Postgraduate taught 

Museum Education MSc

Contemporary Research Theory and Methods in Social and Pedagogical Contexts EDUC51017

  • Academic Session: 2022-23
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 30
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Runs Throughout Semesters 1 and 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course introduces students to theories, approaches and methods for social and educational research in contemporary contexts and is particularly designed for students who are interested in culturally and socially responsive modes. It offers a broad introduction to social research foundations as they are traditionally conceived, whilst also supporting students to consider the ways in which social, cultural, personal and political factors intersect imaginations of social problems, and the scope of research and praxis which is possible in their response. The course content extends to cover research paradigms, qualitative and quantitative approaches, methods and tools for data collection and analysis, ethical considerations, as well as a range of methodologies, including participatory, post-qualitative, arts-informed, feminist, queer, post-colonial and conceptual approaches. Throughout the course students are supported to locate and recognise research as an embodied, personal and performative practice, and to reflexively consider foundations for research within orientations to and interactions with the world activated through the research acts of talking, looking, watching, sensing and doing. 


10 x 3 hour sessions, held fortnightly across semesters 1 and 2.

Excluded Courses





The assessment consists of: 1. Essay: a 3,000-word essay exploring a choice of topics: representation, ethics or validity. (60%) 2. Set exercise: submission of a 2-page research design (20%) 3. Oral assessment: participation in a mini-viva to discuss and defend chosen research approach outlined in research design (20%)

Course Aims

This course provides opportunity to:

■ Explore histories, paradigms, theories, methodologies and methods of research in social and educational contexts.

■ Engage in reflexive, critical and embodied explorations of concepts and practices of educational research.

■ Explore the relationship between research and social and educational issues/practices, by locating the social, cultural, personal and political dimensions of research and considering the productive and performative role of research in challenging or reinforcing existing hierarchies of knowledge.

■ Develop interdisciplinary research, analytic and practical skills suited to the examination of educational issues and practices in contemporary diverse contexts.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ Critically engage with prominent theories and methodologies of social and educational research.

■ Articulate the social, cultural, personal and political dimensions of research, including locating themselves and their interests within the various stages of a research project.

■ Critically analyse how research approaches relate to and inform wider political and social debates.

■ Design a research methodology appropriate to a specified topic.

■ Present ideas critically, clearly and coherently in appropriate academic style, developing well-structured arguments, and observing varied disciplines and approaches of writing, presentation and representation.

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.