This programme will explore the key debates in national and international education policy. You will engage with a critical analysis of the different concepts underlying the evolving landscape of educational policy globally, such as new forms of funding and delivery, privatisation, evaluation and inspection.
Students will examine key education policies in the UK and other countries, with a particular focus on social justice, and consider the possibilities for more socially fair and democratic policy enactments. You will also explore a range of identities including, but not limited to, social class, gender and ‘race’/ethnicity, and how these aspects of identity shape the policy formation and enactment process in the UK and internationally.
This course has a particular focus on social justice within education, and allows participants to reflect on the varied and linked aspects of education in a contemporary domestic, and globalised, world. You will benefit from our relationships with international organisations and contacts such as UNESCO, which open up educational study and employment opportunities.
While providing an introduction to the key theories and concepts in the fields of education policy and social justice, this course will offer students an understanding of the established techniques of research and enquiry, and how these are used to create and interpret knowledge. With these skills, you will be well placed to be able to critically evaluate research and advanced scholarship, in order to understand the basis of educational policy nationally and internationally.
You will develop the confidence and knowledge to become a professional practitioner, researcher or developer in the field of education policy. With the necessary skills and understanding for reflecting on your own and others’ practice, you will be able contribute to improving educational processes and outcomes. As such, the course is well-suited to current teachers and school leaders, professionals working in policy related areas, and national and international recent graduates.
Students will undertake a study of the recent history of Education policy, studying the key parliamentary acts from 1988 to the present time. Students will evaluate these policies in relation to social justice, looking critically at how inclusive or exclusive they have been, and from there consider the possibilities for more socially just policy enactment. Other modules will broaden this understanding, as students investigate global theoretical perspectives on education policy, and the different models and policy schemes in use, and the outcomes and implications of these policy choices in different contexts. Further, students will explore how discourses on teaching vary over time and across national contexts, and analyse the effects of education policies on the teaching profession, including looking at teachers’ contribution to social change.
Students can also explore the way in which policy is enacted and governance undertaken across the world. Particular modules will look at the new actors (philanthropists, social entrepreneurs, edu-businesses, community organisations, etc.) that have served as the driving force for recent political change, and study four conceptual principles underlying the concept of ‘network governance’.
Other modules will focus on developing your critical perspective on the political nature of education as well as offering chances to engage with new methods and tools to perform policy analysis. Especially, you will strengthen your ability to undertake and evaluate research, and you will be able to study a variety of theoretical concepts underlying social and educational research, carrying out a research project of your own.
The programme is designed for current teachers and school leaders, professionals working in policy related areas (including, for example, government at different levels, think tanks, foundations and trusts, voluntary and community sector), and national and international recent graduates, looking to develop and broaden their knowledge and a critical perspective on the political nature of education as well as engage with new methods and tools to perform policy analysis.
The Department of Education will not be recruiting to the MA in Science Education for the academic year 2018/19, as we are undertaking a review of our provision. The text below is for information only.
The Department of Education offers a one-year (12 month) taught full time MA in Science Education. This programme will be attractive to all those who have an interest in science education, whether as teachers, researchers or policy makers. Applications are welcomed from both home and international students.
Applicants are strongly advised to ensure that they submit applications no later than 1st September if they wish to begin a course of study beginning in the same year. No guarantee can be offered that applications received after this date will be processed for a September start date.
The Department also welcomes applications from people interested in studying for a PhD in science education in its areas of expertise (see below).
The University of York Science Education Group (UYSEG) has an outstanding international reputation for the excellence of its work in research and curriculum development in science education. Our school science programmes such as Science: the Salters Approach, Salters Advanced Chemistry, Salters Horners Advanced Physics and, most recently, Salters Nuffield Advanced Biology and 21st Century Science are widely used in this country, and have received international acclaim. Science: the Salters Approach and Salters Advanced Chemistry have been adapted for use in many other countries, including Belgium, Hong Kong, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Russia, South Africa, Spain, Swaziland and the USA. If you come to York, you will have the opportunity to work with one of the leading groups in science education.
As members of the University of York Science Education Group, the science education staff in the Department of Education have made a significant contribution to the high profile of science education at York. Science specialist staff currently in the Department include Professor Robin Millar, Professor Judith Bennett, Martin Braund and Fred Lubben. All hold major grants for research and development in science education.
Areas of expertise include assessment, attitudes to science, the use of context-based approaches to the teaching of science, curriculum development (including international collaboration on projects), evaluation of curriculum interventions, gender issues in science education, practical work in science, scientific literacy, systematic reviews of research literature, and the transition from primary to secondary school. Current international work includes involvement in the PISA (Programme for International Student Assessment) project and a number of initiatives in Southern Africa.
The reputation of the University of York Science Education Group was a major contributory factor in York being chosen as the home of the new National Science Learning Centre, which opened in September 2005 and offers a programme of professional development courses for science teachers.
The programme offers specialist tuition within an established framework for MA provision in the Department. The aims of the programme are:
-To enhance knowledge and understanding in science education
-To develop educational research capabilities and skills in the fields of education and science education
-To contribute, where appropriate, to professional development by enhancing capacity to investigate aspects of one or more of educational theory, policy and practice
-Science, Education and Society (20 credits)
-Research methods in education (20 credits)
One option module from a list of about 10 (20 credits). Options are likely to include:
-Cross-linguistic influences in second language acquisition
-Education and social justice
-Evaluating ESOL classroom practice
-Intercultural communication in education
-Learning and teaching second/foreign language reading
-Motivation in education
-Teaching and assessing speaking skills
-Teaching and assessing writing skills
-Teaching and learning in schools
-Teaching World English
-Topics in second language acquisition
-Recent research and innovation in science education (20 credits)
One option module from a list of about 10 (20 credits). Options are likely to include:
-Approaches to English teaching
-Contemporary issues in teaching
-Cross-cultural perspectives on language and discourse
-Learning and teaching grammar in a second language
-Pragmatics: language, meaning and communication
-Psychology of language and language learning
-Qualitative and quantitative data analysis
-Teaching and learning citizenship and global education
-Teaching English for academic purposes
-The practice of English language teaching
-Testing and assessment in English language teaching
Planning and Communicating Research (20 credits). Classes are spread over Terms 2 and 3.
The third term and the summer is also devoted to writing a dissertation (60 credits) based on a small-scale research study to be submitted by early September.
Students will also be able to attend the department series of research seminars for Masters students which includes talks by visiting speakers.
Students will complete:
-Four assessed coursework essay assignments (each 4,000 to 5,000 words in length)
-An exam in Research Methods in Education
-An assessed presentation + dissertation outline + ethics audit
-A dissertation of 12,000 words in length
Our graduates find employment in a wide range of sectors within education, but also in journalism, information management, human resources and other careers.
Our postgraduate courses can be used to complement teacher training/development programmes and voluntary or paid roles which focus on the more practical elements of teaching. However, other than our PGCE, our courses are not teacher training programmes in themselves.