PP7011 - Childhood and Early Years Studies Dissertation Project

What will I learn on this module?

Building on the Research Methods Approaches and Skills Module this module will increase your understanding and skills. This module will build on your knowledge, understanding and application of key ideas, perspectives and activities in social research relevant to Childhood and Early Years. You will develop further knowledge and understanding about what and how things can be ‘known’ (epistemology), ways of seeing the world (paradigms), approaches and traditions in research (methodology), collecting or generating data (methods) and analysing or interpreting findings (analysis). You will develop a critical understanding of how to relate each of these elements to enable you to carry out independent research and write your dissertation project. You will also learn about research ethics and protocols.

Indeed, the focus of this module is a small-scale independent research project which students undertake with the support of an experienced academic research supervisor. You will be supported to develop an appropriate project which may be based on empirical data (quantitative or qualitative or mixed methods), work-based reflections, evaluations, case study or literature based. Peer support is also encouraged through student led seminars.

How will I learn on this module?

You will learn through workshops and independent learning alongside personal supervision from a member of the academic team. An electronic reading list will be provided to support your learning about conducting research. You will be expected to develop as an independent learner and use the library and other databases to search for appropriate literature relating to your chosen topic/research question. During a series of workshops, you will discuss with peers and tutors, theoretical frameworks, research design and methods. A series of guided tasks and exercises will support the writing of your dissertation project. You will also take part in practical activities that will help you acquire the research skills necessary to become an independent researcher.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Support will include feedback from tutors during workshops and tutorials. You will have regular meetings with your supervisor who will provide advice and guidance in incremental steps to support your thinking, writing and completion of your project. In addition, tutors will respond to questions via the modules’ discussion board on the University’s eLearning Portal so that the whole group can benefit.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at: http://readinglists.northumbria.ac.uk
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team – http://library.northumbria.ac.uk/readinglists)

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
MLO1. You will have a critical understanding of the breadth and complexity of research methods involved in Childhood and Early Years research.

MLO2. You will conceptualise a research topic and establish its relevance to the field of Childhood and Early Years Studies.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
MLO3. You will produce a research protocol explaining and justifying the research question and design.

MLO4. You will demonstrate enhanced critical research and analytical skills.

MLO5 You will demonstrate skills in project management and completion

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

MLO6 You will demonstrate integrity and an appreciation of ethical and philosophical issues in relation to your research project.

How will I be assessed?

Formative Assessment:
You will verbally present (10 mins) your research design during a workshop to your peers and tutors. The presentation must include your research questions, context, methodology, and ethical issues. Your approach to analysis of data and conceptualisation should also be identified.

You will receive verbal feedback from your tutor and peers.

Summative Assessment:
You will produce a final project report which presents the project in an appropriate academic style supported by the current literature base and accurately referenced. (12,500 words) This will demonstrate all MLOs.
You will receive written feedback from tutors against the specific assessment criteria.


Research Methods Approaches and Skills



Module abstract


Course info

Credits 60

Level of Study Postgraduate

Mode of Study 1 year full time

Department Social Work, Education and Community Wellbeing

Location Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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