Faculty of Education

Postgraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2012 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Education
OfferedNot offered in 2012


The unit consists of two modules. Module 1 provides an overview of significant debates about the nature of knowledge and different research approaches in the fields of social science and education, including ethical issues in research. Module 2 is designed to give students an opportunity to develop perspectives on the work of major theorists. It is organised around case studies of individual theorists, examining the foundations, antecedents and implications of their work. Students will consider the explicit use of theory in qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods.


Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • understand different research perspectives and methodologies in the field of education and social sciences;
  • have an awareness of their ethical responsibilities when undertaking research;
  • reflect on the meanings and motivations they bring to the research endeavour;
  • perceive the interconnections between research questions, data forums, research methodologies and methods
  • formulate research questions and link these to designs;
  • provide students with the opportunity to situate individual theorists within theoretical traditions and within current debates and conversations
  • enable students to engage with diverse applications of individual theorists work
  • enable students to understand the implications of locating their work within specific theoretical traditions
  • enable students to better understand how to actively deploy theory in their own research.


Two research papers tailored to the needs of the student group, together comprising 8000 words.

Chief examiner(s)


Contact hours

3 hours per week