & Reading 248
Total 300

Summative Assessment

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

Formative Assessment:

Formative Assessment: The interactive nature of the teaching sessions, with discussion, small group work, individual questioning, student presentations etc provides opportunity for informal formative feedback. The summative assignment will be introduced early in the module to enable ongoing discussion during the teaching sessions and beyond. The formative assessments will be directly linked to the summative assignment.

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