PP0724 - The Empirical Project

What will I learn on this module?

You will be encouraged to critically explore a range of approaches to research however emphasis will be placed on your understanding of the world view, design and meaning system that will drive your own research study. It is assumed that prior to the undertaking of this dissertation module you will have undertaken study that prepares you for engagement with a Masters dissertation process and that you will have constructed a robust research proposal that has gained or is in the process of gaining ethical approval from both the University and (if applicable) your employing organisation. In the module you will revisit and deepen your understandings of a range of key topic areas linked to the empirical research process, this will include discussion of world views and research paradigms, the research question, aim or hypothesis, research design, working with literature and theory, developing ethical codes, constructing the research sample, collecting robust research evidence, ensuring quality assurance within your research work, analysing both qualitative and quantitative evidence and writing and disseminating the research dissertation work. You will be invited to attend a series of research seminars during the module and you will have access to a named Higher Education supervisor for one to one tutorial work. Both the seminars and tutorials will encourage you to apply the key areas of learning within this module to your own professional context and field of expertise. This will enable you to critically examine how the empirical research process will work best for your research goals and design

How will I learn on this module?

You will participate in this module as an active learner. The module will be built around a number of individual and group learning activities that will help you to explore the different aspects of undertaking a robust empirical research study. You will work with a named Higher Education supervisor for the duration of your research project. The tutorial work that you undertake will be focused on your research study and should follow the path of the study as it unfolds. This one to one support will enable you to explore areas of the work that are troublesome and the critical dialogue that it enables will help you to develop your understanding of the theoretical, methodological and practical aspects of your research process. In addition to tutorial work you will be encouraged to attend a series of research seminars that will also follow the path of your research project during the span of your programme. During each seminar it is expected that individuals will share their research challenges and successes. The sharing of understandings and experiences will be an integral part of the way in which the module helps to socially construct individual’s perceptions of their work. The module aims to enable you to develop an effective and successful research study and also to focus on your own development as a proficient researcher.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

You will work with a named Higher Education supervisor for the duration of this Masters module. A total of 12 hours has been allocated per academic year for you and your HE supervisor to meet to discuss your ongoing research work. These meetings will be organised at times that are mutually convenient. The named HE supervisor will be your primary source of support during the module and will normally act as first marker to your Masters dissertation. You will need to make contact with this individual at an early stage of the module and ensure that you maintain regular contact as the module unfolds. The appointment of HE supervisors will be organised by the programme lead of the programme that you have followed during the PG Certificate and PG Diploma phases of your studies.

The module leader will also be an important source of support during your studies and will also be pivotal in helping you to negotiate your way through the internal University ethical approval process. This person will normally provide the research seminars that are part of this module. Various experts in aspects of the empirical research process may also be invited to contribute to the seminar series.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:

1. Critical understanding of the breadth and
complexity of research methods involved in an Empirical Project

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
1. Conceptualise the research topic and establish its relevance to the practice area/field of expertise.
2. Define the study protocol in terms of the research question, methodology, and methods of data collection & analysis and critically examine the ethical issues related to project.
3.Critically analyse and evaluate literature
relevant to the project.
4. Analyse and interpret the outcomes of the study giving due regard to issues of reliability, validity, rigour, trustworthiness and reflexivity.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):
1. . Extended your time management skills through planning and implementation of your summative project

2. Develop your research skills through implementation of your summative project.

How will I be assessed?

In this module formative assessment will normally be provided during the one to one tutorials where you will be encouraged to share parts of your written work with your HE supervisor prior to final submission.

Additional formative feedback will come from the sharing of project work during classroom discussions.

Assessment of the module will be by a final project report (15,000 words) in which you present the project in an appropriate academic style supported from the current literature base and accurately referenced.
MLOs: KU1; IPSA1-4, PVA 3 & 4

You will be given written feedback graded against the criteria and using the elaborated grade descriptor


TE7076 Understanding Educational Research and Methods



Module abstract

This module focuses on you as a researcher and provides an opportunity for the collection and analysis of primary qualitative and/or quantitative data for the purpose of answering a specific research question that is relevant and important to your practice and field of expertise. A range of research methodologies and methods may be appropriate to this work. The empirical project should aim to develop understanding of the focus of your work and may also help to transform practice at the individual and/or systems level. You will be supported in the module by a named Higher Education supervisor and through the provision of a series of research seminars. Assessment of the module is by a final project report (15000 words) in which the project is presented in an appropriate academic style.

Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 24 months Part Time
2 other options available

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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