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Secondary Education and Professional Studies (School Direct)

Module titleSecondary Education and Professional Studies (School Direct)
Module codeEDUM066
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Dr Annabel Watson (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

This module will introduce you to educational theories, policies and frameworks relevant to teaching in the Secondary subject that you have chosen for your School Direct programme. In addition, you will learn how to conduct a small-scale, classroom-based, educational research study. Resources for the module, including recorded lectures, will be available online using the University of Exeter’s virtual learning environment, ELE.  Seminars and directed tasks will enable you to relate your developing professional practice in school to scholarly literature and theoretical frameworks to deepen your understanding of a range of topics in education including research methodology. The content of the module is strongly inter-dependent with the Secondary Subject and Curriculum Studies module in the PGCE School Direct programme.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The principle aims of the module are to:

  • enable you to gain an understanding of a range of contemporary education policies and issues, theory and practice;
  • support you in reflecting critically on children’s learning and development, pedagogy and teachers’ roles and responsibilities; and
  • support you to meet the standards for Qualified Teacher Status as required by the National College for Teaching and Learning.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. identify and evaluate educational theories and policies and engage in critical debate about current issues, drawing on evidence from theory, policy, research and practice;
  • 2. understand theories of pedagogy, learning and development, and consider how these can inform professional practice.

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 3. critically evaluate the relevance of educational theories to practice;
  • 4. synthesise relevant educational literature in support of an argument;
  • 5. use appropriate technologies for data handling and writing in education;
  • 6. present data and findings in a form appropriate for educational contexts;
  • 7. use research data in support of an argument in education (including government reports).

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. manage your own learning development and evaluation of your learning;
  • 2. learn effectively both independently and co-operatively, and be aware of your own learning strategies;
  • 3. express ideas and opinions, with confidence and clarity, to a variety of audiences for a variety of purposes with rational argument based on relevant and reliable data;
  • 4. work productively in different kinds of teams (formal, informal, project based, etc); and
  • 5. think creatively about the main features of a given problem and develop strategies for its resolution.

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

The module introduces you to current thinking in Education and Professional Studies in the context of teaching in a school in England. Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that key elements of the module will include:

  • Online resources including recorded lectures that will introduce you to topics relevant to your professional development as a teacher, for example: theories of learning; introduction to research methods; the curriculum; and assessment for learning.
  • Online resources including recorded lectures that will introduce you to the expectations of working at Masters level and to approaches suitable for carrying out a small-scale, classroom-based, research study.
  • Online seminars which create opportunities for you to explore, consolidate and deepen your understanding of these topics.
  • Professional Studies seminars in school that will follow up topics from the lecture programme in a specific educational context.

On the PGCE School Direct, you will learn and reflect on the skills and knowledge required by the programme’s credit-bearing and non-credit bearing modules throughout the year. You will need to think about the modules in relation to each other. To facilitate this, the learning and teaching activities and guided independent study described below are scheduled to occur across all three terms both in the context of your university taught course and in the context of your applied professional experience in schools.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities48Interaction with online resources posted for the module in ELE that will include reading selected literature, accessing video clips and listening to recorded lectures
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities30Seminars and follow up seminar activities
Scheduled Learning & Teaching activities20Professional Studies seminars in school
Guided Independent Study20Completion of directed tasks related to module content
Guided Independent Study182Independent reading and reflection, classroom observation and teaching experience while on placement in school


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Written directed tasks36 weeks1-4, 8-10, 12Verbal and online
Research study plan1,500 words4,5,8,10,12Written

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Report on research study 1004,000 words 4-12Written


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Report on research studyReport on research study (4,000 words) 4-12See reassessment notes below

Re-assessment notes

If an assignment is deemed to be a Fail by the Exam Board, the mark obtained on resubmission will be capped at 50%.  You will be given feedback outlining what needs to be done to bring the assignment to a pass standard and one opportunity for resubmission will be allowed.

You can choose to resubmit a failed assignment ‘in year’ (i.e. before the final Examination Board in July) if there is sufficient time left to do this. The resubmission would normally be made 4 weeks after receiving feedback on the first submission. Alternatively, you may opt to go to the Examination Board with the fail mark. You will then be referred to the Consequences Board who will confirm the conditions for resubmission of the work. Normally the resubmission should be by 1st September. You should discuss these options with your University Tutor.

Note: if you choose the second option, the award of PGCE will be delayed until the Examination Board following any successful resubmission (this is normally held in December).


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Aubrey, K., & Riley, A. (2018) Understanding and using educational theories. SAGE.

Bryan H, Carpenter C and Hoult S.(2010) Learning and Teaching at M-Level: A guide for student teachers. London: Sage.

Fisher, R. (2005) Teaching Children to Learn. 2nd edition. Cheltenham. Nelson Thornes.

Fisher, R. (2005) Teaching Children to Think. Cheltenham. Nelson Thornes.

Grigg, R & Lewis, H (2019) Teaching Creative and Critical Thinking in Schools. London: Sage

Kyriacou C. (2018) Essential Teaching Skills. 5th edition Cheltenham: Nelson Thornes.

Pollard A. (2014) Reflective Teaching. 4th Revised edition. Bloomsbury Publishing PLC

Pritchard A. (2017) Ways of Learning: Learning Theories for the Classroom, 4th edition. London: Routledge/David Fulton.

Sewell K (ed). (2012) Doing Your PGCE at M-Level: A Guide for Students. 2nd edition. London. Sage

Skinner, D. (2010) Effective Teaching and Learning in Practice. London. Continuum 

Sotto, E. (2007) When Teaching becomes Learning. 2nd edition. London. Continuum.

Wilson E. (2017) School-based Research: A Guide for Education Students. 3rd edition. London, Sage.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

School Direct Education and Professional Studies course in ELE (

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

PGCE, Education Studies, Professional Studies, research methods, critical reflection, theoretical frameworks

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites

EDUM064 Secondary Subject and Curriculum Studies (School Direct)
EDUM030 Professional Learning (School Direct)

NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Origin date


Last revision date