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Teaching MA

Course Description

This part-time programme will enable you to develop your professional practice, broaden your career opportunities and enhance your prospects of early promotion.

We guide you through the critical reflection practices and research methods that will help you judge which teaching and learning techniques are effective in your classroom.

You’ll learn how to assess the school and classroom contexts in which you work. You’ll then explore current educational research and theory, and discover how to adjust such findings so they work within your own specific teaching contexts.

We then introduce you to a range of classroom research tools so you can conduct your own classroom-based research and analysis.

You’ll also gain a critical understanding of how children learn, and how aspects of their development can affect their learning. You’ll explore key issues such as the importance of social learning, pupil behaviour and diversity in the classroom, and the role of assessment and feedback upon teaching and learning.

MA Teaching gives you the opportunity to build upon your PGCE by studying further postgraduate modules and completing a dissertation, allowing you to qualify for an MA award.

We recognise the demands put on teachers, so we designed MA Teaching to ensure that the workload in any one year is not excessive and you will be able to focus on issues that have specific interest and relevance to you.

The programme only requires your attendance at one Summer school and eight Saturday schools in the first two years of the programme, alongside private study. When you write your dissertation under the supervision of a research-active academic in your third year, you will be able to access this tutorial support either face-to-face, online or by telephone.

Course content

In your first year, you’ll develop the key skills of spontaneous noticing and systemic observation in the classroom, and consider their importance in reflecting upon your teaching practice and as a basic tool of classroom research. After analysing your own classroom contexts, you’ll consider three specific factors that may influence pupils’ learning: diversity, behaviour and collaborative work with other teachers.

You’ll build on this foundation in the following year when you’ll deepen your understanding of how children learn and explore how a range of developmental factors can influence their learning, considering these issues in the context of your own day-to-day work as a teacher. You’ll investigate key contemporary theories about children’s learning, and evaluate such theories alongside current research, new teaching initiatives, and your own working knowledge of how children learn.

This knowledge will inform your dissertation, which makes up your final year. You’ll conduct a small-scale research project that relates to your own interests in the field of education.

Course structure

Year 1 compulsory module

  • Noticing and Observing for Professional Practice and Learning 30 credits

Year 2 compulsory modules

  • Promoting and Assessing Learning in the Classroom 30 credits

Year 3 compulsory modules

  • Dissertation in Teaching 60 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Teaching MA in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

We deliver this programme through one summer school and eight Saturday schools over a two year period, and a range of online learning materials to inform your own private study. The summer and Saturday schools use a mix of lectures and seminars, and offer you the opportunity to meet with other teachers to exchange experiences and ideas. You can also organise your dissertation supervision to be face-to-face, online or by telephone in the third year.


We assess your progress for the first two years through the submission of a 6000 word report each year; each report will be partly informed by your responses to reading and school-based tasks that we set through the year. You also submit a dissertation of 12,000 words by the end of your final year.

Career opportunities

MA Teaching will help you develop your professional practice and gain confidence in the classroom. Developing your skills in educational research and analysis can lead to early promotion, and the programme also provides a pathway to study and research at doctoral level, either a PhD or the EdD.

Visit the Teaching MA page on the University of Leeds website for more details!

(Student Profile)

James Abela

What is amazing about the Leeds Masters is the range of speakers that come and speak to us. It really felt that the very best people had been handpicked to talk to us.

I did my PGCE elsewhere and they used to go on about the research that other people were doing, but in Leeds every speaker was able to talk authoritatively about their subject, because they had contributed to that body of research and they knew it innately.

Also the class size and style of tutorial meant that we had genuine discussions rather than simply a speaker at the front.

If you are serious about improving your practice then this is a fantastic opportunity, not only do Leeds select the best speakers, but the assignments ensure you reflect on your practice and it is an opportunity to discuss teaching with other outstanding professionals.


Entry Requirements

This degree is open to graduates with Qualified Teacher Status who are employed as teachers when they apply. You should also have a successful track record of achievement in written assignments and practical teaching. In addition you will need to hold a bachelor (hons) degree. English language requirements: IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component.

Last Updated

08 August 2017

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