MA Education: Primary Mathematics

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Fact file

Start date: January 

Course length: 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?

Recent changes to the curriculum in primary mathematics education continue to challenge in-service teachers. The two subject modules on this pathway will seek to explore and resolve some of the tensions between the old and new curriculum.

The pathway will offer opportunities to upgrade subject knowledge in key areas identified by you following the modules and therefore seeks to react to the particular needs of the cohort.

Pathway modules will emphasise important links between theory and practice in mathematics education. Through reflection on practice, we seek to generate a sense of community that will allow you opportunities to share experiences and ideas.

What you will cover

As a part-time student your study 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 Primary Mathematics Focus

Core modules

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

Prescribed pathway modules

  • Fostering Mathematical Understanding in the Primary School Classroom

You will conduct a critical review of relevant theoretical perspectives, including New National Curriculum expectations and guidelines, and, in the context of your own professional setting, reflect upon the effectiveness of the methods and techniques you employ for teaching and learning.


  • Learning and Teaching Mathematics in the Primary Classroom

In this module we seek to compare and contrast a selection of learning theories closely associated with mathematics education through engagement with seminal literature and research findings in this field. An informed understanding of how children might make sense of their mathematical world will lead you to reflect upon the approaches and strategies you utilize/observe within schools in addressing current curricula demands within the subject.

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

How you will learn

The Primary Mathematics pathway modules have been designed in such a way to allow you to focus on key areas for development in your own practice. Directed and self-directed study within school based centres will be used as catalysts for university sessions, where debate linking theory to practice will address some of the salient issues facing primary practitioners in schools.

Learning spaces within modules will be varied and include opportunities for whole class debate, group work, peer presentations, problem-based tasks and independent research. You will have access to suitable resources to support you, many of which are available through the University’s virtual learning environment and library services.

How you're assessed 

You will be assessed using a variety of methods, including presentations and essays.


Careers and employability

This module is designed to improve your confidence in the teaching and learning of primary mathematics. Upon graduation, you may wish to explore roles in mathematical consultancy in the primary education sector, as a mathematics co-ordinator in primary school, or in initial teacher education roles in higher education.  

Entry requirements

Candidates need teaching experience in primary school settings and must be able to identify a placement centre where directed module tasks can be conducted with primary school children.

You will usually need an undergraduate or an equivalent credit bearing qualification to be accepted on the programme. Candidates applying with PGCE level certification may qualify for credit transfer for prior level  7 study.

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

2016/17 Fees (August 2016 - July 2017)


£580 per 20 credits*

£580 per 20 credits*


£12,000 for the full programme


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

Postgraduate Certificate 60 Credits
Postgraduate Diploma 120 Credits
MA 180 Credits

This means you will gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA. If you’re studying full-time you will normally complete 180 credits over one year. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over three to six 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 10% 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: James Frost

Where will I study?

Kedleston Road, Derby