Module code: GCAM003

Module Overview

This is the final and compulsory module of the MA in Higher Education. The purpose of this module is to allow the participant to conduct an independent piece of research in higher education based on their research proposal developed in the module “Researching in Higher Education”. In this module, the student will be able to demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of an area in higher education by drawing on the theories, knowledge of methodologies and skills developed in the other MA modules. The student will have to write a dissertation detailing the research which includes the theory, methodology and analysis. 

Module provider

Surrey Institute of Education

Module Leader

HOSEIN Anesa (Sy Inst Educ)

Number of Credits: 60

ECTS Credits: 30

Framework: FHEQ Level 7

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

Overall student workload

Independent Learning Hours: 555

Tutorial Hours: 15

Guided Learning: 30

Module Availability

Year long

Prerequisites / Co-requisites

“Researching in Higher Education” module with a 50% pass mark in the assessment “Research Proposal for Higher Education”

Module content

Indicative content includes:

  •         Structuring and Writing a Dissertation

  •         Applying for Ethics Approval

  •         Conducting Fieldwork

  •         Analysis: Quantitative and/or Qualitative

Studens will be directed by their supervisors on the extent of engagement with the content depending on their focus of their research as well as their previous experience and training in research methods.

Assessment pattern

Assessment type Unit of assessment Weighting
Coursework 10,000-12,000 WORD RESEARCH DISSERTATION 100

Alternative Assessment


Assessment Strategy

The assessment strategy is designed to provide students with the opportunity to demonstrate that they have met the learning outcomes by writing up their dissertation based on the executed research study within Higher Education under academic supervision. 


The production of the research dissertation itself meets LO5, which will normally be developed according to the following indicative sections:

  • Introduction: the student provides a rationale for their identified research question and outline of their executed and designed research project (LO1 & 2)

  • Literature review: the student builds a detailed argument for the research with reference to theories using appropriate literature and refining the research question  (LO2)

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

Analysis: the student presents the interpreted results and evaluates the results based on the theory, methodology, analytical approach, previous literature and the wider education context (LO4)

Module aims

  • produce students who can plan, design and execute an original piece of research within the higher education landscape
  • equip students with sufficient knowledge and experience to conduct their own research either at a higher level of academic study or in their work environments
  • allow students the opportunity to evaluate their decision making within complex and unpredictable situations 

Learning outcomes

Attributes Developed
001 Execute an original research project designed by the student in a chosen higher education area PT
002 Justify the rationale of investigating the research question in a chosen higher education area by using the key/ relevant literature CT
003  Justify the theories, methodological (including research instruments) and analytical approaches used for investigating the research question in higher education KCT
004 Critically evaluate the robustness, validity and benefits of the interpreted research results with respect to the chosen theoretical framework, previous research literature, methodology,  analytical methods and/ or wider higher education context KCT
005 Produce a dissertation to professional academic standards PT

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 produce students who can conduct research independently under academic supervision. In this module, students are expected to take responsibility for their learning pathway by connecting and transforming their knowledge of higher education through a piece of independent research.

The learning and teaching methods include:

  •         Independent research under academic supervision (15 hours academic supervision)

  •         Guided study and directed learning by supervisor (30 hours)

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: GCAM003

Programmes this module appears in

Programme Semester Classification Qualifying conditions
Higher Education MA(YEAR LONG) Year-long 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.