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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 31/03/2022 10:24:15

Title of Module: Situated Professional Inquiry

Code: EDUC12003 SCQF Level: 12
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 60 ECTS: 30
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:B  Cross

Summary of Module

This module aims to ensure that candidates can integrate their professional framework, culture and skills into a substantial research study.  Candidates will be expected to synthesise material regarding professional regulations and requirements with the research literature as they develop a detailed and original research report.  this research report will be the basis for a substantial empirical study relating to some aspect of their profession. Candidates will be required to show evidence of sound research principles. The module will be run over a full academic year and the candidates will be expected to show significant progress.

The UWS Graduate Attributes that are commonly developed through the completion of this module are:

  • Critical and analytical thinking; 
  • Resilience, autonomy and motivation;
  • Effective communication and collaboration;
  • Development of professional knowledge and skills.

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 3check mark

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Learning Outcomes: (maximum of 5 statements)

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

L1. Develop a synthesised and detailed understanding of the professional framework, culture and research requirements of their respective professional discipline.

L2. Demonstrate a critical understanding of the skills and knowledge required to complete a substantial research study.

L3. Develop an authoritative and specialised understanding of research methods and skills relevant to their professional discipline and study.

L4. Demonstrate the original and novel application of research theory, methods and skills creatively and effectively within their professional discipline.

L5. Demonstrate authoritative reporting and communication skills with peers and experts within their own professional discipline at the standard of published academic work and critical dialogue.

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 12.

Detailed and up to date understanding of the professional framework, culture, issues and research requirements of their professional discipline.

Critical overview of the principal research methods of enquiry and skills required to complete a research study within their own professional discipline.

Critical and leading knowledge of research theory and that will put the candidates at the forefront of their professional discipline.

Generate research knowledge that will help candidates to make a significant contribution to the theory that underpins their professional discipline.

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 12.

Synthesize research knowledge and skills with complex professional subject knowledge that is at the forefront of the specific professional discipline.

Apply a range of standard and specialized research skills and knowledge to professional research and enquiry.

Demonstrate creative/original/novel application of research skills and theory to develop new knowledge.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 12.

Identify, conceptualize original and novel insights into complex professional issues.

Develop creative and original research designs in response to professional issues.

Deal with complex professional issues and make informed judgments about professional enquiry in the absence of complete information.

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 12.

Use a significant range of advanced communication skills to report the findings of research studies.

Report at the standards of published academic work to a range of audiences including peers and experts within the professional discipline.

Use a range of ICT applications and software to support and enhance research methods.

Critically evaluate a range of different data including numerical and graphical data.

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 12.

Demonstrate a high level of professional authority in research activities (communities of practice).

Take significant responsibility for substantial research studies.

Demonstrate leadership in identifying and resolving and tackling professional issues.

Managing complex ethical and professional issues and making judgments on emerging trends within profession.

Take responsibility and effectively supervise the research of others.

Pre-requisites: Before undertaking this module the student should have undertaken the following:
Module Code:
Module Title:
Research Theory and Design
Other:EDUC 120001 Critical Professional Reflection,
Co-requisitesModule Code:
Module Title:

* Indicates that module descriptor is not published.

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Learning and Teaching
The module involves 600 study hours (includes modified teaching, seminars, time for supporting communities of practice, PDP, independent self-directed learning activities and preparation for assessments). There will be face-to-face study days (3 blocks across 2 days) and 4 evening sessions of 1 block. These will include planning and review sessions, supervisory support, peer, individual and group seminars with theory presentation and discussion by candidates and their peers. Face-to-face lectures and planning learning contracts and strategies will be undertaken over the study days which will be held from Thursday evening to Saturday afternoon. One block of 2 days will be used for the introduction to the module and the others will be used to undertake formal teaching and support communities of practice.

The theory for the module will be delivered through blended learning integrating both lecture style and direction of candidates as well as through the use of and supported by e-learning materials and a-synchronous activities (administered through VLE MOODLE) and web conferencing. Support for learning with communities of inquiry established in the first year of the programme will be extended. VLE based web-technology; web-conferencing and TEAMS will form the basis for further support of candidates and to promote contact with and between candidates. These same IT based technologies will be used to support the functioning of communities of practice, supervision, discussion and some small group work.

The module team will further support communities of practice through help with organization and group management, facilitation, managing group processes and attending to group development needs and requirements. The module team will support the group processes so as to ensure that the communities of practice provide a safe, effective and constructive learning environment. This will be achieved by the establishment and maintenance of norms which facilitate effective work and personal/professional development of candidates. There will be a transition from communities of practice to communities of enquiry through the construction of supervisory teams.

To promote accessibility and flexibility, anticipatory adjustments will be made to teaching and learning strategies and assessment. Further reasonable adjustments to the environment, equipment and delivery can be made for students who have been assessed as requiring specific adjustments.
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 Delivery50
Tutorial/Synchronous Support Activity100
Personal Development Plan100
Asynchronous Class Activity130
Independent Study220
600 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:

Charmaz, K. (2014) Constructing Grounded Theory. Sage: London. Gorard, S. (2013) Research design: creating robust research approaches for the social sciences. Sage: London.

Costly, C and Fulton, J. (2019) Methodlogies for Practice Research: Approaches for Professional Doctorates, Sage: London.

Gorard, S. (2013) Research design: creating robust research approaches for the social sciences. Sage: London.

Punch, K.F. (2006) Developing Effective Research Proposals. Sage: London.

Thanem, T. and Knights, D. (2019) Embodied Research Methods, Sage: London.

(**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 participants (part-time and distant learning participants 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 participants 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 PanelCareer-Long Professional Learning
ModeratorK Miller
External ExaminerB Radeljic
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Part One
Oral presentation to peers of plan for professional enquiry/study accompanied by 2,500 word research rationale - including brief theoretical and professional background factors, justification for enquiry and potential research aims, questions and hypotheses. Discussion will aim to consider choice of potential methodology, study design, sampling and other methods of data collection and data analysis plan where possible.

Part Two (academic week 20)
A reflective journal entry (2,000 words or equivalent) on the similarities, differences and challenges of a chosen research method in comparison to normative inqiury practices in your professional sector that demonstrates engagement with development and recent innovations in each.

Part Three (academic week 27-30)
9-13,000 word report, which will include review of professional framework and background factors, literature reviewed, methodology, study design, data analysis plan and two/three year plan with clear goals for empirical study and personal/professional development plan.

The candidate is required to pass the assignment with a minimum of 50%.

Note: This module is a 60 Credit module which normally only offers candidates one attempt to pass. However, this module assignment offers two attempts to pass the module should candidates require a resubmission.
(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
This module is appropriate for all doctoral candidates irrespective of ethnic status, disability, age, gender, socio-economic background, religious and sexual orientation. To promote inclusive practice, procedures and processes have been subject to Equality Impact Assessment where appropriate. Flexibility and anticipatory adjustments in teaching and learning strategies and assessment facilitate inclusiveness within this module.

In line with current legislation (Equality Act, 2010) and UWS Equality Scheme (2010-13) the Graduate School encourages the disclosure of additional/ enabling support requirements (including disability) throughout recruitment, selection and throughout the duration of this module. Emphasis is placed on confidentiality of information, the benefits of disclosure and that no detriment to progress will be experienced. Furthermore, a number of approaches, congruent with the requirements set out via the QAA Code for Higher Education- Collaboration and Flexible and Distance Learning (FLD) (2010) and advice offered by the Higher Education Academy (2010), are incorporated within the programme design. More specifically in the context of this module, then it is appropriate for any individual who meets with the specific entry requirements for the module (in line with the relevant programme specification) and the learning activities include a number of asynchronous discussions and written activities for which appropriate support can be provided when required.

The School of Education will provide appropriate support for students with additional needs.

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.