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Study information

Programme Specification for the 2023/4 academic year

MSc Educational Research (Part-Time)

1. Programme Details

Programme nameMSc Educational Research (Part-Time) Programme codePTS2EDUEDU03
Study mode(s)Part Time
Academic year2023/4
Campus(es)St Luke's (Exeter)
NQF Level of the Final Award7 (Masters)

2. Description of the Programme

The overall purpose of this MSc is to prepare you for the independent conduct of educational research. We have developed the programme to support research students and for students interested in a specific area of education.

It can be taken either as a stand-alone Masters or as a precursor to a PhD. The four taught modules of the MSc are required research training for all  Four-Year PhD and MPhil/PhD students.

The programme meets the current ESRC training guidelines for the preparation of doctoral students and allows students to apply for ‘1+3’ ESRC studentships (see information on funding for further details).

For doctoral students the programme is designed to provide high quality training, both to enable you to carry out doctoral research and to equip you to pursue other research activities. Other potential career opportunities include practitioner and academic educationists: your acquired general social science research skills can be used in different contexts and applied to a variety of problems.

You will be able to specialise in a particular field of education, within a research preparation framework or context and benefit from collaboration with fellow students in small online groups on directed activities.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

1. a good grasp of the central ideas, concepts, debates, theories, philosophies and approaches employed by educational researchers;
2. a critical understanding of the main methodologies of educational research and strategies to decide which are appropriate to the problems they are investigating;
3. skills and understanding to conduct research projects independently using any of the main methodologies of educational research;
4. knowledge of and skills in the various forms of communicating and disseminating educational research.

The programme aims to equip you with:

4. Programme Structure

The taught course is designed to be equally accessible to both full, part time and distance students. The programme is made up of 4 taught modules and a dissertation:

ERPM000 The Nature of Educational Enquiry (NEE) 30

ERPM001 Interpretive Methodologies (IM) 30

ERPM002 Scientific Methodologies (SM) 30

ERPM005 Designing and Communicating Research (DCR) 30

ERPM004 Dissertation (15,000 words) (DI) 60

Students wishing to obtain the MSc award either as a stand-alone degree or as preparation for doctoral studies will have to complete all the 5 modules. However there are two options to those students intending to progress to doctoral studies.

Progression to PhD programme

The MSc can be undertaken as a stand-alone programme or as year 1 of the 4 year programme (see below) or the 4 modules are completed as a requirement for the 3-year MPhil/PhD programme (see below):

MSc as year 1 of 4-year PhD programme:

Students wishing to take the MSc in Education Research as year 1 of the PhD will use their dissertation to prepare a research plan for their PhD thesis (This will be the only option available to ESRC funded 4-year PhD programme 1 + 3 students). Students using the MSc as year 1 of the 4-year programme need to attain and average grade of 55 for their 4 modules and a grade of 55 for their dissertation to progress to year 2.

MPhil/PhD programme:

Students on this pathway undertake the 4 MSc taught modules. In order to progress to PhD students need to attain an average grade of 55 for their 4 modules. Additionally they need to submit a 5000 word conversion paper with a research plan for their doctoral study. This will be considered by a conversion committee. If they do not meet the criteria for conversion to PhD they can re-submit their plan on one more occasion only. If they do not convert to PhD, they exit the programme with a PG Diploma (for the 120 credits obtained by the successful completion of the 4 MSc modules – see below).

Stopping-off Points

The programme is in modular format and has immediate exit points in the form of Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits i.e. 2 modules) and Diploma (120 credits i.e. all 4 modules), organised in line with the national framework established by the QAA.

Where appropriate there has been conformity with the Education studies benchmarks – although these are not always appropriate because they are concerned with undergraduate programmes.  These benchmarks have been reinterpreted to confirm to Masters (M) level qualifications.  The programme meets the ESRC 2005 research training guidelines.  There is also conformity with general principles (1A – 12A) outlined in the QAA Code of Practice for Postgraduate Research Programmes.

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme.

http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/education/graduatestudies/masters/edresearchmsc/campus/structure/

Part-time students take one twilight session per week during term time and an occasional session on a Saturday.

Each module consists of ten sessions delivered through a blended system of learning.

Stage 1


Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ERPM001 Interpretive Methodologies 30No
ERPM002 Scientific Methodologies 30No

Stage 2


Compulsory Modules

CodeModule Credits Non-condonable?
ERPM000 The Nature of Educational Enquiry 30No
ERPM005 Designing and Communicating Research 30No
ERPM004 Dissertation 60Yes

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning and Assessment Methods

Intended Learning Outcomes
A: Specialised Subject Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Secure subject specific knowledge and a systematic understanding of knowledge / critical awareness

Lectures, seminars, workshops, group tasks and student presentations.

You will have regular tutorials with your relevant module tutor and/or support from the supplementary programme – this is specifically designed for those needing academic support with the programme, for example, those for whom English is a second language. If you are studying the MSc as part of the doctoral programme, you will also have tutorial support from your research mentors, supervisory coordinator and/or supervisors during your first year.

Formative and summative assignments including practical application of research methodology to specific problems, poster and conference presentations and written reports.

Each of the taught modules is assessed by a portfolio of work including a 5,000 word written assignment and a range of tasks and activities equivalent to 2,500 words. Your dissertation is assessed via a 15,000 word submission.

If you are studying the MSc as year 1 of the PhD programme, you need to reach an average grade of 55% over all 4 taught modules and 55% for the dissertation. The usual pass mark is 50%.

For details of the different teaching, learning and assessment methods used at Exeter please follow this link and click on any of the headings for further information.

Intended Learning Outcomes
B: Academic Discipline Core Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Secure intellectual and academic skills to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sense in the absence of complete data and communicate their conclusions to specialist and non-specialist audiences.

Lectures, seminars, workshops, problem-solving group tasks and student presentations, support for self-study and self-directed group and individual activities.

Formative and summative assignments including practical application of research methodology to specific problems, poster and conference presentations and written reports.

Intended Learning Outcomes
C: Personal/Transferable/Employment Skills and Knowledge

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)
On successfully completing this programme you will be able to:
Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be...
...accommodated and facilitated by the following learning and teaching activities (in/out of class):...and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

1. Secure professional, personal and key / practical / transferable skills including an ability to exercise their initiative and personal responsibility, decision –making in complex and unpredictable situations; and the ability to learn independently.

Lectures, seminars, workshops, use of computer programmes, emails and the internet, problem- solving, group tasks and student presentations, support for self-study and self directed group and individual activities.

Formative and summative assignments including practical application of research methodology to specific problems, poster and conference presentations and written reports.

7. Programme Regulations

Classification

Full details of assessment regulations for all taught programmes can be found in the TQA Manual, specifically in the Credit and Qualifications Framework, and the Assessment, Progression and Awarding: Taught Programmes Handbook. Additional information, including Generic Marking Criteria, can be found in the Learning and Teaching Support Handbook.

8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

As an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student in the College of Social Sciences and International Studies you will be allocated a Personal Tutor at the commencement of your studies.  In normal circumstances your Personal Tutor will remain your tutor throughout your study programme. Your Personal Tutor is normally available through scheduled office hours, but should also see you as a matter of course three or four times a year (depending on your year of study); these meetings may typically commence soon after registration. These meetings will take place once or twice mid-year to discuss your progress and to perhaps consider Personal Development Planning (ePDP) and once to discuss your overall performance. The ePDP is a particularly useful developmental tool which you are encouraged to utilise and which is accessible though the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).

You should feel that you are able to approach your personal tutor for advice, pastoral support or academic support in a wider sense.

Library, ELE and other resources provided to support this programme:

The Library offers you core services for learning and research.   Whilst the various locations house a large collection of materials and services, many of our resources are available online through this website http://as.exeter.ac.uk/library/ for you to use at home, work or wherever you are located for your study. Each discipline has a subject librarian on hand to help you to find resources and we also work with tutors to digitise reading lists for inclusion in the Exeter Learning Environment (ELE).

Exeter Learning Environment (ELE) is used throughout the University to make course materials available online. You will be able to access module information, presentations, handouts, reading materials as well as interacting with other students and your tutors. Many tutors use ELE to run assessments and set coursework assignments. In addition to the materials provided by your tutors, there are various other resources available on ELE to help you in your studies, for example, you will be able to access your ePDP, the University’s online PDP system, which has been developed to help you keep an ongoing record of your academic, work and extra-curricular experiences, and help you develop action plans and personal statements.

The University provides a range of IT services, including open and training clusters of PCs (available on a 24/7 basis). In the Social Sciences and International Studies College this includes a 24/7 suite in Amory and a second one in the St Luke’s

Campus Library. These suites are accessible by swiping your university card.  The majority of the College also has access to the university’s wireless network. Network access is available from the majority of rooms in University halls of residence through the ResNet system. All of these suites have the standard ‘palms’ printing systems in them (printing from credit held on your university card). At the St Luke’s Campus there is also a cash-based printing service at the GSE Print Unit based in South Cloisters.

Please see link below for further information on the IT Services facilities on the Exeter Campuses: http://www.exeter.ac.uk/media/universityofexeter/forum/public/Study_map_A4_2pp_Term3.pdf

Helpdesks are maintained on the Streatham and Cornwall campuses.

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

9. University Support for Students and Students' Learning

Please refer to the University Academic Policy and Standards guidelines regarding support for students and students' learning.

10. Admissions Criteria

Undergraduate applicants must satisfy the Undergraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Postgraduate applicants must satisfy the Postgraduate Admissions Policy of the University of Exeter.

Specific requirements required to enrol on this programme are available at the respective Undergraduate or Postgraduate Study Site webpages.

11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice. See the University's TQA Manual for details.

(Quality Review Framework.

14. Awarding Institution

University of Exeter

15. Lead College / Teaching Institution

Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS)

16. Partner College / Institution

Partner College(s)

Not applicable to this programme

Partner Institution

Not applicable to this programme.

17. Programme Accredited / Validated by

0

18. Final Award

MSc Educational Research (Part-Time)

19. UCAS Code

N/A

20. NQF Level of Final Award

7 (Masters)

21. Credit

CATS credits

180

ECTS credits

90

22. QAA Subject Benchmarking Group

23. Dates

Origin Date Date of last revision