Education - PgCert / PgDip / MA

Part Time
October 2016, February 2017
£500 per 15-credit module for UK/EU Part Time 2016 entry (view all fees)

If you're a teacher, lecturer or trainer who is keen to boost your professional qualifications and knowledge, this course is for you. It may also appeal if you're someone who is simply interested in the field of education.

Highly flexible, we feel this is an attractive option for anyone who wants the opportunity to study without having to give up their job.

It can be tailored to suit your particular needs, but if you're thinking of swapping your current career for a move into teaching please be aware that this course doesn't qualify you to teach.

What's covered in the course?

Our course is designed to appeal to people working across the educational spectrum, from early years, primary, secondary and further education to those employed in higher education.

The MA Education will also suit people working in private training organisations.

Its depth and flexibility offers you the chance to personalise what you learn to suit your aspirations. You'll do this by studying some taught modules and others which you negotiate with your tutor.

Modules explore current issues in education, leadership and management, change and improvement, as well as flexible portfolio, reflection and research opportunities, leading on to a final dissertation.

Why Choose Us?

  • You don't need a Bachelor degree to do this course, but you do need professional experience.
  • This recognised qualification will help you to meet a variety of Continuing Professional Development requirements.
  • You can use evidence of previous study or relevant experience to claim Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL) or Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL).
  • You'll be able to develop professional knowledge, skills and understanding in your practice, which will support you to offer consistently excellent teaching.
  • You can use this course to put you at the forefront of professional practice in your specialist field or subject. This will enable you to help your students to succeed.
  • As a provider of Initial Teacher Education (ITE), we're regularly inspected by the Office for Standards in Education, Children's Services and Skills (Ofsted).
Visit our open day

Postgraduate Open Day

Our next Postgraduate Open Day will be on Wednesday 23 November. Registration will open shortly.

In the meantime, register your details and we'll contact you when more information is available.

Sign up for Open Day info
This course is not open to International students
School of Education

Discover the School of Education

We are the top university providing education training in the West Midlands, and 25th in the UK. (Guardian University Guide 2016)

Visit our School site for more student work and extra information.

Visit the School website

New £10,000 postgraduate loans

You may be able to take advantage of the government’s plans to make loans of up to £10,000 available for postgraduate study.

More about postgraduate loans

Entry Requirements

UK students

Applicants should have a degree or equivalent qualification, or professional experience that equates to degree level.

All suitably-qualified candidates will normally be interviewed and selection will be based on ability to benefit from and contribute to the course of study.

Exemption from some modules may be granted for appropriate prior learning, including credits gained on a PGCE course.

We welcome applications from mature students and from members of communities traditionally under-represented in higher education.

UK or EU students

Award Start Mode Duration Fees
PgCert / PgDip / MA Oct 2016 PT 2-5 years £500 per 15-credit module
Feb 2017 PT 2-5 years £500 per 15-credit module

If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form instead.

International Students

Sorry, this course is not available to international students.

The University reserves the right to increase fees broadly in line with increases in inflation, or to reflect changes in government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament.

Additional costs

We offer a wide range of professionally accredited and vocational courses that require the purchase of, among other things, uniforms, equipment, subscriptions, professional body memberships and DBS checks, and may require you to pay to attend conferences or participate in placements.

The link below provides our estimate of the possible costs associated with key activities on specific courses. Please bear in mind that these are only estimates of costs based on past student experience and feedback. The actual costs to you could vary considerably (either greater or lower than these estimates) depending on your choices as you progress through the course. We set out where we can, based on experience, where these indicative costs are for activities that are optional or compulsory.

All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.

Find additional costs for your course

Your personal statement

Your personal statement is a highly important part of your application. It gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.

Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:

Course choice

Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?

Career plans

If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.

Work experience

Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.

School or college experience

Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.

Non-accredited skills or achievement

eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.

You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

This course is available part-time

Got any questions?

Search our Frequently Asked Questions for a range of information about our courses and studying here.

Financial Support

We offer further information on possible postgraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.

Our part-time course starts in October each year and we'll offer you a structured route tailored to your professional needs. During your studies you'll gain valuable skills.

Course breakdown

Stage 1

During Stage 1 (usually one year) you'll be encouraged to study introductory modules which aim to develop your powers of critical reflection and enquiry skills, though you can also choose Stage 2 modules or use credits from pervious study.

Reflecting on Professional Practice - introductory module

This module provides an opportunity for critical reflection on workplace practice and can be linked to courses for newly qualified teachers. You'll produce a portfolio of evidence based on a critically reflective account of a range of workplace experiences and/or critical incidents.

Developing professional enquiry skills - introductory module

This module provides an introduction to research methods through a workplace enquiry, in which you'll research the impact of your practice linked to an identified need (eg to develop assessment for learning skills).

Stage 2

During Stage 2 (usually a further year) you'll carry out further assignments, involving presentation, research, planning and report writing, depending on the modules studied. Current educational issues, coaching and mentoring and managing educational improvement are among topics which you could choose to study.

Change Management in Education

The module aims to develop your understanding of the nature of change management within an education context. You'll critically explore a number of change management theories, writers and approaches before relating them specifically to organisational, professional and personal change projects and issues as they relate to your experience and practice.

Coaching and mentoring in education

The role of mentoring and coaching is now central to adult learning, lifelong learning and continuing professional development (CPD).

You'll critically explore and explain different models and approaches to mentoring and coaching, while addressing current issues and debates in the field. The focus of the module will also include the practical aspects and skills involved in any successful mentoring and coaching relationship.

Current issues in education

This module provides you with the opportunity to consider a range of current issues in education and the impact that they have upon professional practice.

A series of one-off sessions will be delivered by academics drawn from across the School of Education, open to all. You'll explore in greater depth the issues raised in the session and how they relate to professional practice.

Management and leadership in education

This module will provide you with the opportunity to analyse a management or leadership issue of professional interest. It will introduce a range of management theorists and draw on case studies from a range of education/training settings.

Managing educational improvement

This module addresses the sources, collection and analysis of data from educational organisations, set in the context of national policies and improvement models. It will draw on case studies from a range of settings, including international examples.

The traditions and approaches of school effectiveness and school improvement will be introduced, and the ways in which these are reflected in the changing national policy agenda will be discussed.

Research in Professional Practice - flexible module

The module provides input on research skills, which you'll use to undertake a small-scale piece of research in an education or training context, on a negotiated topic of professional relevance. You'll be allocated a supervisor to guide and support you through your research project.

Enhancing Professional Practice - flexible module

This module enables prior learning eg. from courses run by the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL) or other organisations, or a Newly Qualified Teacher (NQT) portfolio, to be accredited at Masters level. It also enables you to carry out a highly flexible, negotiated assignment linked to workplace practice.

Stage 3

Stage 3 (a final one year to 18 months) is the culmination of your MA study in which you'll carry out an extended piece of research into professional practice, submitted as a dissertation.


You're required to carry out an in-depth study in an educational area of personal and/or professional interest. It builds on previous study during the course, by giving you an opportunity to explore, in detail, particular methodologies in relation to an identified research interest.

Further study

Once you've graduated from this course, you could decide to do further research.

We have a thriving research programme. Your options include studying for a Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) or a Professional Doctorate in Education (EdD) qualification.

We welcome enquiries from teachers who want to do research into any aspect of education practice or policy, whether this is related to early years, primary, secondary or higher education or lifelong learning.

Employment opportunities

This course allows those in the field of education to fulfil their continuous professional development needs by providing relevant courses for career enhancement.


OpportUNIty Student Ambassador

OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.

It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.

Graduate Jobs

There's a growing recognition of educational practitioners who have studied at Masters Level. Many of our students gain career progression opportunities, having demonstrated enhanced knowledge, skills and confidence.

Our Facilities

We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £260 million on new learning facilities.

The School of Education boasts some of the best teaching and learning facilities in the country. As part of your training you will have access to our specially developed replica classrooms with interactive whiteboards, enabling you to experience the classroom environment.

Science education facilities

Our laboratory and Science Education Learning Room have been newly built for the start of the 2015/16 academic year. The Science Education Lab will enable trainees to encounter and explore the latest Science Education pedagogies, and together with the Science Learning Room will facilitate trainees’ transition from “subject expert” to “expert subject teacher”. Trainees will work in a fully hands-on way with the core science education materials to develop excellent subject and pedagogic knowledge - the twin attributes of the outstanding teacher.


City North is a big, bustling campus, three miles north of Birmingham city centre. It's easy to get to and offers on-site parking. Located 5 minutes from Perry Barr train station, City North Campus is also ideally positioned along major bus routes.

The School of Education will be moving to City South Campus in Edgbaston during the 2017/18 academic year.

Virtual School

One of the most exciting innovations in recent years for our trainee teachers and students is our virtual school. You can encounter a range of real-life situations within a simulated environment, that teachers are often confronted with.

Visit our Virtual School


All our departmental facilities replicate the school learning environment.

  • Art and Design
  • Design and Technology
  • History
  • English
  • Mathematics
  • Religious Education
  • Music
  • Drama

IT Support

Each student has a personal computer user name and server space Specific software for use by teachers and for use in classrooms.

Other items available include:

  • Training and training notes
  • Students can borrow cameras, LCD projector
  • Specialist technician support
  • Dedicated research base for postgraduate research students

Art and Design Department

There are fully equipped art studios suitable for 3D construction, printmaking, drawing and mixed-media. For textile and ceramics specialists, there are sewing machines and facilities for batik work and a large kiln for firing ceramics. The department has an ICT Suite for digital media that includes both Mac and PC computers. There is also access to a bank of Apple iPads for on and off-site digital working including the use of social media.

Design and Technology Department

The department has access to specialist facilities, including a dedicated teaching suite for food and textiles. The textiles area has 10 sewing machines, an overlocker, CAD/CAM embroidery machines, dye sublimation equipment, a felting machine and an electronic microscope that links to the interactive whiteboard. It is also well resourced with surface decoration and construction equipment.

The food area has five electric cookers, combination microwave/ovens, an extensive range of industrial and domestic equipment, eg industrial ice cream makers and electric pasta makers, bench top printer and a CAD/CAM icing printer. The specialist tutor is a Speed Step and basic food hygiene trainer.

There is a specialist room for design and technology teaching and independent work, as well as a well-stocked reference library that contains a wide range of resources that are relevant for undergraduate and postgraduate students.

Other features include a recycling materials area, specialist work benches and a bank of computers linked directly to CAD/CAM equipment.

History Department

There are plenty of replica artefacts in the department and other superb facilities, including a huge library of dedicated subject books and an interactive whiteboard. We also inspire our trainee teachers to bring history to life by offering them opportunities to travel to historic sites.

English Department

The School of Education has two dedicated English teaching rooms that contain a substantial children's collection of works including fiction, non-fiction, poetry, picture books and multicultural text. There is also a selection of phonics teaching materials, puppets and story bags that are used in teaching sessions.

You can explore the links between ICT and literacy through the department's Digital Blue cameras and electronic photo albums.

Mathematics Department

There are two dedicated teaching rooms for mathematics. The rooms make use of Promethean and Smart interactive white boards. Both rooms contain a library of recent and relevant publications as well as a wide range of resources for use while on teaching practice.

Trainees are supplied with the use of a laptop for the duration of the course. The laptops come with Autograph and Geometers Sketchpad software. There are a class set of iPads available for the teaching sessions.

Religious Education Department

This teaching room attempts to bring sacredness in its vicinities and a visitor will find precious collections of artefacts and devotional utilities, audio-visual resources, books, sacred texts and children's books from a range of religious traditions to support learning and teaching.

Early Years Department

As well as enjoying very strong links with local schools and specialist nurseries, we have a specialist teaching room that has a range of story sacks and puppets, an extensive selection of planning resources, copies of key texts, and toys and equipment that are relevant for foundation stage.

Music Department

The music department has two dedicated classrooms and seven practice rooms, five of which contain dedicated computer-based recording/sequencing equipment. There is also a fully equipped sound recording studio and Apple Mac computers for sound manipulation.

Drama Department

There is a fully equipped drama studio with stage lighting.

Phil Taylor

MA Education and Masters in Teaching and Learning Course Director, Education, Pedagogy and Professional Studies Co-ordinator

Director of CPLD and Education Masters Courses Phil Taylor has worked in education his entire career, firstly as a teacher, then assistant head. He also worked in advisory roles before joining our staff in 2010.

Hugh Johnson

Course Director

Hugh Johnson is Course Director for MA International Education and Senior Lecturer in CPD. His career in education began in 1989 working in schools and with previous appointments in higher education at Sheffield Hallam, Nottingham Trent Universities and The Open University.

UK prospective students:

UK enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5595

EU / International prospective students:

International enquiry form

+44 (0)121 331 5389

Already applied?

Email the applications team

+44 (0)121 331 6295