EDU-10033 - Understanding Learning
Coordinator: Sian Edwards Tel: +44 1782 7 34290
Lecture Time: See Timetable...
Level: Level 4
Credits: 15
Study Hours: 150
School Office:

Programme/Approved Electives for 2020/21


Available as a Free Standing Elective






Barred Combinations


Description for 2020/21

Is learning a matter of conditioning or making impressions on a blank sheet, or is the mind itself active in exploring the world around it? Do we learn individual items one by one or in a random way? What is the relationship between language and learning? Why do some people learn easily at school and in higher education while others encounter enormous or insuperable difficulties? What are the most effective learning strategies to adopt? This module introduces students to contemporary and historical theories of learning. It makes use of these in an exploration of educational practice at various levels and encourages students to focus on and reflect on their own learning in the context of higher education.
Lectures include topics such as: Naturalism and Behaviourism; The National Curriculum; Social backgrounds; Intelligence and Learning styles; and Gender in Education.

To enable students' to reflect critically on some of the more important contributions to our understanding of the nature and processes of learning and their relevance to educational practice and well as students' own learning in higher education.

Talis Aspire Reading List
Any reading lists will be provided by the start of the course.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Articulate the central contribution of a number of theorists to an understanding of the learning process and some of the limitations and reservations to which they are subject will be achieved by assessments: 1, 3;
Comment on ways in which theorists contribute to educational studies and educational practice will be achieved by assessments: 1, 3;
Reflectively apply their knowledge to some substantial areas related to learning and education including their own learning in the context of higher education will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3, 4;
Recognise and contribute to debates about formal and informal contexts for learning will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3, 4;
Communicate ideas and arguments about different educational learning environments and the values underpinning their organization will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3, 4;
Identify how they best learn, and the strengths and weaknesses of their individual approach to learning and reflect critically on the process of researching for and writing a reasoned argument will be achieved by assessments: 2, 4;
Participate in group discussions and work with others to communicate their ideas about learning will be achieved by assessment: 3;
Drawing on a range of sources of information, recognise, analyse, sythesise, evaluate, and identify problems and solutions will be achieved by assessments: 1, 2, 3, 4.

Study hours

29 contact hours (consisting of 22 lectures/seminars, 2 hours assessment workshop and 5 hours essay writing and university level skills workshops);
26 hours preparation for portfolio and reflective commentary;
50 hours preparation for essay;
45 hours preparation for seminars and workshops;

School Rules


Description of Module Assessment

1: Essay weighted 80%
Essay (2,500 words) on theories of learning.

2: Reflective Analysis weighted 20%
Reflective commentary (1,000 words) to be submitted with the formative portfolio of learning resources.