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Course content

The Reading Recovery and Literacy Leadership MA, led by the reading recovery leadership team at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) combines practical and theoretical elements. Students attend the programme in London - which may involve an overnight stay - but the majority of time will be spent locally teaching in a school and studying at home.

Degree information

The programme trains teacher leaders in reading recovery. You will be equipped with the current research in early literacy, the theories of Marie Clay underpinning reading recovery, the skills required to manage an implementation in a local education authority or education system, and the ability to lead high quality professional development for practising teachers.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of three core modules (150 credits), and a report (30 credits). Students can exit after the first year with a Postgraduate Diploma. There are no optional modules for this programme.

Core modules
-Literacy Development
-Research Methods in Literacy
-The Theory and Practice of Reading Recovery

All students submit a report of up to 10,000 words on an aspect of their professional role.

Teaching and learning
The programme involves working with children in reading recovery, fieldwork sessions, online discussion sessions undertaken locally and full-day and evening sessions taught face-to-face.

Teaching of children in reading recovery can take place in the student's own locality. Students bring children to be taught at least twice during the full-time training year. The cost of a child travelling to London is covered in the course fees. The cost of travel to a school in the student's locality is not covered by course fees.

Placements to observe professional development for teachers is arranged by the course team. Teacher leaders in training and their providers are responsible for arranging a suitable local school placement. Guidance will be offered so that this placement meets course requirements.


The programme trains teacher leaders for reading recovery in the UK and across Europe. In addition, on graduation students are recognized as accredited reading recovery teacher leaders.

Students learn to highly skilled reading recovery techniques, become adept facilitators of teachers’ professional development, and proficient administrators of a complex and detailed intervention in an education system.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This demanding and challenging programme was first established in 1991 when Marie Clay, who developed reading recovery, was a visiting professor at the IOE.

Participants will develop or enhance their understanding of how the lowest achieving children can be assisted to overcome their learning difficulties.

There are opportunities for participants to network with their future colleagues across Europe when they attend the annual professional development meeting that is organized for all reading recovery teacher leaders in the UK and Ireland.

Visit the Reading Recovery and Literacy Leadership - MA/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!





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