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MA Adult Literacy, Lifelong Learning and Development: International Perspectives

Course Description


This course provides a unique introduction to researching adult literacy and development, combining in-depth understanding of literacy theory and research methodology with practical experience of conducting literacy research. Although approaches to adult literacy teaching and learning and curriculum development will be explored – including functional literacy, REFLECT and Freire – be aware that this is not a hands-on ‘teacher training’ course.


Follow a core programme introducing changing theoretical understanding and policy approaches in the areas of adult literacy, international development and lifelong learning. Choose specialist topics relevant to your interests by designing an individual research project, receiving one-to-one supervision for this element of the course. If a professional applicant wishes, there is opportunity to work on a dissertation which contributes to an organisation’s work and enhances their own professional development.


The School of Education and Lifelong Learning is one of the UK's leading centres for research and teaching in education, offering a distinctive range of programmes at Postgraduate level. The School is nationally and internationally recognised for its work in educational innovation and social change, literacy and development and mathematics education. Where possible, colleagues from the UEA Literacy and Development Group also contribute to MA sessions. Students are encouraged to attend the public seminar series on Education and Development and informal reading groups.


A high proportion of Masters graduates from this course go on to occupy senior posts in schools, universities and ministries all over the world. This course therefore provides an excellent base for a career in adult literacy and development, with non-governmental organisations, international development agencies or national Governments.

Visit the MA Adult Literacy, Lifelong Learning and Development: International Perspectives page on the University of East Anglia website for more details!

All Available Videos:

(Student Profile)

Elena Tsangaridi

“I feel that the MA course helped me to see the world differently! Before that I didn’t know much about the developing world and their educational systems but now I feel more confident to start searching more and more things about these educational programmes. It helped me also to understand in some points the educational system here in Cyprus, especially for adults and why all these programmes such as night schools or teaching adult foreigners the Greek language is important. It helped me to see another part of my country, like immigrants for example, from a different glance!”

(Student Profile)

Saffiatou Savage-Sidibeh

Saffiatou Savage-Sidibeh has now returned to Gambia, where she works as the Principal Education Officer and Head of the Government’s Non-formal Education Unit, of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education:

“On my return home to the Gambia, I was almost immediately engaged as a member of a taskforce for the development of the African Gender Development Index (AGDI) 2011, Gambian version. My attainment of the Master’s degree has greatly boosted my morale and built my confidence to face challenges and perform assignments effectively. The course indeed built my capacity in asking questions, in critically analysing statements based on evidence/facts and in making concrete judgments.”

(Student Profile)

Arundhati Mukherjee

"The School of Education and Lifelong Learning at UEA is committed to developing educational researchers who produce innovative research in different fields of education."


School of Education and Lifelong Learning, University of East Anglia – Postgraduate Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

Funding for postgraduate study is available both from the University of East Anglia (UEA) and from a number of external schemes. Applicants should note that many award schemes have early closing dates and may require the acceptance of the offer of a place as a condition of eligibility. If you wish to apply for funding you are therefore strongly advised to apply to the School of Education and Lifelong Learning as early as possible in the year of entry. Please indicate in your application that you wish to be considered for an award.The School of Education and Lifelong Learning, within the Faculty of Social Sciences at UEA, has an excellent research and teaching profile with strong international links to institutes, organisations, international networks and research councils both throughout Europe and globally.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Award value usually for duration of the period of study and may vary for individual Scholarships


A variety of Scholarships and Bursaries may be offered to Home/EU and International students. These are usually awarded to students on the basis of academic merit.

Application Procedure

For full details about how to apply and application deadlines for individual Courses, Scholarships and Funding opportunities specifically available to you, please visit the link below.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Open to applicants with a minimum 2.1 degree (or equivalent) in Educational Studies or Social Science or relevant teaching experience. UEA Admissions will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant and applications are actively encouraged from those who want to return to academic study.

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