Research Methods for Professional Inquiry module (PD50177)

You will learn the relationship between methodology and methods of gathering data. You will learn how to design a research project for a professional context

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Module code


You will develop and build on your research skills and to develop an understanding of educational research. You will also learn how to conduct ethical research.

The skills that you develop will inform how you come to understand your own contexts.

You will learn about a wide range of educational research practices. You will also critique previous and proposed research.

This will be informed by the importance of ethical approaches to all aspects of research.

You will develop your research skills by learning about the fundamentals of research philosophy.

You will be introduced to the relationship between topics such as:

  • research questions
  • methodology
  • methods of gathering data

There will be opportunities to explore issues relating to the power of the researcher. You will also look at the role that relationships play in all research contexts.

You will choose a topic of personal and professional interest. Using this as a basis, you will develop how to critically review published research and policy in that area.

You will read the works of others and critique the works. This will allow you to explore your approaches to designing a research project and to design your own research inquiry.

This knowledge and understanding will then be applied to your own research design ideas.

This module leads to the Dissertation module. This is where you will carry out your proposed research.

What you will learn

In this module, key aims are to develop:

  • critical understanding of research foundations (ontology and epistemology)
  • critical approaches to research design that are relevant to professional enquiry
  • the knowledge and skills required to conduct critical analysis.

By the end of this module, you will be able to:

  • apply knowledge and understanding to a subject-specific, proposed research dissertation or professional project.

Assignments / assessment

  • 4,000 word essay (100%)

This module does not have a final exam

Teaching methods / timetable

Full time on-campus

The learning and teaching will consist of the following:

  • in-person lectures
  • workshops
  • reading and completing associated tasks
  • writing and working towards your final assessment
  • peer-to-peer learning opportunities

For full-time students, lectures will last approx. 2.5 hours, some sessions are split over 2 days. You will be expected to attend all lectures which are held between Monday -Friday.


The module is delivered online over 17 weeks. The learning and teaching will consist of the following:

  • online lectures
  • individual tutorial opportunities
  • discussion boards
  • asynchronous module materials to work through at your own pace

Independent study time will include:

  • reading and completing associated tasks
  • engaging with a wide range of online materials to support self-study
  • writing and working towards your final assessment
  • peer-to-peer learning opportunities