MA Education following PGCE
What is the MA Education following PGCE?
The MA Education is an innovative qualification for those completing a Masters level PGCE course at Durham University.
In 2000 the PGCE became masters level enabling students to accumulate masters credits as part of the programme. This meant that Newly Qualified Teachers (NQTs) could complete a higher degree by combining elements of their PGCE with further Masters level work. Durham University was one of the first universities in the UK to offer such a programme.
How does it work?
The programme takes three years to complete. The first year is the full-time PGCE year. The next two years are studied part-time. During the part-time years participants complete Masters level modules. Most participants in years 2 and 3 are full-time teachers, although this is not a requirement.
You must apply for entry to Durham University's PGCE primary or secondary course through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR). Part-way through the PGCE course you will be informed about the arrangements for transfer directly to the 2nd year of the programme. Those transferring must complete all parts of the PGCE to the required standard, including achieving QTS.
You must transfer directly into the MA Education (in the following September) to qualify for the full 90 credit transfer.
Students who do not transfer straight into the MA, but have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham University, can within 5 years apply to do the MA Education. But they can only transfer in 60 credits and therefore need to do a further 120 credits over 2 years.
How is the course structured?
Masters degrees require a total of 180 credits.
For the MA Education following PGCE, 90 credits are awarded from the full-time PGCE primary or secondary programme. These accrue through successful completion of three 30 credit modules. The remaining 90 credits are taken as follows:-
Educational Research Methods module (30 credits) Year 2
Dissertation (60 credits) Year 3
Who is eligible?
Trainee teachers accepted on to the PGCE primary and secondary programmes are eligible for immediate transfer to the 2nd year of the MA Education degree. This is subject to successful completion of the PGCE programme.
What if I did my PGCE at a different university?
Contact the Programme Director, Anna Llewellyn, for advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to have a teaching job in Durham?
No. The course is taught through weekend workshops so you can travel to Durham to attend these.
How will I fit years two and three into what is a very busy time as a newly qualified teacher?
The NQT year is busy and stressful - hence the programme is structured so that most participants take only one 30 credit module in year 2.
Teaching is delivered through a combination of weekend schools and regular contact scheduled to take account of the location and professional responsibilities of programme members. Teaching on each module takes place over three full days, each running from 09.00 - 17.00 or 18.00. The first two days are the Saturday and Sunday of one weekend, usually at the start or end of (Durham's) half term, while the third is another Saturday about one month later.
Distance learning means that contact is maintained with tutors who provide support and guidance. Durham University Online (duo) also offers a means of contact between staff and students.
Do I have to take the MA if I come to Durham for my PGCE year?
No. Years 2 and 3 of the MA Education are optional. You can complete only the PGCE programme if you wish.
What if I register for the MA but decide not to continue?
Occasionally circumstances mean that completing the full MA Education is not possible or desirable. Students who decide to withdraw from the MA will be awarded their PGCE. Students who withdraw prior to 1 December will not be required to pay tuition fees, while those withdrawing after this date will be charged proportionately based on the number of terms they have commenced.
How will I finance the part-time element of the degree?
The fees follow the modular structure. You can find details of the current fees by clicking here.
Note: those going into NQT posts who register for the MA Education 2nd year can ask their schools to contribute to tuition fees. Appropriate arrangements can be made with the University for a third party such as a school to pay fees.
You can find further information on tuition fees and other costs such as living expenses here.
Will the award of an MA help in my teaching career?
The UK government is moving gradually towards teaching becoming a Masters degree profession. Potentially in future all teachers may be expected to possess or achieve Masters level qualifications in education. Thus, taking the opportunity to maximise the work involved in getting a PGCE by turning it into a Masters degree could prove a shrewd move. Career advancement into promoted posts is aided by possession of Masters degrees.
Can I count MA work towards a research degree?
Yes. The Doctorate in Education (EdD) programme is available for those interested in pursuing research. Further information about the EdD programme can be found here.
How do I apply?
You must apply for entry to Durham University's PGCE primary or secondary programme through the Graduate Teacher Training Registry (GTTR). Part-way through the PGCE programme you will be informed about the arrangements for transfer directly to the 2nd year of the programme. Those transferring must complete all parts of the PGCE to the required standard, including achieving QTS.