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Postgraduate Research

Postgraduate Research conducted by staff at Kingston College. 

Fiona Auguste – The Impact Of An Employee’s Attitude And Satisfaction Towards Their Employer


Carol Baily – Reverse Intergenerational Learning

Traditional teaching pedagogy has the young learning from the old. To improve learning in a business environment, generational differences have been identified as potential barriers between people. There is a growing realisation that technology can be used to bridge the gap between young and old using reverse mentoring. Moving beyond the confines of using reverse intergenerational learning as a tool for only learning new IT has not yet gained general acceptance in the wider business environment. Surely this represents a missed opportunity.

Alok Bhattacharyya – String Theory And Parastatistics, Gravity Waves


Andy Bossom – iPad Learning


Christian Clark – An Investigation Into The Impact Of Introducing Assessment For Learning


Duncan Cook – Rethinking Urban Subjectivities And Environments


Jo Dallal – The Success Of Foundation Degrees

Kingston College has been offering a Foundation Degree in Early Years (FDEY) in collaboration with Kingston University (KU) since September 2003. This has provided an unparalleled opportunity for those working in childcare to carry their studies to the next academic level and to gain recognition for their work with children. The qualification will enable those who embark upon it to continue their studies. They can do so in three stages:

  • Firstly by completing the Foundation Degree (FD),
  • Secondly by joining a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) degree (BA) and
  • Finally, if they wish, they can follow the Graduate Teacher’s Programme (GTP), study for a further two terms and gain a teaching qualification.


Achieving qualified teacher status could improve the learners’ employment prospects and lead to a substantially enhanced salary.

Aim of Foundation Degrees

Foundation Degrees “aim to contribute to widening participation and lifelong learning by encouraging participation by learners who may not previously have considered studying for a higher level qualification” (Marks-Maran, D. 2006:44). These then are ideal in the field of childcare where many practitioners have not thought of entering higher education or of working at a higher level.


When FDs are part of a learning continuum the benefit to the learner is considerable.


Research shows that “Foundation degrees were launched in 2001. Already 24,000 students have signed up for foundation degrees and an increasing number of employers are getting involved” (www.foundationdegree.com).

Purpose of Research

The purpose of this piece of research is to investigate whether the FDEY course is a valuable and effective route towards achieving graduate status and subsequently to the BA progression route and to qualified teacher status.


I have chosen to look at foundation degrees because they are a recent innovation in education for Early Years workers and are a means of providing true inclusive education for a sector of the working society that otherwise would have been excluded The FDEY is accessible to all those with a level three qualification (on the Quality Assurance Association framework) in child care. It provides an academic route for learners to further their education. Previously there were a variety of courses that might be undertaken but none provided such a clear route to graduate or teacher status.


Another reason for investigating the situation is my role within my place of work as course leader for the FDEY and Head of Higher Education and Counselling at Kingston College (KC). I need to ensure that recruitment continues to be strong and that the correct market for this course is targeted. If the FDEY proves to be successful other FDs might be developed.


Research Approach

The research starts by looking at the historical background of FDs and the reason for their introduction (Chapter 1). The setting for the FD course at Kingston is also examined (Chapter 2).


A methodology was developed to collect data on the views of learners, those delivering the course and employers on the FDEY qualification and its impact on the learners’ work prospects (Chapter 3)


Using data obtained via a questionnaire and from other background research a profile of the learners on the FDEY was established (Chapter 4). By identifying a clear client profile, the results of this research will also help in marketing the course successfully and enable recruitment to remain robust. “FDs, the new proposal for sub-degree vocational education in the U.K., are characterised by innovation both in their design (curriculum, teaching, learning and assessment) and in the market place for which they are designed” (Rowley, J. 2005 vol.13 :).

This is what is necessary within the childcare field, a new direction, a new way of increasing the qualifications and understanding of those working with children.


Finally, the results of the research are used to establish whether the cohorts of learners found this educational journey worthwhile, whether any new professional opportunities presented themselves to them and how the learners envisage using the qualification in the future (Chapter 5)


What must always be remembered is that “Progress in education is not in the succession of studies but in the development of new attitudes towards and new interests….. Education must be conceived as a continuing reconstruction of experience” (Dewey J.1996:25).

Maria Dowling – Services For People With Learning Disabilities From Ethnic Minority Communities And Their Families


Jane George – How We Communicate With Under Threes


Pam Harrison – The Educational Experiences Of Teenage Mums


Catherine Howett – Black Boys In FE and Applied Theatre and Behaviour Change


Emmet McIntyre – EGFR Signalling in Breast Cancer: Immunohistochemical Staining, Statistical Analyses and Computer Simulation

The EGFR family of tyrosine kinase receptors are one of many found on a cell’s surface. Their role in the human body is to work as a means of cell signalling. This study explains how this system works, the role EGFR plays in breast cancer, how a more detailed understanding of this system is giving rise to a new form of cancer therapy and how a computer simulation of the system can aid our understanding.


A set of 103 human breast cancer tissues were dyed using immunohistochemical staining to measure the expression of the 4 receptor proteins EGFR, ErbB2, ErbB3 and ErbB4and the thirteen ligands Egf, HB-Egf, Nrg1α, Nrg1β, Nrg2α, Nrg2β, Nrg3, Nrg4, Epigen, Epiregulin, Tgfα, Betacellulin and Amphiregulin found in the tissues. The intensity of the brown dye was scored visually between 0 (no colouration) to 3+ (a dark colouration) for each of the tissue samples, collected into a dataset and combined with the tissues’ clinical data (which included survival data). Several methods of statistical analysis were employed to determine relationships between receptors, ligands and clinical data.


Analyses included a Principal Components analysis, a Spearman’s Rank Correlation analysis, Kaplan-Meier curves and Cox’s Proportional Hazards test. The results showed a strong link between all the attributes within the staining dataset but only weak links between staining and clinical data. A stochastic computer simulation of the EGFR signalling system was built in Java. The simulation brought together all known information about the physical attributes of the system. The simulation was run for each tissue sample using the tissue’s staining data as parameters. The simulation output along with the staining data and clinical data was used to predict the overall survival of the sample with varying degrees of success.

Trish Newstead – QTS And The Impact On Practice In The Early Years


Gill Plumb – Dyslexia

There is a considerable body of research on dyslexia, but most of the research undertaken has focussed on its identification and causes. There has been comparatively little research which has focussed on enabling those with dyslexia to express their own attitudes, thoughts, and feelings about these difficulties. This study focuses on the impact of dyslexia on the lives and learning journeys of nine students studying for the Foundation Degree in Early Years, at a college of further education This paper will describe the impact that being dyslexic has had on these students. Semi- structured interviews and questionnaires (Burden, 2005) were used to collect data. These personal accounts provide nine unique and insightful stories and their responses are presented as Individual Identity Profiles. 


There is evidence in this study that the attitudes and environment that these students were exposed to during their childhood had a deep and lasting effect on them, which continues into adulthood. Although all of the interviewees did recall some painful childhood memories, it was noticeable that those who had not been identified in childhood had faced particular difficulties. The main findings demonstrate the importance of the early identification of dyslexia. The evidence shows the negative academic and emotional impact of unidentified learning difficulties. These negative experiences may mean that these learners are particularly sensitive to criticism and may require additional emotional support as they develop confidence in their academic abilities. All of the students, in this study, have developed strategies that help them to be effective in their lives and their learning. There were general positive feelings of self-efficacy .Good organisational skills; determination and persistence appear to be the keys to success. This paper shows that learned helplessness and negative outcomes are not the automatic results of dyslexia.

The implications of this study are: the importance of the early identification of dyslexia; the implementation of timely, appropriate, support and the encouragement of these students to use and develop strategies that will enhance their academic confidence. Continued development of dyslexia-friendly teaching and learning practices will benefit all students but will also prevent those with dyslexia from feeling marginalised and labelled.

Liz Reavey – Family Learning - The Benefits To Children Of Their Parents' Involvement In Their Education


Bahman Samani – Effect Of Electromagnetic Interference On Electrical And Electronic Equipment


Helen Small – How Students View And Respond To A Range Of Teaching Strategies Within An FE Classroom

This report explores the issues of teaching strategies and their role in engaging students within a further education classroom. It looks at specific teaching strategies to determine which ones the students found most engaging exploring the possible reasons behind these thoughts. The data findings can then support the planning of the course curriculum.


The research sets out to define how to assess a student’s level of engagement, within the classroom and what strategies will support this engagement further, exploring what the students’ preferred teaching strategies are within the classroom and if the method in which they are delivered has an impact upon the students’ response. The learning style of the students is examined, enabling the research to consider any correlation between these and the chosen strategies.


The information was gathered using questionnaires from two cohorts of level two childcare students, to see how they valued the teaching strategies that were presented to them and whether they could give any reason for these values. Information was also gathered using direct observations of the groups to ascertain what the reaction to the teaching strategies was from the students and whether the comments received within the questionnaire could correlate with the reactions seen.


By analysing the data and exploring the comments that emerged from the questionnaires, the research is able to come to conclusions about how students respond to the different teaching strategies and their use within the course content and delivery, as well as enabling greater consideration for the use of feedback that the students receive as a teaching strategy.


In conclusion, this research supports the need for more interactive based learning, in addition to feedback that is informing for the student to be incorporated into the course design, this being informed and guided by recent research of evidence based practice by Petty (2009), Hattie (2008) and Marzano (2010).


It is my belief that implementation of these strategies will improve the outcome for the students, engaging and supporting them further within their studies.

Elizabet Stojanoska – Barriers To Mentoring At My Organisation


Owen Tucket – A Comparison Between Written And Video Recorded Self Evaluation


Amanda Washbrook – South African Literature In The Period Of Transition


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