MA Education: Lifelong Learning

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Fact file

Start date: September or January 

Course length: Full-time: one year; part-time: three to six years.

Campus: Kedleston Road, Derby

College: College of Arts, Humanities and Education

Department: Postgraduate and Initial Teacher Training

Why choose this pathway?

  • Lifelong learning is something that everyone engages in, and most educationalists have a view as to what it is. This is an opportunity to see whether your version coincides with the presented definition.
  • You will look at lifelong learning in the here and now, and in terms of what educational opportunities could be available in the future. The environments in which lifelong learning might be located are also considered.
  • This pathway will challenge your thoughts, beliefs, views and practices on education and the learning process.

What you will cover

Part-time students

As a part-time student your studying will normally take place over three academic years, potentially choosing one module per term.

Your first module will be ‘Crafting Your Masters Study’. The other pathway, core and optional modules will be available according to the schedule of delivery.

Here is an example of possible combination modules:

Year 1 - Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) Crafting Your Masters Study Pathway module  Optional module
Year 2 - Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) Evidence Based Practice Pathway module  Optional module
Year 3 - Masters (180 credits) Independent study with Lifelong Learning Focus

Full-time students

As a full-time student your studying will normally take place over one academic year. The optional modules and pathway modules will be available according to the schedule of delivery

Here is an example of the combination of modules that you would choose:

Term 1 (Sept - Dec) Crafting Your Masters Study (20 credits) Evidence Based Practice (20 credits)  Optional or pathway module (20 credits)
Term 2 (Jan - March) Applying Educational Thinkers and Theorists (20 credits) Independent Study (60 credits) Attend workshop Optional or pathway module (20 credits)
Term 3 (April - June) Comparative Education (20 credits) Independent Study (Submit in August) Optional or pathway module (20 credits) if not already taken in term 1 or 2

For both part-time and full-time students

Core modules

  • Crafting Your Masters Study
  • Evidence Based Practice‌
  • Independent Study‌

Prescribed pathway modules

  • Aspects of Ability in Learning

You will explore theories of ability and educability and address questions such as: Are abilities fixed and are they susceptible to change and development? You will consider learning abilities from a biological, psychological and neuroscientific perspective. 

  • Lifelong Learning Principles and Issues

You will consider contemporary principles and issues of lifelong learning. In addition to the ‘politicisation’ of lifelong learning, you will be encouraged to look at individual, social and economic benefits accrued from engaging in ‘liberal’ education. 


MA Education Programme Specification

Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.

How you will learn

Following student feedback, Lifelong Learning pathway modules have two consecutive full days of delivery, usually sessions 2-6 which are scheduled on dates which coincide with a Derbyshire school's half term holiday. Sessions 1, 7 and 8 will be mid-week 5pm - 8pm sessions. This ’block’ delivery allows students to concentrate on the module material in a much more intensive manner and also encourages participants to network and share elements of their practice and approaches in an informal environment during breaks.

You will be encouraged to engage in a dialogue through a ‘flipped’ approach to working with the content of the modules in order to not only clarify your own understanding of the concepts which you will be introduced to, but to also explore alternative ideas. This is also designed to encourage you to engage in ‘masterly’ activities by approaching discussions from an informed position.

Session 7 or 8 will include an ‘open house’ discussion with input from experts in various fields associated with Lifelong Learning, as well as students who have previously participated in this module. You will also be expected to contribute to this activity.

How you're assessed

You will produce a written assignment which as well as asking you to engage critically with academic material around the subject matter, will also set you the task of highlighting how this is relevant to your own personal or professional context.

What our students say

"It’s been fascinating to explore the depth of the subject and have the guidance to help me understand lifelong learning in a creative way."

David Home, graduate

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need an undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification and a role within education that will allow you to complete the work based assignments. Even if you don’t have these entry requirements it’s worth contacting us if you have relevant professional experience as we may be able to consider your application.

How to Apply

Full-time UK/EU and International Students

Part-time UK/EU Students

Information for international applicants

Applying for an postgraduate degree

Fees and finance

2018/19 Fees (August 2018 - July 2019)


£600 per 20 credits*

£600 per 20 credits*


£13,500 for the full programme


*Note – at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the awards below.

Postgraduate Certificate60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma120 Credits
MA or MSc180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Funding your studies

Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.

Alumni discount for Derby graduates

We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.

Scholarships and bursaries

We also offer a number of funding opportunities for all International students, including discounts, scholarships and bursaries.

Pathway enquiries

Course leader: Peter Tunnicliffe

Where will I study?

Kedleston Road, Derby