University of Southampton

Graduate Studies

Improving Professional Practice and Learning (PCES)


Southampton Management School

University of Southampton

Southampton, England

United Kingdom

Program Information

Degrees Offered:

60 Masters Level Credits, PCES

Format: Campus

Program Description:

As the title of the certificate implies, the focus of the course is on the use of research evidence and the application of action research to develop increased understanding of and to raise standards in learning in schools, colleges and other organisations. In common with our other courses at this level, this PCES is especially designed to focus on learning, teaching and raising standards; to promote evidence-based practice and school-based research; and to draw on best practice, OFSTED evidence and school improvement / school effectiveness research.. Structure & Assessment: Both units in the PCES are assessed through written assignments, submitted shortly after the end of the unit. The 4000 word assignment for “Principles of Action Research” will describe the action research project, its setting and the research questions addressed, as well as surveying relevant literature. Assessment for the unit “Evaluating and Improving Learning” will take the form of a research report of 8000 words or equivalent, aimed at an academic and professional audience. Both assignments have been carefully designed to fit closely with the professional development needs of science teachers, and support through individual tutorials and group seminars is built into teaching sessions to guide students through the stages of producing their assignments. Modules: “Principles of Action Research” examines the latest ideas in science and science education research, and how these can be implemented in the classroom. “Evaluating and Improving Learning” provides a framework for implementing research in classrooms and evaluating its impact on learning and teaching.


North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, The Higher Learning Commission

International Student Requirements:

If English is not your first language, the University of Southampton English Language requirements for study apply i.e.TOEFL 600 / computer based 250 or better for IELTS 6.5 or better
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