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Practitioner Research: Improving Professional Practice MA

MA Practioner Research Improving Professional Practice

The Course Programme Structure Staff Profiles Why YSJ ?


Why study MA in Practitioner Research: Improving Professional Practice?

  • To keep up to date with current developments
  • To meet, share ideas and learn together with other colleagues from a range of settings
  • To develop your research skills
  • To improve your professional practice
  • To gain accreditation at Masters Level


Is this programme for me?

The programme is for teachers in early years, primary and secondary schools, lecturers in Further and Higher Education, those in student support roles and educational administrators, colleagues working in Children’s Centres, extended schools, Sure Start, residential care settings, behaviour support, health and social care, youth services, Local Authority advisers and school improvement officers. In fact the programme is designed to appeal to practitioners from a range of professional fields in the wider children’s workforce, post-compulsory education and training and support roles. 


How is the programme structured and what will I study?

The programme is studied part-time and is entirely modular. It includes core and option modules. A typical study pattern might look like this:

Semester 1

You will study the core module Introduction to Practitioner Research (30 credits). This is a compulsory module because practitioner research is fundamental to the programme and central to its assessment strategies. This module therefore helps you to understand approaches in practitioner research and methods of gathering and analysing data to give you the confidence, knowledge and skills to plan and carry out your own small-scale investigations.


Semester 2

You will choose one 30 credit module from the choices offered. We don’t  guarantee to offer all choices each year. Availability is subject to demand.
Modules might include:

  • Children and Youth Worlds
  • Leadership and Management
  • Learning and Teaching
  • Early Years
  • Education and Wellbeing in Residential Environments


Semester 3 and 4 (normally Year 2 of the programme)

You will choose two linked modules. Again, availability is subject to demand. In the first of these linked modules you will review a selection of the literature in the field and write a research plan for your practitioner research project which you will then carry out in the linked module which follows.

Examples of Semester 3 and 4 pairings:

  • Integrated Practice in Children’s Services paired with: Researching Integrated Practice in Children’s Services
  • Student Voice – Theory and Practice paired with Researching Student Voice
  • Managing Change paired with Researching the Management of Change
  • Quality Provision in the Early Years paired with Researching Quality Provision in the Early Years
  • The Social Pedagogue paired with
  • Researching the Social Pedagogue


Semesters 5 and 6

The Practitioner Research Project/Dissertation is normally the last module studied on the programme for the MA award. It is a 60 credit module in which you engage in an extended research study.


How can I study?

Modules are delivered on Saturdays at York St John University. In 2012-13 the dates will be:

Semester 1 and 3

Saturday 21 September 2013       10.00am-4.00pm

Saturday 19 October 2013            10.00am-4.00pm

Saturday 9 November 2013           10.00am-4.00pm


Semester 2 and 4

Saturday 8 February 2014              10.00am-4.00pm

Saturday 22 March 2014                 10.00am-4.00pm

Saturday 10 May 2014                    10.00am-4.00pm


How will I be assessed?

The course is assessed by coursework rather than examination. Assessment tasks include short research-based tasks, an essay, literature reviews, writing project proposals and plans for research projects, practitioner research fieldwork reports and the extended dissertation study.


What kind of research will I carry out on this course?

You will plan and carry out small-scale investigations into aspects of your professional practice which you would like to study and understand better. The studies undertaken are usually qualitative research studies rather than quantitative because the nature of this research is that it tends to be interpretative and concerned with words rather than numbers and with exploring the different meanings people give to aspects of social reality.


Degree programme information

Programme specifications »