The University is still planning to run every course listed on this website and we encourage you to apply as soon as possible.
We are closely monitoring the Covid-19 government advice and guidelines. If we are unable to run residential courses, we will start the courses remotely.
We are offering an exciting new course led by world-famous experts in various fields of education. Module 1 is already underway and is also available for a September start. The full programme is available from September 2020.
It will take approximately three years to complete the full MA, depending on the options taken.
Module 1 – Assessment in schools with Rob Coe, Stuart Kime, and Evidence-Based Education (30 credits).
This course has been written with Professor Robert Coe and Prof Stuart Kime, two of the foremost experts in educational assessment in the world, and is run by Evidence-Based Education. The Assessment module helps school leaders to make their school assessment approach more efficient and enables staff to make more reliable judgements about what pupils know, can do and need next. Applicable to all phases and contexts, this Assessment module is sustained learning, aligned with the best available evidence, to give you the tools and resources to guide, support and implement change.
Broken down over four units, the learning is a combination of theory, practical application and collaboration. In the first unit, learners will learn the relevant underlying theories about assessment, focusing on the four pillars of purpose, validity, reliability, and value. The second and third units focus on designing and analysing assessments, respectively. Finally, the fourth unit guides learners to leading assessment and developing an Evidence-Based School Assessment System (EBSAS).
Throughout the module, participants respond to reflective questions through “meetings” and answer retrieval practice questions. They are formally assessed at the conclusion of each unit through a series of multiple-choice questions. Additionally, they create a portfolio of their learning comprising entries to their reflective journal and an essay on the context, theory, and practice of their EBSAS. This module takes just over two terms to complete.
Module 2 – The science of learning with Evidence-Based Education (30 credits)
How can you make sure your students have sufficient, appropriate and, indeed, activated prior knowledge when you teach them? How can you make sure your students have sufficient mental resources to process new information as you teach them?
The Science of Learning module provides an evidence-informed grounding in key theories from cognitive neuroscience and psychology about what learning is, why we do it, and how it happens. But that’s only the beginning. Building on these foundations of theory, students are then guided to try out new approaches in the classroom and implement the most effective in their long-term practice. By learning and applying, and by collaborating and reflecting with others, students deepen their understanding of the prerequisites for learning something new, making learning meaningful, and making knowledge useful.
This module is developed by Dr Efrat Furst and Dr Niki Kaiser, alongside EBE’s Director of Education, Prof Stuart Kime. Efrat is a cognitive neuroscientist and former post-doctoral Fellow at Harvard University’s Learning Incubator; and Niki is an award-winning Chemistry teacher and Research Lead at Norwich Research School.
Throughout the module, students ‘walk the walk’ by experiencing and using the theories they learn: for example, low-stakes quizzing is used throughout to improve retrieval and storage strength, and distributed practice helps make the most of the power of forgetting. Progressing through the module, students build implementation plans for improvement initiatives to increase their colleagues’ understanding of learning and the tools to enhance it for themselves and their student. Successful completion of the module equips students with both the knowledge and practical know-how to begin effecting wider positive changes to practice and policy across their institution. This module takes two terms to complete.
Module 3 – Evaluating education policy with Becky Allen (30 credits)
Running an effective education system is complex, but researchers have already learnt a great deal about which policies are likely to work well. However, it is often quite hard for teachers and policy-makers to read these evaluation studies because the research techniques used are quite complex. This module helps those without a background in statistics and quantitative methods learn how to read and evaluate the seminal research studies in education policy. Our goal is that participants will be able to read, interpret and critically evaluate academic studies measuring the relationship of education policy to changes on a range of outcomes.
The module will introduce statistical and methodological concepts through a series of ‘big questions’ that we will aim to answer. These questions will include:
- Does it matter which school you attend?
- What are the short-run and long-run benefits to getting an education?
- Does early years education help close the attainment gap between children growing up in high and low-income households?
- Should we reduce class sizes?
- Are large-scale organisational reforms to school governance or organisation transformation?
- Should we pay students for working hard or parents for school attendance?
- Should we reward teachers for high quality instruction?
Module 4 – Classroom behaviour management with Tom Bennett (30 credits)
This module explores student behaviour, how it intersects with learning, and investigates the competing models of managing this behaviour that have been used to historically understand these processes.
Written and designed by Tom Bennett, the UK Department for Education’s behaviour advisor for schools, the aim of this module is to provide participants with a better understanding of the factors that influence student behaviour in educational settings, and then be able to use that understanding in school settings. It will draw upon a historical perspective of what we mean by good behaviour, and then delve into a critical philosophical understanding of these concepts. Next, it investigates the social, personal and contextual factors that commonly influence behaviour. This is looked at broadly throughout populations, as well as at an individual level. It also explores what levers and strategies are commonly used to guide classroom behaviour, and critically examines how successful these are, and in what circumstances.
This module draws upon a combination of academic studies into these processes, drawn from multiple fields e.g. psychology, sociology, history, as well as practical research and experience drawn from field environments and real school settings. It considers behaviour in a variety of circumstances, age ranges and classroom types. Participants are expected to thoroughly explore how evidence-informed approaches of behaviour management are actually implemented in real classrooms.
It is delivered through a combination of readings, video lectures, online resources and quizzes, and video interviews with field experts, and assessed through an investigative journal (15%) and a final report of 5,000 words (85%).
Module 5 – Leading Teacher Development with David Weston and the Teacher Development Trust (30 credits).
How can you make sure the professional development in your setting is evidence-informed? How can you support your colleagues to improve? How can you measure the impact of professional development and make sure it has a positive impact on pupil outcomes
The Leading Teacher Development Module developed by David Weston and The Teacher Development Trust will provide a route into the evidence-informed leadership of teacher development. It will draw on expertise from across the sector and TDT’s work with hundreds of schools to help you ensure that the professional development you are planning is mapped to evidence and has a positive impact on pupil outcomes. You will have the opportunity to collaborate and share your reflections with like-minded professionals and course leaders throughout the course.
This module comprises four units that will draw on both practical experience and the use and application of professional research. In the first unit, students will critically evaluate and synthesise relevant literature on teacher development design and leadership to inform subsequent module tasks. In the second unit, students will devise a work-based enquiry to explore the current effectiveness of teacher professional development in their setting. Students will then apply change management principles and flexible evaluation methods to design a teacher development project for the following academic year. In the final unit, students will critically reflect on their professional learning experience. Study in this module culminates in a 6,000-word professional portfolio which will be formally assessed. This module takes two terms to complete.
Module 6 – Comparing Educational systems in different countries with Lucy Crehan (30 credits)
This module offers an introduction to international comparisons of education systems in developed contexts, focusing on compulsory, school-based education. It examines several big debates in the area: “Is learning from other systems possible?”, “If so, what is the best way to do it?” and “Is PISA a force for good or a force for ill?”. It introduces students to concepts from philosophy, sociology, economics and psychology, to support them in accessing the considerable literature from different disciplines that inform the study of educational comparisons. The aim is to encourage reflection on how their micro-level experiences relate to macro-level policy, both nationally and internationally, enabling them to conceive of different ways forward in their own national and local contexts.
Each topic includes short audio lectures that facilitate learning on the go, alongside interviews with experts from around the world and selected guest lectures, plus links to key readings. Topics include comparative perspectives on pedagogy, curricula, teacher policy, philosophical foundations of education in East and West, and approaches to equitable education and inclusion. Students have the opportunity to discuss their reflections on the material with peers and the course leader during five online seminars throughout the course.
This course is assessed by a quiz at the end of each topic (15%) and a 5,000-word essay on policy learning (85%). For their essay, students can choose between: a) studying an international policy or practice in its local context, and consider what lessons, if any, they might draw for their own context; or b) critically evaluating an existing ‘borrowed’ policy in their own national or local context with reference to an examination of its origins.
Module 7 – Building a writing intensive classroom with Doug Lemov (30 credits)
This module is developed in conjunction with highly regarded educator and author Doug Lemov. Its aim is to develop teachers’ knowledge and practice in building ‘writing intensive classrooms’ where writing is more prevalent and takes a wider variety of forms, especially ‘low stakes’ writing designed to develop students’ ability to and comfort with thinking in writing. As does much of Lemov’s work, the module focuses on techniques derived from current practitioners, as well as the application of ideas from cognitive science.
Students of this module will study reviews into teaching strategies in a variety of countries and across age ranges and ability groups as well as contemporary authors regarding effective methodologies for teaching and supporting writing. These include syntactic control, grammar instruction, sentence expansion, formative and summative writing and the importance of revision versus editing.
It is designed to enable teachers to focus on their work as practitioners, embedding studied techniques, and to critically reflect on and evaluate their efficacy in the classroom and in relation to the research studied including a range of arguments and counter argument. It is assessed by means of submitted reflective writing on implementation and impact of studied techniques and by an assignment synthesising research and advocating for policy change as appropriate in school.
Module 8 – Research Methodology and a Dissertation with the University of Buckingham (60 credits). This module is compulsory for the MA programme and will be taken as a final module.
Some modules run only in certain terms; you can make these selections during the application process.