University of Oxford

Degree level: Postgraduate

Education (Research Design and Methodology) (Taught)

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Course summary

The information provided on this page was correct at the time of publication (October/November 2022). For complete and up-to-date information about this course, please visit the relevant University of Oxford course page via The MSc Education (Research Design and Methodology) introduces you to the range of tools and concepts that are necessary in educational research. The course aims to provide you with the knowledge and skills to undertake your own research and to evaluate the research of others. The course covers a range of quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection and data analysis, and introduces you to the challenges of carrying out social research in the field of education. Students will normally complete six taught modules:

  • Foundations of Educational Research 1: Concepts and Design
  • Foundations of Educational Research 2: Strategies and Methods
  • Philosophy of Educational Research
  • Introduction to Quantitative Research
One of the following modules:
  • Intermediate Quantitative Research
  • Perspectives and Debates in Qualitative Research
  • One elective module, which is normally either Intermediate Quantitative Research or Perspectives and Debates in Qualitative Research, but may include an alternative module (specific options depending upon annual course offerings across the MSc Education course in Hilary Term, and these options will be shared with students on the course at the beginning of Michaelmas Term).
The teaching methods include lectures, small group work, student presentations, seminars, workshops, one-to-one dissertation supervision, and individual research projects. You will participate in classes on research design, and on the quantitative and qualitative data collection and analysis techniques used to yield research findings. Supervision sessions will support you in identifying research questions towards dissertation research, selecting areas for literature review, carrying out field work, and reviewing drafts of the dissertation. Supported ICT sessions on literature access skills (including electronic searches) will be provided by the department's library staff. All students on this course may take part in an optional ‘internship’ in which they work with an academic/research team on an ongoing research project for a short period. During this time, they gain experience by working on the variety of activities that constitute an everyday part of doing educational research. The MSc programme is offered on both a full time (one year) and part time (two year) basis (note: prospective students must apply specifically to either the full time course or the part time course). The degree and expectations for both modes of study are equally rigorous: part time students attend classes with full time students, but these are spread over two years to balance with work and personal circumstances. Part time students attend classes one day per week during term time and are encouraged to spend at least one further day a week working in Oxford libraries and participating in relevant research seminars and research events or taking non-assessed courses. Supervision The allocation of graduate supervision for this course is the responsibility of the Department of Education. This will be done on the basis of the topic of research and the availability of individual supervisors. It is not always possible to accommodate the preferences of incoming graduate students to work with a particular member of staff. Under exceptional circumstances a supervisor may be found outside the Department of Education. Students may expect 10 hours of contact time with their supervisors over the course of one academic year. The specific timing and number of meetings may vary somewhat according to the nature and requirements of a student’s dissertation project.

Entry requirements

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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

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Additional fee information

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Education (Research Design and Methodology) at University of Oxford - UCAS