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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. This course is a full-time commitment. Students attend IOE for sessions regularly throughout the year with the remainder of time spent locally teaching in a school, completing fieldwork tasks and studying.

About this degree

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 Reading Recovery 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.

Compulsory modules

  • The Theory and Practice of Reading Recovery: Children, teachers and schools
  • Research Methods in Literacy
  • Literacy Development

Optional modules

There are no optional modules for this programme.

Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.


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 at IOE.


Teaching of children in Reading Recovery can take place in the student's own locality. Students bring children to be taught at the one-way screen at IOE at least twice during the full-time training year.  


Placements to observe professional development for teachers are arranged by the programme team. Every effort is made for this placement to be near to the home locality, but it may be that the placement is some distance away. Travel to this placement occurs for three or four half-days each term.

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 programme requirements.

Additional costs

When the programme is based in London, the cost of a child and adult travelling to London for teaching at the one-way screen is covered in the programme fees.

The cost of travel to a school in the student's locality is not covered by programme fees.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The programme trains Teacher Leaders for Reading Recovery in the UK and across Europe. In addition, on graduation students are recognised as accredited Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders.


Students become highly skilled in Reading Recovery teaching techniques, 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 if they attend the annual professional development meeting that is organised for all Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders.


Successful students become qualified Reading Recovery Teacher Leaders. Accreditation is maintained annually in line with established standards for implementing Reading Recovery internationally.

Department: Learning & Leadership


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at:

Who can apply?

This programme is suitable for practitioners who will be preparing and supporting teachers to deliver Reading Recovery in schools. Practitioners will be working for a local authority or equivalent educ ation provider, and will need to be available to travel to London for teaching blocks across the year, each lasting two to three days.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

To become a Reading Recovery Teacher Leader students need to be appointed by an approved education provider. For an informal discussion on approved providers please email .

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Reading Recovery and Literacy Leadership at graduate level
  • why you want to study Reading Recovery and Literacy Leadership at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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