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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas

    Education

  • Start Date

    October

  • Course Duration

    1 year full-time or 3 years part-time

  • Course Type

    MA

  • Course Fees

    website

  • Last Updated

    14 November 2017

Course content

The MA in Education 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, Education Enquiry 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.

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 Master’s 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. 

Career Opportunities

Career opportunities in education are wide and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.


Visit the Education - MA page on the Durham University website for more details!

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