Triangle

Course overview

Our MA Education allows you to consider education in all of its complexity, as something that both reflects and works to construct different aspects of our social lives and the way our society is organised.

This course aims to strengthen and refine your ability to critically reflect upon your own teaching. You will engage with contemporary theories in education and examine how you might apply them to the practice you carry out. It is ideal for those who are looking to take the next step in their career within the education/teaching sector.

We have designed a course that is extremely flexible and meets the needs of individuals and organisations. These include: 

  • a range of optional modules - tailor your degree to your personal and professional interests
  • different modes of delivery - taking account of individual needs and professional contexts
  • exit points - options to leave the course with either a PG Certificate or PG Diploma

View our student profiles page to see what they say about their experience on the course.

We welcome approaches from educational organisations looking for a bespoke programme for their staff. Find out how we can help your organisation.

This course is also available to study online.

Please note that this course is not a teacher training course, there is no placement and graduates do not gain Qualified Teacher Status. Please visit our website for postgraduate teacher training if this is the route you wish to follow.

Why choose this course?

Top 50

in the world for education

Tailor your degree

with a wide range of optional modules to suit your personal and professional development

Learn from experts

who are internationally recognised for their research in this area

Over 100 years

of experience in the field of education

3rd in the UK

with 84% of research considered world-leading or internationally excellent

Course content

The taught element of this course is made up of 120 credits, plus a 60-credit dissertation. 

There are currently two core modules for part-time students and three for full-time students. 

You can choose the remaining modules to suit your specific interests. You will select up to three* optional 30-credit modules from a range that covers many of the key areas of education. Current areas include:

  • Creativity, Arts, Literacies and Learning
  • Education 
  • Educational Leadership and Management 
  • Digital Teaching and Learning
  • Special and Inclusive Education

While each module has its own particular focus, all are concerned with investigating contemporary educational issues in the light of historical, political and social contexts, appropriate literature and the shared experience of other students.

The course can be completed over one year full-time, or two years part-time plus an eight-month dissertation. There are PGDip and PGCert exit points, and it is available to individuals and cohorts from schools/consortiums.

* If you qualify for recognition of other learning, you will not have to take the full 120 module credits.

Course reading

  • A.V. Kelly (2009) The Curriculum: Theory and Practice
  • A.R. Sadovnik (2016) Sociology of Education: A Critical Reader
  • Darder, Mayo and Paraskeva (2015) The International Critical Pedagogy Reader

Tutors

Modules

Core modules

Critical Perspectives on Curriculum and Pedagogy (full-time only)

This module critically examines contemporary debates surrounding orthodoxies in curriculum, learning and assessment in schools, and how these relate to policy and practice.

In particular it considers the way different orthodoxies frame what children and young people learn in schools, how they learn and how assessment practices inform learning processes. The module will explore these orthodoxies in terms of their origins and purposes and it will consider alternative models from an international perspective.

The module starts by considering the history, politics and ideology of the curriculum as it currently exists. It then develops understanding through application of psychological, social and cultural theories of learning and assessment. These theorised views of schooling and classroom practices enable us to analyse and critique the wide-ranging policy and research discussions about curriculum, learning and assessment that are currently under way.

You will be engaged in considering how developments of, and alternatives to, current practices will impact learning and teaching in the future.

Understanding and Planning Educational Research (full-time and part-time)

This compulsory module will develop or build upon students’ existing critical engagement with educational research, focusing on the complexities of the research process in order that students are able to respond to the kinds of research evidence used in educational discourse, as well as to conceive of their own questions and interests in research-oriented terms. The module will introduce different approaches to conducting and evaluating research in a range of educational contexts, drawing on methodological literature as well as examples of educational research, and developing the foundations from which students can begin to plan their own research project. Through the assignment, students will gain the skills to read and write from a methodological perspective, developing an evaluative approach to their encounters with educational research. The module aims to:

  • develop ‘research literacy’ by highlighting and evaluating the different purposes, perspectives and audiences for educational research
  • explore different methods for each stage of the research process, from first questions to ethical issues, data analysis and project presentation
  • enable students to structure their own educational inquiry based on current practice or area of interest
Dissertation

This involves the researching and writing of a substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course.

You will choose a topic in consultation with your course leader and an appropriate supervisor. The topic will normally be based on interests and skills you have developed in the course of the modules already studied.

Optional modules

Subject area: Creativity, Arts, Literacies and Learning

Literacies and Learning in and out of School

This module covers:

  • theories and definitions of literacy
  • school literacy - histories and debates
  • children's literature and media
  • community and lifelong literacies
  • multimodality, multimedia and new literacies

Mode of teaching: Evening sessions in the autumn and spring semesters.

Experience required: We would normally expect you to have experience of working as teachers in schools, or as educators in less formal arts or community-based settings, for example, in arts organisations, community literacy projects, in the production and distribution of texts in traditional and new media or in arts-based therapies.

Subject area: Education

Schools, Society and Mental Well Being

The context of the early 21st century is exerting new pressures in the lives of young people and educators. Research indicates that in the UK and other countries, there is an increasing prevalence of mental-ill health amongst young people together with stress-related illness triggered by the demands of performativity in the experience of teaching staff.

The central question that the module seeks to critically explore is the scope and role that educators can play in understanding and supporting mental well-being both within themselves and in their relationships with others.

The module is taught in an experiential and process-lead way, beginning with an audit of personal/professional experience. The prevalence of mental ill-health is traced and the impact of trauma is explored. You are then introduced to a theoretical /skills based model of helping and supporting before exploring a series of commonly presenting themes encountered in school settings.

The module concludes via a critical consideration of the opportunities and limitations of providing support in school settings as well as quality assurance procedures in the form of supervision and self-care of the educator.

Mode of teaching: Evening sessions in the autumn semester.

Experience required: We would normally expect you to have two years' relevant experience.

Critical Perspectives on Curriculum and Pedagogy (part-time)

This module critically examines contemporary debates surrounding orthodoxies in curriculum, learning and assessment in schools, and how these relate to policy and practice.

In particular it considers the way different orthodoxies frame what children and young people learn in schools, how they learn and how assessment practices inform learning processes. The module will explore these orthodoxies in terms of their origins and purposes and it will consider alternative models from an international perspective.

The module starts by considering the history, politics and ideology of the curriculum as it currently exists. It then develops understanding through application of psychological, social and cultural theories of learning and assessment. These theorised views of schooling and classroom practices enable us to analyse and critique the wide-ranging policy and research discussions about curriculum, learning and assessment that are currently under way.

You will be engaged in considering how developments of, and alternatives to, current practices will impact learning and teaching in the future.

International Perspectives on Post-Compulsory Education

This module explores post-school education systems of vocational and academic education in colleges and universities around the world. The module uses sociological perspectives to prompt critical discussions around issues of equity, access and knowledge production in a range of different international contexts.

Each session in the module will focus on a key contemporary topic in further, higher or adult education, ranging from inequality in transitions and access to higher education to internationalisation and marketization of qualifications and institutions, as well as to the ways that complex systems of further, higher, vocational and academic systems of education operate in different areas of the world.

Each topic will be approached using current research literature and case country examples drawn from diverse international contexts, so that you will develop a critical awareness of global issues in post-compulsory education as well as a sense of how these issues are experienced at national and local levels.

The module will have a strong theoretical underpinning, introducing and returning to appropriate theoretical scholarship to inform and illuminate country case examples; many of these case examples will be based on ongoing international research projects and collaborations in the School of Education.

Over the course of the module, you will:

  • explore current issues in post-compulsory education from sociological perspectives
  • become familiar with contemporary research on post-compulsory education from a range of international contexts
  • identify global, national and local influences on different forms of post-school education
  • develop writing skills that are useful for the contemporary workplace, responding to and offering critical perspectives in peer feedback

Instead of using the traditional coursework essay, the module will be assessed through a portfolio of blogs which are drafted and re-worked with peer feedback over the course of the module. The skill of writing and critically evaluating the blog format, as well as its applicability in multiple employment contexts, will form an important part of the work throughout the module, so that students are participating in evaluation and assessment from the outset.

Practice-Based Inquiry

The content will involve you in active critical consideration of participating in and leadership of practitioner inquiry in relation to professional context mapping and workplace learning.

These processes will be achieved through:

  • conceptualising different kinds of practitioner inquiry relevant to work-based understanding and development (purposes, processes, contexts, dilemmas, outcomes)
  • examining a range of approaches to educational inquiry, with an emphasis on action research
  • developing an inquiry into your professional context

Subject area: Educational Leadership and Management

Leading Learning

The module will address the essential features of effective learning, as relevant to your sector by examining:

  • the process of learning
  • supporting learning (for example, through adults, peers and technology) both within and beyond the educational organisation
  • an overview of approaches to improvement and raising achievement in educational organisations
  • monitoring and evaluation of learning: the use of data, target-setting, monitoring

 

Issues in Educational Leadership

This module is designed to meet your varying needs. Such needs may have been identified prior to joining the course, through the process of self and organisational analysis, or through ongoing reflection on individual and organisational need throughout the course.

Effective Leadership and Change in Education

This module will address the nature and practice of leadership in education. It will look at six themes:

  • Concepts of leadership
  • Change
  • Leadership qualities, behaviours and competencies
  • Power and authority
  • Organisational cultures and distributed leadership
  • Professional development

Subject area: Learning Technology

Learning Theories for a Digital Age

This module looks at how people learn and how learning is supported in a digital age. It explores current and historical theories of learning and how they inform the design of learning technologies. It will help you understand the potential of digital technology for learning in a variety of contexts (such as schools, colleges, workplaces, museums, both face-to-face and online) and help you develop an ability to critically reflect on examples of learning technologies in current use.

Social Contexts of Learning

This module focuses on how people learn together in pairs, teams, small groups, the classroom, or an informal community. It works through classical and modern theories of social learning, explaining the social aspects of almost any type of learning and mechanisms that boost the power of learning together.

Equipped with these theories, it explores the various technologies mediating and supporting social learning, such as social media, participation in the World Wide Web, online communities, online communication platforms and virtual reality.

Subject area: Special and Inclusive Education

Responding Mindfully to Challenging Behaviour

This module considers:

  • experiential learning and its relationship to reflective practice and reflexivity: exploration via a learning journal genre
  • world views and models of human behaviour
  • theoretical perspectives on behaviour: behaviourist, humanistic and postmodern approaches
  • social and emotional aspects of behaviour: mental well-being, shame, self-esteem
  • punitive and restorative justice: responding to bullying and challenging behaviour, conflict resolution and peer mediation
  • the intensity/functionality of behaviour: escalation/de-escalation, communication and crisis intervention
  • controversial issues: for example, restraint, exclusion from school, sex and relationship education
  • supporting students with ADHD
  • workforce issues: self-care, partnership working
Communication and Literacy

This module considers:

  • typical and atypical development of communication by looking at means, opportunities and reasons for communicating, along with the influence of expectations
  • typical and atypical development of cognition and literacy including specific learning difficulties/dyslexia
  • communication and literacy/learning assessments and interventions
  • understanding autism and Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • communication and literacy/learning for children with learning disabilities including autism, Down's syndrome and dyslexia
  • effective teaching and learning environments
Debating Special and Inclusive Education

This module will explore key issues concerning the field of special and inclusive education:

  • Definitions of special needs and inclusion
  • Global perspectives on diversity and access to equality of educational opportunities
  • Understanding theoretical approaches to special needs/inclusion and models of disability
  • Understanding prevalence of need and issues concerning classification and assessment
  • Exploring the impact of policy on practice and equality of opportunity
  • Examining the evidence on effectiveness of different types of educational settings eg mainstream, resource base and special provision
  • Pedagogy and creativity
  • Balancing equity and choice through collaborative and ethical problem solving

 

 

Education for Students on the Autism Spectrum

This module will explore key issues concerning the field of special and inclusive education:

  • Definitions of special needs and inclusion
  • Global perspectives on diversity and access to equality of educational opportunities
  • Understanding theoretical approaches to special needs/inclusion and models of disability
  • Understanding prevalence of need and issues concerning classification and assessment
  • Exploring the impact of policy on practice and equality of opportunity
  • Examining the evidence on effectiveness of different types of educational settings eg mainstream, resource base and special provision
  • Pedagogy and creativity
  • Balancing equity and choice through collaborative and ethical problem solving
The above is a sample of the typical modules we offer but is not intended to be construed and/or relied upon as a definitive list of the modules that will be available in any given year. Modules (including methods of assessment) may change or be updated, or modules may be cancelled, over the duration of the course due to a number of reasons such as curriculum developments or staffing changes. Please refer to the module catalogue for information on available modules. This content was last updated on Thursday 14 October 2021.

You can view an example PDF timetable, however this is subject to change year on year and your live timetable will be available via the online timetable system.

Learning and assessment

How you will learn

  • Seminars
  • Group study
  • Presentations

Our MA Education puts you at the centre of the learning process. This is through both your module selection and the emphasis you choose in your approach to the assignments.

We use a range of teaching methods, which means at times you'll be working on your own, engaging with literature and a variety of different media, or working synchronously and asynchronously with others.

How you will be assessed

  • Coursework
  • Dissertation
  • Personal reflections

Each 30-credit module is assessed by a 6,000-word written assignment or equivalent. You must achieve a pass of 50% on each assignment to complete the masters.

Contact time and study hours

Full-time students will choose two modules per semester, while part-time students choose one per semester. Each module involves 30 hours of teaching, plus 270 hours of private study, assignment preparation and tutorial support.  

Individual applicants

Offering a flexible approach for individual applicants our modules can be studied in a variety of ways, including:

  • 10 weekday twilight sessions over the course of a semester or academic year
  • via online study through our MA Education (Flexible) course

Cohort applicants

Our staff will deliver modules on your premises or in a local community setting, usually for groups of 12 or more. Sessions can be scheduled to suit group members and may take place during twilight sessions after school, on inset or holiday days, or at weekends.

Entry requirements

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements below apply to 2022 entry.

Undergraduate degree2:2 (or international equivalent)
Work experience

Applicants should have:

  • one year of full-time (or equivalent) work or volunteer experience in an educational setting
    or
  • a teaching qualification that includes a substantial placement-based component, for example a PGCE will be considered acceptable experience.

Applying

Start dates

Start date Application deadline
19 September 2022 5 August 2022 (International)
26 August 2022 (Home)

Recognition of other Learning (ROL)

If you have prior learning or experience at an appropriate level, you may apply for exemption from some of the credit requirements of the course.

References

Applicants are asked to provide one academic reference and one professional reference along with a current CV as part of their application. Please note that these requirements do not apply to University of Nottingham PGCE and PGCEi graduates.

University of Nottingham PGCE and PGCEi graduates

You are required to apply for the course, but will find a streamlined application process and you will be automatically accepted.

Our step-by-step guide covers everything you need to know about applying.

How to apply

Fees

All listed fees are per year of study.

Qualification MA
Home / UK £9,000
International £23,500

Additional information for international students

If you are a student from the EU, EEA or Switzerland, you will pay international tuition fees in most cases. If you are resident in the UK and have 'settled' or 'pre-settled' status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you will be entitled to 'home' fee status.

Irish students will be charged tuition fees at the same rate as UK students. UK nationals living in the EU, EEA and Switzerland will also continue to be eligible for ‘home’ fee status at UK universities until 31 December 2027.

For further guidance, check our information for applicants from the EU.

These fees are for full-time study. If you are studying part-time, you will be charged a proportion of this fee each year (subject to inflation).

Additional costs

As a student on this course, we do not anticipate any extra significant costs, alongside your tuition fees and living expenses.

You should be able to access most of the books you’ll need through our libraries, though you may wish to purchase your own copies, which you would need to factor into your budget.

Funding

There are many ways to fund your postgraduate course, from scholarships to government loans.

We also offer a range of international masters scholarships for high-achieving international scholars who can put their Nottingham degree to great use in their careers.

Check our guide to find out more about funding your postgraduate degree.

Postgraduate funding

Careers

We offer individual careers support for all postgraduate students.

Expert staff can help you research career options and job vacancies, build your CV or résumé, develop your interview skills and meet employers.

Each year 1,100 employers advertise graduate jobs and internships through our online vacancy service. We host regular careers fairs, including specialist fairs for different sectors.

International students who complete an eligible degree programme in the UK on a student visa can apply to stay and work in the UK after their course under the Graduate immigration route. Eligible courses at the University of Nottingham include bachelors, masters and research degrees, and PGCE courses.

Graduate destinations

Career destinations for our graduates include counsellors, education advisers, language tutors, primary/secondary teachers and vocational/industrial trainers and instructors.

A number of our graduates are already in employment while undertaking part-time study for professional development in their chosen career.

Career progression

94.3% of postgraduates from the School of Education secured graduate level employment or further study within 15 months of graduation. The average annual salary for these graduates was £28,280.*

* HESA Graduate Outcomes 2020, using methodology set by The Guardian. The average annual salary is based on graduates working full-time within the UK.

Two masters graduates proudly holding their certificates
" Education is such a rewarding and important subject to study. I’m very lucky to work with students who are as passionate as I am about exploring the role education plays in society and in the lives and experiences of people around the world. "
Dr Holly Henderson, Course Leader

Related courses

This content was last updated on Thursday 14 October 2021. Every effort has been made to ensure that this information is accurate, but changes are likely to occur given the interval between the date of publishing and course start date. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply.