MA Digital Technologies, Communication and Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2022

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Course unit details:
Research Methods II

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC60452
Credit rating 15
Unit level FHEQ level 7 – master's degree or fourth year of an integrated master's degree
Teaching period(s) Semester 2
Offered by
Available as a free choice unit? No


 The course unit will introduce the following content areas:

  • Key concepts in qualitative research methodology;
  • Key concepts in quantitative research methodology;
  • Observation skills: design and practice;
  • Interview design and interviewing in practice;
  • Focus groups: design and practice;
  • Survey methods: design and practice;
  • Research design
  • Data analysis



To introduce the key principles and practices of qualitative and quantitative research methods in the field of education.

Learning outcomes



Teaching and learning methods

Onsite mode learning and teaching processes will include seminar style sessions, to include introductory lecture by the course tutor, in class discussions, small group activities, presentations, critical reading, case studies, as well as self-directed work and reading outside of class, including online materials and activities through blended learning. Tutorials will be offered once in the semester. 

Learning Hours:



Hours Allocated





Private Study


Directed Reading


Assignment Preparation


Total Hours



Knowledge and understanding

  • Design data generation instruments appropriate for their area of education;
  • Know how to generate data using the instruments they have developed, including sampling strategies;
  • Consider the ethical implications of their research practices and, according to context, know how to apply appropriate procedures/safeguards.
  • Identify and define a research problem, and to subsequently design, develop and complete a research project in the field of education.
  • Demonstrate understanding of research design: how research methodology is selected given a problem, how the data are analysed and interpreted; how research is reported; and the implications of the findings to theory, research and practice.

Intellectual skills

  • Understand the centrality of the role of the researcher in the generation of qualitative and quantitative data and research;
  • As appropriate to their research approach, be reflexive about their own perspectives/practices;
  • Critique their own and others’ research accounts;
  • Understand key concepts of validity, reliability and trustworthiness in qualitative research, and consider the validity, reliability and trustworthiness of their own work.
  • Critically reflect on the processes of research and to be able to apply appropriate methodological tools in the design and implementation of their research projects.
  • Critically reflect upon their role in the generation and analysis of data.

Practical skills

  • Effectively contribute to debates about educational research in a range of different contexts and from different perspectives.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  •  Written communication; by explaining and defending their understanding of literature, their research design and their findings.
  • Information Technology; use the internet to research their chosen field as well as have access to other appropriate software and technology that may assist in the generation and analysis of research
  • Problem solving; identifying a significant research issue and by rigorous research approaches draw and make appropriate recommendations.
  • Working with others; by engaging in group activities which furthers the research of others and the student's own research.

Assessment methods


Assessment task

Word Length or Equivalent

Weighting within unit

Written assignment (research proposal)

2,000 word


Written assignment

Research methods rationale)

2,000 word



Feedback methods

 Feedback will be available online via Blackboard

Recommended reading


Allwright, D. (2005). Developing principles for practitioner research: The case of Exploratory Practice. The Modern Language Journal, 89(3): 353 -366.

Barkhuizen, G., & Wette, R. (2008). Narrative frames for investigating the experiences of language teachers. System, 36(3), 372–387.

Beaumont, M. & T. A. O’Brien (Eds.) (2000). Collaborative Research in Second Language Education. Stoke on Trent: Trentham Books.

Bell, J. (1987). Doing Your Research Project: A Guide for First Time Researchers in Education and the Social Sciences. Milton Keynes: Open University Press

Best, S. (2012). Understanding and Doing Successful Research. Harlow: Pearson.

Black, T. (1999). Doing Quantitative Research in the Social Sciences: an integrated approach to research design, measurement and statistics. London: Sage.

Borg, S. (2001). The research journal: A tool for promoting and understanding researcher development. Language Teaching Research, 5, (2), 156-177.

Braun, V. and Clarke, V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology, 3 (2). pp. 77-101. ISSN 1478-0887 Available from:

Cochran-Smith, M., & Lytle, S. L. (1999). The teacher researcher movement: A decade later. Educational Researcher, 28(7): 15–25.

Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011). Research Methods in Education (7th edition). London: Routledge Falmer.

Coleman, M. and Briggs, A. (2002). Research Methods in Educational Leadership and Management. London: Paul Chapman Publishing

Coombes, H. (2001). Research Using IT. Basingstoke, Palgrave.

Creswell, J.W (2002) Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative and Mixed Method Approaches. London: Sage

Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S. (2003). The Landscape of Qualitative Research: Theories and Issues (2nd edition). London: Sage.

Gray, D. (2013). Doing Research in the Real World. London: Sage.

Hamilton, L. and Corbett-Whittier (2013). Using Case Study in Education Research. London: BERA.

Holliday, A. (2007). Doing and Writing Qualitative Research (2nd edition). London; Thousand Oaks: Sage.

Kellett, M. (2005). How to Develop Children as Researchers. London: Sage.

Lambert, M. (2012). A Beginner’s Guide to Doing Your Education Research Project. London: Sage.

Lewis, C., Perry, R., & Murata, a. (2006). How Should Research Contribute to Instructional Improvement? The Case of Lesson Study. Educational Researcher, 35(3): 3–14.

Mann, C. & F. Stewart (2000). Internet Communication and Qualitative Research: A Handbook for Researching Online. London: Sage.

Miles, S. and Ainscow, M. (2011) Responding to diversity: An inquiry-based approach. London: Routledge.

Miles, S. and Howes, A. (2014) Photography in Educational Research: Critical reflections from diverse context. London: Routledge.

Moon, J.A. (2006). Learning journals: A handbook for reflective practice and professional development (2nd edition). London: Routledge.

Payne, G. and Payne, J. (2004).

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 22
Tutorials 1

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Jessica Gagnon Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Directed reading 60 hours

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