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X9K907 Education MA Postgraduate Taught  2017


Degree MA
Mode of study Part Time + Full Time
Duration 1 year (full-time) or 3 years (part-time)
Start Date 02/10/2017
Location Durham City
Department(s) Website
Telephone +44 (0)191 334 8316/8374

Course Content


The MA in Education at Durham provides outstanding opportunities to study a wide range of educational issues. It will provide you with a clear understanding of the nature and significance of policy and practice in education, relevant to researchers as well as professionals in schools, colleges and universities.

A key feature of the programme is the facility for you to draw on your own professional and personal as well as academic and theoretical interests, through being able to choose from a range of optional modules to study (see below). And you will also be able to explore your own interests in depth through the completion of a dissertation.

In all of our modules, we aim to introduce you to key ideas and ways of thinking that enable you to engage with related issues in contexts that are relevant to you. Our programme is constructed in such a way that contexts as diverse as science education in schools, informal learning in the workplace and the management of schools outside the UK, can be explored through module assignments as well as the dissertation.

The degree has been designed to meet the needs of educational professionals, especially those in teaching, management or administration at all levels of education. Students likely to benefit from the programme are those who are interested in education, often teachers or people planning to become teachers, with a commitment to pedagogy, and educational managers in schools, colleges and higher education institutions, as well as those working in educational administration, in the UK and overseas.

Through its flexible delivery routes the MA in Education is suitable for students from all backgrounds and countries. In addition to a traditional full-time study route, the course is available via part-time and International Summer Postgraduate Institute routes. On the part-time route teaching is delivered through intensive teaching weekends scheduled around (Durham) school half-term holidays making the programme more accessible for those working full-time. Meanwhile the part-time International Summer Postgraduate Institute (ISPI) route is delivered through an intensive summer school teaching programme. The ISPI summer teaching runs in Durham throughout July each year and attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and countries, including the UK, and is ideal for those seeking part-time study in a truly international context. ISPI students benefit from a range of extra academic and cultural activities organised by the School of Education. 

Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited on this course. These students will only need to do the core modules, Research Methods in Education and the Dissertation (if part-time, over 2 years), to complete the programme.

Course Structure

Full-time students study the four taught modules plus the dissertation over one year.

Part-time students normally study two taught modules per year in years one and two and the dissertation in year three.

Core Modules

  • Research Methods Education (30 credits)
  • Critical Perspectives in Education (30 credits)
  • Dissertation (60 credits).

Optional Modules

You must select 60 credits from a list of optional modules which may include:

  • 21st Century Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning (30 credits)
  • Arts in Education (30 credits)
  • Curriculum Analysis (30 credits)
  • Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Productive Thought (30 credits)
  • Improving Computer Education
  • Intercultural and International Education (30 credits)
  • Intercultural Communication (30 credits)
  • Policy Studies (30 credits)
  • Psychology of the Learner (30 credits)
  • Special Educational Needs and Inclusion: Rhetoric or Reality? (30 credits).

The above are examples of modules we have run in previous years. Modules are continually developed in response to student feedback and interests, as well as to reflect the changing nature of academic research within the department.

To view our short film on this programme click here 

Course Learning and Teaching

In all of our postgraduate taught programmes we place an emphasis on empowering students to be autonomous, independent learners. The taught modules provide an introduction to module content which is then developed and extended through our use of online resources, key reading and  independent study and research. We consider the development of independent learning and research skills to be one of the key elements of our postgraduate taught curriculum and one which helps our students cultivate initiative, originality and critical thinking.

On the MA Education programme you will take compulsory core modules worth a total of 60 credits plus two optional modules worth 60   credits. Modules are offered either mid-week or at weekends, which provides flexible study routes  and a wide choice of options. Modules are delivered using a combination of lectures, seminars workshops and tutorials. The core modules are designed to provide you with a critical understanding of theories, research and issues relevant to your chosen programme of study. Outside timetabled contact hours, you are also expected to devote significant amounts of time to reading, discussing and preparing for classes, assignments and project work.

In addition to the taught core and option modules all postgraduate taught students following a Masters programme will undertake a 60 credit dissertation. This crucial piece of work is a significant piece of independent research that constitutes a synthesis of theory, method and practice in education and is supported by an individual supervisor, specialist dissertation workshops and the Dissertation Coordinator.

Throughout the programme, all students meet regularly with an Academic Advisor, who provides academic support and guidance. In addition Programme Leads have regular office hours where they meet students to discuss any issues. Module staff are also happy to meet with you to discuss module specific issues as needed.

In term time, the department also has an extensive programme of departmental and research group seminars which postgraduate students are encouraged to attend. Before the academic year starts, we provide information on preparation for the programme. On arrival we have induction sessions and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and attended by both academic and administrative staff. 

Admissions Process

Subject requirements, level and grade

Applicants for the programmes must normally be graduates of this or another University or of the C.N.A.A., with an upper 2nd class honours or above (successful completion of a masters level PGCE will classify as 'above'), or have other specially approved qualifications which satisfy the Admissions Sub-Committee that they are suitably qualified to undertake the programme.

Teaching experience may be considered appropriate in some cases (see pathway specific specifications). However all students must normally demonstrate a personal or professional interest in the academic study of education.

English Language requirements

Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.

How to apply

Fees and Funding

Full Time Fees

EU Student £7,400.00
Home Student £7,400.00
Island Student £7,400.00
International non-EU Student £16,500.00

Part Time Fees

Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and funding

Career Opportunities

School of Education

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 view our department web pages

Open days and visits

Pre-application open day

Overseas Visit Schedule

Postgraduate Visits


Department Information

School of Education


The School of Education is one of the leading departments for education in the UK. We are a large department, with around 50 academic staff, and nearly 700 postgraduate students (including our PGCE students, both primary and secondary).

We are also supported by a large number of partners from schools and colleges. We have strong international links welcoming international students, postdoctoral fellows and visiting scholars from all over the world. We are committed to research which engages with and has an impact upon practice and policy as well as influencing the wider research community to develop educational practice, education policy and future educational research.


Ranked joint 5th in the UK for World-Leading research and joint 1st for World-Leading research impact in REF 2014.