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Science Education (MSc)

Course Description

For enquiries relating to the programme please contact the Pathway Leader: Dr Vanessa Kind For enquiries relating to admission, including entry requirements and how to apply, please contact our Admissions Team

This programme aims to promote critical understanding of and reflection on aspects of teaching and learning in science education generally as well as within specialist subject areas of chemistry, physics, and primary science and biology/outdoor education. It will develop knowledge at subject, pedagogical and theoretical levels and support participants in understanding issues within extant literature.

This programme is linked explicitly to Science Learning Centre North East as well as an extensive body of published and funded research funded within the School of Education. In addition the programme has been designed to meet the demand to focus on teachers' professional learning in Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths subject areas, particularly enhancing subject knowledge and pedagogical skills for science teachers working outside their specialist subjects. Thus the programme offers an opportunity for collaboration between CPD activity and higher degree provision.


The course has four taught modules (each of 30 credits): two specialised core modules in science education, a research method module, and an optional module. In addition there is a supervised dissertation (60 credits).

Students will take Teaching and Learning in Science as a specialised core module and then choose either Physics as an Additional Subject Specialism (PASS) or Chemistry as an Additional Subject Specialism (CASS).

The course can be taken on a part time basis over three years or full time over one year.

Specialised Core Modules

Teaching and Learning in Science Education
The module analyses the many challenges and implications of science education. Students will learn about key current issues in science education, such as assessment, conceptual change, engagement, the role of practical work, learning progressions and threshold concepts. The content of the module changes regularly to ensure the content is kept current.

Physics as an Additional Subject Specialism (PASS) or Chemistry as an Additional Subject Specialism (CASS)
These modules aim to provide physics/ chemistry subject matter knowledge for non-specialist secondary science teachers. They develop teaching skills in physics/ chemistry among non-specialist secondary science teachers and focus on better understanding of current issues in physics / chemistry education research.

Visit the Science Education (MSc) page on the Durham University website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Graduates of this or another University or of the C.N.A.A., with an upper 2nd class honours or above (successful completion of a masters level PGCE will classify as 'above'), or have other specially approved qualifications which satisfy the Admissions Sub-Committee that they are suitably qualified to undertake the programme. Teaching experience may be considered appropriate in some cases (see pathway specific specifications). However all students must normally demonstrate a personal or professional interest in the academic study of education. Non-native speakers of English require IELTS score of at least 7.0 (with no element under 6.0) or equivalent.

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