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Education - Independent Distance Learning - MA


Course Description

This distance learning programme is a way to build on your professional skills and educational leadership at a time and place that suits your circumstances.

Course overview

Are you a teacher or educationalist who would like to develop your professional practice? This distance learning programme is an opportunity to continue your professional development and acquire advanced research and study skills whether you are in the UK or Overseas.

This distance learning programme is spread over two to three years, which allows you to combine it with flexible paid work and other commitments. We also offer the programme on-campus at our Sunderland campus as a full-time Education MA and part-time Education MA, all three modes of the programme have identical content. It is also possibel to opt for Stage 2 of the programme to be studied on-campus during one semester (October to January or March to June) in order to meet the requirements of some Ministries of Education that require that at least one-third of a programme is studying in a face-to-face mode.

There are four titles for the MA available, depending upon the modules chosen for study. The titles available are:
-MA Education (Generic), both on-campus and in distance learning mode
-MA Education (Advanced Professional Practice - Secondary), on-campus only
-MA Education (Advanced Professional Practice - Primary), on-campus only
-MA Education (Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion), on-campus only

The content of the distance learning programme can be tailored to your particular interests, with a range of modules available from our MA suite. Options include ‘Advanced Pedagogical Practice’, ‘Assessment Theory into Pedagogical Practice’, ‘Leading Organisational Effectiveness in Education’ and ‘The Nature of Teaching and Learning‘. You can also choose to undertake a negotiated individual study in education. For those who are returning to higher education, we provide plenty of support including classes to assist with academic writing.

The research element of the programme is excellent preparation if you decide to go on to a higher degree such as a PhD. The research element is supported by the University’s Centre for Pedagogy whose specialisms include teaching styles, motivation, human relationships in learning and comparative education. You will also receive training in rigorous research methodologies and undertake a Masters dissertation on a topic that reflects your personal interests.

If you would prefer not to write a dissertation and teach in an International School overseas, you may want to consider our distance learning International Education MA which replaces the dissertation with taught modules that are particularly relevant to international schools.

Course content

The content of the course is entirely delivered through distance learning, making it a very flexible way to achieve a Masters qualification. Modules on this course include:
You will choose three of the following modules
-Mentoring and Coaching (30 Credits)
-Leading Organisational Effectiveness in Education and Training (30 Credits)
-Assessment: Theory into Pedagogic Practice (30 Credits)
-The Nature of Teaching and Learning (30 Credits)
-Negotiated Individual Study in Education (30 Credits)
-Barriers to Learning (30 Credits)
-Advanced Pedagogic Practice (30 Credits)

Plus you will undertake two core modules
-Research Methods in Education (30 Credits)
-Masters Thesis (60 Credits)

Teaching and assessment

This programme is taught using web-based materials. Many modules have quite open content so that you have the flexibility to pursue your personal interests.

Compared to an undergraduate programme, you will find that this Masters programme requires a higher level of independent working.

Assessment methods include written assignments and the Masters dissertation of 20,000 words.

Facilities & location

This programme can be studied anywhere in the world that has good internet access. The programme is delivered by the University's Virtual Learning Environment using learning reading packs, e-books, e-journals, relevant websites and multimedia.

You will have full access to our libraries and, as a distance learning student, you will particularly benefit from our web-based ‘Discover’ search tool. This helps you gain remote access to online journals, articles and e-books – whenever and wherever you happen to be studying. The library team offer real-time online help through ‘Live Chat’ at various periods throughout the day, and they also offer online tutorials on making the most of electronic resources.

Employment & careers

On completing this course your skills and understanding will be enhanced for roles in teaching, educational management and other educational settings.

Higher salaries are available for teachers who take on additional responsibilities, if teaching in the UK, such as the co-ordination of provision for those with Special Educational Needs.

Higher salaries are available for those who develop their professionalism and achieve the status of Excellent Teacher or Advanced Skills Teacher. The salary for an Advanced Skills Teacher can be in the region of £57,000. For those who take on additional management responsibility, the salary for a head teacher can be over £100,000 a year.

A Masters qualification will also give you broader career options including possible roles in lecturing, journalism, the media and arts administration.

Past graduates from this course have gained employment in roles such as the following:
-Special needs and inclusion
-Senior management in education
-Special Educational Needs teacher

A Masters degree will also open the way to further study towards a PhD and university teaching roles.

Visit the Education - Independent Distance Learning - MA page on the University of Sunderland website for more details!

Entry Requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a second class honours degree (usually a 2:1) or equivalent. We also expect you to have experience of teaching or training, following your graduation from your first degree. Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing, and no less than 6 in Reading, Speaking and Listening.

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