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Designing and Communicating Research

Module titleDesigning and Communicating Research
Module codeERPM005
Academic year2022/3
Module staff

Dr Shirley Larkin (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks


Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

Through this module you will develop your knowledge and skills in designing different kinds of research projects. You will also practise communicating research to an academic audience through a number of different media (oral and written). You do not need any prior educational research experience before taking this module. In the formative work you will be required to work collaboratively to develop a research design to a brief. This aims to mirror the real world of educational research where we often work with others, be that other researchers, education professionals or our research participants. Group discussions and activities throughout the module will enable you to critically evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of different ways of conducting educational research. You will be introduced to different and innovative ways of conducting research which should stand you in good stead for designing your own future research projects. The one summative assignment involves producing a portfolio of work based on the module sessions and which reflects the learning objectives of the module.

Module aims - intentions of the module

This module aims to develop your knowledge and skills in designing and communicating educational research. Designing research will involve formulating different kinds of research questions and cover various design and  methodologies. Communicating research includes skills and knowledge about literature searching, and communicating research to different audiences through different mediums. 

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

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

  • 1. Use and critically appraise a variety of educational research designs, dealing with complex issues, both creatively and systematically
  • 2. Communicate research clearly in different formats and media for specialist and non-specialist audiences

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

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

  • 3. Demonstrate a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in the discipline
  • 4. Identify the needs of different kinds of audience, the needs of different kinds of publication/media and adopt appropriate styles for these to communicate research;

ILO: Personal and key skills

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

  • 5. Demonstrate sound personal judgment, even in the absence of complete data, but particularly in respect of ethically sensitive issues;
  • 6. Clearly communicate and present ideas when writing and speaking and to listen effectively and persuade rationally;
  • 7. Use a wide-range of IT effectively including specialist software for retrieval and storage of literature, critical appraisal of internet sources, and appropriate use of IT for communication and dissemination of research

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Whilst the module’s precise content may vary from year to year, it is envisaged that the syllabus will cover some or all of the following topics:

Searching for and reviewing literature; systematic search strategies, recording and summarising identified sources, examining what is meant by critical analysis

Formulating different kinds of research questions and how they relate to different methodologies

Designing research using different design frameworks

Evaluating research and its contribution to knowledge in the field

Written formats for different audiences and dissemination: writing for academic, professional and other audiences, needs of the audience, needs of publication or medium, procedures for getting published, informal peer review

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 and Teaching Activities3010x3 hour teaching sessions (lectures, workshops and seminars), including on campus teaching and recorded sessions
Guided independent study170Reading and assignment preparation
Guided independent study100Writing summative assignment


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Set exercise 15 minute presentation (1000 words)1,2,3,6,7Oral and peer feedback
Draft section of written assignment1,500 words1,2,3,5Written and oral

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
Written assignment (portfolio of 2 pieces of work)1005,500 words1-7Written and grade


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

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
Written assignment (portfolio of 2 pieces of work)Written assignment (portfolio of 2 pieces of work) (5,500 words)1-76 weeks from notification of failure or re-entry onto programme


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

Basic reading:

BERA (2000) Good practice in educational research writing. Nottingham, BERA.



  • Thomas, G. (2007), Education and theory: strangers in paradigms, University Press, ISBN 0335211801, 0335211798, 9780335211807, 9780335211791, Format electronic resource
  • Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2011) Research Methods in Education (7th edition). London: Routledge. [Available in digital format]
  •  Freeman, D.  (1995). Asking "Good" Questions: Perspectives from Qualitative Research on Practice, Knowledge, and Understanding in Teacher Education. TESOL Quarterly, 29, (3), 581-585. [online resources]
  • Tricia Serviss, Sandra Jamieson (2017). Points of departure: Rethinking student source use and writing studies research. Utah State University Press. [Available in digital format]
  • Troudi, S. (2014). Paradigmatic nature and theoretical framework in educational research. Inspiring Academic Practice, 1, (2), 1-11. [Available online: []
  • Myhill DA, Jones SM, Lines H, Watson A (2012). Re-thinking grammar: the impact of embedded grammar teaching on students' writing and students' metalinguistic understanding. Research Papers in Education, 27(2), 139-166
  • Myhill, D.A. Lines, H.E and Watson, A. (2012) Making Meaning with Grammar: a Repertoire of Possibilities  mETAphor    2:1-10
  • ·      Lines, H.E and Myhill, D.A. (2012)  Grammar for Writing: Using Knowledge of Grammar to improve Writing. Classroom  18: 45-48

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources



Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Education Research, Research Design, Communication, Dissemination

Credit value30
Module ECTS


Module pre-requisites


Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


Last revision date