Available for January start

Online course details

Study options

Part-time: 2-3 years

UK/EU fee

£7,650 (2019/20)

International fee

£7,650 (2019/20)

Course level

Postgraduate

Qualification

MA

Start dates

January, September, May

Location

Online

Online course description

If your career involves educating other people and you'd like to improve your professional expertise or progress into a more senior role, our MA Education online degree is designed to help you.

DELTA recognition

If you have the full DELTA (Cambridge Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)) qualification you may be eligible for 60 credits at level 7 against our MA Education - contact us for more information.

Specialist pathways aligned with your professional interests

You can tailor this course to your professional interests by studying specific modules, giving you a specialist pathway award at either Postgraduate Certificate or Masters level. You can choose from:

Enriching your career

Our online MA Education degree is not a teaching qualification but previous students have benefited from this postgraduate degree, helping them to gain more senior roles, enriching their teaching, challenging their preconceptions and boosting their confidence.

This flexible course now offers two exit routes. If you are unable to commit to a full Masters but want to update your skills to complement your career aspirations, you can complete our 60 credit Postgraduate Certificate within a year in your preferred choice of specialist pathway. Once you've successfully completed the Postgraduate Certificate, you may wish to continue to the full Masters.

Be inspired by others

Students frequently tell us that they most enjoy hearing the diverse mix of experiences, ideas and opinions brought by others taking the course, especially when that challenges their own thinking. Online discussion forums make this possible, and with such a wide variety of people on the course, from the UK and overseas, that’s not surprising. Our tutors have many years’ experience in the education sector themselves, so they understand your profession and are sympathetic to the pressures of balancing study with a busy teaching job.

You are in control

Studying online gives you the flexibility to study at the most convenient time and place for you. The course is divided into modules which are scheduled over fixed trimesters so there will be deadlines to meet; however you can organise your study time around your work and personal commitments in order to complete each module within the set time parameters.

Online class discussions are largely focused on contextualisation of theory to practice, so it’s stimulating, engaging and highly relevant to your day-to-day, professional life.

A talk from our Academic Lead

Our Academic Lead for Education, Lucy Hutchinson, talks about our online Education MA course in this video.

Our academic talks about the online Education Masters and Postgraduate Certificate courses

View our Education MA course introduction video transcript

What you will study

We will advise you of your study plan - the running order and availability of the modules - when you are invited to enrol.

If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered. In addition, where demand is high, some modules may be subject to a cap.

To complete the Postgraduate Certificate Education (specialist pathway) you will need to complete core modules (Masterly Academic Practices) then choose from the following optional modules, depending on your preferred specialist pathway:

To complete the MA Education you will need to complete a total of 180 credits (the equivalent of nine 20 credit modules), which must include:

You can then choose four of the optional 20 credit modules - please contact us to discuss your options.

(NB: Pathways and modules run subject to scheduling and student numbers)

MastersMasters

Code: 7PE540

Crafting your Masters study

This is a core module and may only be taken as the first module in the programme. The module is concerned with identifying and developing the key personal and academic competencies associated with successful study at masters level in a global context of continuous educational change.

C Wright Mills’ essay ‘On Intellectual Craftsmanship’ continues to influence the development of students’ scholarly and academic skills. In the context of newly emerging forms of academic literacies there has been a resurgence in approaches to the craft of scholarship. The module, therefore, aims to engage students in a ‘systematic reflection’ of their developing scholarship at Masters level, facilitating their transition towards independent and autonomous learning.

The crafting of a journal in which students will address what they are doing professionally (and/or academically) with what they are experiencing as a person will encourage the critical reflection and development of their own academic needs. This will include an engagement with established and newly emerging approaches to research and academic writing at Level 7 (including those facilitated by digital technologies). Lectures and seminars provide opportunities to consider the skills needed to study at level 7 and the ways in which these skills can be identified (for example through literature reviews). Seminars and workshops will provide opportunities for students to present their ongoing work. Tutorials provide the opportunity for individual concerns to be addressed.

Formative assessment will be ongoing providing opportunity for students to synthesise their learning to date. Students will be able to take account of tutor feedback, peer review and self-assessment to identify their progress and where essential development areas remain. Summative assessment of the learning outcomes is by construction of a portfolio.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • demonstrate the development of a reflexive approach to personal and academic competencies required for successful study of education at Level 7
  • apply personal and academic competencies to Level 7 requirements in the study of education

Module content

There are four main areas of focus:

  • reflective thought and practice to develop independence and autonomy
  • skills of academic literacy, including abilities of criticality, evaluation and synthesis appropriate to study at masters level
  • knowledge and understanding of academic numeracy appropriate for study at masters level
  • skills of technological approaches to research appropriate to study at masters level
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7PE541

Evidence Based Practice

This module will provide you with the knowledge, skills and understanding to undertake educational research at level 7, and to provide the basis for your independent study. Students are required to develop a critical knowledge of a range of research methodologies, approaches and methods. Drawing on an action research approach to educational research enquiry, this module enables you to examine and critique the theoretical and practical processes associated with small-scale research design, including a consideration of research ethics, access, sample and limitations. Additionally, you will be introduced to a selection of research methods for data collection, and mechanisms for analysis of such data.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Evidence a critical understanding of educational research planning and design
  • Critically analyse and evaluate a range of research methods and approaches used in educational research

Module content

Through consideration of research processes applied to educational inquiry, the student will be taken on a journey of exploration into the debates surrounding:

  • models of educational inquiry
  • research methodologies, approaches and methods
  • approaches to ethically rigorous, valid and reliable research design
  • choices and appropriacy of data collection tools and models of analysis
More information
20 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7PE991

Independent Study

Independent study is the culmination of the student’s MA Education programme. Through engagement with this module, the processes involved in the planning, piloting, implementing and reporting of a substantial enquiry are explored. Through researching an aspect of professional practice in which they have a strong and committed interest, students will be challenged to deepen their knowledge, understanding and synthesis for practice of one or more education related issues. The independent study is a significant piece of work and is expected to include a full and detailed account and analysis of the processes and procedures undertaken, and of the outcomes worthy of dissemination to the wider profession.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Outline and critically evaluate the feasibility of a small-scale educational study in an area of relevance to the student and the education profession
  • Compile a critical review of pertinent academic literature in order to situate the educational study, drawing upon a range of sources from theory, policy and practice
  • Design, implement and evaluate an appropriate and ethical methodology for the small-scale study, drawing upon pertinent academic literature to inform the appropriateness
  • Collect, record, analyse and interpret data appropriate to the educational study in order to highlight the outcomes of the investigation in relation to existing knowledge
  • Identify ways in which the educational study contributes to the development of education including opportunities for further small-scale educational studies
  • Apply effective communication and presentation skills in line with those expected of a Master of Arts in Education

Module content

Independent study (dissertation) is the culmination of the student’s MA Education programme. Through engagement with this module, the processes involved in the planning, piloting, implementing and reporting of a substantial enquiry are explored. Through researching an aspect of educational practice in which they have a strong and committed interest, students will be challenged to deepen their knowledge, understanding and synthesis for one or more educational issues. The dissertation is a significant piece of work and it is expected to include a full and detailed account and analysis of the processes and procedures undertaken and of the outcomes worthy of dissemination to the wider profession.

Those studying for an MA Education with a specialist pathway descriptor are expected to choose independent studies relevant to their chosen pathway. Within this constraint, however, students have considerable scope for negotiating the precise nature and context of their independent studies.

The module builds on previous stages of the programme to allow students to further develop their research skills. Typically, students will engage in the following aspects of study:

  • Research theoretical, professional and political perspectives on their chosen research area
  • Knowledge of, and debate within, their chosen field
  • Theoretical perspectives on research into educational practice
  • Methodological issues, including feasibility of the research and ethical considerations, connected with research into educational practice
  • Methods of rigorous, valid and reliable data collection techniques
  • Arguments relating to validity, reliability and implications of the practice-based enquiry
  • Methodological issues related to the analysis of evidence and findings from their practice-based enquiry
  • Identification and justification of conclusions and recommendations
  • Issues of communication of research outcomes
  • Consideration of the management of time, resource and supervision
More information
60 Credits
core
Coursework

Code: 7PE544

Measuring and Evaluating Learning

Media coverage of educational measurement frequently focusses on local, national and international measures and judgements such as Ofsted grading’s, League Tables, National Student Survey (NSS) and Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA). This module provides opportunities to broaden your outlook and critically consider theories, models, policies, frameworks and tools relating to the measurement and evaluation of learning beyond the frequently cited and publicised.

As a part of the module you will be required to consider current research literature and engage in academic debate relating to measurement and evaluation of learning and the synthesis for application to differing contextual and educational situations. There are also opportunities for students to develop a focus for practice-based studies in the field. Students will normally be required to address an issue relating to measurement and evaluation within the education profession, or to develop policies at an institutional level.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to: 

  1. Demonstrate knowledge, understanding and synthesis to practice of theory, policy and research
  2. Display the professional skills required for academic posters as presented at conference

Module content

The module will consider current educational professional debates from both a UK and international focus regarding assessment and evaluation of learning, assessment and evaluation for learning and assessment and evaluation at learning.  The debates might focus on current:

  • Testing methods
  • Socio demographic measures and target setting
  • National, European and International evaluation data 
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7PE545

Curriculum Challenges

Society evolves and the curriculum in all its guises must be responsive. The module provides the knowledge, skills and understanding to equip all those with an interest in the broad field of education to accommodate the challenges and opportunities that arise. Students will be expected to engage in the active synthesis of theory and practice.

Students will be encouraged to relate the module to their own field of interest including under 5s, statutory, post-16 education and training and community learning environments.

The module is, therefore, designed to meet the needs of a wide range of educational interests and, through key lectures, workshops, seminars, discussions and individual tutorials, every opportunity will be taken to make full use of the knowledge and expertise they may bring to the course.

Formative assessment will provide opportunity for students to synthesise their learning to date and share ideas with peers; they will be in the form of seminar presentations. Students will be able to take account of tutor feedback, peer review and self-assessment to identify their progress.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Critically analyse how curricula respond to external influences, challenges and pressures as reported in authoritative literature and experienced in practice.
  • Critically report on their own proposal for a potential small-scale curriculum development.

Module content

The module will include consideration of the ideological, social, cultural and economic factors which give shape to the curriculum, together with critical analytical reflection upon aspects of curriculum in practice, including:

  • processes of curriculum design, development, implementation and evaluation
  • curriculum models
  • organising and managing the curriculum
  • the role of the curriculum leader

 

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7PE547

The Principles of English Language Teaching

This module is for those students who are interested in developing an understanding of the practice of English language teaching. It will explore popular methodology and invite students to critique the methods, procedures and techniques used in the language classroom.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate a range of theoretical approaches and teaching methods used in the language classroom
  • To reflect on these in order to make recommendations for sustainable pedagogical practice

Module content

This module will draw from a range of theoretical approaches and methods which inform the practice of English language teaching. Popular methodology such as audio-lingualism, Community Language Learning (CLL) and the Silent Way will be critiqued. In recent years, the influence of a number of Approaches; the Communicative approach, Task-based Learning (TBL); the Lexical approach and Content Integrated Language Learning (CILC) will be explored. Other models such as Present, Practice and Production (PPP) will also be examined in relation to how students learn languages.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7PE548

Language Learning: Theory and Practice

This module is for those students who are interested in developing an understanding of how learners acquire a second, third or perhaps even a fourth language in addition to their mother tongue. It will explore research and theories on second language acquisition (SLA) and how these might inform practice. The needs of a variety of language learners will be identified within the context of English language teaching. The module will help students develop an appreciation of how the diverse linguistic backgrounds of learners influence language learning. The role of both the learner and teacher in the language acquisition process will also be considered.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically evaluate a range of second language acquisition theories
  2. To synthesize the evaluation of second language acquisition theories in order to make recommendations for sustainable pedagogical practice

Module content

The module will draw from a range of theoretical perspectives on how languages are learned. Key thinkers in the field will be explored and critiqued including Chomsky, Krashen and Swain. The module is also designed to cover a range of topics surrounding the language learner and an exploration of critical questions such as:

  • Who are language learners?
  • What sort of English do they need?
  • What sort of English should we be teaching?
  • How do they learn it?
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7PE549

Quality, Leadership and Management

This exciting module focuses on the ways in which leadership theories can be effectively utilised to apply quality procedures effectively embedding equality and diversity. The module draws on a range of contemporary leadership and management theories, developing the critical and self-reflective educational practitioner. The whole range of educational contexts can be used in order to provide exemplars of how leadership can be empowering and the module will be of interest to all staff who have access to educational contexts.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse contemporary theories on leadership in an applied context
  2. Critically reflect and utilise the concepts of diversity, equality and quality procedures

Module content

This module is geared towards the contemporary changes in educational contexts. It focuses on the ways in which wide-ranging debates such as social justice, equality, and diversity (socio-economic group, BME groups, gender, disability) can be seriously and sustainably embedded into long-lasting educational leadership, management, and quality procedures, and evaluate a range of contemporary leadership theories.

The whole range of educational contexts can be used in order to provide exemplars of how leadership can be utilised, and the module is applicable to all levels of staff in educational contexts.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7PE550

Developing Leadership Capacity

This thought-provoking module is of interest to people in the wider field of education and educational leadership roles. It examines organisational change, the impact of social policy, how developed cultures impact upon those who work across all sectors: state maintained, for-profit, and non-profit, and the role that both governments and leadership teams play in this. There are opportunities for developing soft skills and learning how to utilise leadership tool kits to impact on workplace development.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse and evaluate the application of the impact of social policy and culture on educational leadership
  2. Critically reflect and utilise the leadership tool-kits to identify the change factors that enable their own organisation to move forward more effectively

Module content

This module intends to track current leadership principles in:

  • Discussing the current change management debates
  • Evaluating the potential impact upon those who work across all sectors: state maintained, for-profit and non-profit
  • Examining of the extent of recent educational change together with the current state of the economy
  • Analysing the position of both individual governments and leadership teams are reflected upon in terms of their ability to influence and react to such changes
  • Utilising a range of seminal and contemporary leadership theories
  • Discussing the range of strategies for effective leadership, including coaching and generating organisational change
  • Evaluating the model of evidenced based outcomes for educational leadership
  • Analysing contemporary debates on the range of policy and strategy decisions that are applicable to education
More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Code: 7PE554

Innovative 21st Century Teaching

The use of information technology is growing rapidly in education institutions locally, nationally and globally through a wealth of innovative tools and services that engage learners and educators in the learning process.

This module would allow education practitioners to address the challenges of supporting students in developing 21st century skills: learning and innovations skills; digital literacy skills; and life and career skills. The module also provides the opportunity to investigate digital solutions to enrich traditional instructional practices. The module provides the knowledge, skills and understanding to equip all those with an interest in the broad field of innovative education to accommodate the challenges and opportunities that arise when keeping pace with the changing landscape of teaching and learning approaches which may utilise the affordances of a range of technologies.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students will be able to:

  1. Critically analyse and evaluate digital solutions and their underpinning pedagogies with relevance to 21st century teaching
  2. To synthesize the evaluation of these digital solutions and pedagogies within their chosen context

Module content

The module consists of a critical review of what is meant by 21st century teaching and how it might be supported by the application of digital tools and services. Subjects for consideration will reflect current developments within the field but might typically include: developing communities of practice, strategies for developing creativity in teaching and learning, managing learning in cyberspace, encouraging self-directed learning, adopting supportive technologies, the design of innovative learning environments, open educational resources, social media applications and the expansion of MOOCs. Learners will investigate networking technology to make schools and other institutions more connected to communities and evaluate the challenges of providing equal access to educational content.

More information
20 Credits
optional
Coursework

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

How you will learn

Pace of study

We recommend about 20 hours of study per week to complete one 20-credit module over a 10-week trimester. If you aim to study two modules in one trimester, we recommend 40 hours of study per week.

Assessment method

This course is assessed through 100% coursework with a range of methods, such as essays, research reports, presentations, group work and practical reports.

How you will learn online

Our Education MA course taster will give you an idea of how online learning works. It includes a selection of content from a course module so you can see what some of our learning material looks like.

You will need to complete a short form to access the course taster.

Try our course tasterTry our course taster
Student wearing headphones at a laptop participating in an online webinar

Discovering Online Learning Webinar, January

Wednesday, 8 January 2020 15.00 - 16.00

During this hour long webinar, we'll take you through the basic principles of how online learning works and what you can expect as an online learner. The webinar includes a 20 minute presentation and an opportunity to take in a Q&A.

Book your webinarBook your webinar

Entry requirements

You will usually need to be currently working within the education arena and have either:

You will be asked to provide a CV/resume detailing your academic and work experience. The Admissions Tutor reserves the right to interview an individual to ascertain the relevance of their work and life experiences as an acceptable entry for the programme.

In addition, we recognise the following qualifications:

Full DELTA (Cambridge Diploma in TESOL) modules 1, 2 and 3 are normally eligible for 60 credits at level 7 against our MA Education.

English language qualifications

You will normally need one of the following English Language qualifications:

If English is not your first language you will need an English language qualification*. For this course you will need at least one of the following:

*If you have a minimum of IELTS level 4.5 you can study our Certificate of Credit in English for Academic Purposes which we will accept as evidence that you are able to perform at a suitable level of IELTS 6.0. We will also accept the Certificate of Credit as evidence that you can perform at GCSE level.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2019 and August 2020.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £850 7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module) £7,650

2020/21 Fees for new entrants

Starting between September 2020 and August 2021.

 Per 20 creditsModulesCost
UK/EU/International £875 7 (six 20 credit modules and one 60 credit module)  £7,875

About your fees

This figure would be the total cost of this course in the current academic year. However, please note that fees normally increase in line with inflation and the University's strategic approach to fees, which is reviewed on an annual basis. The total fee you pay may therefore increase if your course lasts longer than one year.

However, please also note that you can receive a 5% discount if you either:

Flexible payment plans available

Choose from three options:

Masters funding options

Depending on where you are from in the UK or EU, and on your pace of study, you may be eligible for a postgraduate student loan. Accessible through Student Finance, this is a non-income based loan to help with living costs and tuition fees whilst studying your masters programme.

How to apply

Students should apply directly to the University.

Apply now

Documents to support your application

You'll need to provide:

*Documents not in English or Welsh must be accompanied by a certified translation by a professional translator/translation company. Each translation must contain:

A list of approved translators can be found on the UK Government website.

Careers

This course can open doors for you in your career. It might make your CV stand out enough to get you an interview for that more senior role you’ve been looking for, or just give you the confidence to apply for positions you normally wouldn’t have considered.

Previous students have also said that they have performed better at work as a result of this course - bringing greater recognition and respect from peers.

To give you an idea of the range of careers this MA relates to, some of our graduates have gone on to become advanced skills teachers, nursery managers, assistant head teachers, disability coordinators within universities and national trainers for charitable organisations.

You may also wish to go on to further study such as an MPhil, EdD or PhD.

Programme leader

Melody Harrogate

Explore all teaching staff on this course

Contact us

Contact the University of Derby Online Learning:

Contact usContact usFrequently asked questionsFrequently asked questions

Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

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