- Explore education in its fullest sense – from its pivotal role in society to the theories, policies and practices that influence and enhance it
- Take a flexible approach to learning: gain a broad-based masters degree or focus on your particular area of interest via our specialist pathways
- Benefit from professional development opportunities in sectors ranging from early years to schools, further, higher and community education
- Keep up to date with the latest educational developments, inspired by a friendly teaching team who will share their extensive specialist knowledge with you
Whether you aspire to a new career in education or want to take your existing career to the next level, our MA Education course will give you the insight, skills and knowledge to become a high-calibre and dynamic education professional. It could be a vital stepping stone to management and leadership roles.
Choose a route to suit your needs
We offer an exciting range of options to match your MA studies with your personal interests and ambitions. You can complete a broad-based masters degree in education or pursue one of our specialist pathways.
The Early Childhood pathway is right for you if you are interested in exploring childhood from a wide range of critical perspectives. You will reflect on the nature of childhood; how has our understanding of childhood emerged? What are the completing discourses within early childhood? This pathway will make you think about childhood and how the adults in their lives have 'constructed' the worlds in which children find themselves. You will also be given the opportunity to look at how things have changed with regards to the expectation of having a highly qualified and critically reflective professional workforce.
Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability
This pathway will allow you to develop a contemporary understanding of the current dilemmas and challenges associated with: special education, disability, impairment and inclusion. It also addresses the lived experiences of those with additional needs. You will have the opportunity to reflect on inclusive and special educational practices, discussing and debating these with others. You will critically analyse material relevant to disability, inclusion and special education and discuss texts in a seminar context, thereby deepening your awareness of key topics.
Leadership and Management
This pathway is for you if you're interested in how leadership and management work. It is suitable for practitioners working in a variety of settings: primary, secondary, FE and HE, Adult or Community Learning and who wish to review or update their practice, and develop their careers. The pathway is also suitable for those who wish to gain knowledge in this specialist area at any point in their careers.
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)
In this pathway of the MA Education, you will explore how languages are learnt, understand how to meet the needs of learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds and explore the current pedagogy in the field of English language teaching. The MA Education TESOL pathway is for you if you're interested in developing your knowledge and understanding of how languages are learnt and meeting the needs of learners from diverse linguistic backgrounds.
You can also study the MA on a part-time basis. Find out more about our MA Education (part-time).
Skills to take you further
Our MA Education course gives you an expert understanding of the aims of education and its role in society. You will cover the key theories, policies, practices and debates which are shaping education today and how these apply directly to your current and future career.
In addition, you will undertake an in-depth research enquiry and independent study to focus on a professional practice theme of your choice. Throughout, you will hone vital skills such as critical, creative and strategic thinking, communication, presentation and teamwork.
Learn from influential experts
This course is delivered by a highly experienced team who have expertise across a range of educational sectors and regularly publish their 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.
You will study alongside learners from different professional and academic backgrounds. Because we welcome students from across the UK and abroad, you will also develop your cross-cultural understanding, improve your intercultural communication skills and gain global perspectives on education.
Each module is worth 20 credits, apart from the Independent Study module which is worth 60 credits.
You will study modules such as:
- Designing Social Research
- Independent Study (Dissertation)
Optional modules (MA Education)
If you choose to study our broad-based MA Education, you will also study two optional modules such as:
- Comparative Education
- Curriculum Challenges
- Education for All
- Educational Policy and Practice
- Emotional Wellbeing
- Learning and Ability Theories in Action
- Measuring and Evaluating and Learning
- Negotiated: Applied Focus of Study
- Participation and Agency in Education
- Principles and Practices of Coaching and Mentoring
- Reel Education
- Thinking Theoretically about Education
Optional modules (specialist pathway)
If you choose to study an MA Education with a specialist pathway, you’ll study two specialist modules relating to your pathway. If you aren’t studying a pathway, you can study any pathway modules within your optional module choices.
- Understanding Childhood
- Children’s Workforce Development
Inclusion and Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND)
- The Lived Experience of SEND
- Inclusion, Disability and Special Education in the 21st Century
Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages
- The Principles of English Language Teaching
- Language Learning: Theory and Practice
Leadership and Management
- Leadership and Management Strategies
- Developing Leadership Capacity
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.
You’ll learn through a mixture of lectures, seminars, workshops, tutorials, and independent study. By studying for a masters in education, you will develop your transferable skills, such as independent working, oral and written communication, presentation skills, teamwork and confidence.
How you're assessed
You’ll be assessed in a range of formats, including essays, presentations and reports.
The culmination of our course is the Independent Study (Dissertation). You will research an aspect of professional practice in discussion with your tutor and document your findings.
2023/24 Fees (August 2023 - July 2024)
£7,850 for the full course or £875 per 20 credits*
£875 per 20 credits
£14,900 for the full course
Please note 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 after one year of study.
* UK full-time fees paid within one academic year are rounded down to the nearest £50 if applicable
Additional costs and optional extras
About postgraduate awards
Please note at postgraduate level, you’ll need to gain the following number of credits in total to obtain the respective awards. If you have any questions please contact us.
|Postgraduate Certificate||60 Credits|
|Postgraduate Diploma||120 Credits|
|MA or MSc||180 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.
Funding your studies
Find out more about fees, postgraduate loans and support you may be entitled to.
Find out about funding your studies
Alumni discount for Derby graduates
We offer a discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.
Find out about the Alumni discount
With our MA Education on your CV, you will make a powerful statement about your abilities, ambition and professional credibility. It is a course which signals to employers that you have an extensive educational knowledge base and strong transferable skills.
Our recent graduates report that their MA Education studies had a significant impact on their career development and professional status. Some have gone on to senior leadership roles such as head teacher or nursery manager; others have taken up more specialist positions such as disability co-ordinator or advanced skills teacher; and others have moved into key posts in other sectors, such as national trainer for a charitable organisation.
Drawing on their MA Education experience, a number of our graduates are now leading research projects to steer positive change in their own workplace settings and are publishing their findings.
You can also choose to take your academic studies further by embarking on the Doctor of Education or a PhD.
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.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
This course is typically one academic year in length with the option to extend
Download programme specification
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, excellent 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.
Please also note that due to the current Covid-19 situation, if your course offers fieldtrips, the location of these may change or be cancelled. If this happens, you will be communicated to in advance and we will do our very best to seek out other practical opportunities to ensure your experience is not affected.
The information provided on this page is correct at the time of publication but course content, costs and other individual course details do change from time to time and are updated as often as possible, so please do check these pages again when making your final decision to apply for a course. Any updated course details will also be confirmed to you at application, enrolment and in your offer letter.
Included in your fees
- The initial DBS for those students that require it
Mandatory costs not included in your fees
- Printing and binding of Independent Study dissertation (2 copies) for assessment
Optional costs not included in your fees
- Travel expenses associated with non-compulsory work experience during programme
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.