BSc Education / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:
Planning for a Research Project and Employment

Course unit fact file
Unit code EDUC20730
Credit rating 20
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


Students will identify a suitable topic of enquiry for a small scale Education research project and plan how this could be undertaken in a host organisation. Students will then produce an appropriate research proposal, to include consideration of the ethical approval procedures of the University.

In completing this unit students will practise organising and discussing a research proposal within a host organisation. They will develop practical transferable skills to support a small scale research project and/or employment, they will evaluate their existing employability skills and begin career planning.


This unit aims to provide BSc Education students with an introduction to the research planning process and the preparation of an ethical small-scale project proposal within a host organisation. The unit prepares students for the final year dissertation and beyond. In line with the programme aims it is intended to foster enthusiasm for academic enquiry, to engender a professional approach and to develop transferable employability skills required in a work place setting.

Learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Identify the processes involved in developing a proposal for a small scale research project including the ethical approval requirements for academic research
  • Use networking and inter-personal skills to identify a host organisation
  • Explain in detail the professional setting that provides context for the proposal
  • Identify personal skills and abilities to demonstrate career planning
  • Evaluate the proposal and its potential value to the organisation

Intellectual skills

  • Produce a research proposal that includes a workable research plan and draft data collection tools
  • Identify and critique relevant concepts and skills for theorising research
  • Reflect on personal value system and career development plan

Practical skills

  • Plan a small-scale research project
  • Design research tools for interviewing and observation
  • Practice presentation and report writing skills
  • Produce a C.V.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Generate ideas for research to address complex problems in education
  • Use digital literacy and self-regulatory skills such as time management and initiative to produce a research proposal, presentation and reflective portfolio
  • Use inter-personal skills to access and maintain goodwill in a host organisation
  • Reflect on the skills and qualities sought by organisations in Education
  • Evaluate personal skills and qualities in line with career plan


During semester one, students will prepare a research proposal and make arrangements to complete a minimum of 40 hours with a host organisation in an educational setting. Forms required for successful completion of this unit might include: the School’s Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) Request Form, and if necessary, a DBS application (; Students will also require a Curriculum Vitae.

 Tutor facilitated sessions (whole group)

Weekly sessions will involve tutor presentations, discussions and group work to support students in identifying a suitable topic area for a research proposal, negotiating with their host organisation and completing the required paperwork. Students are expected to be prepared for the sessions, attend all sessions except when emergency prevents, and take an active part in discussions and group work.

Teaching and learning methods

Supervision sessions

Students will have two small group or individual meetings to discuss their research proposals and suggested data collection instruments.

On-line sessions and career workshops

Students are required to complete 10 hours additional training to support and develop employability. These can be chosen to reflect personal and professional skills and knowledge.

Directed reading

To prepare for and review the tutor facilitated sessions, students review the materials provided on BlackBoard and read from the recommended reading list for the unit and for the sessions.

Independent study and negotiations with host

Students carry out independent study to identify and read materials related to their proposed specific research topic. They prepare a working summary of their project to discuss with their host organisation.  Time will be need to be allocated to discuss the proposed project with the host. As part of the proposal students also prepare a draft literature review to share with their supervisor and to inform their decisions about research methods and the production of data collection instruments. 

Tutor office hours

Students may attend office hours and/or book a tutorial to discuss their draft work with the tutor.

During semester two students will deliver an individual 15 minute presentation introducing their host organisation and its role within education, summarising their proposed research and critically evaluating the proposal and the potential value of the research to the organization

Assessment methods

Assessment tasks Semester 1  Word length or equivalent Weighting within the unit
Formative tasks    
Proposal summary with forms as necessary (host organisation  agreement and DBS certificate)  250 words plus forms 0% (for feedback only)
Curriculum Vitae 2 sides A4  
Summative task    
Full research proposal with data collection tools 2000 words 40%


Assessment tasks Semester 2 Word length or equivalent Weighting within unit
  1. Proposal Poster Presentation to include:-

Introduction to the host organisation and its role within the Education sector

Summary of the proposed research

Critical evaluation of the proposal and the potential value of the research to the organisation
15 minutes 20%
  1. Reflective Portfolio

A reflection of the skills and qualities required for a career in research or in a professional educational setting which illustrates the skills and qualities developed in this unit and those with scope for improvement.

A summary of career planning and intentions.

1500 words equivalent circa. 10 items 40%


Feedback methods

Available online via Blackboard

Recommended reading

Alderson P. and Morrow V. (2011) The ethics of research with children and young people: a practical handbook. London: SAGE.

Bell, Judith (2010) Doing your research project: a guide for first-time researchers in education, health and social science. Maidenhead: Open University Press / McGraw Hill.

Blaxter, Loraine, Hughes, Christina and Tight, Malcolm (2006) How to research. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Denscombe, Martyn (2010) The good research guide: for small-scale social research projects. Maidenhead: McGraw-Hill Open University Press.

Punch, Keith (2005) Introduction to social research: quantitative and qualitative approaches. London: SAGE.

Ridley D. (2012) The literature review: a step-by-step guide for students. London: SAGE.

Wiley. Cottrell, S., (2010) Skills for success: the personal development planning handbook, Palgrave Macmillan, 2nd Edition

Frose, R., (2010) How to sell yourself, Kogan, London GreenhouseJ., Callanan, G., and Godshalk, V., (2010) Career Management, Sage, 4 th Edition

Kay, F., (2010) Successful Networking: How to build new networks for career and company progression, Kogan, London

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
Seminars 30
Independent study hours
Independent study 170

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Sara Heys-Jackson Unit coordinator

Additional notes

Activity Hours allocated
Tutor-led sessions 24
Supervision sessions (either small group or individual) 6
Directed reading (preparing and reviewing session materials on BlackBoard) 20

Self-directed activities (background reading; planning and preparing for your proposed study). Networking and identifying a host organisation

On-line careers focused learning and workshops 10
Time spent with host organisation 40
Formative and summative assessment tasks including Proposal, Literature Review, C.V., Presentation and Reflective Portfolio 50


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