Postgraduate taught 

Education MSc: Online distance learning

Principles and Practices of Research EDUC5934

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: No
  • Taught Wholly by Distance Learning: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students with the skills and knowledge to successfully undertake and evaluate research and professional enquiry featuring qualitative, quantitative or mixed methods research. The course has a strong practical orientation and formative activities are directly related to the summative assignments.


This course is taught entirely online. The course begins in September and ends in December. There will be a total of 15 weeks (12 teaching weeks and three weeks of assignment preparation). There will be four milestone activities during the 12 weeks of teaching.


Students will be expected to be online at least once a week in this core course and to work online and with the online resources for some 90 notional learning hours, to undertake guided independent and groupwork activity for some 68 notional learning hours and to deploy some 42 notional learning hours to assignment preparation with peer and tutor support. 

Requirements of Entry


Excluded Courses





The summative assessment instruments will be equivalent to a written assignment of 4,000 words

 a. 2000 word practical analysis, interpretation and presentation of a qualitative dataset or, a conceptual/theoretical/philosophical analysis (50%)
b. 2000 word practical analysis, interpretation and presentation of
a quantitative dataset (50%) 

Course Aims

The overall aim of the course is to provide students with the depth of understanding and comprehensive skill set needed to conduct and use educational research and enquiry. This includes the aims to: develop the understanding required to select and apply diverse and appropriate methods of enquiry; equip students with the skills of data collection (primary and secondary), analysis, interpretation and presentation needed to apply and evaluate appropriate qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods of educational enquiry; and, support the development of strategies for project management and research design and evaluation of qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods in educational enquiry.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to: .

■ recognise the assumptions and premises underlying different approaches to enquiry and diverse conceptions of evidence

■ design and carry out an educational enquiry project using an appropriate quantitative, qualitative, mixed or conceptual methods approach 

■ understand the wider significance of enquiry procedures and make decisions regarding the appropriate enquiry strategy for a given project and context

■ analyse the form and application of research based evidence for educational practice and policy

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.