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X9K009 Educational Assessment MSc Postgraduate Taught  2017


Degree MSc
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 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). You will 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.

Course structure

The programme 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.

Core Modules

  • 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).

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 MSC Assessment  programme 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 programme 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 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 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. 

Admissions Process

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 £7,400.00
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.