Module code: GCAM002

Module Overview

This module provides participants with the skills and knowledge required to design a piece of research in Higher Education. It recognizes that students come from various disciplinary backgrounds and hence students can choose the research methods they would like to focus on based on their background and research area. All students will cover the basics of using quantitative and qualitative data in Higher Education. It will help draw out the ‘burning questions/interests’ that students raise in their previous modules and encourage them to research one of these areas. Students will need to produce a research proposal at the end of the module which they can further investigate in the Research Dissertation module.

Module provider

Surrey Institute of Education

Module Leader

HOSEIN Anesa (Sy Inst Educ)

Number of Credits: 15

ECTS Credits: 7.5

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

Module cap (Maximum number of students): N/A

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 130

Seminar Hours: 9

Guided Learning: 11

Module Availability

Semester 2

Module content

The module content relates to helping students develop a research proposal which they can execute in their dissertation module. The content covers the key areas required for writing the research proposal as well as allowing students to tailor the module for the research techniques and analysis that is needed for their research proposal.


Indicative content includes:

  • Structuring a Research Proposal (developing the research question, the literature review and methodology)

  • Research Strategies in Higher Education (e.g. ethnography, surveys, experiments, case studies)

  • Data Collection Methods in Higher Education (e.g. observations, questionnaires, interviews and documents/image/text)

  • Ethics

  • Analysis of Quantitative and Qualitative Data

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 2500 - 3000 WORD RESEARCH PROPOSAL 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they are able to meet the learning outcomes by planning and designing a research study within Higher Education in consultation with their tutor. 


The research proposal will consist of the following elements:

  • Introduction: the student provides a rationale for their identified research question (LO1 & 2)

  • Literature Review:  the student builds a detailed argument for the research with reference to theories using appropriate literature   (LO2 & 3)

  • Methodology: the student describes the research strategy, design and collection methods with appropriate justifications (LO3 & LO4)

Analysis: students indicate the approach to their analysis (LO4)

Module aims

  • Aid students in writing rigourous academic arguments using the literature
  •  Build students' confidence in planning and designing a research study in Higher Education
  • Provide exposure to a repetoire of research methods/tools/techniques that they can judiciously select when planning and designing research studies in Higher Education 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Identify a research question in higher education CT
002 Justify the chosen theory(ies) which can be used to analyse the research question in higher education CT
003 Critically analyse relevant/key literature that can aid the investigation of the research question in higher education CT
004 Justify the methodological approaches and methods for investigating the research question in higher education KCPT

Attributes Developed

C - Cognitive/analytical

K - Subject knowledge

T - Transferable skills

P - Professional/Practical skills

Methods of Teaching / Learning

The learning and teaching strategy is designed to enable students to develop a research idea into an effective research proposal. Related to the programme learning and teaching strategy, it enables students to reflect and interrogate current practices within higher education and consider the current evidence for these practices. The strategy allows students to work independently and construct their own learning pathways on possible methods for collecting additional evidence for these practices under the guidance from a tutor.


The learning and teaching methods include:


  • Formal Online Interactions

    • Pre-Entry and Mid-Semester Questionnaires (1 hour)

    • Asynchronous/ Synchronous One-to-One Tutorials/Discussions (0.5 x 11 weeks)

Guided Study (2 hour per week x 11 weeks)

Indicated Lecture Hours (which may also include seminars, tutorials, workshops and other contact time) are approximate and may include in-class tests where one or more of these are an assessment on the module. In-class tests are scheduled/organised separately to taught content and will be published on to student personal timetables, where they apply to taken modules, as soon as they are finalised by central administration. This will usually be after the initial publication of the teaching timetable for the relevant semester.

Reading list
Upon accessing the reading list, please search for the module using the module code: GCAM002

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Higher Education MA 2 Compulsory A weighted aggregate mark of 50% is required to pass the module

Please note that the information detailed within this record is accurate at the time of publishing and may be subject to change. This record contains information for the most up to date version of the programme / module for the 2022/3 academic year.