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Postgraduate study
Education & Youth

Education (Applied) MA

The MA Education (Applied) supports you to engage in academic and professional development if you work or intend to work in the education sector.


Course overview

You enhance your knowledge and understanding of education and develop academic, professional, employability and work-related skills and knowledge appropriate to the sector of education that you are interested in. You gain transferable skills which will help your practical and professional development by consolidating, enhancing and extending your disciplinary expertise, experience and abilities. The Applied route enables you to work directly with an organisation, applying and demonstrating the knowledge and skills you gain during the first stage of your course.

The course focuses on:

  • enabling you to focus on a self-selected aspect of education that will be of value to your professional development
  • developing your capacity to operate as a reflective professional in educational settings
  • increasing your understanding of the requirements for professional attitudes and ethics in the workplace and/or a research-based environment
  • supporting you to develop a range of advanced research skills appropriate to postgraduate study and professional practice that will enable you to critically evaluate existing work and design research to further knowledge within education
  • enabling you to gain real-world practical experience in a professional setting to enhance your employability and underpin your academic learning.

Study this course and you may be eligible for a £2,500 Sir Keith Skeoch postgraduate scholarship.

The course comprises four 30-credit modules with a 60-credit dissertation and a 60-credit Applied Practice module. There are 12 weeks of learning and teaching or placement activity in each of the four semesters you study in over the length of the course.

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Course details

Course structure

Core Modules

Applied Practice

Applied Practice is undertaken over a one semester period, where you gain real-world practical experience in a professional setting to enhance your employability skills and underpin your academic learning.

Combining Professional and Academic Practice

You explore the role of professionalism in education. Through the problematisation of an educational issue of relevance to you, negotiated with the tutor, you will apply learning from contemporary academic theory and research to consider how the application of alternative approaches to the issue can enhance practice.

Contextualising Education

You explore contemporary education debates, examine the wider context of current education provision, and explore how this impacts on practice. You consider the relationship between ideas and processes in education, both nationally and internationally.

Educational Research: Practice and Planning

You gain an in-depth understanding of research methods in education, and the knowledge and skills required to develop an independent research study into an area of education which you conduct for your dissertation. The selection of research area and the method of enquiry will be decided in consultation with the module tutors.

MA Education Dissertation

You combine and enhance the skills and knowledge you have developed through other modules on this course. You work with an allocated supervisor to complete an independent research project in an area of professional education practice. You demonstrate your knowledge and skills in education research in the production of a research dissertation

Using the Literature to Inform Educational Research

You have the opportunity to develop the knowledge, skills and understanding necessary to undertake a literature search and plan an appropriate literature review, and to begin to develop your understanding of relevant contemporary research and possible gaps in knowledge.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

As a master’s degree student, you will graduate with in-depth and advanced knowledge and understanding of your subject and/or profession, informed by current practice, scholarship and research (QAA, 2015). This includes a critical awareness of current issues and developments in the subject and/or profession; critical skills; research skills; knowledge of professional responsibility, integrity and ethics; and the ability to reflect on your own progress as a learner. You will be taught by a course team comprising senior lecturers, principal lecturers and associate professors who will work with you to develop those skills.

Taught sessions include seminars, discussions and workshops that held are online and in the classroom, and you learn through a blend of directed and self-directed study. Before you start the course it would be useful for you to think about an aspect of education that interests you and that you think you could explore within each module. That then helps you to apply your learning on the course to something familiar and you can then see how theories and concepts work in practice. Within the Using the Literature to Inform Educational Research, Contextualising Education and Combining Professional and Academic Practice modules you will receive three hours per week of teaching time, made up of two hours on one evening and a further one hour online session on another evening. For the Educational Research Practice and Planning module the contact time is two hours per week with three hours of individual tutorials later in the module. For the Dissertation module you are assigned a supervisor for up to ten hours of individual meetings, additionally, there are seminar sessions with the module leader and the course leader.

The Applied Practice module allows you to work directly with an education organisation, applying and demonstrating the knowledge and skills you have learned during the first stage of your course. Although we cannot guarantee placements for you, we can provide you with practical support and advice to secure your own work experience with a company. During this module you’ll be supported by University staff to reflect on your learning and give evidence of what you have gained from your time within the organisation through reflective portfolio. Outside of the formally taught sessions, you are also expected to work independently under staff guidance, with an emphasis on reading extensively on a weekly basis.

How you are assessed

The assessment tasks, including formative assessment tasks, are varied and targeted at the appropriate postgraduate level capabilities. They reflect the challenges particular to each of the modules and provide you with a range of assessment experiences to explore your attainments more fully. Formative assessment is an important part of the course and your development and each module has both formal and informal formative activities and practices.

You will be assessed through a variety of assessment methods that include:
critical commentary
case study
a critique of research literature, a research proposal and your final research report and reflective report.


Entry requirements

Standard Postgraduate criteria will apply, plus:
In exceptional cases applicants who can demonstrate suitable significant experience and/or further study in the education discipline may be considered for the course and may be asked to attend an informal interview to assess their suitability. This will include intellectual and academic suitability for the course.

A written record of the informal interview will be kept

IELTS requirement average of 6.5 with at least 5.5 in all components.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country



Career opportunities

All the modules on the course are designed to allow you to relate your assessed work to your own context and/or areas of work that you are engaged with or hope to move into in the future. You will graduate with in-depth and advanced knowledge and understanding of your chosen area of education, informed by current practice, scholarship and research. All of these skills will directly benefit your future career. You will be equipped to contribute to the learning of your own students and educational policy and practice. Our Careers and Employability team can help you with career planning, job seeking and applications.

Work placement

The Applied Practice module affords students the opportunity to be placed on an internship, research or study abroad project working alongside the University’s Student Futures team. Such projects could include placement in a public or private workplace, or a research project.


Information for international applicants


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2024/25 entry

Fee for UK applicants
£4,325 a year

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Fee for international applicants
£10,000 a year

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