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Session: 2022/23

Last modified: 31/03/2022 11:06:09

Title of Module: Practitioner-based Research and Enquiry

Code: EDUC09051 SCQF Level: 9
(Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework)
Credit Points: 20 ECTS: 10
(European Credit Transfer Scheme)
School:School of Education & Social Sciences
Module Co-ordinator:C  Gollek

Summary of Module

This module will provide students with opportunities to develop skills needed to undertake practitioner-based enquiry at a strategic level within childhood services.  

Students will develop necessary knowledge and skills to identify aspects of practice within their workplace/settings that might be enhanced, investigate current research, evidence-informed practices and practice developments in their field, and apply their understandings to propose further strategies to influence improvements in their own practice.

The module will increase students’ awareness of the value of enquiry and research in the workplace, and improve their confidence in producing, managing and interpreting qualitative and quantitative research.

Students will be introduced to ethical principles in practitioner-based research (informed by SERA and BERA) and will apply their knowledge to create an enquiry-based research proposal. Through their review of existing research projects in the field, students will be able to create a manageable project that will generate quality and rigour in research design. Dissemination processes will be emphasised as a crucial part of the research process and critiqued as an ethical concern for practitioner-based inquiry.

Group/ individual tasks will introduce students to practitioner-based research, before outlining key tools of enquiry used in quantitative and qualitative designs. Assessment tasks will be relevant to workplace requirements, supporting student choice, and enabling them to enhance their employability prospects in line with UWS Graduate Attributes.


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 2


Term 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 an awareness and understanding of the role and function of practitioner-based inquiry and evidence-informed practice in early learning and childcare practice.

L2. Critically analyse key research methods and tools of analysis underpinning qualitative and quantitative practitioner research design in current Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) and Out-of-School Care (OSC) practice.

L3. Apply their understanding of the steps involved in preparing an ELC and OSC research project to conduct a literature review and create a cogent research proposal on a topic of interest that is directly relevant to their workplace or setting.

L4. Demonstrate an understanding of the principles of ethical research and enquiry by planning an appropriate dissemination strategy.

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 9.

• A critical understanding of a range of the principles, principal theories, concepts and terminology associated with practitioner-based research and evidence-informed practice in ELC and OSC.
• Knowledge of ELC and OSC research that is informed by forefront developments

Practice: Applied Knowledge and Understanding SCQF Level 9.

• In using a range of the principal professional skills, techniques, practices and/or materials associated with the ELC and OSC practitioner-based research and evidence-informed practice.
• In practising routine methods of enquiry and/or research.
• To practise in a range of professional level contexts that include a degree of unpredictability.

Generic Cognitive skills SCQF Level 9.

• Undertake critical analysis, evaluation and/or synthesis of ideas, concepts, information and issues in a ELC and OSC practitioner-based research and evidence-informed practice.
• Identify and analyse routine professional problems and issues.
• Draw on a range of sources in making judgements

Communication, ICT and Numeracy Skills SCQF Level 9.

• Use a wide range of routine skills and some advanced and specialised skills in support of established practices in a practitioner-based research and evidence-informed practice context.
• Present or convey, formally and informally, information on standard/mainstream topics in the subject/discipline/sector to a range of audiences.
• Use a range of ICT applications to support and enhance work.
• Interpret, use and evaluate numerical and graphical data to achieve goals/targets

Autonomy, Accountability and Working with others SCQF Level 9.

• Exercise autonomy and initiative in some activities at a professional level in practice or in a subject/discipline/sector.
• Seeking guidance where appropriate, manage ethical and professional issues in accordance with current professional and/or ethical codes or practices.

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
This module will provide a variety of responsive learning and teaching methods that are applicable to work-based learning at SCQF Level 9. The pedagogy involves teaching the ‘why’ and the ‘how’ of early learning and childcare enquiry and practitioner-based research, i.e. students will develop their knowledge of practitioner enquiry and research methods, and will also be apply to apply this knowledge to critically analyse research tools and create a research proposal for practitioner-based research.

A balance of individual and group activities in-class will enable students to learn independently and collaboratively. Preparation tasks/readings will help students to contextualise lectures, and follow-up group workshops and tutorials will allow them to consolidate their learning each week.

Learning and teaching will take place in a semi-structured format, guiding students from an introduction to practitioner-based enquiry, research and ethics, followed by sessions that allow them to analyse the differences between qualitative and quantitative research, and sessions that enable them to interpret different research writings (including journal articles alongside magazine articles, charity and Government publications). The remaining sessions will focus on developing students’ skills formulating cogent research questions and research designs by introducing them to a variety of research tools that they can critique in relation to a research concern or work-place issue of their choice.

The learning and teaching on this module complement the assessment strategy, which is well-matched to individual and work-place needs.
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 Delivery36
Work Based Learning/Placement 100
Independent Study64
200 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:

Robert-Holmes, G. (2018). Doing Your Early Years Research Project: A Step by Step Guide 4th edition. London: Sage.

Bolshaw, P. and Josephidou, J. (2019). Introducing Research in Early Childhood. 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 full-time 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
ModeratorS Henderson-Bone
External ExaminerI Birnie
Accreditation Details
Version Number


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Assessment: (also refer to Assessment Outcomes Grids below)
Part 1 (20%) involves students working in groups to select an issue or focus for practitioner-based research and evaluating existing evidence supporting different perspectives.
Part 2 (80%) is a 2000 word ethical proposal for a practitioner-based research project of their choice, which may involve enquiry within their setting/workplace such as devising a strategy for taking forward an aspect of their setting improvement plan.
(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) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Presentationcheck mark  check mark200

Component 2
Assessment Type (Footnote B.) Learning Outcome (1) Learning Outcome (2) Learning Outcome (3) Learning Outcome (4) Weighting (%) of Assessment ElementTimetabled Contact Hours
Essay check markcheck mark 800
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 Moodle, 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. The University’s Equality, Diversity and Human Rights Policy can be accessed at the following link:

Our partners are fully committed to the principles and practice of inclusiveness and our modules are designed to be accessible to all. Where this module is delivered overseas, local equivalent support for students and appropriate legislation applies.

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.