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Module Specifications..

Current Academic Year 2023 - 2024

Please note that this information is subject to change.

Module Title Dissertation
Module Code SI711
School 74
Module Co-ordinatorSemester 1: Neil Kenny
Semester 2: Neil Kenny
Autumn: Neil Kenny
Module TeachersNeil Kenny
Aoife Brennan
NFQ level 9 Credit Rating 10
Pre-requisite None
Co-requisite None
Compatibles None
Incompatibles None

Module aims: Enable students to conceptualise a research problem related to special /inclusive education in the context of Irish primary or post-primary schools. • Assist students in formulating a research question related to their practice in special/inclusive education at classroom, school or local level. • Introduce students to the quantitative paradigm and illustrate, to some extent, what it can entail. • Introduce and explain a survey instrument and how it may be constructed. • Explain the concepts of validity and reliability as they relate to educational research. • Illustrate and explain various types of survey questions and response formats from relevant literature and recently published studies. • Explain how to enter quantitative data using spreadsheet software. • Explain how to interpret and present quantitative data in various formats. • Present various examples of completed surveys and how they are structured, used and contextualised within a small-scale research project. • Introduce students to the qualitative paradigm in educational research. • Enable students to design a small-scale research project and to formulate research questions in the qualitative paradigm. • Introduce action research and its application to teacher research in a small-scale research project. • Explain the concept of case study. • Acquaint students with data collection methods and settings. • Explain approaches to observation in the qualitative paradigm. • Familiarise students with techniques of interviewing in educational research. • Illustrate how qualitative data in questionnaires can be maximised. • Explain how qualitative data may be analysed and presented. • Suggest ways in which small-scale research may be undertaken, at classroom, school or local level, within the context of teacher/practitioner research. • Provide a thorough understanding of ethical issues within the context of a small-scale study. • Engage teachers in critical reflection on their practice thereby contributing to and promoting a highly skilled, committed and caring teaching profession.

Learning Outcomes

1. Engage in informed discussions about research methods in the quantitative and qualitative paradigms.
2. Understand and appreciate the nature of a research problem and research questions in the context of special/inclusive education.
3. Apply their knowledge and understanding of research methods in their approach to undertaking research in their classrooms, schools or localities.
4. Make informed choices about research methods and strategies for undertaking research.
5. Complete a research project that may be characterised by its authenticity, integrity, validity and reliability.
6. Interpret findings from their research and present them in a clear, logical and systematic and coherent manner.
7. Understand ethical issues in relation to educational research and in particular in their application in special/inclusive education settings.
8. Make recommendations on the basis of their research for improved practice at classroom, school or local level in relation to special/inclusive education.
9. Become reflective practitioners showing increased commitment, skill and professionalism in all aspects of their work.

Workload Full-time hours per semester
Type Hours Description
Lecture10Lectures and Online Discussion
Tutorial20Tutorials with dissertation supervisor
Independent Study220Independent Learning Time
Total Workload: 250

All module information is indicative and subject to change. For further information,students are advised to refer to the University's Marks and Standards and Programme Specific Regulations at: http://www.dcu.ie/registry/examinations/index.shtml

Indicative Content and Learning Activities

Indicative Content
• Introduction to the quantitative paradigm; • Identifying a research problem; • Formulating a research question; • Validity and reliability; • Generating a survey instrument; • Types of survey questions and response formats; • Analysing and presenting quantitative data; • Introduction to the qualitative paradigm; • Designing research/research questions; • Data collection methods and settings; • Developing skills in observation; • Understanding techniques of interviewing and interviewing methodology; • Using and building qualitative data in questionnaires; • Analysing and presenting qualitative data; • Showing awareness and understanding of ethical issues.

Assessment Breakdown
Continuous Assessment100% Examination Weight0%
Course Work Breakdown
TypeDescription% of totalAssessment Date
AssignmentWritten Dissertation (7,500-8,000 words)100%n/a
Reassessment Requirement Type
Resit arrangements are explained by the following categories;
1 = A resit is available for all components of the module
2 = No resit is available for 100% continuous assessment module
3 = No resit is available for the continuous assessment component
This module is category 2
Indicative Reading List

  • Bell, J.: 1999, Doing your research project: A guide for first time researchers, Open University Press., Buckingham,
  • Denscombe, M.: 2012, The good research guide: For small-scale social research, 3rd, Open University Press, . Buckingham:,
  • Koshy, V.: 2005, Action research for improving practice: A practical guide., Chapman Publishing, London,
Other Resources

Programme or List of Programmes
SIEProf Dip in Special & Inclusive Educat.
SPDVProfessional Diploma in SIE

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