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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 31/03/2022 15:18:42

Title of Module: Honours Dissertation

Code: EDUC10036 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:C  Gollek

Summary of Module

This module aims to consolidate  students’ understanding of the research process pertaining to their chosen field of study. It will demonstrate the acquisition of the knowledge and skills necessary for critically appraising research in their own field and in the interdisciplinary context. Moreover, the module will further develop the knowledge and skills gained through the level 9 modules where students were required to identify a topic of interest related to their practice, and critically apply their understanding of research design and social theory to conduct small-scale research projects. Through previous modules, students have developed a bibliography of resources to inform a more intensive participatory action research project (dissertation) with interdisciplinary foci.

This module aims to guide practice through developing critical analysis, evaluation and synthesis of available evidence. Beginning with a systematic review of literature pertaining to one specific area, including critical reflection upon current policy debates relevant to their field of practice, the student will be required to create an exploratory question and robust research design. The module will culminate in an research exercise. The dissertation will further develop students’ critical awareness of the epistemological and ontological foundations of main research paradigms, including quantitative, qualitative and mixed methodological research design; sampling methods; data collection; data analysis; evidence-based practice; ethics; barriers to implementing research in practice; rigour in analysis; responsible reporting of evidence.

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).
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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Complete practitioner research in fieldwork and apply one data collection technique to achieve its identified outcomes.

L2. Through a systematic search strategy, make effective use of citation indexes, online databases and journal abstracts for obtaining information on integrated research, particularly focusing on evaluation of peer-reviewed studies

L3. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the main research paradigms, methods and designs related to research practice by synthesising research evidence

L4. Identify and reflect on ways in which an issue/topic from their field of practice can be developed, using data analysis from practitioner research project.

L5. Apply knowledge of ethical issues in 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, detailed understanding of principal theories, concepts and principles of one current area of and practice, which is informed by or at the forefront of the discipline.
•Understanding of the ways in which one specific area of practice is developed, including a range of established techniques of research methodologies and approaches.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 10.

•Using a range of principal professional skills and practices associated with their practice roles.
•Executing a defined project of investigation within their field of practice and identifying and implementing relevant outcomes.
•Practising a range of professional level contexts that include a degree of unpredictability

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 10.

•Critically identifying, defining, conceptualising and analysing relevant policies and strategies and that are informed by forefront developments in their field of practice Demonstrating originality and creativity in dealing with issues.
•Critically reviewing and consolidating knowledge, skills, practices and thinking in their sector.
•Making judgments where data is limited.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 10.

•Presenting and conveying formally and informally, information about a specialised topic to an informed audience.
•Communicating with peers, supervisors and teachers.
•Using a range of ICT applications to support and enhance their written work

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 10.

•Exercising autonomy and initiative in professional activities.
•Managing complex ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional ethical codes of practice.
•Recognising the limits of these codes and seek guidance where appropriate.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module handbook, online tasks/discussions, supporting materials will be posted on the VLE. These will provide specific information on the particular learning and teaching methodologies to be used for timetabled student sessions. This will clarify for students both their expectations for timetabled sessions and for their allocated time to conduct their research, as well as their expectations for the overall balance of learning and teaching methodologies to be used during the module.

Lectures will provide students with in-depth information about how to: conduct a critical literature search and review; design an appropriate research methodology; collect data rigorously and ethically; perform data analysis; report and disseminate findings. Workshops will further develop students’ understandings of key research themes and provide an opportunity for students to practice research techniques. Group tutorials will be offered to enable students to further develop their project through critical discussions with others. Individual tutorials are designed to support students in formulating a robust research proposal, complying with ethical standards, conducting fieldwork which is safe and informed by the literature. Drop-in sessions will allow the opportunity for students to obtain support from one member of the team of dissertation supervisors in completing their ethical approval form, data analysis and preparing for submission.
Students are required to receive approval of their completed ethical approval form (following guidelines from the School Ethics Committee) prior to conducting this research. Students will develop a range of transferable skills which include time management, organisation of materials, information handling and online searching and academic writing skills.
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 Delivery28
Independent Study224
Asynchronous Class Activity48
Work Based Learning/Placement 100
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:

Menter, I., Elliot, D., Hulme, M., Lewin, J. & Lowden, K. (2011) A Guide to Practitioner Research in Education. London: Sage

Mukherji, P. and Albon, D. (2018) Research Methods in Early Childhood. London: Sage.

Robert-Holmes, G. (2018) Doing your early years research project: a step by step guide. 4th Ed. London: Sage.

Groundwater et al. (2015) Participatory research with children and young people. 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:
All fulltime students (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries) are required to attend all scheduled classes and participate with all delivered elements of the module as part of their engagement with their programme of study. Consideration will be given to students who have protection under the appropriate equality law. Please refer to UWS Regulations, Chapter 1, 1.64 – 1.67, available at the following link:

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Supplemental Information

Programme BoardEducation
Assessment Results (Pass/Fail) No
Subject PanelChildhood Studies/Practice
ModeratorProfessorial team (supervisors and C Holligan)
External ExaminerC Counihan
Accreditation DetailsAt level 9 accreddited SSSC
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
The module assessment is based solely on the submission of a dissertation which is worth 100% of the overall mark for this module.
(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 mark1000
Combined Total For All Components100% 0 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
Aligned with the overall commitment to equality and diversity stated in the Programme Specifications, the module supports equality of opportunity for students from all backgrounds and with different learning needs. Using VLE, learning materials will be presented electronically in formats that allow flexible access and manipulation of content (part-time and distant learning students should check with their programme leader for any queries). The module complies with University regulations and guidance on inclusive learning and teaching practice. Specialist assistive equipment, support provision and adjustment to assessment practice will be made in accordance with UWS policy and regulations.

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.