Name of Programme
MA Education [Teaching and Learning]
Final Award
MA
Location
Online
Awarding Institution/Body
University Of Buckingham
Teaching Institution
University Of Buckingham
School of Study
School of Education
Programme Code(s)
PMAP3PEN / Part Time / 3 Years
PMAP2PEN7 / Part Time / 1.5 Years
Professional Body Accreditation
N/A
Relevant Subject Benchmark Statement (SBS)
Master’s Degrees (June 2015)
Admission Criteria
Working in a school. UK degree (2.2 or above), for equivalent qualifications contact admissions for confirmation.
Applicable Cohort(s)
September 2020
FHEQ Level
Level 7
UCAS Code
Summary of Programme
This Master of Education programme is a flexible programme in that it is a range of different online modules, offered by a number of specialists in their own fields that can culminate in the awarding of a Master’s degree after the successful completion of a dissertation. The backbone of the programme is the development of the practitioner as researcher through their engagement with research methodology. The individual modules are designed to be taken either as standalone courses in their own right or as part of an Online MA focusing on Teaching and Learning. Given that all of these modules can be completed through distance learning, this makes this qualification accessible to potential students across the world. The range of topics are all designed to encourage practitioners to discover and act upon the latest research covering a number of different pedagogical topics, to reflect the changes in the educational landscape the range of modules may change year to year. The range and availability of modules therefore may also periodically change. It is a programme that takes account of the latest research on teaching and learning and applies this to practice in schools today.

This Online MA is written for those teachers who wish to continue to develop their own practice and understanding. It is open to teachers from all educational contexts. Assessment will consider and enhance the applicant’s ability to develop their own arguments, evaluate and analyze the material they cover and reflect upon these concepts in relation to their own context. With many of the topics there are practical projects that can be integrated with on-going school plans. The focus of the programme will be a research dissertation based in their own context and bringing together the theory with application, organization, analysis of data and exploration of the implications for their own educational context. Students can either focus on one of the module topics in greater depth or perhaps bring together two contrast aspects in order to gain approval for their own research topics.

Students choose four thirty-credit Modules which are delivered through pre-reading, recorded lectures and seminars, contributions to online forums and post-residential essay writing. This then leads to a final sixty-credit Module that covers study of the research process and culminates in an independent small-scale research project and their final dissertation.


The available modules are: (as of September 2020)
1. Assessment in Schools (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 in England. It has four units: Understanding Assessment, Designing Assessment, Analysing Assessment, and Leading Assessment. The course is delivered by means of an online platform and is supported by peer collaboration and an online community. It is assessed by means of multiple-choice questions, a reflective journal and a critical essay.
2. The Science of Learning (30 credits)
This module will guide students to acquire and demonstrate knowledge of the key, specialised, classroom-relevant concepts and theories of cognitive science by reviewing research from the field of cognitive science and applying theoretical understanding using guided and structured practice opportunities. Students will learn and apply theories from cognitive science to inform the pedagogical decisions they make to support pupils’ learning; this will be achieved by reviewing relevant research evidence and applying evidence-informed strategies based on it in the complex, dynamic environment of the classroom. Furthermore, students will use the highly specialised and advanced knowledge and skill to influence curriculum planning and assessment decisions in school.
3. Evaluating education policy (30 credits)
This module provides a non-technical introduction to the main experimental and non-experimental methods for evaluating education policy. By the end of the module, students will be able to read, interpret and critically evaluate academic studies measuring the relationship of education policy to changes on a range of outcomes. Within the module, they will develop a deep understanding and critical appreciation of the most famous international educational evaluation studies across key policy areas.
4. Classroom behaviour management (30 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop a systematic understanding of the factors that drive student behaviour and a critical awareness of the research and methods available to classroom leaders to create classrooms and learning spaces in which students flourish socially and as learners. Students will critically evaluate the research evidence for different methods available, improving their decision-making and ability to lead improvement in classroom behaviour.
5. Leading Teacher Development (30 credits)
This module aims to provide a route that helps to develop educational leaders, particularly in their leadership of others. It enables them to develop their evidence-based leadership of teacher development and contribute to the educational practice of others in the community they work, in order to improve pupil outcomes. This module brings together students' practical understanding and experience of both leading and designing teacher development with academic study.
6. Comparing Educational Systems in different countries (30 credits)
International comparisons in education are made frequently by politicians, think tanks and education NGOs, and are often used to justify reforms that affect teachers. The module enables students to take a critical look at the tools and methods by which these comparisons are made, supporting teachers to consider the cultural and policy contexts within which education practices take place, thus enabling them to learn from other systems, carefully and critically.
7. Building a writing intensive classroom (30 credits)
The aim of this module is to develop teachers’ knowledge and practice in building a writing intensive classroom. The module draws on research regarding effective methodologies for teaching and supporting writing. It has a highly practical focus allowing students to deploy studied

techniques and to critically reflect on and evaluate their efficacy in the classroom and in relation to the research studied.
8. Education Research Dissertation (60 credits) COMPULSORY UNIT
This is a compulsory module for the Online MA in Education. It is compulsory in order for all Masters students to be able to develop and in-depth knowledge and understanding of a particular area of interest in the context of educational research. Through completing this module students gain firstly, knowledge of the research process itself and be able to evaluate other research projects in a specific field. Once this has been undertaken then secondly, students devise and carry out their own small-scale research project with guidance from the university and specifically their supervisor. Students engage with the topic of research methodology and through this process develop their own critical skills as reflective practitioners. This module introduces students to some of the complexities and challenges of engaging in educational research.

A range of different assessment methods are used in each of the different modules including assignments, presentations, portfolios and discussions. The final dissertation will be 12,000 – 15,000 words. All written work is assessed according to a Level 7 rubric that has been previously approved by the university for work with the Masters programmes. Materials will be made available for each of the modules so that students can access recorded lecturers, readings and guided study materials from wherever they are in the world. The course also relies upon a number of different practical projects where the students have the opportunity to apply newly discovered research materials to their own school-based context.
Educational Aims of the Programme
The programme is designed to develop the role of the practitioner researcher who has an active interest in teaching and learning in schools today. The optional modules allow the student to engage with existing research related to a number of different subject areas hence developing their role as a reflective practitioner. The programme brings together the latest in research within and in parallel to education with application in different educational contexts. Those participating will gain an advanced understanding of what best practice means in a school today, but are also encouraged to reflect on their own experiences. This allows for practitioners to grow in confidence from having a research-informed approach. Through their completion of the final module they then focus on a particular area of interest related to their own context and setting. After engaging with the existing research then then learn how to work as a researcher themselves. Once they have been prepared for the educational inquiry route they then develop their own research project. Through the modules we expect participants to develop in their reflective and critical capabilities; able to relate debates in research methodology to wider topics of educational belief, policy and practice. They can then apply this understanding to their own research journey.

The aims of the programme are:
• To critically analyse, engage in and reflect on educational issues, philosophies and initiatives
• To take responsibility for one’s own learning and study independently
• To function as an independently-minded professional capable of contributing to wider educational debate
• To develop skills in searching for and critically analysing relevant literature in order to plan educational research relevant to their chosen areas of interest
• To select and critically evaluate relevant theoretical perspectives relating to a chosen area of educational research
• To synthesise relevant literature and current trends within education in support of arguments

Programme Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

By the end of the course, students will know and understand more about specific topics of teaching and learning depending upon their choices of modules. Common to all modules will be the follow areas of knowledge and understanding;

1. Display an advanced understanding of the relationship between pedagogy and practice
2. Critically engage in educational debate and display independent judgement
3. Know and understand how to apply appropriate research methodology to conduct school-based investigations or educational research
4. Systematically identify and evaluate educational concepts and engage in critical debate drawing on evidence from relevant theory, research and practice
5. Deal with complex problems both systematically and creatively and develop strategies for their resolution through careful consideration of multiple factors and analysis

Teaching/Learning Strategy

1, 2, 4 & 5 All topics to be covered initially in Module units and reading lists. This is then developed by means of recorded lectures, seminars, projects, presentations, sometimes group work and discussions. Core knowledge and understanding is acquired through online material. These will have a strong practical and/or experiential orientation achieved through the use of group work, recorded lectures, film clips, etc., and, where possible, the direct involvement of experts.

Through in-school reflection, the student’s understanding of what it is to be a research practitioner will be developed. Throughout the modules, students are required to reflect on the material, evaluate it critically, to discuss it with their peers and apply it to their own context, as evidenced in their written assignments and contributions to other forms of assessment. During the course they are encouraged to express and justify their own position through guided self-evaluation, interviews with colleagues, and, in some cases, tutorial support.

3. Students will focus on a topic relevant to their own educational context, and reflect on it as a major research project in Module 8.

1-5 Our VLE will be used to provide support materials to students, and additional medium for communication.

Assessment Strategy

Assignments will be used to assess:
1. Display an advanced understanding of the relationship between pedagogy and practice
2. Critically engage in educational debate and display independent judgement
4. Systematically identify and evaluate educational concepts and engage in critical debate drawing on evidence from relevant theory, research and practice
5. Deal with complex problems both systematically and creatively and develop strategies for their resolution through careful consideration of multiple factors and analysis
Online forums will be used to assess:
2. Critically engage in educational debate and display independent judgement
The written dissertation will be used to
assess:
1. Display an advanced understanding of the relationship between pedagogy and practice
2. Critically engage in educational debate and display independent judgement
3. Know and understand how to apply appropriate research methodology to conduct school-based investigations or educational research
4. Systematically identify and evaluate educational concepts and engage in critical debate drawing on evidence from relevant theory, research and practice
5. Deal with complex problems both systematically and creatively and develop strategies for their resolution through careful consideration of multiple factors and analysis

Programme Outcomes

Cognitive Skills

1. Synthesise relevant literature in support of an argument
2. Critically evaluate educational theory and be able to theorise key issues relating to educational practice
3. Exercise critical and independent judgement on key issues in education
4. Analyse and critically evaluate current national and global trends in education

Teaching/Learning Strategy

The acquisition of skills in areas 1-4 will be achieved through a pedagogical model which promote the critical scrutiny of theory, discussion and debate about application(s) to contemporary organizational problems.

Guided Independent reading and study and assignments (including preparatory reading, written essays and online contributions) will play a formative role in supporting the development and acquisition of skills in all areas.

Assignments and discussion time build on this initial tuition and help students to refine their skills. Learning will be aided through written feedback on performance (provided as part of the assessment process depending on the module). Guided reading will form the basis of the development of these skills. Specific guidance is given during the Dissertation module about the nature of reflective study as part of the research process as well as the importance of synthesis as part of the Level 7 expectations.

Assessment Strategy

Written assignments will be used to assess intellectual development in relation to areas 1-4 where the cognitive skills being tested are complex in nature and are principally articulated through the products of sustained intellectual engagement (e.g. written essays).
Programme Outcomes

Practical/Transferable Skills

1. Effectively conduct an extended enquiry in to an educational issue
2. Demonstrate advanced reflective and evaluative skills to debate issues in education
3. Question their own values and analyse from where they originate
4. Show originality in the interpretation and application of knowledge and findings through research

Teaching/Learning Strategy

1 & 4 are delivered through the first part of the final Module. This is where there is the opportunity to apply knowledge to conduct an extended enquiry. This will build upon the earlier assignments and assessments in previous modules. They are encouraged to apply findings and knowledge from other modules and to relate this to their own experiences of undertaking a small-scale research project.

2 & 3 are covered by all of the modules, whichever choices are made regarding selection. All build upon the idea of the reflective practitioner and encourage the students to reflect upon their own practice in light of the particular topic being studied at that time. As part of this they will be encouraged to question their own values and experiences in light of new knowledge and understanding.

Assessment Strategy

2& 3 Written assignments and the final dissertation are used to assess the acquisition of these skills and the development of the individual student.

Modules specific assignments and activities will assess their ability to analyse material and ideas as well as be able to respond to a range of views, considering the place of counter argument and their own values

1&4 are assessed by the Final Module and Dissertation
External Reference Points
Framework for Higher Education Qualifications
Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if he/she takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information on the learning outcomes, content and teaching, learning and assessment methods of each course unit/module can be found in the departmental or programme handbook. The accuracy of the information contained in this document is reviewed annually by the University of Buckingham and may be checked by the Quality Assurance Agency.
Date of Production
January 2020
Date approved by School Learning and Teaching Committee
N/A
Date approved by School Board of Study
January 2020
Date approved by University Learning and Teaching Committee
Winter UALTC 2020
Date of Annual Review
In line with the University's annual monitoring process.

 

PROGRAMME STRUCTURES