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  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date

    September, January

  • Course Duration

    1 year full time, 2 years part time, up to 5 years flexible learning

  • Course Type


  • Course Fees


  • Last Updated

    03 January 2018

Course content

The Social Justice and Education MA will help students to identify, examine and understand key sociological and philosophical perspectives on social justice, including issues of race, class, gender and sexuality, and education. Participants will explore the personal and political dimensions of social justice concerns and develop their professional, practical and research skills in this area.

About this degree

This programme provides students with the opportunity to address, in a unique way, the complex links between social justice and education, focusing on key current policy and political debates about the role of education. They will also be able to develop, extend and reflect on their own professional interests, concerns and practice and how to address pressing issues of social justice in their everyday profesional and personal lives. Through their engagmeent with cutting-edge research in this area they will learn tools for fighting for social justice and transformation in the educational areas relevant for them.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits), or a report (30 credits) and a third optional module (30 credits).

Core modules

  • Sociology of Education
  • Understanding Education Research

Optional modules

  • Rights and Education
  • Gender, Sexuality and Education
  • Sociology of 'Race' and Education
  • Understanding Educational Policy
  • Theoretical Foundations of Educational Ideas
  • Minorities, Migrants and Refugees in National Education Systems

Students can also choose from a wide range of Master's-level optional modules across the IOE offering.


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 20,000 words or a report of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of face-to-face evening sessions and interactive online learning using a variety of teaching and learning styles. Sometimes a conventional lecture-based approach is taken, with the aim of providing an overview of the field. Lectures are usually followed by open discussion or group work. At other times a seminar format is adopted involving, for example, group discussion of set reading, a video or an introductory presentation. Assessment is through coursework essay assignments, plus submission of a report or dissertation.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Social Justice and Education MA


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


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are leaders, managers, teachers and practitioners in the compulsory education sector across international contexts. Many are working as professionals in NGO organisations specialising in social justice across many countries such as Chille, Japan, Canada and the UK. Graduates can also be found working as civil servants and government officials. In addition, many find places in the higher education sector including across a range of professional roles, as researchers, and as university lecturers worldwide.


Students develop the capacity to:

  • reflect critically on debates concerning education and social justice across diverse contexts
  • understand the ways in which knowledge forms, and is formed by, education politics, policy, practice and research 
  • consider the implications of theory, research and analyses about social justice in education and how it can impact their own future practice and professional development
  • use oral and written communication skills in order to make arguments, examine evidence and creatively advance social justice and education
  • understand processes entailed in social science and philosophical research and conduct their own unique research in the area of social justice and education.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Department of Education, Practice and Society at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is home to an interdisciplinary grouping bringing together high-quality teaching and research in the sociology, philosophy and history of education, international development, post-compulsory and vocational education and higher education.

The Social Justice and Education MA is taught by world-leading sociologists and philosophers within the department who have expertise in theory, research methods, policy analysis and impacting social change. They are experts in issues such as equality and human rights, gender, 'race', sexuality, youth, disability and social class. Those teaching are active researchers and will introduce the latest research and developments in their fields.

This programme explores sociological and philosophical perspectives on social justice and equalities and also explores processes of social transformation and change. Key issues debated include understanding and responding to social and educational disparities in international contexts. The programme equips students with essential theoretical and methodological research skills for critically engaging with social justice issues including understanding power relations from various perspectives. The MA attracts a diversity of both home and international students thus providing excellent educational and professional networking opportunities. 

Students gain invaluable opportunities to study with leading scholars and a cohort of internationally diverse students across the IOE MA cluster in sociology, social justice and policy studies in education.

Visit the Social Justice and Education (MA) page on the University College London website for more details!





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