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Durham University, Full Time MA Degrees in Education

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The MA in Education provides an opportunity to study broad educational and pedagogical issues, while an individually supervised dissertation gives you the opportunity to research a specific issue in depth. Read more
The MA in Education provides an opportunity to study broad educational and pedagogical issues, while an individually supervised dissertation gives you the opportunity to research a specific issue in depth. It will provide you with a clear understanding of the nature and significance of educational issues, both generic and subject specific, and will examine the ways in which research in education might illuminate these issues.

A key feature of the programme is that students can make it their own: that is, while studying a limited range of modules, students can choose the contexts in which to apply the core ideas. During the dissertation there is further opportunity to select areas of personal interest and concern. Some students select one context to consider in all of their modules e.g. ideas from the programme applied to, say, science education or informal learning. Others use the opportunity to broaden their understanding of education by selecting different foci in different modules. In our modules we aim to introduce students to key ideas and ways of thinking that enable them to engage with related issues in contexts that are relevant to them.

The degree has been designed to meet the needs of educational professionals, especially those in teaching, management or administration at all levels of education. Students likely to benefit from the programme are those who are interested in education, often teachers, with a commitment to pedagogy, and educational managers in schools, further and higher education, as well as those working in educational administration.

Through its flexible delivery routes the MA in Education is suitable for students from all backgrounds and countries. In addition to a traditional full-time study route, the course is available via part-time and International Postgraduate Programme routes. On the part-time route teaching is delivered through intensive teaching weekends scheduled around (Durham) school half-term holidays making the programme suitable for those working full-time. Meanwhile the part-time International Summer Postgraduate Institute (ISPI) route is delivered through a combination of intensive summer school teaching and independent study. The ISPI summer teaching runs in Durham throughout July each year and attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and countries, including the UK, and is ideal for those seeking part-time study in a truly international context. ISPI students benefit from a range of extra academic and cultural activities organised by the School.

Students who have successfully completed the PGCE at Durham in the previous academic year have the option to use 90 credits they have accredited on this course. Therefore, these students will only need to do the core modules, Research Methods in Education and the Dissertation (if part-time, over 2 years), to complete the programme.

Course Structure

Full-time students study the four taught modules plus the dissertation over one year.

Part-time students normally study two taught modules per year in years one and two and the dissertation in year three.

Core Modules

-Research Methods Education (30 credits)
-Critical Perspectives in Education (30 credits)
-Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional Modules

Students must select 60 credits from a list of optional modules which may include:
-21st Century Technology: Implications for Teaching and Learning (30 credits)
-Arts in Education (30 credits)
-Assessment (30 credits)
-Curriculum Analysis (30 credits)
-Intercultural and International Education (30 credits)
-Policy Studies (30 credits)
-Psychology of the Learner (30 credits)
-Special Educational Needs and Inclusion: Rhetoric or Reality? (30 credits)

The above are examples of modules we have run in previous years. Modules are continually developed in response to student feedback and interests, as well as to reflect the changing nature of academic research within the department.

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The MA Intercultural Communication and Education develops critical understanding of education and intercultural communication in the context of global movements of people and the internationalisation of education. Read more
The MA Intercultural Communication and Education develops critical understanding of education and intercultural communication in the context of global movements of people and the internationalisation of education. The programme provides students, educators, and policy makers with resources for reflecting on and responding to the growing need for intercultural education and communication in an increasingly intercultural/international world. This programme is available for part-time and full-time students through the academic year. It can also be studied part time at the School of Education International Summer Postgraduate Institute (ISPI) programme that runs in Durham every July.

Course structure

Students on this pathway must do Research Methods in Education (30 credits) with two core modules, Intercultural and International Education and Intercultural Communication. They then have a choice of one additional module from across those running in the School of Education (see MA Education for full list). Students also do a 15,000 word dissertation within the field of intercultural education and internationalisation. This is a supervised piece of work working with specialists in the field.

Modules

-Intercultural and International Education (30 credits) Assessment by 5,000 word assignment
-Intercultural Communication (30 credits) Assessment by 5,000 word assignment

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This programme delivers high-quality research methods training, including practical experience with qualitative and quantitative data analysis software packages and detailed analysis related to research epistemology and the philosophy of social science. Read more
This programme delivers high-quality research methods training, including practical experience with qualitative and quantitative data analysis software packages and detailed analysis related to research epistemology and the philosophy of social science. It can provide opportunities to gain 'hands on' experience and contribute to current research projects, working, for example, with the Centre for Evaluation and Monitoring (CEM).

The programme is suited to those hoping to later pursue a research degree (usually PhD) but who do not meet the research methods training entry requirements, as well as those who wish to apply for an Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) studentship, as the programme is recognised by the ESRC for 1+3 funding.

The programme is a Faculty-wide course and modules are taught within the School of Education, the School of Applied Social Sciences (Sociology) and the Department of Psychology. This provides our students the opportunity to come into contact with students studying research methods in different disciplines across the Social Sciences.

Core Modules

-Research Design and Process (15 credits)
-Perspectives on Social Research (15 credits)
-Experiments in Education (15 credits)
-Research Methods in Education (30 credits)
-Dissertation (45 credits)

Either:
-Qualitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
Or:
-Fieldwork and Interpretation (15 credits)

Either:
-Statistical Exploration and Reasoning (15 credits)
And:
-Quantitative Research Methods in Social Science (15 credits)
Or:
-Applied Statistics (30 credits)

Optional Modules

15 credits from:
-Philosophy of Social Research (15 credits)
-Computer Based Applications in Social Research (15 credits)

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The English Language Centre's MA in Applied Linguistics for TESOL programme offers excellent opportunities for experienced language teachers to develop careers in English language teaching. Read more
The English Language Centre's MA in Applied Linguistics for TESOL programme offers excellent opportunities for experienced language teachers to develop careers in English language teaching.

The programme is designed for anyone with an interest in the wider aspects of teaching English as a foreign language, combining innovative classroom practices with an understanding of issues such as language structure and research methodology.

Course Structure

The programme offers a core of syllabus design and assessment, with greater depth provided through further required modules focusing on both theoretical and practical aspects of the English language and on classroom practice. Students then have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge base by taking three or four further optional modules covering a wide range of relevant areas. The MA is completed by a 15,000-word dissertation.

Core Modules

-Language Teaching Methodology
-Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives for Teachers
-Basic Research Methods
-Language for Teachers
-Advanced Teaching Practice: The Reflective Practitioner

Previous optional modules have included:

-Advanced Research Methods
-Evaluation and Assessment
-Teaching English for Academic Purposes
-Teacher Training, Development and Education
-World Englishes
-English for Specific Purposes
-ELT Materials Development and Evaluation
-Discourse, Texts and TESOL
-English Language Teaching Management
-Teaching Young Learners
-Pragmatics and the Language Classroom

You can also choose to study an optional module offered to students across the University as one of your four options:
-Expert English
-Foreign Language

MA Streams

You can choose to further focus your Masters qualification through our programme streams. To qualify, you must choose the optional module and complete your dissertation in the same topic area

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The English Language Centre's MA TESOL programme offers excellent opportunities to develop careers in English language teaching for inexperienced teachers or for those starting out in the field. Read more
The English Language Centre's MA TESOL programme offers excellent opportunities to develop careers in English language teaching for inexperienced teachers or for those starting out in the field.

The programme is designed for anyone with an interest in the wider aspects of teaching English as a foreign language, combining innovative classroom practices with an understanding of issues such as language structure and research methodology.

Course Structure

The programme offers a core of syllabus design and assessment, with greater depth provided through further required modules focusing on both theoretical and practical aspects of the English language and on classroom practice. Students then have the opportunity to broaden their knowledge base by taking three or four further optional modules covering a wide range of relevant areas. The MA is completed by a 15,000-word dissertation.

Core Modules

-Basic Research Methods
-Language for Teachers
-Language Teaching Methods and Practice
-Fundamentals in ELT.

Previous optional modules have included:

-World Englishes
-English for Specific Purposes
-ELT Materials Development and Evaluation
-Discourse Texts and TESOL
-Language Teaching Methodology
-Advanced Research Methods
-Second Language Acquisition: Perspectives for Teachers
-Evaluation and Assessment
-Teaching Young Learners
-Pragmatics and the Language Classroom

You can also choose to study an optional module offered to students across the University as one of your four optional modules.
-Expert English
-Foreign Language

MA Streams

You can choose to further focus your Masters qualification through our programme streams. To qualify, you must choose one of the below as an optional module and complete your dissertation in the same topic area.

Learning and Teaching

ELC MA programmes are delivered via lectures, seminars, practical sessions and micro-teaching sessions, giving students a solid grounding in both the theoretical and practical aspects of the field. In many cases, contact hours will be a mixture of these approaches (rather than, say, a session consisting solely of a two hour lecture). The balance will depend on the particular module, with some more suited to a lecture/seminar approach, others being of a more practical nature.

The focus throughout the programmes is on independent learning and student engagement, with students expected to participate in presentations, micro-teaching and the like. The average weekly number of contact hours over the first two terms is 12, with students filling the remaining time with reading, class preparation and assignments.

In addition, starting in the first term, students attend a series of dissertation sessions (typically 2 hours per fortnight) culminating in a poster conference in term 3. Students are assigned a dissertation supervisor, and can expect 3 or 4 meetings during term 3 and the summer. Students each have an academic tutor, with whom they will meet on average once a term, and all staff have office hours.

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