School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work

Module Descriptions

EDD9001 Introduction to Doctoral Study in Education

Tutor: Dr Andy Biggart


The aim of this module is to introduce you to the principles and methods of educational research. This is often the first module taken by EdD students and as such it provides an introduction to research in the field of education.


This module is designed to encourage you to engage with debates regarding the nature of education and of educational research; to explore the theoretical principles that underpin educational research and to develop understanding of how specific research issues are identified and framed. The module considers a range of methodological approaches used within educational research in order to identify key technical issues in carrying out research.

We will take a mixed method approach to teaching, including traditional style lectures as well as participatory teaching methods. You will have the opportunity to critically engage with the subject and to discuss issues emerging in the lectures in small groups. In workshops, you will be able to test your understanding of the issues emerging and apply your learning to critically evaluating samples of education research in peer reviewed journal articles as well as to your own academic reading and writing.

You will have the opportunity for critical reflection on the implications of the theoretical debates for your own professional contexts and the applicability of theoretical approaches to research in areas of education that currently interest you.

On successfully completing this module you will have developed skills as follows:

  • development of research skills, including evaluating quantitative and qualitative research, planning, organizing and presentation
  • academic writing
  • investigation
  • critical analysis of literature
  • development and presentation of an argument based on the analysis of evidence

The timetable normally includes a library session where you will be introduced to some of the search engines available for research purposes and given an opportunity to try out some online resources for educational and social research.

Indicative Reading

  • Cohen, L., Manion, L. & K. Morrison (2008) Research Methods in Education, London: Routledge.
  • Hopkins, D (2008) A Teacher’s Guide to Classroom Research, Maidenhead: McGraw Hill-Open University Press
  • Kamler, B. and Thomson, P. (2006) Helping Doctoral Students Write: Pedagogies for Supervision, Abingdon: Routledge.
  • Thomas, G. and Pring, R. (2003) Evidence-based Practice in Educational Research, Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Thomson, P. and Walker, M. (eds) (2010)The Routledge Doctoral Student’s Companion, Abingdon: Routledge.

EDD9029 Quantitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory

Tutor: Dr Katrina Lloyd/Dr Jennifer Roberts

This module provides you with a practical, and as far as possible non-technical, grounding in the use of quantitative methods in educational research. No prior knowledge of statistics is assumed and the emphasis is upon encouraging you to appreciate the conceptual basis of quantitative data collection and statistical analysis. You will be introduced to the statistical software package SPSS and much of the taught element of the module will involve using SPSS to practically explore and analyse quantitative educational data.

On successful completion of this module, you will be able to understand and critically evaluate a wide range of published educational research studies that have involved the collection and analysis of quantitative data. You will also have the knowledge and skills to be able to conduct routine descriptive and inferential statistical analysis to a high level as expected of published academic work.

Indicative Readings

  • Bryman, A. and Cramer, D. (2011) Quantitative Data Analysis with IBM SPSS 17, 18 and 19, London, Routledge.
  • Clegg, F. (1990) Simple Statistics, Cambridge, Cambridge University Press.
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L. and Morrison, K. (2011, 7th edn) Research Methods in Education, London, Routledge.
  • Connolly, P. (2007) Quantitative Data Analysis in Education: A Critical Introduction Using SPSS, London, Routledge.
  • Dancey, C. P. and Reidy, J. (2014, 6th edn) Statistics Without Maths for Psychology, London, Pearson Education.
  • Gorard, S. (2003) Quantitative Methods in Social Science Research, London, Continuum.
  • Hinton, P. (2014, 3rd edn) Statistics Explained, London, Routledge.
  • Kinnear, P. and Gray, C. (2011) SPSS 19 Made Simple, Hove, Psychology Press.
  • Acton, C., Miller, R. et al. (2009) SPSS for Social Scientists, Basingstoke, Palgrave MacMillan.
  • Scott, D. and Usher, R. (2010, 2nd edn) Researching Education: Data, Methods and Theory in Educational Enquiry, London, Continuum.
  • Somekh, B. and Lewin, C. (Eds.) (2011) Theory and Methods in Social Research, London, Sage.

EDD9030 Qualitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory

Tutor: Professor Joanne Hughes/Dr Caitlin Donnelly

Over the last thirty years an increasing proportion of research in education has drawn on qualitative approaches. However, the recent critiques of education research have suggested that much of this research is of questionable value or validity. The purpose of this module is to examine the distinctive rationale and approach involved in the qualitative research tradition, and to consider some of the critiques that have been offered of this work. The reading for the module will focus on examples of specific examples of qualitative research methods. The contact sessions of the module will concentrate on a discussion of the broader conceptual issues involved in the debate over the value of qualitative research.

Indicative Reading

  • Bryman, A. and Burgess, G. (Eds) (1994) Analyzing qualitative data, London, Routledge
  • Bryman, A. (1988) Quantity and quality in social research, London, Unwin Hyman
  • Burgess, R. G. (1985) Field methods in the study of education, London, Falmer
  • Burgess, R. G. (1985) Strategies of educational research, qualitative methods, London, Falmer
  • Burgess, R. G. (1991) In the field, an introduction to field research, London, Routledge
  • Carr, W. and Kemmis, S. (Eds) (1986) Becoming critical, education, knowledge and action research, London, Falmer Press
  • Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. S (Eds) (1994) Handbook of qualitative research, Thousand Oaks, Calif., London, Sage
  • Finch, J. (1986) Research and policy: the uses of qualitative methods in social and educational research, London, Falmer
  • Hammersley, M. (1990) Classroom ethnography, empirical and methodological essays
  • Milton Keynes, Open University Press
  • Hammersley, M. and Atkinson, P. (1983) Ethnography, principles in practice,
  • London, Tavistock Publications
  • Miles, M. B. and Huberman, A. M. (1994) Qualitative Data Analysis: an expanded sourcebook. London, Sage
  • Walker, R. (c1985) Applied qualitative research, Aldershot, Gower
  • Woods, P. and Kegan, P (1986) Inside schools, ethnography in educational research, London, Routledge

EDD9031 The Professional as Researcher

Tutor: Professor Ruth Leitch

This module will examine the ideological, practical and ethical issues involved in professionals researching their own practice. In addition to taking a historical perspective on the debate of professional-as-researcher, you will consider the current emphasis on the concept of ‘reflective practitioners’ within the various professions represented. You have opportunities to develop a framework of fit-for-purpose research approaches relevant to various professional questions and needs. In particular, you will be encouraged to develop a critical awareness of the various techniques for engaging in the spectrum of action research methodology and to design and plan an appropriate research intervention within your own professional context.

Indicative Reading

  • Adleman, C. (1993) Kurt Lewin and the Origins of Action Research, Educational Action Research, 1(1), pp7-24.
  • Armstrong, F. and Moore, M. (2004) Action research for inclusive education: Changing places, changing practice, changing minds, London, Routledge Falmer.
  • Clandinin, D. J. and Connelly, F. M. (1998) Stories to live by: Narrative understanding of school reform, Curriculum Inquiry 28(2), Blackwell Publishers.
  • Dadds, M. and Hart, S. (eds) (2001) Doing Practitioner Research, London, Routledge Falmer.
  • Elliott, J. (1991) A Practical Guide to Action Research, Ch 6, in Action Research for Educational Change, Buckingham, Open University Press.
  • Hammersley, M. (1993) On the teacher as researcher, Educational Action Research 1(3), pp425-445.
  • Leitch, R. and Day, C. (2000) Action Research and Reflective Practice: towards a holistic view, Educational Action Research, 8(1), pp179-193.
  • McNiff, J. and Whitehead, J. (2000) Action Research in Organisations, London, Routledge.
  • McNiff, J. and Whitehead, J. (2002) (2nd edn) Action Research; Principles and Practice, London, RoutledgeFalmer.
  • Moon, J. A. (2000) Reflection in Professional Practice Ch 4 – the work of Donald Schon in J. A. Moon, Reflection in Learning and Professional Development: Theory and Practice, London, Kogan Page.
  • Radnor, H. (2001) Researching your professional practice, London, Open University Press.
  • Zuber-Skerritt, O. (1992) Action research in higher education: examples and reflections, London, Kogan Page.

EDD9038 Assessment and Testing: Concepts and Issues

Tutor: Professor Jannette Elwood

The module will introduce you to the main conceptual foundations of assessment and testing and will explore the debates around shifting models of assessment and testing and relate these debates to the policy contexts in which students have operated. The changing nature of assessment will be viewed in the light of comparative studies and of developments at different phases of the education system.

Within this framework, we will look critically at current and topical debates in assessment and testing, such as: impact of testing and assessment on learning; links between learning and models of assessment; assessment for learning and the formative and summative tensions in assessment. You will be expected to show your understanding of theoretical concepts by providing clear and comprehensive explanations of how they relate to professional practice, and to deal critically with the comparative literature and practices in assessment.

Indicative Reading

Assessment in Education: Principles, Policy and Practice - Main Journal specialising in assessment and testing research, available on line from Queen’s Library
Brennan R L (2006) Educational Measurement (4th edition), American Council on Education.
Black, P., Harrison, C., Lee, C., Marshall, B. and William D. (2003) Assessment for Learning: Putting It into Practice, Buckingham, Open University Press.
Filer, A. (2000) (ed) Assessment: social practice and social product, London, Routledge Falmer.
Gardner J (2012) (Ed) Assessment and Learning, 2nd Edition. London: SAGE.
Gipps, C. and Murphy, P. (1994) A Fair Test? Assessment, Achievement and Equity, Buckingham, Open University Press.
Goldstein, H. and Heath, A. (2000) (eds) Educational Standards, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
Koretz, D (2008) Measuring Up: What Educational Testing Really Tells Us, Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
McInerney, D M, Brown G T L & Leim G A D (2009)(Eds.) Student Perspectives on Assessment: What Students Can Tell Us about Assessment for Learning, eds., Information Age Publishing, INC., Charlotte, NC, pp. 85-105.
Moss, P, Pullin, D, Gee J P, Haertel, E and Jones Young L (2008) (Eds.) Assessment and Opportunity to Learn, New York: Cambridge University Press.
Murphy, P. (1998) (ed) Learners, Learning and Assessment, London, Paul Chapman.
Murphy P and Hall K (2008) (Eds.) Learning and Practice: Agency and Identities, London: SAGE.
Murphy P, Hall K and Soler J (2008) (Eds.) Pedagogy and Practice: Culture and Identities, London: SAGE.
Murphy P, and McCormick R (2008) (Eds.) Knowledge and Practice: Representations and Identities, London: SAGE.
Stobart, G. (2008) Testing Times: The Uses and Abuses of Assessment, London: Routledge

EDD9051 TESOL: Issues in Language Learning

Tutor: Dr Caroline Linse

This module will examine current theory and research in the area of language learning and second language acquisition and is appropriate for anyone involved in the teaching of modern second and foreign languages. This will allow for a critical application to the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. Concepts such as input, negotiation and interaction will be explored alongside current debates on motivation, engagement identity and culture in language learning.

The theoretical concepts underpinning competing theories will be explored and evaluated through an investigation of research findings from published studies. The module aims to enable you to critically analyze and integrate current theory and research into your practice. It seeks to enable you to carry out a small-scale project that is positioned within a theoretical perspective to which the results of findings can contribute.

On successful completion of the module, you will:

  • have a knowledge and understanding of current theoretical and research issues in language learning;
  • be able to critically evaluate a range of published empirical research in language learning and second language acquisition;
  • be able to apply theoretical principles of second language acquisition to specific contexts;
  • conduct a small scale linguistics project.

Indicative Readings

  • Bacroft, J. (2007) Effects of Opportunities for Word Retrieval During Second Language Vocabulary. Language Learning.Vol. 57(1) pp35-56.
  • Cameron, L. (2001) Teaching languages to young learners. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.
  • Canagarajah, S. A. (1989) Resisting linguistic imperialism in English teaching, Oxford, Oxford University Press.
  • Choi, I. (2008) The Impact of EFL Testing on EFL Education in Korea. Language Testing. 25(1) 39-62.
  • Clark, E. Paran, A. (2007) The employability of non-native speaker teachers of EFL: A UK survey. System. 35 (4) 407-430.
  • Cook, V. (Ed.) (2003) Effects of the second language on the first. [electronic esource], Clevedon: Multilingual matters.
  • Crystal, D. (1997). English as a global language. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.
  • Cummins, A. (2001) Instructors’ practices for writing assessment: specific purposes Language Testing. 18: 207-223.
  • East, M. (2007) Bilingual dictionaries in tests of L2 writing proficiency: Do they make a difference? Language Testing: 24: 331-353.
  • Edwards, C., Willis. J. (2005) Teachers exploring tasks in English Language Teaching. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.
  • Harmer, J. (1991) The practice of English language teaching. London, Longman.
  • Kachru, B. B., (1996) World Englishes: Agony and Ecstasy. Journal of Aesthetic Education, Vol. 30, No. 2, pp135-155.
  • Kirkgoz, Y. (2008) A case study of teachers’ implementation of curriculum innovation in English language teaching in Turkish primary education. Teaching and Teacher Education. Vol. 24. No 7, pp1859-1875.
  • Larsen-Freeman, D. (2000) Techniques and principles in language teaching. Oxford, Oxford University Press
  • Linse, C. (225) Practical English Language Teaching: Young Learners. New York: McGraw Hill.
  • Maxim, H. H. (2000) A Study into the Feasiblity and Effects of Reading Extended Authentic Discourse in the Beginning German Language Classroom. Modern Language Journal: 86: 1: 22-35.
  • McKay, S. (1979). Communicative Writing. TESOL Quarterly. Vol. 13: pp73-81.
  • Moon, J. (2000) Children learning English. Oxford, Macmillan-Heinemann ELT.
  • Nunan, D. (1989) Designing tasks for the communicative classroom. Cambridge, UK, Cambridge University Press.
  • Nunan, D. (2003) Practical English Language Teaching. New York, McGraw Hill.
  • Powell, S. (2005) Extensive Reading and it Role in Japanese High Schools. Reading Matrix: 5: 2. Retrieved:
  • Richards, J.C., Rogers, T.S., (1986) Approaches and methods in language teaching: a description. Cambridge UK, Cambridge University Press.
  • Willis, J. (1996) A Framework for Task-based Learning. London, Longman.

EDD9052 TESOL: Discourse and Pedagogy

Tutor: Dr Aisling O’Boyle

This module aims to develop an understanding of research in language and language use across a range of areas in the Teaching of English to Speakers of Other Languages. It examines the relationship between discourse studies and pedagogic practices and reviews approaches used to analyze language relevant to language learning and teaching. Procedures and conventions of research using spoken and written texts to investigate classroom practice and pedagogic materials will be analyzed from a number of critical perspectives.

We will critically evaluate language-focused research findings of published empirical studies within a globalized TESOL context and you will be given the knowledge and skills to design and conduct small-scale, class-based research projects to investigate your local context. This module forms a component of the EdD TESOL pathway. Students with an interest in the relationships between discourse and pedagogy but not taking the EdD TESOL pathway are welcome to take this module.

On successful completion of the module, you will:

  • have developed a critical approach to language-focused research;
  • have used discourse analysis to investigate classroom practice, pedagogic materials and documents;
  • be able to critically evaluate the theoretical underpinnings of approaches to language research;
  • have knowledge and understanding of the issues and processes in researching language classrooms;
  • be able to apply theory and research to practice in classroom contexts.

Indicative Reading

  • Hughes, R. and McCarthy, M. J. (1998) From sentence to discourse: discourse grammar and English Language Teaching. TESOL Quarterly, 32 (2): 263-87.
  • Martin-Jones, M., De Mejia, A. & Hornberger, N. (Eds.) Encyclopaedia of Language and Education. New York: Springer Publishing.
  • Mercer, N. & Hodgkinson, S. (Eds.) Exploring Talk in School. London: Sage.
  • McCarthy, M.J. (2001) Discourse in Carter, R. A. and Nunan, D. (2001) The Cambridge Guide to Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • McCarthy, M. J. (1998) Spoken Language and Applied Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • McCarthy, M. J. and Carter, R. A. (1994) Language as Discourse: Perspectives for Language Teaching.
  • McCarthy, M. J. (1991) Discourse Analysis for Language Teachers. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

EDD9054 Philosophical and Ethical Issues in Educational Research

Tutor: Dr Andy Biggart


The module aims to provide you with a critical understanding of how research paradigms and ethical considerations may influence the design and conduct of research.

The objectives of the module are to:

  • develop a critical understanding of some of the core theoretical considerations and associated debates surrounding the development of a research strategy;
  • understand the relationship between epistemology, ontology and methodology;
  • be able to critically evaluate the research conducted by others and the claims made from these;
  • understand a range of ethical considerations that need to be assessed when conducting research in general and with children and young people in particular.

This module is designed to explore the issues surrounding the philosophical assumptions that underpin the key research strategies in education and the social sciences as well as consideration of wider debates and issues relating to the ethics of such research. The module will develop your critical awareness of the main epistemological and ontological assumptions that underpin the main research strategies that are employed in education and the associated debates over claims to knowledge.

In addition the module will include a detailed consideration of the ethical principles that guide educational research, with a particular emphasis on researching children, young people and vulnerable participants. You will have the opportunity for critical reflection on the implications of the theoretical and ethical debates on your own working contexts and the applicability of theoretical approaches to research on the design of your own research projects.

The assessment will include a requirement for you to critically review and evaluate the theoretical and ethical issues in previously conducted research.

Indicative readings

  • Gage, N. L. (1989) ‘The paradigm wars and their aftermath', Educational Researcher 18, pp4-10. (Reprinted in M. Hammersley (ed.) Educational Research and Evidence-based Practice, London, Sage, 2007.)
  • Hammersley, M. (2007) Methodological Paradigms in Educational Research. London: TLRP. Online at (accessed 12 Jan 2009)
  • Howe, K.R. & Moses, M. S. (1999) Ethics in educational research. Review of Research in Education, 24, 21-59.
  • Johnson, R. B. and Onwuegbuzie, A. J. (2004) Mixed Methods Research: A Research Paradigm Whose Time Has Come. Educational Researcher. 33 (14) pp14-26.
  • Lincoln, Y. S. & Guba, E. G. (2005) Paradigmatic Controversies, Contradictions and Emerging Confluences. In Denzin, N. K. and Lincoln, Y. (eds) The Sage Handbook of Qualitative Research. London, Sage.
  • Mackenzie, N. and Knipe, S. (2006) Research Dilemmas: Paradigms, methods and methodologies. Issues in Educational Research. 16(2) pp192-205.
  • Morrow, V. & Richards, M. (2007) The ethics of research with children: An overview. Children & Society, 10(2), 90-105.
  • Pring, R. (2000) The ‘False Dualism’ of Educational Research. Journal of Philosophy of Education. 34 (2) 247-260.
  • Punch, S. (2002) Research with children: The same or different from research with adults? Childhood, 9(3), 321-341.
  • St Pierre, E.A. (2006) Scientifically Based Research in Education: Epistemology and Ethics. Adult Education Quarterly: A Journal of Research and Theory, 56(4), 239-266.
  • Tinker, A. and Coomber, V. (2004) University Research Ethics Committees: their role, remit and conduct. London: King’s College.

EDD9057 Educational Special Needs: Policy and Partnerships for Inclusion

Tutor: Dr Alison MacKenzie

The profession is facing a significant period of change, and, whilst the multiplicity of impacting factors are too numerous to list, some are both obvious and significant, e.g. curricular change, policies about inclusion and exclusion, Costello, and the Fundamental Review in Northern Ireland of Special Educational Needs/ Inclusion. The latter represents something of a paradigm shift in thinking, representing as it does the closing of the special needs chapter in the history of diversity education in Northern Ireland (NI).

This module draws on a range of new theoretical ideas to make sense of the field of social policy-making and practice in NI for diversity education; particularly critical social and post-structuralist perspectives on special educational needs and disability. The module aims to do three things:

  • explore the changing educational policy landscape with regard to issues of special educational needs and inclusion.
  • unravel, interrogate or deconstruct some of the ideas behind the meaning of inclusion in a transforming society, and
  • as a consequence, consider the implications for the development of a more inclusive participatory practice in NI where the development of respect for diversity is viewed as a core rather than peripheral element of the school curriculum.

This translates to a particular concern for the development of a culture of participatory relationships where the question of how we are involving children, young people and parents in genuine decision-making about educational/ health/social care practices, services and policies is of particular concern. In other words, how their voices are being heard?

Indicative Reading

Barr, S. and Smith. R. A. L. (2007). Towards Educational Inclusion in a Transforming Society: Some lessons from Community Relations and Special Needs Education in Northern Ireland, International Journal of Inclusive Education
Smith, R. A. L and Barr, S. (2007).Towards Educational Inclusion in a Contested Society: From Critical Reflection to Cultural Action, International Journal of Inclusive Education.
Hymer, B., Michel, D., and Todd, L. (2002), Dynamic Consultation: Towards Process and Challenge. Educational Psychology in Practice, 18(1), pp47-62.
Todd, L. (2003). Disability and the Restructuring of Welfare: The problem of Partnerships with parents International Journal of Inclusive Education, 7(3), pp281-296.
Todd, L. (2007). Partnerships for Inclusive Education: A Critical Approach to Collaborative Working, Abingdon, Oxon, RoutledgeFalmer.
Todd, L. (2005) .Enabling Practice for Professionals: The Need for Practical Post -Structuralist Theory. In: Goodley, D. and Lawthom, R, ed. Disability and Psychology: Critical Introductions and Reflections, Basingstoke, Palgrave

EDD9058 Research with Children and Young People

Tutor: Ms Lesley Emerson

Research with children and young people has attracted increasing attention over the past decade and it raises various questions about our understandings of childhood and child development, how these impact on approaches to research, how children’s contexts can be appropriately considered in research as well as ethics.

In this module you will develop a thorough understanding of the complexities of research with children and young people and to consider their implications in various contexts. This understanding will provide the basis for you to evaluate the appropriateness of different research approaches and methods for the study of children and young people and their ethical implications. The acquired knowledge and experience will enable you to critically interpret relevant research within your subject area and thereby to select appropriate pedagogical developments for implementation in your own professional practice.

Furthermore, the module will prepare you for the development of research proposals for your EdD studies and the design of research for the purpose of improvement of educational policies and practices.

On successfully completing this module you will:

  • be able to critically engage with debates about the role of children and young people’s voice in research;
  • have an understanding of specific research design and ethics considerations relating to researching children and young people;
  • be able to analyse the complexities of researching children and young people in the context of families, schools and other educational settings;
  • evaluate a range of research methods for researching children and young people.

Indicative Readings

  • Alderson, P. and Morrow, V. (2004) Ethics, social research and consulting with children and young people, Ilford, Barnardos.
  • Barker, J. and Weller, S. (2003). ‘"Is it fun?" Developing children centred research methods’, International Journal of Sociology and Social Policy, 23(1/2), pp33-58.
  • Cremin, H. and Slatter, B. (2004). ‘Is it possible to access the ‘voice’ of pre-school children? Results of a research project in a pre-school setting’, Educational Studies, 30(4), pp457-70.
  • Christinsen, P. and James, A. (2008) Research with children: perspectives and practices, London, Routledge.
  • David, M., Edwards, R. and Alldred, P. (2001). ‘Children and school-based research: ‘informed consent’ or ‘educated consent’?’ British Educational Research Journal, 27(3) pp347-65.
  • Fraser, S., Lewis, V., Ding, S., Kellett, M. and Robinson, C. (2004). Doing Research with Children and Young People, London, Sage Publications/Open University.
  • Greene, S. and Hogan, D. (2005). Researching Children's Experience: Methods and Approaches, London, Sage Publications.
  • Grover, S. (2004) Why Won’t They Listen to Us? On Giving Power and Voice to Children Participating in Social Research. Childhood, 11(1), pp81-93.
  • Lewis, V., Kellett, M., Robinson, C., Fraser, S. and Ding, S. (2004). The Reality of Research with Children and Young People, London, Sage Publications.
  • MacNaughton, G. (2003). ‘Eclipsing voice in research with young children’, Australian Journal of Early Childhood, 28(1), pp36-43.
  • Punch, S. (2002) Research with children. Childhood, 9(3), pp321-341.
  • Tisdall, K., Davis, J. and Gallagher, M. (2008) Researching with children and young people: Research design, methods and analysis, London, Sage.

EDD9059 Narrative and Arts-based Research Approaches

Tutor: Professor Ruth Leitch


The module aims to enable you to develop your understanding of the use of narrative and arts-based research approaches in diverse contexts as inclusive and participatory forms of inquiry. It will complement and build upon such EdD modules as Qualitative Research, Researching with Children and Young People and Professional as Researcher. You will have opportunities to develop conceptual understandings of narrative and arts-based research methods and learn how to apply these to participatory and/or reflective inquiry across a range of professional working contexts.

Evidenced based literature and ethical issues will be explored and linked to practice based examples from narrative and arts-based research thus allowing discussion about the practicalities of application. Reflection will be facilitated through lectures, discussions, illustrated case studies, arts-based experiential work and assignments. You will engage creative narrative and visual research methods during the module, in order to explore the value of placing the self/adult/child at the centre as ‘expert’ and ‘meaning-maker’ in research. Such experiential opportunities will also permit you to consider creative ‘products’ as literal and/or metaphorical and symbolic data and begin to consider the issues of interpretation, co-interpretation and representation. This will lead on to the debate about narrative and arts-based methods as methodologies and forms of knowledge in their own right or as useful contributions to mixed methods designs.

Group work during the module will aim to foster social learning and cross-disciplinary co-operation and learning. The assignment will reflect the aims of the module and combine a critical reading of the literature and a practical and reflective engagement with a small narrative and/or arts-based inquiry.

Indicative Reading

  • Bagley C. & Cancienne M. B. (eds.) (2002). Dancing the Data. New York: Peter Lang Publishing Inc.
  • Barone, T. & Eisner, E. (1997). Handbook on Complementary Methods for Educational Research, R. Yeager, (ed.). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.
  • Butler-Kisber, L., Allnutt, S., Furlini, L., Kronish. N., Markus, P., Poldma, T. & Stewart, M. (2003) Insight and voice: Artful analysis in qualitative inquiry. Arts and Learning Research Journal, 19(1), 127–165.
  • Bruner, J (1991) The Narrative Construction of Reality Critical Inquiry, 18:1, 1-21.
  • Bruner, J (1995) The Autobiographical Process. Current Sociology. 43.2, 161-177
  • Butler-Kisber, L (2002) Artful Portrayals in Qualitative Inquiry: The Road To Found Poetry and Beyond. Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Fall; 48(3): 229-239.
  • Cahnmann-Taylor, M and Siegesmund, R (Eds) Arts-Based Research in Education Foundations for Practice. London: Routledge.
  • Eisner, E. (1981). On the difference between scientific and artistic approaches to educational research. Educational Researcher, 10 (4), 5-9.
  • Eisner, E. (1993) Forms of understanding and the future of educational research. Educational Researcher 22(7): 5–11.
  • Eisner, E. (1995) What artistically crafted research can help us to understand about schools. Educational Theory, 45(1): 1-13
  • Irwin, Rita L. (2005) A/r/tography. A/r/tography website, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, Canada.
  • Irwin, R L. and de Cosson, A (Eds) (2004) A/r/tography: Rendering self through arts-based living inquiry.
  • Knowles, J. G and Cole, A L. (2008) Handbook of the Arts in Qualitative Research: Perspectives, Methodologies, Examples, and Issues. London: Sage Publications. Vancouver , BC: Pacific Educational Press.
  • Lahad, M. (2000) Creative Supervision: The use of Expressive Arts methods in Supervision and Self-Supervision. London: Jessica Kingsley.
  • Leavy, P (2008) Method Meets Art: Arts-Based Research Practice. New York: The Guilford Press.
  • Leitch, R (2008) Creatively researching children’s narratives through images and drawings, In P Thomson (ed.) (2008) Doing visual research with children and young people, London, Routledge.
  • Loughran, J., Hamilton, M., LaBoskey, V. and Russell, T. (Eds) International Handbook of Self-Study of Teaching and Teacher Education Practices, (Chpt.10). New York, NY: Kluwer Press.
  • McNiff, S. (2004) Research in New Keys: An Introduction to the Ideas and Methods of Arts-Based Research. Journal of Pedagogy, Pluralism, and Practice, Fall, Issue 9.
  • McNiff, S. (2005). Art-based research. London and Philadelphia, PA: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.
  • Pelias, R. (2004) A Methodology of the Heart. Walnut Creek, CA: AltaMira Press.
  • Prosser, J. (1998) The status of image-based research. In J. Prosser (Ed.), Image-based research: A sourcebook for qualitative researchers (pp. 97-112). London: Falmer.
  • Thomson, P (Ed.) (2008) Doing visual research with children and young people, London, Routledge.
  • Weber, S. and Mitchell, C. (1996) Using drawings to interrogate professional identity and the popular culture of teaching. In: I.F. Goodson & A. Hargreaves (Eds) Teachers’ Professional Lives, (pp.109-127). London: Falmer Press.
  • Weber, S and Mitchell, C (2004) Art for Accessibility; Art as Activism; Art for Reflexivity. Arts-Informed, March; 3(2): 417-19.

EDD9061 Survey Methods in Education

Tutor: Dr Sarah Miller/Professor Paul Connolly


The purpose of this module is to provide youwith advanced skills in the design and administration of surveys in education and in the analysis of data derived from surveys. The module assumes that you already have a good understanding of routine descriptive and inferential statistics and are competent in using SPSS. Students therefore need to have successfully completed EDD9029 Quantitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory before you can take this module.

On successfully completing this module you will have acquired the following core skills:

  1. Ability to design and undertake a survey;
  2. Ability to design and pilot a self-complete questionnaire;
  3. Ability to develop attitudinal measures and test their reliability and validity;
  4. Ability to use the software packages G*Power and Optimal Design to undertake statistical power analyses;
  5. Ability to undertake descriptive statistical analysis and more advanced multivariate analyses using the software package SPSS (namely: linear regression; binary and ordinal logistic regression; factor analysis; and loglinear regression);
  6. Ability to undertake multilevel modelling (linear and binary logistic) using the software package MLwiN;
  7. Ability to interpret appropriately the results of the statistical analysis undertaken; and
  8. Ability to write up the findings of survey research in a clear and comprehensible way and of a standard expected of a peer-reviewed journal article.

Indicative Reading

  • Connolly, P. (2007) Quantitative Data Analysis in Education, London: Routledge.
  • Cramer, D. (2003) Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis, Maidenhead: Open University Press
  • De Vaus, D. A. (2013) Surveys in Social Research, 6th Edition, London: Routledge.
  • Norusis, M. (2011) IBM SPSS Statistics 19 Guide to Data Analysis, Prentice Hall.
  • Oppenheim, A.N. (2000) Questionnaire Design, London: Continuum.
  • Plewis, I. (1997) Statistics in Education, London: Hodder Arnold (Ch. 3).
  • Tarling, R. (2009) Statistical Modelling for Social Researchers, London

EDD9062 Education in Divided Societies: contribution to social cohesion

Tutor: Dr Caitlin Donnelly

The role of education in modern, liberal societies has been the subject of some considerable debate in recent years, as governments and policy-makers grapple with pressures to promote the freedom and autonomy of all citizens, whilst simultaneously offering legitimacy to different faiths, cultures and traditions. Arguably, the dilemmas are brought into sharpest focus in societies with a history of conflict, where groups with different religious and cultural interests are keen to defend their ‘stake’ in schools but where the state has to guard against accusations of embedding social segregation and group conflict. As societies become increasingly multi-cultural and where financial constraint often limits options, it is worth examining the contribution that education can make to social cohesion and enhancing inter-group relations.

This module aims to provide you with an overview of education in divided societies, with particular reference to core research strength in the School of Education, evidenced by the national and international standing of colleagues engaged in related research.

It is anticipated that on completing this module you will be able to:

  1. Understand and critically engage with debates of the relationship between systems of education, historical context and power relations in divided societies, and the impact that this may have on the development, nature and effectiveness of peace-building interventions;
  2. Understand, critique and synthesise a body of theory associated with the relationship between education and social cohesion, including theories of inter-group relations, contact theory and others relating to multiculturalism and citizenship;
  3. Understand and critically evaluate the effectiveness of structural and curricular initiatives designed to enhance inter-group relations through education in a range of divided contexts.

EDD9063 Experimental Methods in Educational Research

Tutor: Dr Sarah Miller/Professor Paul Connolly

This module will provide you with skills in relation to designing and analysing educational research using experimental methodologies. The module assumes that you already have a good understanding of routine descriptive and inferential statistics and are competent in using SPSS. You therefore need to have successfully completed EDD9029 Quantitative Research: Methods, Data and Theory before you can take this module.

By the end of the module it is anticipated that you will have:

  1. Gained an understanding and appreciation of some of the most commonly-used experimental and quasi-experimental designs within educational research and an ability to critically evaluate research studies that have made use of such designs;
  2. Acquired the skills necessary to be able to design and undertake an educational research study using these designs;
  3. Gained the necessary understanding and practical skills to be able to analyse and interpret the data derived from such experimental and quasi-experimental designs;
  4. Gained the ability to undertake research syntheses of existing evaluative studies employing experimental and/or quasi-experimental designs through systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Indicative Reading

  • Connolly, P. (2007) Quantitative Data Analysis in Education Using SPSS, London: Routledge.
  • Cooper, H.M., Hedges, L.V. and Valentine, J.C. (2008) The Handbook of Research Synthesis and Meta-analysis, 2nd Edition, New York: Russell Sage Foundation
  • Cramer, D. (2003) Advanced Quantitative Data Analysis, Maidenhead: Open University Press
  • Field, A. (2013) Discovering Statistics using IBM SPSS Statistics, 4th Edition, London: Sage.
  • Fielding, J. and Gilbert, N. (2006) Understanding Social Statistics, London: Sage.
  • Higgins, J.P.T. & Green, S. (2008) Cochrane Hanbook for Systematic Reviews of Interventions, Chichester: Wiley Blackwell.
  • Lipsey, M.W. and Wilson, D.B. (2001) Practical Meta-analysis, London: Sage Publications

EDD9064 Children’s Rights - Research and Practice

Tutor: Professor Laura Lundy

This module provides you with knowledge of international human rights law as if affects children. No particular expertise in law is needed or expected and you will be introduced to the basic principles of children’s rights, with a particular focus on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. You will gain experiencing in researching relevant children’s rights documents on the United Nations Treaty data-bases and how to apply key principles to reflect on professional practice. Specific topics to be covered include: the right to education; the right to social care; the rights of children with disabilities; and rights-based participatory approaches to research.

On successful completion of the module, you will:

  • have knowledge of the main international human rights laws on childhood;
  • understand the ways in which human rights provisions relate to and impact on law, policy and practice;
  • be able to use legal and human rights research data-bases;
  • develop skills in employing human rights law to evaluate professional practice;
  • be able to apply children’s rights principles to research methods.

Indicative Readings

  • Freeman, M. (2007) 15 ‘Why is remains important to take children’s rights seriously’ International Journal of Children’s Rights pp.5-23
  • Kilkelly, U., and Lundy, L., (2006) 18(3) ‘The Convention on the Rights of the Child: its use as an auditing tool’, Child and Family Law Quarterly , 331-350.
  • Lundy, L., (2007) 33 ‘Voice is not enough’: Conceptualising Article 12 of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child for Education’, British Educational Research Journal.
  • Lundy L., Kilkelly, U, and Byrne, B,(2013) ‘Incorporation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child in Law: A Comparative Review,’ International Journal of Children's Rights. 21, p. 442-463.
  • Winter, K. (2011) The UNCRC and social workers' relationships with young children, Child Abuse Review, 20(6), pp. 395-406
  • Byrne, B. (2012) Minding the Gap? Children with Disabilities and the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, in M. Freeman (Ed.) Law and Childhood Studies – Current Legal Issues Volume 14. Oxford University Press. pp.419-437.
  • Archard, D, (2004) Children, Rights and Childhood, (2nd edition).
  • King, M., ‘Children’s Rights as Communication: Reflections on Autopoietic Theory and The United Nations Convention’, (1994) 57 MLR 385-401 at pp 322-323.

EDD9065 Critical Perspectives on Early Childhood

Tutor: Dr Laura Dunne

This module aims to provide students with an understanding and overview of a wide range of theories and perspectives on the early years. It will encourage students to develop a critical appreciation of traditional theories as well as more recent perspectives. Recent key policy and practice developments in the early years will be explored with particular reference to service design, delivery and effectiveness. Examples of national and international research will be considered with an emphasis on effectiveness of interventions and translation of evidence into practice. Students will be encouraged to consider the relevance and impact of recent developments in research, policy and practice in relation to their own working environments.

On successfully completing this module, students will:
• Have gained a critical appreciation of a range of theories and perspectives on the early years
• Be able to locate early years policies and practices within a broader range of theories and perspectives on the early years
• Be able to read and critically assess the existing research literature
• Be able to make use of these theories, perspectives and research evidence in relation to their own practice settings.

Indicative Readings

  • Baldock, P., Fitzgerald, D. and Kay, J. (2009) Understanding Early Years Policy (2nd edition), London: Paul Chapman Publishing.
  • Clark, M.M. and Waller, T (2007) (eds.) Early Childhood Education and Care: Policy and Practice, London: Sage.
  • Dalhberg, G., Moss, P. and Pence, A. (2007) Beyond Quality in Early Childhood Education and Care, (2nd edition), London: Routledge.
  • MacNaughton, G. (2005) Doing Foucault in Early Childhood Studies, London: Routledge.
  • MacNaughton, G. Rolfe, S.A. and Siraj-Blatchford, I. (eds.) (2010) Doing Early Childhood Research: International Perspectives on Theory and Practice (2nd edition), Buckingham: Open University Press.
  • Maynard, T. and Thomas, N (2008) (eds.) An Introduction to Early Childhood Studies (2nd edition), London: Sage.
  • Mhic Mhathuna, M. And Taylor, M. (2012) Early Childhood Education and Care: An Introduction for Students in Ireland, Dublin: Gill and Macmillan.
  • Neaum, S (2010) Child Development for Early Childhood Studies, Exeter: Learning Matters.
  • Penn, H (2008) Understanding Early Childhood: Issues and Controversies (2nd edition), Maidenhead: Open University Press.
  • Pugh, G. and Duffy, B. (2010) Contemporary Issues in the Early Years (5th Edition), London: Sage.
  • Yelland, N. (ed.) (2010) Contemporary Perspectives on Early Childhood Education, Maidenhead: Open University Press.