Dissertation ideas Education
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Example education dissertation topic 1:
An analysis of the effects of the introduction of £9, 000 tuition fees on a recruiting university: A London Metropolitan University case study
There are two types of university within the UK higher education sector: recruiting universities (those that must actively seek out their potential undergrads) and applicant-rich universities (oversubscribed throughout subject area). The introduction of £9, 000 tuition fees has already resulted in a number of changes to the UK HE sector undergraduate intake including, for example, a reduction in the number of GAP years undertaken. This dissertation chooses to look at a specific recruiting university and through an analysis of various intake trends seeks to evaluate the effect that the introduction of £9, 000 fees has had on one of the least well performing (in terms of The Times league tables) institutions in the sector.
Suggested initial topic reading:
- Deardon, L., Fitzsimons, E. and Wyness, G. (2011) The impact of tuition fees and support on university participation in the UK. IFS Working Paper, London: Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Wilkins, S., Shams, F. and Huisman, J. (2012) ‘The decision-making and changing behavioural dynamics of potential higher education students: The impacts of increasing tuition fees in England', Educational Studies, not yet published.
Example education dissertation topic 2:
Student perceptions in a market led educational sector: An evaluation of student service expectations - a comparative study between 1st, 2nd a 3rd years at the University of Birmingham
As undergraduates travel through their course of study their expectations of the services delivered by their university alters. The need for greater IT equipment, longer library opening hours and other support services are just three examples. The rise in the number of libraries now operating either 24/7 or 24/7 during the examination period is testimony to the change in student demands over the last twenty years. Moreover, the marketization of places and the increase in tuition fees has increased the potential for students to see themselves as purchases of a service and to, accordingly, demand that their wants are noted and addressed. Using primarily new primary data collected through interviews this dissertation analysis changing perceptions of needs at the University of Birmingham - a university that, in a time of student economic hardship, has awarded its own VC a 7% pay rise. This is a contemporary study that though focused on a specific redbrick institution has implications for the sector as a whole.
- Clinton, M. (2009) ‘Managing students' and teachers' expectations of higher education: A psychological contract approach', Higher Education Research Network Journal, London: King's Learning Institute.
- Shaver, B. (2012) ‘Meeting undergraduate students' expectations of the university experience', Thesis, California State University, available at: https://csusm-dspace.calstate.edu/handle/10211.8/119 [accessed 26 May 2012].
Example education dissertation topic 3:
‘Predominantly white, Anglo-Saxon and Euro-centric': to what extent does a comparative analysis of take-up rates of GCSE History within inner-city Bradford and Bristol support this contention?
An analysis of the GCSE History syllabi offered by the three major examination boards reveals that the majority of options offered for study revolve around Britain and Europe. Further, whilst there are non-European options (for instance Medicine through time and Native Americans) analysis of the number of students taught each option reveals that well in excess of 80% of students are taught a Euro-centric and British syllabus. This dissertation asks whether this preponderance for ‘white' study has an effect on the number of minority students choosing to study the subject at GCSE level and does so by a racial analysis of student uptake numbers in two cities with very different ethnic profiles: Bradford and Bristol. This is therefore a dissertation that combines education theory, issues of diversity and statistical analysis.
- Haydn, T. (2011) ‘Secondary history: Current themes', in, Davies, I. (ed.) Debates in history teaching. Abingdon: Routledge.
- Harris, R. and Haydn, T. (2012) ‘What happens to a subject in a ‘free market' curriculum? A study of secondary school history in the UK', Research Papers in Education, Vol. 27(1), pp. 81-101.