Course details

Study options

Part-time: 3-6 years

UK/EU fee

£620 per 20 credits* (2019/20)

Course level




Start dates

January, September, May


Kedleston Road, Derby Campus

Course description

MA Education student, Pippa, speaks about her experience on the course, how she was able to fit it around her full time job and how it has helped her progress her career...

Our MA Education can transform the way you approach your professional practice, delivering genuine benefits for your learners while giving fresh impetus to your career progress. It could be a vital stepping stone to specialising in the field of your professional interest.

Choose a route to suit your needs

We offer an exciting range of options to match your MA Education studies with your current role, personal interests and career ambitions. You can complete a broad-based masters degree in education or pursue one of seven specialist pathways leading to a named MA Education:

You can also study the MA over a year on a full-time basis. Find out more about our MA Education (full-time).

Fit your studies around your life

Our MA Education course is designed to help you balance your learning with your professional and personal commitments. We offer start dates in September and January. If you already have masters credits, you may also choose to commence study in May. Modules are delivered on campus and all learning materials are made available online.

While we encourage and support you to complete the full masters degree, you can choose to ‘step off’ the course at various stages to receive a recognised award according to the number of credits you have achieved:

If you and several other colleagues are interested in the MA Education, we can also customise the course for groups of between eight and 20 learners, tailor the content for your organisation and deliver it in your workplace. Learn more

Skills to take you further

The MA Education explores the key theories, policies, practices and debates which are shaping education today. You can deepen your knowledge, improve your professional performance and build your confidence.

You will choose modules which suit your particular interests and your assignments are focused within the context of your own educational practice, with direct relevance to your learners. A final independent study also focuses on a professional practice theme of your choice. You will develop key skills for research, analysis and critiquing.

Learn from influential experts

Our course is delivered by a highly experienced team who have expertise across a range of educational contexts and who regularly publish their academic work. They will keep you abreast of latest thinking, challenge your perceptions and support your progress.

Our MA Education draws on the cutting edge educational research for which the University is renowned. Conducting influential studies on everything from early years to adult learning, we provide consultancy for Government, schools and the wider education sector. It means your learning will be underpinned by innovative ideas which are changing the face of the education professions.

A vibrant learning community

We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, welcoming learning environment where you will receive plenty of encouragement and guidance. Our tutors are approachable, dedicated and passionate about their subjects.

The MA Education also offers an invaluable networking opportunity. You will study alongside learners from different professional and academic backgrounds, who contribute different perspectives to your experience. Previous students have been principals, vice-principals, head teachers, executive head teachers and deputy heads.
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91%overall satisfaction**MA Education, Postgraduate Taught Experience Survey 2019

What you will study

Each module is worth 20 credits, apart from the Independent Study module which is worth 60 credits.

If you choose to study our broad-based MA Education, you will also study four optional modules, examples of which are outlined below. Even if you are not studying a specialist pathway, you can also select your optional modules from the pathways.

You will study modules such as:

  • Crafting your Masters Study 
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Independent Study (Dissertation)

If you choose to study our broad-based MA Education, you will also study four optional modules, examples of which are outlined below. Even if you are not studying a specialist pathway, you can also select your optional modules from the pathways.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Applying Educational Thinkers and Theorists in Practice
  • Comparative Education
  • Developing the Skills of the Specialist Practitioner
  • Motivation, Communication and Learning
  • Educational Policy into Practice
  • Measuring and Evaluating Learning
  • Negotiated Module – Applied Focus of Study

If you choose to study an MA Education with a specialist pathway, you’ll choose two optional modules such as those listed above, plus two specialist modules relating to your pathway.

Early years
  • Children’s Places
  • Children’s Workforce Development
Lifelong learning
  • Aspects of Ability in Learning
  • Lifelong Learning: Principles and Issues
Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • ISEND: Removing Barriers to Achievement
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND): Current Issues and Concerns
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
  • The Principles of English Language Teaching
  • Language Learning: Theory and Practice
Leadership and Management
  • Quality, Leadership and Management
  • Developing Leadership Capacity
Leadership Coaching and Mentoring
  • The Leader as Coach and Mentor
  • Principles and Practices of Coaching and Mentoring
Primary Mathematics
  • Fostering Mathematical Understanding in the Primary School Classroom
  • Learning and Teaching Mathematics in the Primary Classroom

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.

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

There are a range of teaching methods employed including lectures, seminars, group work and independent study.

Most modules are delivered on campus at times designed to provide options that can fit around professional and personal commitments. You can tailor this course to your own professional interests and/or time availability.

How you're assessed

Your assignments are contextualised to diverse educational contexts and are directly relevant to your learners as well as your own professional practice and personal career development.

You will be assessed through a variety of coursework assignments including essays, presentations and portfolios.

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 is worth contacting us if you have relevant professional experience as we may be able to consider your application.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees (August 2019 - July 2020)



£620 per 20 credits*




*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.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply


With our MA Education on your CV, you will make a powerful statement about your abilities, ambition and professional credibility. It signals to employers that you have an extensive educational knowledge base plus strong transferable skills in areas like critical, creative and strategic thinking, communication, presentation and teamwork. 

The course also gives you unique educational insights which you can harness every day at work. For example, a number of our graduates have led research projects to steer positive change in their own workplace settings.

Other recent graduates report that their MA Education studies had a significant impact on their career development and professional status, helping them achieve promotion and giving them the confidence to apply for positions they might not have considered before.

Students have gone on to take up roles such as advanced skills teachers, nursery managers, assistant head teachers, head teachers, and national trainers for charitable organisations.

You can also choose to take your academic studies further by embarking on our Doctor of Education or a PhD.

Programme leader

Melody Harrogate

Contact us

If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.

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† Additional information about your studies

May for direct entry only

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.

Additional costs and optional extras

We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.

Included in your fees

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

Optional costs not included in your fees

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.

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