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Course content

The English Education MA programme offers participants a stimulating combination of both academic and professional development, including guidance on conducting small-scale research. It is particularly helpful in enhancing practising English/literacy teachers' promotional prospects and 'leadership capital', and is relevant to practitioners from across all phases of education.

About this degree

Updated annually, a carefully balanced programme of core and optional modules explores a wide range of contemporary topics relating to English as a curriculum subject; interactive seminars are designed to draw on participants' own experiences and increase awareness of the richness and scope of English as a field of study (including media and drama).

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of one core module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits) or a report (30 credits), plus a choice from a wide range of optional modules (30 credits each) reflecting different interests within the field of English studies.

Core modules

  • Contemporary Issues in English Education

Optional modules

Recommended optional modules include:

  • Shakespeare in Education
  • Moving Image Production
  • Internet Cultures: Theory and Practice
  • Digital Games, Play and Creativity
  • Inclusive Pedagogy: Changing Practice through Action Research
  • Issues in Museums & Galleries in Education
  • Litaracy Practice in Writing and Comprehension
  • Developing Understanding in English, Media, Drama Studies

Whilst students are normally expected to choose modules from the published list of recommended options, in exceptional circumstances individual students may choose from a wider range of options, subject to approval.


All students undertake an independent research project which either culminates in a dissertation of approximately 20,000 words (60 credits) or an investigative report of approximately 10,000 words (30 credits).

Teaching and learning

The MA is delivered through a combination of face-to-face seminars and online materials; sessions are always interactive, drawing on students' own interests and experiences. Most modules are assessed by means of written essays.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: English Education MA


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers of English (in the UK and internationally), while others have jobs as heads of English departments in UK schools. Graduates can also be found working as education advisers with cultural organisations.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Freelance Travel Consultant, Royal Palms Travel
  • Secondary School Teacher (English and Media), Norbury Manor Business and Enterprise College for Girls
  • Secondary School Teacher (English), Kensington Aldridge Academy
  • Sixth Form Teacher (English Literature), Victoria Junior College
  • Secondary School Assistant Principal, St. Saviour's & St. Olave's School and studying MA English Education, Institute of Education, University of London (IOE)


The majority of our MA English Education students are already employed as practising teachers who are thinking about the next steps in their professional careers, for example as Heads of Department or taking up whole school literacy development posts.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This programme at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is one of the few programmes in the country which offers a specialist Master's degree in English/media/drama as a curriculum subject.

Every year this well-established course attracts particpants from diverse professional and cultural backgrounds. For written assignments students are encouraged to investigate aspects of their own practice which are of particular interest to them.

The programme is taught by an experienced team of subject specialists, most of whom are qualified teachers themselves, and students on this programme are offered individualised tutorial support throughout the duration of the course.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Culture, Communication & Media

78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Visit the English Education (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!





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