The history of the MA(Ed) programme is both interesting and complex with developments grounded in the national and local contexts of Continuing Professional Learning and Development and, inevitably the ever-changing educational landscape in Wales.
The MA Education programme outlined has evolved from an MA programme that has been running since 1984 and in recent years has operated as a part time degree completed within up to 5 years. The history of the programme is both interesting and complex with developments grounded in the national and local contexts of Continuing Professional Learning and Development and, inevitably the ever changing educational landscape in Wales. The programme has produced a large number of graduates. Many of these graduates have gone on to secure promotions in the professional lives.
The programme has evolved and developed over the last twenty eight years. It has long been a successful and popular programme with teachers and educationalists. Productive and strong collaborative links have been developed between UWTSD, ERW, local authorities, schools and outside agencies.
Following a review and in line with current thinking, the programme team decided to design and offer a range of specialised pathways in addition to the generic Post Graduate Certificate/Diploma in Education and MA (Ed) being offered.
The full MA (Ed) is a modular programme comprising six modules.
Part One of the programme requires the student to take four ‘taught’ modules; (120 credit units at Master’s level). Part Two of the programme comprises the dissertation, equivalent to two full modules (60 credit units at Master’s level). It requires the student to complete a dissertation following a period of independent study on a topic of interest and relevance to themselves. Students following named award pathways must complete the dissertation (Part Two) within their specialist area.
During Part One of the programme, students will attend modules led by a tutor. In addition, students will undertake directed and independent study and will work towards the submission of an assignment for each module.
During Part Two of the programme students will be allocated a one-to-one supervisor to support them through their dissertation and will also attend dissertation support sessions.
The Post Graduate Certificate is a modular programme comprising two 30-credit modules.
The Post Graduate Diploma is a modular programme comprising four 30-credit modules.
The MA (Ed), Postgraduate Diploma/ Postgraduate Certificate is a part-time programme of study for teachers and other educational professionals who wish to extend their academic and professional development. It is therefore conceptualised and delivered in ways that will enhance the intellectual development of participants as individuals (personal development), enable participants to reflect on and act on issues and priorities which are relevant to them in their educational establishments (staff development) and provide them with insight into developments within education taking place outside their own schools and institutions which may have an impact directly or indirectly on themselves as practitioners (professional development).
The programme as a whole is designed to support teaching as a research-based profession. We believe that practice is improved through reflection-on-action and that practitioner research must play a fundamental part of school improvement and professional development.
The purpose of the MA (Ed) is not to detach theory from practice but to enable theory to inform practice. The degree is designed to build on the realities of educational practice and support individual teachers in their professional development and/ or career objectives. The MA (Ed) presents an opportunity for teachers to create communities of learning and teaching networks that will outline the time spent studying on the programme.
The primary function of the MA (Ed) programme team is to assure academic standards, the quality of the programme, the student experience and the assessment procedures, taking full regard of the precepts or, “key matters of principle that the higher education community has identified as important for the assurance of quality and academic standards”. (QAA 2004). Quality assurance is paramount and the programme team has striven to ensure the quality and relevance of the programme is maintained through new effective and stringent systems that have been introduced.
The Learning Outcomes will be assessed through a mixture of different assignments, portfolios of work and a dissertation. The learning, teaching and assessment strategy devised for the modules will ensure that the specialist skills are developed and clearly assessed.
Most students engaging in this programme are employed in educational settings. The experience of the MA(Ed) is often transformative, leading to an enhancement of learning and teaching and often leading to promotion within the profession.