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Postgraduate study
  • International students: Due to high volumes, any international applications received after 25 June can't be considered for September 2021 entry. You are welcome to apply for the next available intake (details below).

Course overview

This programme is organised around your professional development and is flexible to meet your needs if you work, or intend to work in the education sector - in schools, universities, colleges and also a range of newer educational settings such as the uniformed services, the NHS and early years provision for children under school age, such as privately run day nurseries.

The content and delivery encourages you to think about your own professional role and how this is influenced by a variety of issues. Through reflection you look at the impact on your own work and those around you. You consider policies and practices, relate theory to practice and highlight how external drivers influence what you do. At the beginning of the programme you consider an aspect of professional practice that is relevant to you and explore this through a range of perspectives. You draw on various bodies of research, and national and international real-world examples.


Course details

This MA has a full-time and a part-time route. Both routes have taught sessions, which are scheduled to enable working professionals to attend. You study 180 level 7 credits made up of four modules plus a final dissertation. The core modules enable you to update your knowledge and skills and give you the opportunity to reflect on your professional practice whilst developing your understanding of theoretical models and current debates. There is a strong emphasis on the application of your studies to your professional context.

Course structure

Core modules

Combining Professional and Academic Practice

You study with other students from a range of educational backgrounds and can consolidate your professional development and academic knowledge. You focus on an educational issue that’s relevant to you, negotiated with your tutor. You apply learning from contemporary academic theory and research, reflecting on how the issue may enhance practice. This module is suitable for practitioners and non-practitioners. Assessment is a 4,500-word critical commentary supported by a portfolio of evidence focused on an aspect of professional educational activity - this is 100% of your final mark.

Contextualising Education

You explore contemporary education debates and examine the wider context of current education provision, and how this impacts on practice. You consider the relationship between ideas and processes in education, both nationally and internationally. Formative feedback is facilitated through tutor and student-led discussions in seminars and workshops. Assessment is a 4,500-word assignment, where you critically discuss the wider context of an educational artefact, document or image you have selected. This is 100% of your final mark.


You work closely with an allocated supervisor to conduct research into an area appropriate to your course route. Your supervisor is matched to you based on the topic area of your dissertation. You review relevant literature, select appropriate research methodology and methods, collect and analyse data and produce a 18,000-word dissertation.

Educational Research: Practice and Planning

This module equips you with the knowledge and skills you require to undertake systematic primary research in the field of education as part of your Advanced Independent Study module.

It explores and questions the uses and applications of research methodologies, data collection methods, data analysis methods and issues of ‘good practice’ including reliability, validity and ethics.

There will be 32 hours of tutor support available through workshops, project supervision etc. but the module will emphasise your autonomy in determining, in a reflexive manner, appropriate decision making and independent learning.

Using the Literature to Inform Educational Research

You develop the knowledge, skills and understanding to undertake a literature search and plan a literature review, in preparation for your dissertation. You discuss the importance of literature reviews in the research process, in your chosen area of knowledge or professional practice. The formative assessment is a literature search which you carry out individually and discuss in seminars. The summative assessment is a 4,500-word essay, where you compare and contrast two approaches to literature review, and reflect on, and critique, your chosen literature-search strategy. This is100% of your final mark.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

You are encouraged to share your experiences and perspectives on aspects of practice within taught sessions and through discussions on the University’s virtual learning environment. You study with students from a variety of educational settings and backgrounds – this sharing gives you the opportunity to develop a systematic and critical understanding of the breadth and depth of knowledge in educational research and practice. Peer-led discussions in workshop and seminar sessions on a range of research and educational practice issues, both home and international, provide you with the opportunity for interprofessional discussion and debate. You consider relevant issues from the perspective of other professional educational groups which, in turn, supports you to integrate and synthesise a diverse range of knowledge. If you are not a practitioner you have the opportunity for shared learning and peer support with experienced practitioners. Some of the modules share taught sessions with the Education Doctorate, enhancing the range and type of discussions held within your sessions as well as encouraging you to consider your progression after the programme.

How you are assessed

Staff have a wide range of educational backgrounds and specialist interests to support for your cross-disciplinary interests and multi-agency working. Another important element is how we support your transition to studying at level 7. You are offered academic support to help you understand the requirements of master’s level study; to develop your skills in academic writing and referencing, critical thinking and critical writing; and in the key IT skills such as literature searching. The assessment allows you to reflect on your own practice and context, and produce assessed work that benefits your working context. Student feedback on the programme has consistently highlighted the level of support from the staff as a major contributor to their success.


Entry requirements

Applicants should have a good honours degree (at least a 2.2).

In exceptional cases applicants who are able to demonstrate suitable significant experience and/or further study may be considered for the programme, and may be asked to attend an informal interview to assess their suitability. A written record of the informal interview will be kept in order to provide evidence of particular recommendations.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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2021/22 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£6,100 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£13,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

  • Length: within 1 year
  • Start date: September or January
  • Semester dates

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2021/22 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£680 for each 20 credits

More details about our fees

Apply online (part-time)

Apply online (fast-track) for current students


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