View full details in the curriculum handbook
Our MA in Education is a one-year, part-time course for teachers and school leaders to develop expertise in the field of education through critical evaluation of research and scholarship.
This is the largest Masters course in the university. We take students from all round the world. This course provides students with the opportunity to follow their own interests while being given clear guidance about the requirements of a serious level 7 academic qualification.
You will complete a number of modules enabling you to develop your understanding both of the research process as well as your topic of interest. The culmination of the MA is a 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation. You will also complete a literature review, which informs your dissertation, and you will learn about different research methods. You will be expected to read widely around your subject area. Following this course helps to develop your critical thinking and your ability to present a written argument.
What is the point of doing an MA when I have a PGCE or am an experienced teacher?
- Professionals do not stop learning at any stage in their working lives. Doctors and lawyers, for example, have to have regular refresher courses. In the same way, teachers need a framework like an MA within which to learn about recent research in education and be prompted to consider whether they could be even better at what they do.
- Not only will you learn about recent research in education, but you will also learn how to do research yourself.
- Having taken the trouble to gain this qualification will show your employer and future employers that you are a serious, professional employee.
- You will find the course intellectually stimulating.
The course includes:
- Establishing your research focus
- Discovering relevant literature and how to write a literature review
- What is expected of Level 7 academic writing?
- How to navigate the topic of research methodology
- Planning your dissertation
- Ethical considerations when researching
Every Master’s student is allocated a supervisor. You will regularly communicate for example, via Teams, Zoom, Email or another online meeting platform with your supervisor at times that are suitable for you both, to support each module. You will also have access to regular online study sessions throughout the course.
There is an induction session early on to introduce you to how the course will run, then there are twilight sessions UK time, during the year to support you with each module and with additional sessions to aid with the completion of the dissertation. The majority of these are optional in terms of attendance as we know that many people struggle to be available at certain times. However, all these sessions are recorded and can be watched after the live event. This means that as you progress through the course you end up having access to library of videos that you can re-visit, to support you to a successful outcome.
It is important to understand that you, as a Master’s student, will be expected to work independently and to use the guidance provided to complete the required modules.
What will I gain?
- You will acquire a new set of skills. You are required to engage with a wide range of arguments and be prepared to be critical of them, to synthesise arguments and perhaps most importantly to develop your own critical voice.
- A fresh challenge can stop you becoming stale. Once you have been teaching for a while you can easily build up a lot of experience and expertise with the delivery of your work. Whilst it is great to be able to build upon that confidence it can also mean that you can become comfortable. This can mean, although not always, that you can become stale and possibly even out of date with your thinking. Ideas are always changing in Education; new research is always coming into effect and sometimes it is easy to fall behind and not be aware of new ideas. By undertaking a Master’s it will keep you fresh and up to date.
- Research gives you an authoritative voice. As you develop your critical voice it becomes even more possible for you to speak confidently on a range of issues. This can give you a real boost, opening up new career opportunities to you.
- You will connect with people outside of your comfort zone. Engaging with a Master’s programme enables you to connect to a whole new group of people. These can be people we can then network with not only across the country, but across the globe.
- You can study something you are genuinely interested in. Lots of people have different areas of interest, or problems they want to solve, or challenges they want to face, and these are often a product of the work and experience that you bring to the course. It is a great idea to work to discover more about these particular areas of interest and even to become an expert on that topic. This too might seem indulgent, but the great thing about carrying out research in Education is that there is a good chance that your discoveries can have a positive impact in the workplace.
- It is an investment in yourself. Not necessarily in the monetary sense, it is more about thinking about yourself, the kind of person you are and what you want out of life. Are there things that you want to investigate further? It is about recognising the complexity of our identities in that we are more than our jobs and that we have a lot to offer the world. Spending the time (and money) on taking part in a Master’s programme is worth it if you want to develop yourself and the way that you think.
Should I do the MA in Education or the MA in Education (Evidence-based Practice)?
The MA in Education (Evidence-based Practice) is a full 180 Masters course, therefore takes more time to complete and has more of a focus on evidence-based practice. As it is 180 credits which means you can get a student loan in England. If you have credits you wish to bring with you, then you may wish to opt for the MA in Education or MA in Residential Education – the topic of focus is up to you (with agreement from us).