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MPhil in Education (Primary Education)

Course Description

This route is for practitioners and other professionals at various stages in their careers who are committed to improving the education of young children. It is designed to enable you to enhance your educational practice through reflection, study and practical research and will give you the opportunity to:

- Carry out individual and collaborative critical enquiry into significant educational issues and practice
- Critically engage with the best quality national and international educational research that has relevance to primary education
- Develop current or personal priorities in the primary curriculum (such as "Inclusion", "Leadership" or "Assessment for Learning") in ways that are theory and research-informed and school or classroom-based
- Develop your thinking in order to contribute to informed policy and practice analysis and improvement in the primary phase.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/ededmpepe

Course detail

Pairs of the following modules are taught in alternate years:

- Critical perspectives on Primary Education
- Themes and challenges throughout primary education
- Teaching and Learning within the Primary School
- The School as a Community.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the programme, students will have:

- a comprehensive understanding of research techniques, and a thorough knowledge of the literature applicable to their specific educational domain;
- demonstrated originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their field;
- shown abilities in the critical evaluation of current research and research techniques and methodologies;
- demonstrated self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and acted autonomously in the planning and implementation of research.


The Primary Masters modules are taught by means of a combination of lectures, seminars, reading groups, workshops and student presentations. Self-directed study includes pre-session readings, preparation for presentations, and practical research activities.

All students also attend educational research methods sessions as part of either the Research Methods Strand (MEd students) or the Educational Research route (MPhil students).

Each term, written work is submitted and formative feedback is provided. Informally, feedback will also be provided through regular supervisions (three times a term). At the end of each term, supervisors are required to provide a report on student progress which can be viewed by the student through CGSRS.


- Thesis: Up to 20,000 words.
- Essay 1: 6,000-6,500 words.
- Essay 2: 6,000-6,500 words.


Students wishing to continue from the MPhil in Education to PhD are required to achieve:

1) an average of 70 across both sections with the thesis counting as double-weighted (eg: (Essay 1 + Essay 2 + thesis + thesis) divided by 4 = 70 or above.
2) a straight mark of 70 or higher for the thesis.

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

The Faculty is pleased to say that, in general, education students are successful in most of the funding competitions, and, in a typical year, will host students who have been awarded funding from all of the major funding bodies.

In addition, a number of Colleges have their own scholarships/bursaries, but these will be restricted to College members. Finally, it is important to note that deadlines for scholarships and bursaries are early, so applicants are strongly encouraged to explore funding opportunities as soon as possible - at least a year in advance of the start of the course.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

Visit the MPhil in Education (Primary Education) page on the University of Cambridge website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Applicants for this course should have achieved a UK II.i Honours Degree. Find University Minimum Academic Requirements here View Website

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