X9K009 Educational Assessment MSc Postgraduate Taught 2019
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 course is based on the extensive expertise in the School of Education at Durham University. You will learn to construct and use tests, classroom assessments, interviews, school inspections and more. The course 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 in the conducting of assessment. The course has strong links to the Chartered Institute of Educational Assessors (CIEA).
The course aims to produce specialists who are well equipped to work in assessment in 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 course 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.
This course will be of interest to international students as 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 an international rather than a 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, understood 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 develop 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 courses (the tutorials share many of the sessions with international students from other postgraduate courses in the School of Education).
The course comprises four x 30 credit taught modules plus a 60 credit dissertation of up to 15,000 words. On a part-time basis, students study two modules per year in both year one and in year two and the dissertation in year three. On a full-time basis, students study all modules and the dissertation within one year.
- Standardised Tests and Exams (30 credits) – Part-time students must take this module as a pre-requisite to the Judgement-based Assessment module
- Classroom Assessment (30 credits)
- Judgement-based Assessment (30 credits)
- Research Methods in Education (30 credits)
- MSc Dissertation (60 credits).
To find out more about the modules available to students studying at Durham University please click here.
Please note: Current modules are indicative. Information for future academic years may change, for example, due to developments in the relevant academic field, or in light of student feedback.
Course Learning and Teaching
In all of our postgraduate taught courses 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 MSc Assessment course you will take compulsory core modules worth a total of 120 credits. Modules are offered either mid-week or at weekend which provides flexible study options. Modules are delivered using a combination of lectures, seminars workshops and tutorials. The core modules are designed to provide students with a critical understanding of theories, research and issues relevant to their chosen course of study. Outside timetabled contact hours, you will also be 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 course, 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 course. On arrival we have induction sessions and social events, headed by the Director of Postgraduate Studies and attended by both academic and administrative staff.
Subject requirements, level and grade
A good honours degree at 2:1 (or equivalent). Significant relevant experience will also be considered.
English Language requirements
Please check requirements for your subject and level of study.
How to apply
Fees and Funding
Full Time Fees
|EU Student||£7,350.00 per year|
|Home Student||£7,350.00 per year|
|Island Student||£7,350.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£17,350.00 per year|
Part Time Fees
|EU Student||£4,100.00 per year|
|Home Student||£4,100.00 per year|
|International non-EU Student||£9,600.00 per year|
Note: Fees are subject to review and change in-line with inflation.
Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.
Scholarships and funding
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 VisitsPGVI or
School of Education
The School of Education is one of the leading departments of education in the UK. We are a large department, with around 50 academic staff, and around 650 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 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.