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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 06/10/2022 18:12:24

Title of Module: Dissertation Practitioner Research

Code: UGED10002 SCQF Level: 10
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 40 ECTS: 20
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:E  Wotherspoon

Summary of Module

This module relates to and builds on the Level 9 modules, during which students built critical analysis skills and understanding of literature within areas of their specialist subject (Health and Wellbeing, Inclusive Education, Literacy, Mathematics, Languages or Science). The critical analysis skills and knowledge of literature developed will contribute to the initial reading and activities for this module.  

This module will support students to cultivate a basic understanding of educational research and introduce students to the diversity of approaches to educational inquiry. In respect of research ethics, the module will develop students’ understanding of ethical principles as well as introduce and deepen their knowledge of the relevant regulatory framework. This module will also support students to develop understanding of methodological principles and approaches of research design; data collection, reporting and analysis. There will be particular emphasis on the approaches to research that will inform the development of their project (i.e. interviews, observation and questionnaires). Students will be expected to learn about each approach and be able to apply the appropriate approach to their project.

Students will identify a narrow area of their specialist subject on which to focus, with a view to extending the depth of their understanding or alternatively choose to study an overarching theme in the context of their subject specialism. Students will develop skills that will support them in completing a literature review into their chosen topic area and will also be required to undertake a reserach project in school.


  • The module will support students towards meeting the GTCS Standard for Provisional Registration by working towards the following standards: • Professional Commitment (1.2); • Have knowledge and understanding of Research and Engagement in Practitioner Enquiry (2.1.2); • Have knowledge and understanding of Education Systems (2.2.1); • Have a knowledge and understanding of Learning Communities (2.2.2); • Engage critically with literature, research and policy (3.3.1); • Engage in reflective practice to develop and advance career-long professional learning and expertise (3.3.2).

  • In relation to learning for sustainability, students in this module will build on the work from the critical analysis module by expanding their understanding of enquiring and critical approaches. It will also complement the work in the leadership for learning module by developing critical reflection skills. Students should consider themselves as influential.

  • Through participating in the module, students will develop UWS Graduate Attributes: in this core module students are encouraged to develop a set of globally relevant skills, abilities and behaviours that will support them in becoming motivated, work ready and successful. A broad range of personal, academic and professional attributes are embedded within the activities and content of the module. In this module a particular focus will be given to developing critical thinkers who are knowledgeable, analytical, inquiring and research-minded educators.

Module Delivery Method
Face-To-FaceBlendedFully OnlineHybridCHybridOWork-based Learning
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Term used to describe the traditional classroom environment where the students and the lecturer meet synchronously in the same room for the whole provision.

A mode of delivery of a module or a programme that involves online and face-to-face delivery of learning, teaching and assessment activities, student support and feedback. A programme may be considered “blended” if it includes a combination of face-to-face, online and blended modules. If an online programme has any compulsory face-to-face and campus elements it must be described as blended with clearly articulated delivery information to manage student expectations

Fully Online
Instruction that is solely delivered by web-based or internet-based technologies. This term is used to describe the previously used terms distance learning and e learning.

Online with mandatory face-to-face learning on Campus

Online with optional face-to-face learning on Campus

Work-based Learning
Learning activities where the main location for the learning experience is in the workplace.

Campus(es) for Module Delivery
The module will normally be offered on the following campuses / or by Distance/Online Learning: (Provided viable student numbers permit)
Paisley:Ayr:Dumfries:Lanarkshire:London:Distance/Online Learning:Other:


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Term(s) for Module Delivery
(Provided viable student numbers permit).
Term 1check markTerm 2check markTerm 3


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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

On successful completion of this module the student will be able to:

L1. Demonstrate awareness and understanding of the role of educational research and of educational research methods.

L2. Be aware of, discuss and reflect upon research literature, both national and international, within a specific curricular area / educational issue.

L3. Apply critical knowledge and understanding of relevant theories, concepts and principles of research to practitioner research.

L4. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of ethical research and the purpose of ethical regulation in order apply knowledge of ethical issues in educational research.

L5. Make effective use of citation indexes, online databases and a wide range of journal abstracts for obtaining information on educational research.

Employability Skills and Personal Development Planning (PDP) Skills
SCQF Headings During completion of this module, there will be an opportunity to achieve core skills in:
Knowledge and Understanding (K and U) SCQF Level 10.

Critical understanding of principal theories, concepts and principles of one area of specialism within primary education.
Knowledge and understanding in one specialism in primary education, informed by current educational initiatives in the primary educational sector in Scotland.
A critical understanding of the research design, tools and methodologies available to them.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

Using a range of professional skills and practices associated with educational research within a specific curricular area or issue.
Practising routine methods of inquiry and/or research related to a specific curricular area or issue.
Executing a defined project of investigation in a school context and identifying and implementing relevant outcomes.
Practising in a range of professional level contexts that include a degree of unpredictability.
Using a number of skills, practices and/or materials that or specialised and/or advanced in the design of educational research within a specific curricular area or issue.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

Critically identify, defining, conceptualizing and analysing educational issues that are informed by forefront developments in Scottish primary education.
Demonstrate originality and creativity in dealing with primary educational issues.
Critically review and consolidating knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in the primary educational sector.
Make judgements where data are limited and being explicit about the reason for this.
Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues associated with the educational research.
Draw on a range of national, international, historic and current sources in making judgements and presenting arguments.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

Present and conveying formally and informally, information about a specialised topic in primary education to an informed audience.
Communicate with peers, supervisors and teachers.
Use a range of ICT applications to support and enhance their written work.
Interpret, use and evaluate numerical and graphical data to achieve goals/targets that relate to the stated learning outcomes.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

Exercise autonomy and initiative in activities relating to the stated learning outcomes.
Practise in ways that show awareness of own and others’ roles and responsibilities.
Work, under guidance, with specialist practitioners.
Deal with ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices, seeking guidance where appropriate.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
CA of Health & Wellbeing Teaching
CA of Literacy Teaching
CA of Language Teaching
CA of Mathematics Teaching
CA of Science Teaching
CA of Inclusive Education
Other: Please note that a student is only required to undertake one of the critical analysis modules listed above.
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
In all modules on the BA Education programme, we take an authentic, best-practice and forward-looking approach to learning activities and assessment. There is a strong emphasis on situated learning and real professional scenarios. We are committed to interactive learning and the small number of learning activities that are purely transmission of information are normally pre-recorded. In workshops, which utilise classrooms, and other facilities as appropriate, the outdoors and the Aula VLE, main methodologies include collaborative working, problem-based learning, real-world tasks, research based learning, enquiry-based learning, and student presentations. All learning activities are aligned to relevant aspects of the professional standards. Individual, group or tutor-led reflection is required throughout. Learning activities develop 21st century skills such as communication, collaboration, research skills, creativity and critical thinking. Learning activities, assessment and feedback, where appropriate, provide students with choice, such as choice of research method (where feasible), chioce of research topic and chioce of task response format (where appropriate).
Learning Activities
During completion of this module, the learning activities undertaken to achieve the module learning outcomes are stated below:
Student Learning Hours
(Normally totalling 200 hours):
(Note: Learning hours include both contact hours and hours spent on other learning activities)
Lecture/Core Content Delivery45
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity15
Asynchronous Class Activity15
Independent Study325
400 Hours Total

**Indicative Resources: (eg. Core text, journals, internet access)

The following materials form essential underpinning for the module content and ultimately for the learning outcomes:

Bell, J. and Waters, S. (2018) Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education (7th ed). London: Open University Press.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K., (2018) Research methods in education (8th ed). Abingdon, Oxon.

Drever, E. (2003). Using Semi-structured Interviews in Small-scale Research: A Teacher's Guide. Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education.

Lichtman, M. (2013) Qualitative research in education: a user's guide (3rd ed). London: Sage.

*Menter, I., Elliot, D., Hulme, M., Lewin, J. and Lowden, K. (2011) A guide to practitioner research in education. London: Sage.

Munn, P. and Drever, E. (2004) Using questionnaires in small-scale research: a beginner's guide. Edinburgh: Scottish Council for Research in Education.

*Pears, R. and Shields, G. (2019) Cite them right: the essential referencing guide (11th ed). London: Red Globe Press / Macmillan International Higher Education.

Punch, K. and Oancea, A. (2014) Introduction to research methods in education (2nd ed). London: Sage.

Sharp, J. (2009) Success with your education research project. Exeter: Learning Matters.

Thomas, G. (2014) How to do your research project. Maidenhead: Open University.

Wyse, D. and Cowan, K. (2017) The good writing guide for education students (4th ed). London: Sage.

(**N.B. Although reading lists should include current publications, students are advised (particularly for material marked with an asterisk*) to wait until the start of session for confirmation of the most up-to-date material)

Engagement Requirements

In line with the Academic Engagement Procedure, Students are defined as academically engaged if they are regularly engaged with timetabled teaching sessions, course-related learning resources including those in the Library and on the relevant learning platform, and complete assessments and submit these on time. Please refer to the Academic Engagement Procedure at the following link: Academic engagement procedure

Where a module has Professional, Statutory or Regulatory Body requirements these will be listed here:
Given the professional nature of the programme, 100% attendance and engagement is expected. The module co-ordinator maintains an overview of attendance and engagement. Should there be concerns, there will be liaison between module co-ordinator, personal tutor and the student to identify steps to support engagement and success.

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelEducation
ModeratorC Holligan / E Baumgartner
External ExaminerL Waddell
Accreditation DetailsGeneral Teaching Council Scotland. Contact School for current details.
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Formative assessment consists of two written tasks and a presentation which are assessed by students' supervisor. Students are required to complete specific tasks related to ethics to gain ethical approval for their reserach project.

Summative assessment consists of an 8000-word written dissertation in which students will provide a referenced discussion of a specific area of, or related to primary education, an explanation of their practitioner research, and analysis of the findings of this research project.

Student handbooks, and other detailed material made available to students, will clarify the relationship between formative assessment and the specific learning outcomes for the module. This will ensure that students can relate feedback from formative assessment to their individual progress on the learning outcomes for the module. On summative assessments, students will receive detailed information indicating the ways in which summative assessments will assess individual learning outcomes for the module. As appropriate, students will also receive detailed information on how feedback will be provided for assessments.
(N.B. (i) Assessment Outcomes Grids for the module (one for each component) can be found below which clearly demonstrate how the learning outcomes of the module will be assessed.
(ii) An indicative schedule listing approximate times within the academic calendar when assessment is likely to feature will be provided within the Student Handbook.)

Assessment Outcome Grids (Footnote A.)

Component 1
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Learning Outcome (5) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Dissertation/ Project report/ Thesischeck markcheck markcheck markcheck markcheck mark1001
Combined Total For All Components100% 1 hours

A. Referred to within Assessment Section above
B. Identified in the Learning Outcome Section above

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  1. More than one assessment method can be used to assess individual learning outcomes.
  2. Schools are responsible for determining student contact hours. Please refer to University Policy on contact hours (extract contained within section 10 of the Module Descriptor guidance note).
    This will normally be variable across Schools, dependent on Programmes &/or Professional requirements.

Equality and Diversity
This module is appropriate for all students irrespective of age, disability, gender and gender identity, race, ethnicity, religion or belief, or sexual orientation. To promote inclusive practice, procedures and processes have been subject to Equality Impact Assessment where appropriate.

In line with the Equality Act 2010 and UWS Equality Outcomes 2017-21, the School of Education encourages the disclosure of support requirements, including disability, at the recruitment stage and throughout the duration of the module. Emphasis is placed on confidentiality of information, the benefits of disclosure and that no detriment to progress will be experienced. The School will endeavour to make reasonable adjustments to teaching and learning approaches and arrangements for assessment, and (when applicable) periods of school placement, where a student has disclosed specific requirements.

Students undertaking this module should develop increased understanding of societal and environmental conditions which may impact upon the educational attainment of individuals and groups.

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy

UWS Equality and Diversity Policy
(N.B. Every effort will be made by the University to accommodate any equality and diversity issues brought to the attention of the School)

2014 University of the West of Scotland

University of the West of Scotland is a Registered Scottish Charity.

Charity number SC002520.