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Educational Research - MSc


Course Description

Programme description

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).

Programme structure

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.

Compulsory courses:

  • Nature of Enquiry
  • Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS
  • Qualitative Data Research
  • Designing Educational Research

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.

Career opportunities

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.


Visit the Educational Research - MSc page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant employment or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

All applicants must also meet our English language requirements.

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Recipient: University of Edinburgh

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