Research in an educational setting requires a very specific set of skills. In this advanced-level programme you will gain those skills and develop your understanding of the nature and use of research in education.
Recognised as a Research Training programme by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), this masters has been designed as both a free-standing degree and the first year of doctoral study (the first year of a ‘1+3’ programme).
This programme will allow you to develop analytical and practical skills useful not only for a career in academia but also in other research settings and in the commercial sector. If you are an education professional, the theories and techniques you will develop on this programme will enable you to undertake empirical work in your own area of practice.
On completion of the programme you will be able to critically evaluate research evidence based on quantitative and qualitative data and will have gained the knowledge and experience to conduct rigorous research in education and allied social subjects.
PLEASE NOTE: The MSc Educational Research is currently being reviewed and is likely to become a pathway in the MSc Education programme. The structure of the programme will remain very similar and the new structure will also still count as the Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC) recognised programme within the School of Education, being part of the 1+3 PhD structure (1 year MSc and 3 years PhD). Successful applicants of the MSc Educational Research will be required to transfer to the new MSc Education (Research) should this new pathway receive final University approval and validation.
Further informal inquiries about this review can be sent to the programme director (see ‘Further information’ section below).
You will be taught through a range of learning and teaching activities: lectures, seminars, practical training, group work and discussion and self-study activities.
You will complete four programme-specific compulsory courses and two option courses. On completion of your taught courses, you will also produce an independently researched dissertation.
Option courses may be chosen from those within the MSc Education, or from other MSc programmes in the School or from elsewhere across the University, subject to approval.
This programme is an excellent step towards PhD study and a career in academia or in research within government and national or international organisations. It will also provide you with a series of analytical and practical transferable skills that will enhance your career prospects in any field of your choice.
If you enjoy facts and figures within reports, books, online on info graphics and advertised facts and figures you will find the social and educational research programme useful in providing you with advanced level data collection, analysis and quantitative and qualitative methods of collecting and analysing research. You may also be interested in the Industry 4.0 revolution and ability to collect data to drive instant data to inform instant decisions, though much of this work involves electronics and computing it also involves advanced educational research.
The programme gives you a range of qualitative and quantitative skills to provide rigorous research projects, research questions and practical translation into practical research design. You learn about epistemological and ontological principles which are specifically used in educational and social research. There are a range of opportunities from studying this programme within educational research, market research and research within health and social services plus many charities and other organisations. You can also continue with your studies towards gaining a PhD, teaching and research
Find out about fees
*Please be advised that some programmes have different tuition fees from those listed above and that some programmes also have additional costs.
Find out more about:
Find out more about living in Aberdeen
The MA Education programme is aimed at educators and education professionals who want to gain additional knowledge and skills to help improve their practice through a general, rather than specialised, programme of master's level study. It draws upon the expertise across the School of Education giving candidates access to the knowledge and experience of leading researchers across a diverse range of topics. Thus, you will be in a great position to pursue your interests and focus on the topics that suit your career ambitions.
MA Education is unique in the School of Education insofar as there are no modules dedicated to, or associated with, the programme; instead, you select modules that interest you from the other specialised MA programmes offered. These may be modules that explore different aspects of educational leadership, the use of technology to support learning, child development, or teaching English to speakers of other languages among others.
With your own experience of working in an education context, the teaching sessions and our excellent library resources you will soon build your knowledge of educational research methods and apply them to your own dissertation on a related topic. You will also improve your skills in written and oral communication, research and analysis, and leadership: all vital qualities for a career in any sector of education.
This flexible programme may also be studied part-time, but it is important to emphasise that we offer no special provision for part-time students. Teaching sessions and meetings generally occur during the working day so, if you are considering applying for part-time status, you must ensure that you are able to attend at these times.
You’ll take a core module that explores the principles and methods of educational research, and introduces you to issues such as research ethics and the use of research to improve educational practice for individuals and organisations. You’ll also study two of three additional modules on research methods to expand and sharpen your skills.
You’ll apply your new understanding of the concepts and benefits of educational research to your own dissertation, in preparation for which you'll consult regularly with your appointed supervisor as you independently research an educational topic that may or may not be related to your own practice. We can only accept you onto the programme if, at the application stage, you propose a dissertation on a topic or issue that matches the available supervisory expertise within the School of Education.
There are two compulsory modules on this programme. You have to study and pass at least two of the three optional research methods modules, and you’ll normally take two or three from the full range of other optional modules available. Some modules are only available in alternate years. You must select modules that represent a general and balanced programme of study, rather than a specialised one. You will not be permitted to follow modules from one MA programme only, or to focus on one narrow subject or topic, since this will result in a specialised course of study rather than the general one that the MA Education is intended to provide.
We use a variety of teaching and learning methods including weekly seminars, group learning, tutorials, fieldwork, online learning and lectures. The methods of teaching and learning that you will encounter depend on which specific modules you choose. Independent study is also vital, as it allows you to pursue your interests and develop high-level skills.
Most assessment is by written essay. Occasionally, we use other assessment approaches, such as poster presentations or reflective logs.
This programme has been designed to meet the needs of candidates who plan to use the knowledge and skills they will gain in a wide range of careers in education and related sectors. You will develop your skills in research and analysis, and the insights gained from your studies will help to inform your professional practice. If you are already established in the field of teaching or a career in education, developing your skills in educational research and analysis can lead to early promotion. Many of our students receive sponsorship and support from their employers or governments as part of their continued professional development. MA Education also provides a pathway, for students who achieve at least a merit, for further study and research at doctoral level, either a PhD or the EdD.
Our unique MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme allows you to study theory while benefitting from hands-on research experience.
It covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods and allows you to develop research approaches to studying psychology, from the level of social groups through to neuro-imaging of brain activity.
Our MSc Research Methods in Psychology programme is designed to provide you with expertise in psychological research methods appropriate for the behavioural sciences.
You will develop the skills necessary for critically evaluating research, formulating innovative research questions, conducting empirical research, and analysing, interpreting and reporting research results.
The programme covers the breadth of contemporary psychological research methods, allowing you to develop research approaches that combine multiple methods in unique ways. By the end of the programme, you will have developed an individual profile of research skills.
The programme also provides an ideal stepping stone for research at PhD level.
This programme is studied full-time over one academic year and part-time students must study at least two taught technical modules per academic year. It consists of eight taught modules and a dissertation.
Example module listing
The following modules are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that not all modules described are compulsory and may be subject to teaching availability and/or student demand.
Students who have completed the Psychology programmes have progressed to a range of careers in areas such as local government, management, research posts in universities and commercial organisations, healthcare and clinical psychology, and many have progressed on to study for a PhD.
We believe in involving all postgraduate students in the research life of the School through active participation in one of the research groups, attendance at research seminars and, where possible, an attachment to ongoing research projects.
As a student of the Department of Psychology, you will also have access to a number of conferences, seminars and workshops hosted throughout the year.
The programme provides opportunities for students to develop and demonstrate knowledge and understanding, skills, qualities and other attributes in the following areas:
Knowledge and understanding
Intellectual / cognitive skills
Professional practical skills
Key / transferable skills
We often give our students the opportunity to acquire international experience during their degrees by taking advantage of our exchange agreements with overseas universities.
In addition to the hugely enjoyable and satisfying experience, time spent abroad adds a distinctive element to your CV.