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Education MA

Key Facts

  • Level:


  • Duration:

    1 year full time
    2-5 years part time
    1-3 years online

  • Starting:


  • Fees UK:

    Full Time: £7,470
    Part Time:£1,245 per 30 credits
    Online: £1,110 per 30 credits

  • Fees International:

    Full time: £14,000 Online: £1,110 per 30 credits

  • Location:

    Waterside, Online

Get in touch

For questions regarding study and admissions please contact us:

UK/EU Students enquiries
0300 303 2772

International Students enquiries
+44 (0)1604 894503


Our Masters in Education allows you to develop your skills, knowledge and understanding of aspects of education of specific interest to you. This course is available for full-time and part-time study. The course is flexible and wide-ranging and involves the study of: leadership, classroom cultures and also has an international and comparative aspect. While studying on this course you will complete a thesis, which is a significant piece of original research. Our Masters’ in Education community includes teachers, school leaders and others working in or interested in education.

Choose your path

You can choose to study for your MA Education on our Waterside Campus in Northampton (face to face) or 100% online, on any device from anywhere in the world over 1-5 years. This option is designed for UK-based or international education professionals looking for the flexibility to study at a distance and fit the timing of their studies around life, work and family commitments.

For more information on the ‘MA Education online’ please contact Dr Helen Caldwell and for more information on the ‘MA Education on campus’ please contact Dr James Underwood.

Updated 15/10/2021


  • Flexibility to direct your studies in the way that is most beneficial for you and your working context
  • Support for you to publish and present your research
  • The opportunity to produce a significant piece of original research, via your thesis
  • A fully online route through the MA Education, based on active distance learning.

Course Content

  • The MA comprises of four modules and the completion of a thesis. The thesis is an original and substantial piece of research. A key element of all the modules  is the class community  which enables you to engage with other professional colleagues and fellow researchers.  In every module you design the titles of your assignments around your personal and professional interests. With support from your tutors, you will be able to explore aspects of education that are of interest to you. You will also be supported to publish and present your work.

    There are two versions of the MA Education, both of which can be full-time or part-time. These are a fully online version and a standard version. There are four compulsory modules and a thesis on each of these pathways:


    • EDUM074 International perspectives on education
    • EDUM124 Developing and supporting others
    • EDUM123 Approaches to leadership and management
    • EDUM116 School and classroom cultures
    • EDUM100 Research methods and thesis


    • EDUM074 International perspectives on education
    • EDUM124 Developing and supporting others
    • EDUM116 School and classroom cultures
    • EDUM123: Approaches to leadership and management
    • EDUM100 Research methods and thesis
      • Module code: EDUM074
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is: to explore and critically evaluate education policy and practice in diverse national contexts and to contextualise and critically evaluate socio-economic political and cultural influences on education. It requires engaging with established and contemporary international research.
      • Module code: EDUM089
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to prepare teachers and other professionals to undertake research projects as part of their institution's overall development and their own professional development. This module will equip professional practitioners with the skills theoretical knowledge and understanding needed to engage successfully in research that enhances practice.
      • Module code: EDUM100
        Status: Designate
        This module provides an opportunity for students to engage in completing an original research project supported by structured research training under the guidance of a supervisor. When the student is studying on a named pathway or programme this research thesis will be aligned to that field of study.
      • Module code: EDUM116
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is: to enable students to explore and critically reflect on what is meant by school culture and classroom culture in a contemporary context. To generate a critical understanding of classroom cultures informed by educational values and beliefs and personal experience linked to research and theory-building.
      • Module code: EDUM123
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide opportunities to explore key issues related to the leadership and management of schools and other educational settings. Students will explore these ideas within the context of their own and others professional and cultural background and in the context of differing educational settings.
      • Module code: EDUM124
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide opportunities to explore the theory and practice of coaching and mentoring as well as other approaches to supporting and developing others. These are explored within the specific context of schools and other educational settings. Theory and practice will be linked closely.
      • Module code: EDUM146
        Status: Designate
        The purpose of this module is to provide a structured framework for students to plan and undertake a small scale project that addresses an identified area for innovation. Students will have the opportunity to explore key concepts related to managing and facilitating change and the successful implementation of innovation.
  • To study this course, you will need an honours degree, usually at 2:2 or above, from a UK institution or equivalent.

    If you have other qualifications and have recent professional experience of three years or more, you will also be considered. In this case you will be interviewed and asked to demonstrate that you have engaged with the broad field of education at graduate level or equivalent.

    If you have master’s (level 7) credits from another course, including the PGCE, NPQH, or programmes run by University of Northampton, then it may be possible to credit these towards this degree.

    For information on how to apply to study with us, please see our How to Apply page.

    English Language Requirements

    All International and EU students applying for a course with us must meet the following minimum English language requirements for study at postgraduate level:

    • Minimum standard – IELTS 6.5 overall, with a minimum of 6.0 in writing and 5.5 in each other band (or equivalent).

    For information regarding English language requirements at the University, please see our IELTS page.

  • 21/22 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 21/22 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK – Full Time: £7,470
    • UK – Part Time: £1,245 per 30 credits
    • UK – Online: £1,110 per 30 credits
    • International – Full Time: £14,000
    • International – Online: £1,110 per 30 credits
    20/21 Tuition Fees

    Fees quoted relate to study in the Academic Year 20/21 only and may be subject to inflationary increases in future years.

    • UK and EU Full Time: £7,425
    • UK and EU Part Time:£1,235 per 30 credits
    • UK and EU Online: £1,100 per 30 credits
    • International: £13,750
    • International Online: £1,100 per 30 credits
    Additional Costs

    There are no additional costs for this course for students beginning their studies in September 2021. Should this change, applicants and students will be contacted by the university with details of the costs.

    Postgraduate Loans

    If you are starting a postgraduate Master’s course in 2021/22 either full-time or part-time* you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan through Student Finance England**.

    *Please note that the maximum period of study allowed for part-time courses is two years.

    **If you have exemptions from studying a PGCE you will not be eligible for Postgraduate funding as you must be studying the full 180 Credits.

    Scholarships and Bursaries

    For information on the scholarships available to you, please see our scholarships page.

  • How will I learn?

    All of the teaching for the campus-based course is in small group format, such as seminars and workshops, enabling you to engage in discussion and debate. You will also be able to attend research seminars, day courses and other educational activities. Underpinning all that we teach is the linking of theory and practice, allowing you to critically reflect on work-based issues, concerns and developments.

    This course is taught as interactive sessions, with a focus on active engagement and discussion. There are 140 contact hours for the entire MA, which means you will typically have six hours of classes per week for full-time attendance and you will be expected to undertake a further 24 hours of self-directed study and research each week.

    If you are studying part-time, the course will take between two and five years to complete, and you will typically have two hours of classes per week and should undertake eight hours of self-directed study per week. However, the workload is not consistently spread over the year and so there may be times when you are working more hours in a given week.

    As well as your usual sessions, you can also attend workshops and presentations associated with research that the Faculty of Health, Education and Society is involved in.

    The Online MA Education focuses on engagement and discussion through an innovative model of active distance learning. Our online learning environment includes a virtual classroom for regular online conferencing in small groups or 1-1 with a personal tutor, and an online community space for ongoing discussions with fellow education professionals. There are structured links to course materials and resources that are designed to enable you to learn in different ways and through different media. Our online library gives you access to a vast collection of electronic books and journals to support your independent study.

    How will I be assessed?

    The way we assess is flexible and sensitive to your existing professional workloads. This enables you to link your studies to aspects of work on-going in your own school or setting, or if you are a full-time student to your personal interests.

    There are no exams for this course. Instead, assessment is in the form of essays, portfolios, presentations and small scale research projects. You will complete the MA with a final project or dissertation.

    How long is a master’s degree in education?

    Within the UK, the time spent studying a postgraduate degree is highly dependent on whether you decide to study full-time, part-time or through distance learning.

    For those on this masters program you will study for 1 year if you are full-time and for part-time students, it will be between 2-5 years. The Online Education MA is 1 year full time or part time over 2-5 years.

Upcoming Open Days

Open Days give you the best experience and insight to courses, people and facilities that interest you. Make your choice easier and come meet us.


Joanne Barrow

Senior Lecturer in Education, Children and Young People
Faculty of Health, Education and Society

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Careers and Employability

Postgraduate qualifications can give you the opportunity for higher level responsibility and senior posts within education, children’s services and further education.

This course addresses the needs of local authorities in the East Midlands as well as the government agenda for continuing professional development and the development of teaching as a research based profession.

An MA in education is a versatile degree for students in search of career paths beyond teaching. Although this masters programme equips you with skills and knowledge specifically within the field of education, it is not limiting but rather accommodates to other niche roles.

Some examples of the kind of work students are able to do following graduation include;

  • School Counsellor
  • Writer
  • School leader
  • NGO or charity leader
  • Learning mentor
  • Training or Development specialist
  • Instructional designer

Student Story

"The course opens doors to a multitude of careers beyond teaching, which is one of the main reasons why I chose this course."