Developing Educational Research Practices

FacultyWestminster Business School

This module supports the development of a culture of research-mindedness and scholarship in relation to teaching and learning, and supports the development of high-quality research outputs that will enhance the quality of learning and teaching and deepen understanding of research and learning practices.

The aim is to help you develop your knowledge, understanding and expertise of the concepts, methods, debates and values in educational literature and educational research, so that you may prepare to conduct research into issues and practices in higher education confidently, effectively and responsibly. It also aims to help foster a culture of collaborative inquiry in pedagogic research within and across subjects and disciplines and, where appropriate, institutions.

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Start date Duration Day and time Price Apply
23 September 2016 1 semester flexible £975 Already started

Course content

You will be introduced to a range of concepts, frameworks and debates in which educational literature is positioned, and familiarise yourself with the distinctive ‘ways of knowing’ and scholarly conventions that characterise educational discourse. You will explore the application of these concepts and frameworks in educational research, reviewing a wide range of approaches for capturing and analysing evidence – drawing on both quantitative and qualitative traditions – so that you may both read research literature critically and make critical and informed decisions when designing educational inquiries.

Each main stage in the inquiry process will be critically examined, from the discovery and identification of initial research questions or concerns, to project planning, literature reviewing, ethical and interpersonal considerations, collection and analysis of data, and effective communication of project outcomes. Finally, you will be supported in the preparation of a project plan for an educational inquiry, drawing upon the knowledge, understanding and expertise you have gained through the module, which may form the basis for taking forward to the Dissertation module of the Higher Education MA.

Teaching and learning methods

The module will be delivered by online distance learning and includes a total of 400 learning hours, covering:

  • structured online learning activities, 100 hours
  • online or face-to-face guidance, 48 hours
  • self-directed work-based application and review, including peer consultation, 100 hours
  • tutorial support including feedback, 2 hours
  • library research, reading and preparation of assessment submission, 150 hours


The assessment will consist of the following:

  • concept map and commentary outlining current practice and understanding in relation to one of the concepts introduced in the module (indicative word length 1,500 words plus the map) –15%
  • critique of literature drawing together educational research approaches, methods and scholarship as a focused exploration of an aspect of practice (indicative word length 4,000 words) – 50%
  • research proposal showing congruence between inquiry question, methods and analysis, with accompanying commentary and written using the format of the University’s Ethic Approval form (indicative word length for the commentary 1,500 words) – 35%

At the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • critically appraise educational practices, including your own, in respect of key concepts (threshold concepts), debates and values in educational research and scholarship introduced in the module, including assumptions about learning and learners
  • critically evaluate a range of relevant literature in terms of its conceptual bases, assumptions and purposes of the authors and of the development of the argument, claims or key points being made
  • construct and critically evaluate a proposed educational inquiry with particular attention to congruence between aims, purposes, methods and ethical and interpersonal issues as they arise at each and any stage in the process
  • demonstrate a broad engagement with scholarly and research literature in education, both in general and in respect of your subject, discipline and profession
  • demonstrate reflexive engagement between your own practice and the material introduced during the module as part of your development as an educational practitioner-researcher

Applicants should normally hold a first degree from a recognised institution (minimum Lower Second Class Honours or international equivalent), demonstrate interest and motivation in the subject area, and be teaching at least 72 hours per year at UK higher education level 4 or above, including in further education, private college settings and internationally (international qualification levels taught will be checked against UK equivalents).

Alternative professional qualifications with at least three years' relevant professional experience will also be considered.

If English is not your first language, you will need an IELTS score of 6.5, with a minimum score of 6 in each element.

Guidance for internal applicants

If you are a University of Westminster employee or PhD student, we require less information from you as we already hold some of it in the HR systems. We have produced a document to take you through the UKPASS process and let you know what you need to fill in. Please download and refer to our UKPASS application guide (PDF).

Internal applicants (including PhD students) also need line manager approval to gain exemption from course fees. Please complete the fee exemption form (DOC) and upload it when applying through UKPASS.