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Is education a force for reproduction or transformation in the world? Does education change the world or maintain the current system - for example, can it alleviate the effects of poverty or does it increase existing inequalities?
These are just some of the questions we consider in our MSc/Postgraduate Diploma/Postgraduate Certificate in Education, Power and Social Change, where we explore the links between education (all forms of informal and formal learning, across all age ranges, including adult, higher and professional education), and social and political movements, and develop understandings of how 'education' as a contested field should be viewed within a globalised and postcolonial context.
Taking an interdisciplinary approach to thinking about education, we draw on the arts
Read more about this course
Our standard postgraduate entry requirement is a second-class honours degree (2:2 or above) from a UK university, or an equivalent international qualification.
If English is not your first language or you have not previously studied in English, our usual requirement is the equivalent of an International English Language Testing System (IELTS Academic Test) score of 6.5, with not less than 6.0 in each of the sub-tests.
Fees & funding
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‘I researched many courses but Birkbeck’s MSc Education, Power & Social Change really appealed. From my sociology degree I know that an understanding of the two concepts – of power and of social change – is very important to any analysis of the various problems that exist in society. And education is a field above all where you can create social change.
‘I took two years to complete the MSc part-time. The course absolutely delivered what I wanted. Analysing different concepts of power and social change - and linking them to education - was very relevant to the work I wanted to be doing.
‘I’m now a data manager for a support service linked to a local authority. I work with people with varying degrees of deafness and as a data manager I analyse trends, look at the quantitative data and this is used to inform our policies and shape our practices.
‘Completing the MSc definitely helped me in getting my job, as well as my ability to do the job. But while there were very practical reasons for doing this course, studying at Birkbeck also gave me the chance to develop professionally and as a person. English isn’t my first language, so studying helped me to build my vocabulary and confidence as a sociologist. My writing skills improved a great deal, and I learned how to develop a written argument.
‘I also built new relationships, with my fellow students and with the course directors, who were wonderful! I particularly enjoyed being given the space to develop my own thoughts and ideas.
‘I also feel that when you have an MSc people see you differently – you are seen as a specialist in that area, with a particular body of knowledge. It gives you a professional status which I really value.
‘Studying for an MSc can be hard work, so you need to make sure you choose something you really want to do and know that you are going to enjoy. You just have to go for it!
‘For me, the choice was strategic – I regularly reminded myself what I was doing this for. I’m now doing the job I wanted. Doing the MSc was one of the best investments I have made.’
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