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Masters degree in Education

This flexible qualification offers four specialist routes – applied linguistics, inclusive practice, leadership and management, or learning and teaching – enabling you to engage with issues, concepts, and debates in an area that supports your professional development. Your investigative study will draw on your own and others’ experience and on appropriate literature, and will develop your understanding of the role and the limitations of research in informing educational practice. The qualification includes a literature review in a topic of your choice, and a substantial dissertation or research project situated in your own practice. You will need some experience of working with learners, either in teaching, the education advisory service, educational administration or an allied field, which may include informal learning settings.

Key features of the course

  • Flexibility to suit your needs – allowing you to complete in three years, or take up to six years
  • Leads to MA or MEd, with a rich diversity of modules to suit your interests
  • An emphasis on professional development through collaborative learning 
  • Develops and consolidates advanced scholarship and independent learning in the context of your own practice.

Suggested routes to the degree

There are two options to studying the qualification, the fast track 2-year option or the standard 3-year option (with the flexibility to take up to six years). We recommend that you choose carefully and plan your work accordingly. You must start with a Stage 1 module in October (unless you are awarded credit transfer) and complete this qualification within six years. Owing to the way in which the qualification is structured you cannot start two modules at the same time; the only way to complete the qualification in less than three years is to opt for the fast-track option.


You'll choose ONE of four specialisms:

  • applied linguistics
  • inclusive practice
  • leadership and management
  • learning and teaching

And study 180 credits – one 60-credit module at each stage:

Stage 1

This is the first stage of any route and introduces some of the big ideas in education and their specialist domain(s). You will engage with concepts, current debates and issues in the area of education relevant to your chosen route. It focuses on generic learning outcomes but retains a subject-specific focus. There is emphasis on collaborative learning and the development of digital information literacy. Course work encourages students to bring together their personal understanding of issues relating to specific aspects of education with the enduring and current body of professional and academic research publications relevant to their professional/personal agenda. It also provides for the development and consolidation of advanced scholarship through practice and refinement of independent learning inherent in the academic literacy and conventions of academic writing required for successful study at master’s level.

60 credits from the following optional modules:

• Addressing inequality and difference in educational practice (EE814)

• Educational leadership: agency, professional learning and change (EE811)

• Applied linguistics and English language (EE817)

Stages 2 and 3

Choose your specialism and study 120 credits from the following compulsory modules:

For the MA in Education (Applied Linguistics) or MEd (Applied Linguistics)

• Language, literacy and learning (EE818)

• MA Ed dissertation: applied linguistics (EE819)

For the MA in Education (Inclusive Practice) or MEd (Inclusive Practice)

• Understanding literacy: social justice and inclusive practice (EE815)

• MA Ed dissertation: inclusive practice (EE816)

For the MA in Education (Leadership and Management) or MEd (Leadership and Management)

• Educational leadership: exploring strategy (EE812)

• MA Ed dissertation: leadership and management (EE813)

For the MA in Education (Learning and teaching) or MEd (Learning and teaching)

• Learning and teaching: understanding practice (EE831)

• MA Ed dissertation: learning and teaching (EE832)

The modules quoted in this description are currently available for study. However, as we review the curriculum on a regular basis, the exact selection may change over time.

Credit Transfer

If you’ve successfully completed some relevant postgraduate study elsewhere, you might be able to count it towards Stage 1 of this qualification, by applying for credit transfer, reducing the number of modules you need to study. Credit transfer will impact the time you have to complete this qualification, and the six year time limit will start from the time your credit transfer was completed. So, for example, if you use credit transfer that you were awarded two years ago, you would need to complete the remaining 120 credits in four years.

We particularly welcome credit from those who hold a Cambridge Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (Delta) (course entry from September 2008) or the Trinity College London Licentiate Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (LTCL Diploma in TESOL) (course entry from March 2007). Credit from these diplomas may be counted towards Stage 1 of our MA in Education (Applied Linguistics)/MEd (Applied Linguistics).

You should apply for credit transfer as soon as possible, before you register for your first module. For more details and an application form visit our Credit Transfer website.

Visit the Masters Degree in Education page on the Open University website for more details!




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Recipient: Open University

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