Structure and Content
The programme is designed to meet the ESRC’s requirements for broad knowledge, practical skills and both generic and specific competencies in educational research. It comprises four taught modules and a dissertation as follows:
The Nature of Education Enquiry: The purpose of this module is to provide a grounding in the issues with which students will engage over the programme of the MRes Educational Research. The module provides a critical introduction to a range of philosophical and epistemological perspectives on research and education. It involves a critical examination of different paradigms of research and their practical embodiment in a variety of current approaches to educational research.
Data Collection and Analysis: The module provides a grounded introduction to a range of quantitative and qualitative approaches to data collection and analysis and considers the role and function of these approaches within different educational research paradigms. It will allow you to develop the skills and knowledge you require for the effective collection and analysis of evidence. It will engage you in debates about what constitutes data and how valid and reliable data can be collected. The emphasis will be heavily on the systematic collection and analysis of quantitative and qualitative data.
Research in Action: This module aims to develop your capacity to deal with the ethical, organisational, interpersonal, and professional aspects of conducting research in the field in a range of educational contexts.
Designing Research: This module aims to develop the skills to design and plan a small-scale research project. The module provides a number of transferable skills required by the research councils and provides an opportunity to relate an academic understanding of educational research to real world contexts. The assignment module is to produce a detailed research proposal that will form the basis of the research described in the dissertation.
Dissertation: You will be required to conduct a small piece of educational research and write this up as a 15,000 word dissertation. The dissertation is completed during May to September (May to December for part-time students).
Link to Research Projects
Students will be linked to a current research project in the Institute. Throughout the programme you will be required to actively participate in research currently being carried out at the Institute, initially by attending meetings and becoming familiar with a project and later on by contributing more actively to the project. This provides a unique opportunity for you to learn by undertaking practical work and will prove invaluable for your own project and dissertation.
Delivery and Assessment
Each module is taught in 10 three-hour sessions per semester. Teaching/learning methods include workshops, seminars, practical activities, individual supervision and private study. Each module is assessed separately. Formal assessment is by learning logs, comparative research reviews, essays and the dissertation of 15,000 words.
The Educational Research MRes is designed to enhance the career prospects of researchers in education, training and related areas of work, and professionals requiring the capacity to understand and commission research in these fields. It is essential preparation for doctoral research in education.