What you will study
This is an opportunity for you to explore in some depth an issue, challenge or topic which interests you personally and/or professionally, that has relevance to your particular qualification, and is meaningful and pertinent to education and/or the lives of children and young people.
The first aim of the module is to equip you with the knowledge, understanding and skills to operate effectively as a researcher in educational contexts and services for children and young people. This module will support you in developing the capabilities to understand and contribute to research within your current or future professional contexts.
The second aim is to support you in successfully producing a dissertation. It will provide you with opportunities to develop and demonstrate your confidence and independent research abilities. You’ll find this module will give you insights into your own implicit or developing research position and help you to understand how this shapes the kind of research you’d undertake (the questions you ask, the design you create, the methods you use).
It’s anticipated that you are or wish to be involved in work in educational contexts and/or with children and/or young people in some capacity. This module will enable you to progress professionally as well as academically and help you if you’re not currently working in these sectors to enter the workforce. You’ll be supported through personal development planning to make explicit how you’re benefiting from study on the module, including developing personal skills and understandings. In particular, you’ll be able to chart your developing identity as a researcher.
This module caters both for those who have access to educational or other settings with children and young people to carry out a small-scale investigation (option 1) and those who do not and/or who prefer to carry out an extended literature review and research proposal (option 2) for a study which might be carried out beyond the MA qualification. Both forms of research represent current research approaches in the fields of education and childhood and youth. You’ll also learn how ethically to appraise an enquiry. For option 1, you’ll be supported in obtaining ethical clearance from your chosen research setting before commencing data collection. In option 2, you’ll include a proposal that would form a sound basis for approval by your proposed research setting.
One unique aspect of this module is the way you’ll be working with peers and tutors from different specialisms, allowing discussion across different disciplines and different professional perspectives. The content of the module will be equally relevant to you whether you are from a background in, for example, early years, teaching, educational leadership in a range of settings, youth work, social work, nursing and counselling, and if you are or have worked with children and young people at different stages of development, from early childhood to young adulthood. All materials, online study guides and audio-visual resources will be accessible to you whatever your context. You’ll be supported by a tutor who has expertise and experience relevant to your qualification; and, at times, in groups of those working on an enquiry similar to your own.
You will learn
By the end of the module, and hence your MA qualification, you’ll be able to:
- demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level
- reflect critically and constructively on ideas and frameworks presented in the module and their application to your practice and organisational context
- plan, analyse, develop and produce an extended literature review and research proposal or plan, conduct, analyse and report on a small-scale investigation within a professional setting to enhance the understanding of practice.
You’ll have acquired and/or had the opportunity to develop qualities and transferable skills valuable for increasing your employability, such as those requiring:
- the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility
- applied research and ethical issues relating to research and enquiry in their area of study
- decision making in complex and unpredictable situations
- the independent learning ability required for continuing professional development
- the production of reports/outputs for academic and professional purpose