Research Methods in Education PgCert

Why choose this course?

Develop your research skills with this postgraduate certificate course, taught 100% online.

This innovative online programme is designed with user-friendly accessible technology to provide you with confidence, knowledge and skills of advanced research methods of enquiry for educational practice.

This will enable you to contextualise educational research, design a research project, analyse and evaluate a line of enquiry, and communicate your research ideas to promote research-rich workplace culture within your setting and beyond.

This course is ideal for graduates who work with children, young people, families and adults in a variety of settings in which education takes place, such as children's centres, nurseries, schools, colleges, consultancies, advisory services, museums, prisons, hospitals, higher education and other practice settings, which opens wider employability opportunities.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Online 1 year Online September 2020
February 2021
Location Online

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is taught 100% online which is ideal if you need to balance work and study.
  • You will be taught by a team of online teaching and learning specialists with a wide range of educational research expertise. 
  • This course is part of the School of Education's postgraduate portfolio of research-focused courses, allowing you to transfer credits to our MRes (Ed). It is also a valuable preparation stage for advancing to a doctoral degree.

What you will study

You will study a range of topics over the course of two modules, starting from methods of enquiry for ethically researching professional practice through to the design of a research proposal.

Core modules

Core modules

Research Methods for Education

30 credits

This module will introduce students to research methods and tools relevant to practitioners in education contexts. Theoretical perspectives surrounding methodological processes and the relevance of research to practice are critically examined and discussed. Specific research methodologies, such as Action Research and Case Study, will be evaluated to allow students opportunity to explore elements of research design including qualitative, quantitative and mixed method approaches to data collection and data analysis. Students will engage in discussions of methodological and ethical issues in order to develop a systematic, logical and carefully considered response. The module informs the design of a research proposal and a possible research project by facilitating students' understanding in methodological decision-making and the necessary tools and processes for undertaking research projects involving complex phenomena relevant to the student's professional interest and expertise.

Developing a Research Proposal

30 credits

This module is designed to introduce students to the process of planning, designing and preparing a research project by allowing them to put into practice their knowledge and understanding of educational research acquired in the previous module (Research Methods for Education). The module provides students with opportunities to define and refine the focus of proposed research, to identify, clarify and articulate their research questions, to consider the ethical and practical issues raised by their methodology, and to determine their precise methods and hone their research skills. It ensures that students are enabled to design and manage a professionally-relevant research project that follows the principles and standards of educational research as a systematic enquiry.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

Candidates are normally required to have a honours degree and/or further qualifications relating to education in a professional or interprofessional setting, such as children's centres, nurseries, schools, colleges, consultancies, advisory services, museums, prisons, hospitals, higher education, human resources staff development and other practice settings.


All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

This course will introduce you to research methods relevant to practitioners in an education context. It is taught online and has been developed using state-of-the-art learning design approach to teaching and learning online.

The course has been designed for professionals who work with and for learners of any age at any setting in which learning takes place.

The learning process

While on this course, you will be part of a community of practice. You will take part in a range of online activities, both individually and collaboratively as part of a group. Some online activities take place synchronously (in real time, such as video conferencing). Others are asynchronous (not in real time, such as posting and responding to discussions in an online forum). Synchronous sessions take place regularly, every two or three weeks.

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions, you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 100 hours
  • Guided independent study: 500 hours

How you will be assessed

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

  • 100% coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

Course fees and funding

2019/20 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2019/20

PgCert distance learning £2,400

Overseas (not EU) 2019/20

PgCert distance learning £2,750

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

PgCert distance learning £2,500

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

PgCert distance learning £2,850

Where this course will take you

The course will equip you with the skills to meet the growing demand for confident research-engaged professionals in individual institutions and consortium settings. These two masters-level modules are also a valuable preparation stage for those considering doing further professional and academic degrees (e.g. doctoral degree).

Research areas

Many of our staff in the School of Education are research active. This ensures they are in touch with the latest thinking and bring best practice to your studies.

Education research at Kingston includes:

  • Subject pedagogy
  • Curriculum design
  • Planning
  • Assessment
  • Safeguarding
  • SEND and inclusive practice
  • Early Years
  • Supporting more able learners
  • Educational inequalities
  • Policy
  • History of education
  • Higher education
  • Technology and Pedagogy - Technology Enhanced Learning