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Education

MA

Key facts


Start dates

September 2021 / September 2022

Course length

Full time: 12 months, Harcourt Hill Campus

Part time: Two / three years depending on your chosen trajectory - part-time on campus or distance learning

Department

School of Education

Overview


Our MA Education course is ideal for those working in education across a range of contexts. And for those wishing to study and research in education.

Our flexible modular programme enables you to design your course according to your particular areas of interest. The course will draw on your intellectual and practice background; as well as providing you with opportunities to network with others.

You'll grow in professional knowledge and expertise. We will support you to improve and develop your professional organisation through:

  • critical enquiry
  • reflection
  • the promotion of creative and innovative practice.

The School of Education is a focal point for stimulating and informed debate on education through a programme of seminars, lectures and school work. We work in close partnership in a range of educational settings and services. This means we can provide opportunities for placements as part of your studies. For example, carrying out commissioned work as part of your dissertation study.

Teacher and pupil in class

How to apply


Entry requirements

Specific entry requirements

This MA course attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities, who are graduates with a recognised teaching qualification, or other relevant educational experience.

Applicants normally have:

  • a good honours degree
  • QTS (Qualified Teacher Status), other equivalent professional qualification or relevant experience

Entry with credit

Credit can be made up of appropriate work completed outside the course, for example, M level credit from PGCE awards or Postgraduate Certificates in relevant educational courses.

Please also see the University's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

Candidates whose first language is not English should be able to demonstrate a satisfactory level of spoken and written English.

  • IELTS level 6.5 or above with a minimum of 6.0 in reading and writing and 5.5 in speaking and listening.

Please also see the University's standard English language requirements.

International qualifications and equivalences

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English requirements for visas

If you need a student visa to enter the UK you will need to meet the UK Visas and Immigration minimum language requirements as well as the University's requirements. Find out more about English language requirements.

International applications

International students hold a conditional offer until payment of a deposit of £3,000 is received.

Pathways courses for international and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you meet the entry requirements for your postgraduate course and also familiarise you with university life in the UK.

Take a Pre-Master's course to develop your subject knowledge, study skills and academic language level in preparation for your master's course.

If you need to improve your English language, we offer pre-sessional English language courses to help you meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s course.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

Application process

Tuition fees


Please see the fees note
Home/EU full time
£6,500

Home/EU part time
£725 per single module (new students); £650 per single module (continuing students)

Home/EU distance learning
£725 per single module (new students); £650 per single module (continuing students)

International full time
£14,200

International distance learning
£1,580 per single module

Home (UK) full time
£6,700

Home (UK) part time
£745 per single module (new students); £725 per single module (continuing students)

Home (UK) distance learning
£745 per single module (new students); £725 per single module (continuing students)

International / EU full time
£14,900

International / EU distance learning
£1,655 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:

Tuition fees


2020 / 21
Home/EU full time
£6,500

Home/EU part time
£725 per single module (new students); £650 per single module (continuing students)

Home/EU distance learning
£725 per single module (new students); £650 per single module (continuing students)

International full time
£14,200

International distance learning
£1,580 per single module

2021 / 22
Home (UK) full time
£6,700

Home (UK) part time
£745 per single module (new students); £725 per single module (continuing students)

Home (UK) distance learning
£745 per single module (new students); £725 per single module (continuing students)

International / EU full time
£14,900

International / EU distance learning
£1,655 per single module

Questions about fees?

Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Fees quoted are for the first year only. If you are studying a course that lasts longer than one year your fees will increase each year.

Financial support and scholarships

There are International Student Scholarships available for 2020 and other scholarships and funding options for postgraduate international students.

For general sources of financial support, see our Fees and funding pages.

Additional costs

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed below.

The published course and module descriptions were accurate when first published and remain the basis of the course, but the University has had to modify some course and module content in response to government restrictions and social distancing requirements. In the event of changes made to the government advice and social distancing rules by national or local government, the University may need to make further alterations to the published course content. Detailed information on the changes will be sent to every student on confirmation in August to ensure you have all the information before you come to Oxford Brookes.

Learning and assessment


The MA Education follows a flexible modular programme. The 'open route' through this MA enables you to design your course according to your particular areas of interest.

You'll need to achieve 180 credits over the course of your studies. These include:

Compulsory modules (total 80 credits)

  • Researching Methods (20 credits) will support your studies and prepare you for your dissertation
  • Dissertation (60 credits).

Optional modules (total 100 credits)

You can choose five modules from the optional modules listed below.

Alternatively, six named routes give a specialist focus to the award as follows:

Group of students walking

Study modules

Taught modules

Compulsory modules

Research Methods (20 credits)

You’ll develop your knowledge of research approaches, methods and techniques for the study of children and childhood, education and language. You’ll explore the interdisciplinary nature of work in and across these areas. After taking this module, you’ll be well prepared for the methodological aspects of your dissertation.

Optional modules

Developing MA Literacies (20 credits)

You’ll develop the skills you need to be successful in your MA, in two key areas: 

  • the skills you need to operate confidently within your academic community as a researcher-practitioner
  • academic writing and critical reading skills for MA-level study.

Engaging with the academic community

The module will help you:

  • engage with the underlying beliefs and approaches to knowledge in your field of study/practice
  • become familiar with relevant journals, research articles and professional networks
  • make links between current research debates in your research/practice community, and your own knowledge and experience.

Engaging with MA-level study

The module will help you:

  • develop critical thinking and reflection in your academic reading and writing 
  • understand the strategies and conventions of writing in different academic genres – such as reports, research papers, book reviews and reflective logs.

Learning and Development in Childhood (20 credits)

You’ll study contemporary theories of social and cognitive development and their implications for children’s learning – both formal and informal. Using research evidence and students’ own observations, we’ll discuss alternative explanations of developmental processes. You’ll think about how children’s social and cultural surroundings affect their development and learning, and question the cultural assumptions that might underlie models of development. As a group, you’ll share your thoughts and findings, and reflect on what they suggest about the experiences and opportunities provided for children.

Diversity and Achievement (20 credits)

How are children’s and young people’s achievements affected by factors like class, gender, disability and ethnicity? In this module, you’ll analyse the factors that predict educational success and failure for children and young people. You’ll then explore the implications for school policy and practice. 

You’ll look at data from case study material, which may draw on your own working context, or your peers’. Using these data, you’ll consider issues at the level of the individual child, the family, the school and the neighbourhood. You’ll go on to compare the analysis at the level of an individual in a particular place to educational outcomes from national and international data sources.

 

Mind and Brain (20 credits)

You’ll explore fascinating developments in educational neuroscience, beginning with developmental changes that occur throughout our lifespan. We’ll discuss pre- and post-natal development, followed by the changes that occur in childhood, adolescence and beyond. 

You’ll explore current insights from cognitive neuroscience that have implications for education, in areas like creativity, and gaming and ICT in learning. You’ll also think about the relationships between mind, brain, self and body using philosophical perspectives. And you’ll investigate case studies, opening up discussion and debate about this complex and controversial field.

 

The Inclusive Curriculum (20 credits)

You’ll explore key aspects of curriculum design and delivery, in relation to access, equality of learning opportunity and inclusion. You’ll look at how cultural values influence curriculum content and organisation, and explore theories of decolonising the curriculum. The module content is relevant whether you’re a primary, secondary, FE or HE practitioner.

Leading and Managing People in Education (20 credits)

You’ll examine a range of themes and concerns in the leadership and management of staff in education. You’ll cover theoretical perspectives and practical concerns about staff leadership, management and development. We’ll look at such topics as:

  • leadership and management in education 
  • leading teams
  • inspiring motivation and improving morale
  • staff development and performance management 
  • social justice and managing diversity 
  • managing conflict.

Leading Change in Education (20 credits)

You’ll bring your own experience to this module, which examines the leadership of change in education. You’ll engage with theoretical perspectives and practical concerns about organisational transformation in education. You’ll encounter topics like:

  • leading and managing change
  • effectiveness, improvement and accountability
  • organisational culture and structures in education
  • the influence of policy developments in transforming education
  • dealing with resistance: managing people in times of change
  • strategic planning and management of change.

Children’s Literature Through the Ages (20 credits)

The history of children’s literature is an interesting one. A rich and tumultuous beginning and a growing diverse picture that we are building today. The genre leaves us with one question: who is children’s literature for? 

Written by adults, what do these stories tell us about our society and culture, and what political ideas do they carry? Are children aware of these ideas and their possible interpretation? 

You'll investigate its history and explore the ideas within two comparative texts from differing periods. Exploring issues relating to race, gender, politics and culture.  

This module is designed to complement the Reading for Pleasure module.

 

Reading for Pleasure (20 credits)

Reading for Pleasure has gained a strong foothold in the latest National Curriculum. Exploring what reading for pleasure is and what it can mean in and out of the classroom is a worthy exploration. Yet acknowledging the importance of the pleasure of reading is not enough. How do we cater for young readers and how do we ensure that the worlds we share are as diverse as the world in which we live in? We'll explore a range of text types. Focussing on picturebooks and the complex relationship between word and picture.  

As part of the module, you might undertake activities like:

  • collaborative presentation work with peers
  • critiquing and exploring ideas in children's literature together
  • investigating and discussing best practice in groups
  • evaluating and exploring digital media.

Multilingual Learners (20 credits)

Drawing on current practice, research and case studies, you’ll focus on children who are studying in school in a language that is not their first language. Your learning will include:

  • analysing the development of children in second languages settings
  • theories of bilingualism, translanguaging and dynamic multilingualism
  • the links between first and second language, identity and self-esteem
  • evaluating responses to the multilingual child from teachers, teacher assistants, parents and the whole school
  • evaluating, adapting and creating resources and materials for their fit with the needs of the EAL child.

Independent Study: Investigating Practice (20 credits)

This is a chance to carry out an independent study/practice investigation. You’ll choose your own topic, with approval from your module leader / subject co-ordinator. The topic will be relevant to your own practice, but areas of investigation might include (for example):

  • developing pedagogical approaches or curriculum materials 
  • evaluating learners’ achievement levels
  • reviewing the evidence base for changes to educational practice
  • appraising learning environments and learning opportunities.

It’s also possible to carry out retrospective evaluation of a project, provided the project took place within the last five years. This might be on:

  • the impact of a professional development programme or initiative
  • the experience of designing and delivering a new scheme of work 
  • the process of implementing an educational change or project.

Final project

Compulsory modules

Dissertation (60 credits)

In your dissertation or project, you’ll carry out a sustained piece of educational research. You’ll analyse and report your findings at a high critical level, justifying and supporting them with detailed reference to relevant theories and concepts. This work will comprise one third of the work for your degree.  

If you’re writing a dissertation, you'll focus on a research problem of particular interest. If you’re enrolled on a named route of the MA Education, your topic will be relevant to your route (eg childhood and youth, L&M, SEND, TESOL, higher education). 

If you’re working on a project, you’ll undertake a shorter piece of independent investigative or literature-based research. You’ll also produce a creative piece or artefact.

 

Please note: As our courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the modules you can choose from may vary from that shown here. The structure of the course may also mean some modules are not available to you.

Learning and teaching

Teaching, learning and assessment draw on the different backgrounds, experience and knowledge of students. It also encourages critical reflection.

We use a range of teaching methods, including:

  • lectures
  • directed reading
  • workshops
  • discussion forums
  • student and staff-led seminars
  • project work.

Teaching is organised on a modular basis, each module involves approximately 24 hours of staff contact as follows:

  • Part-time on campus – Modules are usually taught over eight weeks on Tuesdays, Wednesdays or Thursdays at 17:00 – 20:00.
  • Full-time on campus – the main study day is Thursdays with students also joining part-time students in evening modules
  • Distance learning - an MA Education can be achieved by part-time online learning through the use of our Moodle platform. For each module this usually requires about 12 hours a week plus time spent on assessment. The online route is usually taken part-time over 2 to 3 years.

Assessment

Assessment methods used on this course

You will be assessed for each course module separately. Assessment is coursework based, and includes:

  • individual essays
  • seminar presentations
  • reports
  • portfolios
  • investigative research
  • group work.

Research


The School of Education is a thriving centre for educational research and teacher professional development. Students on master's level programmes therefore join a large research community comprising researchers at all levels of higher education study.

We hold two major research conferences each year - the School of Education Research Conference and the EdD Colloquium. All students are invited to attend our annual Research

Seminar Series (which attracts both internal and external speakers). We also organise a number of conferences, lectures, seminars and debates, some of which have an international reach.

The School's six research groups exist to encourage engagement in research, publication, conference presentations, seminars and workshops:

  • Inclusion and Wellbeing
  • Policy, Partnership and Leadership
  • STEAM pedagogy and learning
  • Humanistic Perspectives on Education
  • Early Years
  • Applied Linguistics

View all staff profiles for School of Education

Student researching on a laptop

After you graduate


Career prospects

Completion of the course shows commitment to professional development and should lead to improved prospects for career progression.

Student profiles


Programme Changes: On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website.

For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.