School of Society and Culture

MA Education

Our MA Education programme focuses on educational practice using methods of practice-related inquiry. Building on our recognised excellence in postgraduate teaching and research, this programme offers a structured pathway for professional development and scholarship in general education, including option module choices, as well as subject specialist pathways. Option modules include: Modules on sustainability matters, SEN and Inclusion.

Careers with this subject

The programme provides a clear framework for study, designed to suit both professional practitioners and those interested in the scholarship of education. Our specialist and optional modules are designed to allow you the opportunity to pursue your own areas of interest, supported by knowledgeable and research-active academics.

Key features

  • Take the opportunity to research through a specialised pathway, tailored sustainability and outdoor learning modules, or your own area of interest.
  • Benefit from Saturday, weekday and evening tutorials offering flexibility for professional practitioners.
  • Learn from experienced educators who have first-hand familiarity with the challenges and possibilities of educational practice.
  • Further develop your expertise in specific educational issues of interest to you.
  • Develop the ability to undertake systematic inquiries and the capability to respond to ethical issues through critical analysis and decision making.

Course details

  • Year 1

  • The programme provides a clear framework for study, designed to suit both professional practitioners and those interested in the scholarship of Education. Classes are either on campus supported through our Digital Learning Environment. All students take the core modules: Researching Education Practice in Context module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).Our specialist and optional modules are designed to allow you the opportunity to pursue your own areas of interest, supported by knowledgeable and research-active academics. All of our general MA Education modules run every year, but subject-specialist modules may be subject to demand and availability. Practice-related inquiry modules are a special feature of the programme where you negotiate a topic of study, supervised by one of the teaching team.

    Core modules

    • Researching Education Practice in Context (MAED701)

      This module aims to use and examine different approaches to researching education practices and promote understandings of the potential place and role of research in education settings. It critically explores the differentiated nature of education research, ways in which it might interact with professional practice and how professional educators can undertake effective and appropriate research in their own settings.

    • Masters of Arts in Education Dissertation (MAED702)

      Students must successfully complete a research proposal including ethical protocol and materials. Students engage on their own dissertation research projects appropriate to their programme of study. They receive supervisory support through formative assessment of three tasks prior to the proposal and during their research, wider reading and dissertation writing.

    • Thinking About Contemporary Education (MAED720)

      This module aims to critically examine the different ways in which we can make sense of educational practice. It encourages participants to conceptualise and develop theoretical frameworks with which to understand the contemporary issues in education that are of particular relevance to practitioners, thereby allowing them to critically and creatively challenge and improve their own practice.

    Optional modules

    • Practice Related Inquiry 2 (MAED718)

      This module affords students the opportunity to propose, formulate and undertake a self-contained Masters level study highly relevant to practice while learning about methods of inquiry. With content being agreed between student and tutor via the proposal form, they will undertake a structured programme of practice-related inquiry through tutorials, reading, short tasks and assignment writing.

    • The Experience of Outdoor Learning (MASU753)

      This module discusses key concepts within outdoor learning as well as its connection with experiential learning and its value and potential from early years to adulthood. Consideration is given to the value that the natural environment has in education as well as to personal development and wellbeing. Participants are encouraged to deepen their own experience and critical thinking in relation to the subject as well as to the means by which they would like to develop their own practice.

    • Learning for Sustainability and Global Citizenship (MASU755)

      This innovative module uses an applied community engaged approach to look critically and creatively at notions of sustainability and global citizenship competencies, and the learning contexts and systems in which individuals, institutions and communities gain these competencies. This entails applying the UN Sustainable development Goals to real world projects that seek to address sustainability priorities in and around the city of Plymouth, enabling students to explore ideas of interdisciplinarity and interconnectedness, with a dynamic and experiential link between theory and practice. This inclusion of a service learning pedagogical approach enables consideration of the potential contribution of formal and non-formal education, whilst emphasising the links between our lives and those of people throughout the world. In so doing, it allows students to consider ways to actively contribute to a world in which power and resources for change leadership are more equitably shared.

    • Coaching and Mentoring in the Professional Context (MAED719)

      In recent years the development of self and staff has become an increasingly popular way to support professional development and career goals. This module critically examines the role that coaching and mentoring can play in this and aims to help participants gain the knowledge, skills and understanding to develop their role as a coach or mentor within the professional context. To facilitate this, participants will undertake coaching or mentoring interventions within their workplace or a simulated context and critically reflect upon the effectiveness of these.

    • Inclusive Education; Critical Issues (MAED721)

      This module provides participants with an overview of SEN, inclusion and disability. Participants will have an opportunity to explore the key concepts and ideas relating to special and inclusive education. It will introduce participants to the main critical perspectives, issues and the debates which surround special education. Participants will draw on their own practice and be able to relate theoretical perspectives to their practice contexts.

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest programme structure and may be subject to change:

MA Education Programme Specification Sep 2023_5776

The modules shown for this course or programme are those being studied by current students, or expected new modules. Modules are subject to change depending on year of entry.

Entry requirements

A relevant degree with honours (2:2 or above) or an equivalent professional qualification. Other qualifications accompanied by substantial experience in an appropriate field may also be considered. Non-standard applications will be considered on a case by case basis.
Please view the country specific pages for further information regarding the equivalency of your degree. International applicants will be required to provide evidence of their English language ability, for example by achieving an IELTS score of 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in each element) or equivalent, see our English language requirements. Pre-sessional English language courses are available if you do not meet these requirements.
We welcome applicants with international qualifications. You can check how your qualification compares with the UK equivalent through UK ECCTIS, who provide an advisory service.
Supplementary admissions form
All applicants are required to complete a supplementary admissions form as part of their admissions process.
Scholarships are available for postgraduate taught programmes. Tell me more about scholarships and bursaries

Fees, costs and funding

Student 2023-2024 2024-2025
Home £9,250 £9,250
International £16,500 £17,600
Part time (Home) £510 £510
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per 10 credits. Please note that fees are reviewed on an annual basis. Fees and the conditions that apply to them shown in the prospectus are correct at the time of going to print. Fees shown on the web are the most up to date but are still subject to change in exceptional circumstances. More information about fees and funding.

Find out more about your eligibility for a postgraduate loan

You may now be eligible for a government loan of over £11,000 to help towards the cost of your masters degree.

Postgraduate scholarships for international students

We offer several scholarships for international students who wish to study postgraduate taught (PGT) degree programmes.

How to apply

When to apply
Most of our taught programmes begin in September. Applications can usually be made throughout the year, and are considered until programmes are full.
Before you apply
Familiarise yourself with the information required to complete your application form. You will usually be required to supply:
  • evidence of qualifications (degree certificates or transcripts), with translations if not in English, to show that you meet, or expect to meet the entry requirements
  • evidence of English language proficiency, if English is not your first language
  • a personal statement of approximately 250-400 words about the reasons for your interest in the course and outlining the nature of previous and current related experience. You can write this into the online application form, or include it as a separate document
  • your curriculum vitae or résumé, including details of relevant professional/voluntary experience, professional registration/s and visa status for overseas workers
  • proof of sponsorship, if applicable.
If you require further information take a look at our application guidance. 
Disability Inclusion Services
If you have an impairment, health condition or disability, learn about the additional support the University provides.
International students
Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office. Take a look at our how to apply information or email
Submitting an application
Once you are happy that you have all of the information required you can apply using our online postgraduate application form (the blue 'Apply now' icon on this page). 
What happens after I apply?
You will normally receive a decision on your application within four weeksof us receiving your application. You may be asked to provide additional information; two academic/professional references, confirming your suitability for the course; or to take part in an interview (which in the case of overseas students may be by telephone or video conference) and you will be sent a decision by letter or email.
We aim to make the application procedure as simple and efficient as possible. Our Admissions and Course Enquiries team is on hand to offer help and can put you in touch with the appropriate faculty if you wish to discuss any programme in detail. 
If you would like any further information please contact the Admissions and Course Enquiries team:
Telephone: +44 (0)1752 585858
Admissions policy
More information and advice for applicants can be referenced in our admissions policy which can be found on the student regulations, policies and procedures page. Prospective students are advised to read the policy before making an application to the University.

Progression routes

International progression routes

The University of Plymouth International College (UPIC) offers foundation, first-year and pre-masters programmes that lead to University of Plymouth degrees. Courses are specially designed for EU and international students who are missing the grades for direct entry to the University, and include full duration visa sponsorship. You can start in January, May or September, benefitting from small class sizes, top-quality tuition and 24/7 student support.
Find out more at or contact our team at

Full-time or part-time study modes available

We offer this programme in both full and part-time mode. If you choose to study on a part-time basis then you'll complete the course at a pace appropriate to your needs normally within two to five years. If you choose to study in full-time mode the programme runs for a year.


If you want to bring existing level 7 credit in to the programme then the application for this should normally be made as part of the admissions process prior to registration on the programme. If you have already enrolled on the programme then you may be able to make an exceptional application. Please contact the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Business Administration team for more information.

Programme design

 The programme is designed to offer you maximum curricular choice within a clear structure by asking you to:
  • choose from a limited range of modules and specialisms or the general education pathway
  • set your own assignment topic related to module content within all modules
  • undertake optional modules in practice related inquiry and negotiate topics of personal interest with your lecturer
  • design your own research project on your chosen aspect of educational practice for your dissertation module. 
The way we assess work is through carefully constructed assessment modes that will prepare you for the different elements of dissertation work.
Enactus Social Enteprise Challenge for City College students

Chinty Pettitt – graduate

I have learnt how to carry out academic research with confidence, and have greatly improved my writing and communication skills.
Chinty tells us how studying at the University of Plymouth allowed her to increase her skillset to expand her networks, and to grow her confidence.
Chioma Dibor

Chioma Dibor

My degree has provided the depth of knowledge and the opportunity to develop the right skills for my passion of teaching.
MA Education graduate Kip Pratt

Kip Pratt

This MA helped me enormously in my practice as a music teacher and lecturer. It makes me think critically about my work, and question some of my long held assumptions about what education is.
Oliver Quinlan

Oliver Quinlan

It’s really exciting right at this moment in time, being part of a movement which supports people across the world who are developing opportunities and solving problems in their own communities with digital technology.

Teaching methods

We use a wide range of pedagogies to support inclusion and participation in higher education. The following is a list: 
  • onsite whole class or tutorial sessions with module lecturers
  • online contact with lecturers and/or fellow students
  • directed study (specific tasks related to the module and set by lecturers for completion in your own time)
  • self-directed inquiry, research or scholarship (which may include undertaking a project, reading, work with children, work with colleagues, investigation of topic of interests, etc).
Student studying - courtesy of Shutterstock

Networking and socialising

 As a postgraduate student learning with Plymouth Institute of Education you will be kept informed of postgraduate conference events and socialise with other masters and doctorate students at tea breaks on our taught Saturdays. 
There is a history of inviting masters dissertation students to attend the annual on-campus Institute of Health and Community/Plymouth Institute of Education postgraduate conference.
Students in a cafe