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X2K109 Educational Assessment - International MSc Postgraduate Taught 2012


UCAS code X2K109
Degree MSc
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) or 2 years (part-time)
Start Date 2012-10-01
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0) 191 334 8432

Course Content


The MSc in Educational Assessment has been developed to meet the need for specialists in educational assessment within schools and more widely within the education system. The programme combines the expertise of two leading institutions in assessment, the School of Education and CEM (Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring). Students learn to construct and use tests, classroom assessments, interviews, school inspections and more.  The programme is 'hands on'; candidates learn about the theory of assessment and the challenges associated with assessment, but there is also a strong focus on providing training into the conducting of assessment.  Completion of the programme will enable you to apply for the status of Fellow with the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA).

The programme aims to produce specialists who are well equipped to work in assessment within many areas of education. We want these specialists to have good knowledge and skills and be well prepared for the tasks they undertake.  Specifically, the programme aims:

  • To develop knowledge and awareness of the importance and many roles of assessment in education, and to enable students to engage with debate and to reflect on how to meet the challenges of effective educational assessment;
  • To equip students with knowledge, understanding and relevant skills that will help them develop, deliver and analyse assessment at all levels of education, and to facilitate further research and scholarship in this important field.

Lectures take place 5pm-8pm on one evening per week (part-time) and two evenings per week (full-time), making the programme suitable for those who are in full-time employment.

Currently we are the only CIEA approved programme to run full-time, and we believe this will be of particular interest to the international student who is looking to progress their career and specialise in the area of assessment.

Having effective assessment is a common challenge to any educational system. Looking around the world, we also find that trends in assessment, such as the drive towards assessment for learning and computer-based assessment, are mostly international rather than local phenomena. The techniques and understanding achieved from the MSc in Educational Assessment, for this reason, are relevant to most nations. The intention of the full-time international programme is to bring together students from different nations and educational systems, including the UK system, to demonstrate and explore general issues in a local context. Generic theories and techniques will be taught, but students are encouraged to choose examples from their own educational system when exploring these in assignments and other tasks.

It is, however, realized that studying in a different country includes extra challenges. We therefore run special tutorial groups for international students. This happens every week during term time, and students are taken through a programme designed to enhance and development the academic skills required at a UK university. These tutorials also have a strong social element, providing an opportunity to meet with staff and students on other programmes (the tutorials share many of the sessions with international students from other postgraduate programmes in the School of Education).

Although a minimum requirement is made for language skills before starting, the University also offer further English language training for students wanting this (see the English Language Centre for further details).

Teaching and assessment details

The programme is available through both part-time and full-time study. Both routes commence in October, and have the same basic programme structure:

Four 30 credit taught modules
One 60 credit dissertation (15,000 words)
Dates for submission of assignments are provided well in advance to help with planning. Students work on the dissertation with one-to-one supervision, and submit in September (for part-time students this is the September of their second year of the programme).

Each module has 30 hours of teaching, which will be a combination of lectures, seminars and practical tasks. Some fieldwork and analyses of authentic assessment material will be included.


Admissions Process

Subjects required, level and grade

A good honours degree at 2:1 (or equivalent).  Significant relevant experience will also be considered.

English Language Requirements

An overall IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with no element under 6.0) or equivalent.

English Language requirements


Requirements and Admissions

You can apply to our postgraduate programmes via our online application process.

Fees and Funding

Fees have not been set for this academic year.


The University has a range of funding opportunities for postgraduate students.  To find out what support is available see our online funding database.

Career Opportunities

Education, School of

Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.

For further information on career options and employability, including the results of the Destination of Leavers survey, student and employer testimonials and details of work experience and study abroad opportunities, please click here

Open days and visits

Campus tours

Are you interested in studying at Durham University? Then why not come along to one of our Campus Tours? They run regularly at Durham City and Queen's Campus, Stockton on Wednesday afternoons. For further information, please click here.

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits

Department Information

Education, School of


The School has a lively postgraduate environment capitalising on the academic strengths and diversity of its large body of teaching and research staff, and its population of around 1,100 students.

We offer a range of high-quality postgraduate provision to suit our students' needs. Many of our courses are designed to offer optimum flexibility through their mode of delivery, whether through part-time teaching at evenings/weekends to suit those engaged in full-time employment, or through part-time International Postgraduate Programmes (IPPs) which are delivered through a combination of intensive summer school teaching and independent study. Our postgraduate provision offers training and development for the teaching profession as well as programmes for those interested in education as an academic discipline in its own right.

We regularly secure top ten placements in UK  university league tables such as The Times Good University Guide and The Complete University Guide, and are delighted to have been graded 'outstanding' by Ofsted in February 2011 for all aspects of our initial teacher training. Meanwhile 85% of the School's research was recognised as being of world-class or international quality in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise.


Teaching Staff

Dr Per Kind

Prof Rob J Coe

Robert Coe is a Professor in the School of Education and Director of Secondary Projects in the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring, Durham University. He has overall responsibility for CEM's work with secondary schools and colleges, including the ALIS, Yellis and MidYIS projects which support thousands of schools in monitoring their own performance.
Before embarking on an academic career, Robert Coe was a teacher of mathematics, with experience in a range of secondary schools and colleges. He left teaching in 1995 to study full-time for a PhD at Durham University, and then stayed on as a Research Associate and Lecturer. His research interests are wide-ranging and include evaluation methodology; Evidence-Based Education and the involvement of practitioners in research; school effectiveness and improvement, including the methodology of school effectiveness research; the use and effects of feedback, especially in performance monitoring information systems; and the statistical comparability of examinations in different subjects and over time.

Prof Peter Tymms

After taking a degree from Cambridge University in Natural Sciences Peter Tymms taught in a wide variety of schools from Central Africa to the north-east of England before starting an academic career.

He was "Lecturer in Performance Indicators" at Moray House, Edinburgh before moving to Newcastle University and then to Durham University where he is presently Professor of Education.

He is on the Expert Board of the European Science Foundation and is an adviser to the German NEPS project.

His main research interests include monitoring, assessment, performance indicators, ADHD, reading and research methodology. He devised the PIPS project, which is designed to monitor the affective and cognitive progress of children through primary schools starting with a computer adaptive on-entry baseline assessment. Peter Tymms was Director of the CEM Centre until 2011 when he took over as Head of Department and Chair of the Board of Studies in the School of Education.

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