Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Research Component B: The Dissertation

LEVEL 05 - Postgraduate Modular Diploma or Degree Course


DEPARTMENT Faculty of Education

DESCRIPTION This dissertation provides student-teachers with the opportunity to draw upon educational theory and methods to conduct an independent investigation (under supervision) addressing an area of study in order to inform and improve educational practice. Student-teachers are expected to critically evaluate existing knowledge, findings and/ or theoretical perspectives related to the chosen research area and identify a research theme or question.

They are then expected to plan, design and conduct a research project that will enable them to further explore the area they are investigating. The research project will be underpinned by ethical considerations involved when carrying out research with children, adolescents and within diverse educational communities as well as that that deals with sensitive issues and personal data. The outcomes of the research are then presented in a manner (textual or other form) that allows the student-teacher to engage in a reflective and critical discussion of the application of their research to their own personal and professional development.

Study-Unit Aims:

The study-unit aims to:
- enable student-teachers to plan, design and carry out a small independent research project on an educational issue that is grounded in practice;
- support the development of the skills of inquiry, reflection and research;
- allow student-teachers to identify an appropriate research method/s for their project and understand its underlying methodology;
- encourage the use of research to enhance the relation between theory and practice;
- foster a commitment to life-long learning and continuous professional development;
- help student-teachers understand the importance of research in informing and transforming educational practices (both personal and within the educational community).

Learning Outcomes:

1. Knowledge & Understanding:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- identify a research topic that demonstrates a critical understanding of the theoretical perspectives and findings in the chosen area of study;
- write a focused, critical review of literature related to the chosen area of study;
- develop a research question, theme or hypothesis;
- propose a research design that enables the exploration of the research question/ theme or test the hypothesis;
- critically appraise various research methodologies;
- take into account relevant ethical considerations;
- report, analyse and evaluate existing knowledge, data collected or practices related to the research topic in a clear, structured and concise form;
- identify the strengths and limitations of the research project;
- critically reflect on research area in order to improve their practice.

2. Skills:

By the end of the study-unit the student will be able to:
- take personal and professional responsibility to define, set up, manage and realise a research project over an extended period of time;
- solve problems encountered while realising the project;
- design and implement a research methodology appropriate for the chosen area of study;
- analyse data and evaluate research presented in journal articles, books, reports and policy documents;
- conduct research in an ethical manner;
- frame, articulate and communicate in sophisticated and coherent writing the results, conclusions, implications and recommendations derived from the study;
- use their research findings to improve practice.

Main Text/s and any supplementary readings:

A selection of papers and articles, on the basis of the topic chosen for the Dissertation.

STUDY-UNIT TYPE Dissertation

Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Dissertation SEM2 Yes 100%


The University makes every effort to ensure that the published Courses Plans, Programmes of Study and Study-Unit information are complete and up-to-date at the time of publication. The University reserves the right to make changes in case errors are detected after publication.
The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.