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Course content

The Master of Studies (MSt) in Advanced Subject Teaching has been designed to help English and history teachers develop their subject knowledge and enhance their professional and academic standing. It provides a two-year, part-time route to a full University of Cambridge Master’s degree.

The MSt has been developed by the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education in association with the Faculties of Education, English and History, and with The Prince's Teaching Institute.

When you embark on this innovative programme, you will choose an aspect of your subject which you would like to explore further or perhaps tackle for the first time. You will then study it both academically and pedagogically, so that your new knowledge and skills can be put to effective use in the classroom.

One of the aims of the programme is to focus on areas of the curriculum that are under-represented in schools, not least because teachers themselves may be less familiar with them. We hope that successful graduates of this MSt will go on to make major contributions to syllabus development not only in their schools, but also at national and international level.

The course has been designed to be accessible to teachers both in the UK and world-wide. Teaching and supervision is offered through a combination of residential teaching in Cambridge and online tuition.

Visit the website http://www.ice.cam.ac.uk/mst-ast

Course detail

- To provide professionally relevant teaching and learning informed by research.
- To extend and deepen students' subject knowledge and develop their understanding of specific ideas, pedagogical practices and learning theories.
- To encourage a commitment to intellectual challenge and evidence-based teaching informed by the latest conceptual and theoretical knowledge.
- To develop students' intellectual, practical and transferable skills related to subject specialist teaching.
- To help students to critique and evaluate current pedagogical practices in their subject area and to conduct systematic research relevant to their professional practice.
- To encourage critical thinking related to subject specialist knowledge, pedagogical practices and theories of learning.
- To encourage students to develop as reflective practitioners in terms of subject specialist knowledge, skills and pedagogical practices.


The course starts in August with preliminary reading and formative assessment, and teaching is provided through a combination of residential teaching in Cambridge (three concentrated teaching blocks in the first year and one in the second year), online tuition and individual supervision.

- Lectures, seminars and classes: c.48 hours in Year 1, c.16 hours in Year 2
- Supervision: 4 x 1 hour in Year 2


- Module 1: The history and development of the subject (residential and online)
- Module 2: The development of new subject knowledge (residential and online)
- Module 3: From academic to classroom-based research (residential and online)


- Dissertation: 15,000-18,000 words (including footnotes and appendices but excluding bibliography)
- Essay 1: 3,000 words
- Essay 2: 3,000 words
- Essay 3: 6,000 words

There is a formative preparatory assignment of between 1,500 and 2,000 words undertaken before the first module. There is also a formative assessment for module 4 of up to 3,000 words. This is an update on the research proposal submitted with the application.

Some assignments and the dissertation require literature reviews. Students may be required to give individual presentations or contribute to group presentations, on which the students would receive constructive feedback.


The MSt is a research degree, and successful completion of the MSt at a high grade may allow you to progress to a EdD or PhD either at the University of Cambridge or another institution.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

National Scholarship Fund for Teachers

In addition, English teachers working in England may have access to the National Scholarship Fund for Teachers. Please check the Department for Education’s website for the latest information: http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/careers/traininganddevelopment

Other sources of funding

Sources of government funding and financial support - including Professional and Career Development Loans: https://www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance

You may be interested to know that from 2016/17, Student Finance England (SFE) is introducing a postgraduate loans scheme for full-time and part-time Master’s courses. Information on eligibility, the amount of the loan and the level of repayment can be found in SFE’s The Student Roomhttps://www.gov.uk/browse/education/student-finance

Please note that SFE is planning to take applications via its main Student finance website, from summer 2016: https://www.gov.uk/student-finance

Visit the MSt in Advanced Subject Teaching page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!






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Recipient: University of Cambridge

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