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Unit information: Educational and Professional Studies School Investigation in 2019/20

Please note: Due to alternative arrangements for teaching and assessment in place from 18 March 2020 to mitigate against the restrictions in place due to COVID-19, information shown for 2019/20 may not always be accurate.

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Educational and Professional Studies School Investigation
Unit code EDUC30034
Credit points 0
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Academic Year (weeks 1 - 52)
Unit director Ms. Bailey
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Education
Faculty Faculty of Social Sciences and Law



This unit allows student teachers to use their practical experience in schools to research a particular professional issue of their own choice. Student teachers are assessed and receive feedback on their progress in teaching at four points during the PGCE programme. This unit is designed to enable them to develop and reflect on an issue which has arisen from that feedback. The assessment of teaching is based on the 8 Teachers’ Standards ( and student teachers should have a range of experiences whilst in school which enable them to meet the Teachers’ Standards. They will select an issue to research which will help them meet the Teacher’s Standards successfully. This unit promotes evidence and research-based practice to achieve this. It provides opportunities for working with other professionals in school and in other subject areas


This unit aims to enhance student teachers’ progress in practical teaching by setting it in the context of whole school issues. It aims to provide student teachers with opportunities to reflect on their own teaching through research in school, as well as in dialogue with relevant professionals. They will engage with a range of appropriate literature in order to analyse their findings and to gain a deeper understanding of their chosen educational issue. The unit aims to help student teachers demonstrate progress in their practical teaching and gain further evidence for meeting the Teachers’ Standards.

Intended learning outcomes

Student teachers will be able to:

  • Plan investigations of practice in school based on their own development and reflection on feedback;
  • Carry out small-scale research in a school context, using appropriate research methods;
  • Use ideas from a wide range of professional literature to develop their own thinking and practice;
  • Understand key educational issues which arise in their practice;
  • Work with other professionals collaboratively;
  • Present well-structured and clearly presented accounts of their investigations;
  • Begin to take responsibility for their continuing professional development as a teacher, by reflecting on their own development.

Teaching details

Students will attend a programme of lectures and seminars spread across the year. While university-based there will be a formal programme of lectures and while school-based they will take part, weekly, in small seminars led by a member of staff. They will carry out a series of formative tasks which will lead to them making a choice of a topic for formal assessment.

Assessment Details

Student teachers will draw on their reading and research in school in order to critically evaluate the effectiveness of a particular issue in their own teaching and in the wider school context. They will produce the equivalent of a 1500-word assignment which will consist of a variety of components, including a literature review, an investigation of key educational issues and a reflective summative evaluation of their own development in light of their findings. ILOs 1-7

Reading and References

As the nature of the assignment is based on student teachers selecting their own focus, in consultation with university and school-based professionals, it is not possible to draw up a definitive list of references.

Student teachers will engage with professional literature, including text books and subject specific pedagogical materials, and policy documents, as well as journals and book chapters specific to their focus. Other texts will be recommended depending on the chosen focus and negotiated with the tutor.

Bolton, G. (2010) Reflective Practice. London: Sage

Cohen, L., Manion, L. & Morrison, K. (2007) Research Methods in Education (6th Edition).

London: RoutledgeFalmer

Hopkins, D. (2002) A Teacher’s Guide to Action Research (3rd Edition) Buckingham: Open University Press.

Petty, G. (2009) Evidence Based Teaching: a Practical Approach. (2nd Edition) Cheltenham: NelsonThornes.

Punch, K (2009) Introduction to Research Methods in Education: London: Sage

Somekh, B. (2006) Action Research: a Methodology for Change and Development. London: Sage.

Wragg, E.C. (1999) An Introduction to Classroom Observation. (2nd Edition) London: Routledge.