This route, which is not only the Faculty of Education's doctoral training programme but also accredited by the Economic and Social Research Council, provides a broad-based training in educational research that aims to help students:
- To become familiar with an appropriate range of intellectual and methodological traditions within the field - To become skilled and critical readers of educational research - To develop knowledge in depth of some substantive area of education and educational research - To develop their capacity to frame research questions and devise appropriate research designs - To develop confidence in using a range of both qualitative and quantitative approaches to gathering, analysing and interpreting evidence - To develop their skills in presenting research-based evidence and argument - To gain practical experience of educational research through conducting a small-scale investigation.
During their period of study, one year full time or two years part time, students follow six modules on:
1. Research Aims, Strategies of Enquiry and Design 2. Research Methods and Analysis 3. Research, Reporting and Presentation 4. Perspectives on Research Methodology 5. Issues in Data Analysis and Interpretation 6. Thesis Preparation.
Throughout, a student is supported by a supervisor who has expertise in the substantive field of the student's research project.
By the end of the programme, students will have:
- a comprehensive understanding of research techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature applicable to their specific educational domain; - demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field; - shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies; - demonstrated self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.
Students attend 2-4 hour taught sessions (a mix of lectures and smaller group seminars) once a week. The course consists of two levels. Introductory Level sessions will offer a general introduction to different aspects of educational research. Intermediate Level sessions are divided into two types: (1) the compulsory main programme of study sessions will offer further elements focused on the foundations of educational research theory and practice; (2) the elective sessions will offer intermediate level topics built on the foundation sessions taught at Introductory Level. Students are required to take all Introductory and Intermediate main programme sessions and should select 11 of the elective elements of the programme. The elective sessions are intended to facilitate students' depth of understanding and application of approaches appropriate to their proposed lines of enquiry. The course has been designed to allow students intending to undertake a particular mode of enquiry to focus more attention on their preferred methods within a framework that still ensures a broad and balanced coverage.
Written feedback is provided on the thesis by two independent assessors. Informally, feedback will also be provided through regular supervisions. Supervisors are required to provide a report on student progress which can be viewed by the student through CGSRS.
Thesis: Up to 20,000 words.
Students following the two year MEd programme are required to submit the following in Year 1: Essay 1: 6,000-6,500 words. Essay 2: 6,000-6,500 words.
Students wishing to continue from the MEd in Educational Research to the PhD or EdD are required to achieve:
1) an average of 70 across both sections with the thesis counting as double-weighted (eg: (Essay 1 + Essay 2 + thesis + thesis) divided by 4 = 70 or above. Or 2) a straight mark of 70 or higher for the thesis.
The Faculty is pleased to say that, in general, education students are successful in most of the funding competitions, and, in a typical year, will host students who have been awarded funding from all of the major funding bodies.
In addition, a number of Colleges have their own scholarships/bursaries, but these will be restricted to College members. Finally, it is important to note that deadlines for scholarships and bursaries are early, so applicants are strongly encouraged to explore funding opportunities as soon as possible - at least a year in advance of the start of the course.