Skip to main content


Postgraduate Module Descriptor

ERPM000: The Nature of Educational Enquiry

This module descriptor refers to the 2021/2 academic year.

Module Aims

The aims of the module are to develop a critical understanding of:

  • The nature and purpose of educational research, its history, and its relationships with ethical, social, political, economic and power factors and influences;
  • The range of philosophical and theoretical ideas, perspectives and debates underpinning current educational and social science research, including the diversity of educational methodologies and paradigms, and their characteristics, strengths and weaknesses;
  • The central and constitutive roles of meta-theory and language in educational research; and
  • The use of theory and methodology in current research projects, debates and publications.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

This module's assessment will evaluate your achievement of the ILOs listed here - you will see reference to these ILO numbers in the details of the assessment for this module.

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to:
Module-Specific Skills1. demonstrate detailed knowledge of philosophical and theoretical foundations of educational research and research methodologies, as well as styles and paradigms utilized in the field and current debates and controversies;
2. demonstrate understanding of the significance of alternative epistemological positions for theory construction, research design, and the selection of appropriate analytical techniques;
3. demonstrate understanding of educational research in its social, political and ethical context from a variety of viewpoints;
Discipline-Specific Skills4. demonstrate the ability to apply the knowledge and skills developed in the module in a critical analysis of research papers and presentations;
5. demonstrate the ability to make an informed judgment about the strengths and weaknesses of available research approaches based, among other things, on ethical considerations;
Personal and Key Skills6. demonstrate skills in self-management - in particular the management of time, tasks and evaluation of own learning;
7. demonstrate skills in personal judgment - particularly in respect of ethically sensitive issues;
8. demonstrate the ability to work independently and cooperatively;
9. communicate and present your ideas when writing and speaking and to listen effectively and persuade rationally;
10. demonstrate the ability to problem solve - to think logically, laterally, strategically, analyzing and evaluating;
11. demonstrate data handling skills; and
12. demonstrate effective use of ICT -the use of electronic data bases in the library, email, word processing, the internet.