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Professional Doctorate in Education

Course Description

Module 1: PG Cert Module 1 – Research Design

Module 2: PG Cert Module 2 – Literature Review

Module 3: Critical Perspectives 1

This module will enable participants to develop a critical understanding of the contexts within which professional practice is situated and to relate them to a critical examination of the contexts of, and the implications for, their own professional practice.

The course content is organised around four inter-related themes:
- Policy
- Institutions
- Learning
- Professional identities

The four themes are explored within two over-arching frameworks:
- Processes of change
- Theories and evidence

Module 4: Critical Perspectives 2

This module aims to introduce students to an array of new techniques and emerging philosophies available for critical analysis of practice and interrogation of existing theoretical concepts that underpin them.

The module is grounded in theoretical and epistemological foundations of educational research. There are two key elements, related to i) national and international debates on the nature of inquiry, values and positions of researchers; and ii) diverse underpinning epistemologies, theories and methodologies.

i) This element concerns the nature of educational research as a diverse and evolving multi-disciplinary field of endeavour. It addresses questions of ontology, epistemology and theory, as well as concerns about the usefulness and relevance of educational research. This leads to consideration of national and international debates about the nature of evidence and evidence-based practice and tensions that relate to paradigmatic divisions. Questions are raised about the identities of researchers, their moral judgements and values, as well as those of their sponsors. Hence, issues of ethics and politics are introduced and ways forward are considered.

ii) This element considers positivist and interpretive world views that are linked to quantitative and qualitative research (empiricism, post-positivism, critical realism, critical theory, postmodernism and social constructivism). Ways of bridging these world views are debated and the potential impact of digital research on educational inquiry is considered.

Module 5: Pilot Study

This module will enable participants to practise the skills of advanced academic enquiry by
- Justifying the selection of an area worthy of study in a relevant area
- Applying their knowledge of the methodological, epistemological and ontological perspectives found in educational research
- Distinguishing between and critically evaluating different research paradigms and the methods and techniques associated with them and positioning their work within these debates
- Taking and justifying an ethical stance on the research process
- Disseminating the outcomes of research to a range of audiences

You will also be required to complete a Doctoral Thesis.

Visit the Professional Doctorate in Education page on the Birmingham City University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Professional doctorates are designed for mid-career and senior professionals who have previous higher level study, and significant professional experience. The emphasis is on developing links between theory and professional practice through a process of reflective and reflexive learning. Professional doctorates are not essentially professional qualifications; rather they provide evidence of advanced study in a relevant area.

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Recipient: Birmingham City University

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