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MA Education Studies

Course Description

Our full-time Master’s in Education provides an opportunity to study educational issues in depth and the programme will cover policy, practice and education theory within an international context. Education is much more than the study of teaching. It is designed to get you questioning the assumptions that lie beneath educational policy and practice.


Education Studies forms part of the Professional Master’s Programme within the School of Education and offer a mixture of theory and practice with professional development within a global and international context.

Students come from a wide range of countries - from Cyprus, the Gambia, the United States, Germany, Indonesia, China, Japan, and so on, as well as the United Kingdom. They also come from many backgrounds. Some have educational studies as a first degree while others have been marine biologists, musicians or experts in fibre optics. We welcome this diversity. All come, however, with a good first degree and a thirst to know more about education:

• What is the nature of learning and teaching in different countries and cultures?
• What is the relationship between education and the economy?
• How is education changing as it enters the market place?
• How are education systems managed?
• Who takes decisions about the curriculum and teaching?
• How far do governments control education?
• How far should they go?
• What is the role of professional educators?
• What will be the role of schools and universities in the future?
• What is the future for education in the knowledge economy?
• Is education becoming an ‘instrument’ of capitalism?


There are four compulsory modules and a dissertation:

• Research and the Professional Part 1 will improve your awareness of how to do educational research, covering topics from e-Literacy and the application of research library skills, through to epistemological and ontological questions that underpin research. The module will help you find the direction you wish to take with your own dissertation and give you time to examine and question research undertaken by fellow students.

• Research and the Professional Part 2 (Research Project Preparation) further develops your understanding of research and of your ability to engage critically with theoretical texts. Flexible learning themes are used in contact sessions, but mostly freestanding materials are used to structure the communication between you and your specialist tutor and produce clarity and enthusiasm for your main area of enquiry through a negotiated project action plan.

• Education, Politics and Society explores how education can be understood in a complex and changing world where education is a significant factor in economic growth and competition. You will learn to question how governments attempt to control education processes and outcomes and examine the impact of recent policy initiatives.

• Learning and Knowledge Technology concentrates on linking pedagogical theory with ICT tools and applications across the curriculum. It examines how technological tools can be integrated into teaching and learning in all educational sectors.


You also take two additional optional modules that allow for further in-depth study. There is also other modules from the part-time programme that may be relevant to your intended career.

• International Education and Globalisation looks at education within a global context and deals with issues like ‘antiglobalisation’ ‘terrorism’ and ‘cultural resistance’. It examines the nature of the entrepreneurial university, the idea of the ‘knowledge economy’, and the way governments have systematically used the curriculum for nation building.

• Global Citizenship reflects a concern in the twenty-first century for a curriculum that is increasingly expected to be responsive to a range of social and political needs, e.g. citizenship education, and the need for pupils to acquire a global perspective. It examines history, principles, research and educational practice where these fields converge as global citizenship.

• Education Policy is about the politics of education. At its core is the examination of who makes policy and the comparison of the UK with other countries, making links with global issues.

• Language, Ideology and Education looks at the way language mediates and constructs educational matters. It draws from Foucault and Fairclough for its rationale, and uses wide ranging educational discourses to illustrate its theoretical stance.

• Education in the Social and Cultural Context of the UK is devised for overseas students who need a clearer awareness of the social and cultural backdrop to UK education. Tailored to student’s interests and needs, it can include school and cultural visits.


Modules are taught through lectures and small group seminars. There are also individual tutorials and good opportunities for extended discussion with tutors. Analysis of ideas through discussion is the key to teaching and learning in the programme. Some lectures and seminars occur during the day. Others take place from late afternoon.


Many of our students seek new career paths to educational management, training or in related fields, maybe in their non-UK home. Some wish to continue their undergraduate expertise in Education Studies and gain a broader and deeper view of education. Others wish to gain employment in , say, a museum or gallery setting, while others start with the intention of taking their studies further – to PhD level – and seek eventual employment in an academic institution.


There are no written exams and each module is assessed by coursework. This typically involves an essay of 2,500 words for a 15 credit module and 5,000 words for a 30 credit module. Sometimes assessment is by verbal presentation. The dissertation is 15,000–20,000 words and worth 60 credits. It focuses on an area mutually agreed with a specialist tutor who also offers guidance and support in the writing of the dissertation. To achieve the award you will need 180 credits in total.

Visit the MA Education Studies page on the Bath Spa University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Emma Dunn

771.jpg I chose this course to gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical, social, cultural and political influences in education. I found that Bath Spa presented a variety of modules and the capacity to step back and reflect on the ‘big’ themes. The flexibility of the course and the tutorials were the main things I enjoyed about studying at Bath Spa – this, along with the wonderful setting made my MA really enjoyable.

Before studying here, I was an Education Officer in a small independent museum in Bath. Since leaving the university I run the formal learning department at Geffrye museum, London. Studying the MA has provided the theoretical foundation for all my subsequent educational work and has given me the opportunity to challenge and reflect within my day-to-day practice.


Entry Requirements

You are expected to have an Honours degree from a recognised UK HE Institution. We often accept applicants with appropriate experience that we consider sufficient and comparable, or an equivalent overseas degree. The content and subject matter of your degree is open. In some circumstances, professional work in education (e.g. PGCE) or related field can be assessed as appropriate credit for ‘prior learning’ (APL) and a reduction in the number of credits required to pass the Master’s can be negotiated. For overseas applicants who are non-native speakers of English, a minimum language level of IELTS 6.5, or equivalent, is required.

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