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Education - MA

Are you a teacher, lecturer or trainer? Are you keen to boost your professional qualifications and knowledge? Or are you simply interested in the field of education? If so, this MA Education course is for you.

  • Level Postgraduate Taught
  • Study mode Full Time/Part Time
  • Location City South
  • School School of Education and Social Work
  • Faculty Faculty of Health, Education and Life Sciences


Are you a teacher, lecturer or trainer? Are you keen to boost your professional qualifications and knowledge? Or are you simply interested in the field of education? If so, this MA Education course is for you.

This course is open to International students.

What's covered in this course?

Highly flexible, this course can be studied alongside your job through our part-time route. Our Education Master’s framework allows you to choose your own path by selecting the core modules, area of specialisation and optional modules, that way you can tailor your study to suit your needs and areas of interest.

The award you receive upon graduating depends on both your existing qualifications, and the combination of modules that you choose to study. You'll do this by studying some core modules and others which you negotiate with your tutor and the programme leader for your pathway.

The modules available explore current issues in education, leadership and management, change and improvement, as well as a flexible portfolio, reflection and research opportunities, leading to a final dissertation. Depending on the modules you take, you may be able to graduate with a specific pathway named on your degree.

The qualifications available are:

However, we can facilitate awards in other specialist areas of study including:

  • Childhood Studies
  • Conductive Education (in collaboration with the National Institute for Conductive Education)
  • Early Years Leadership
  • Leadership and Management
  • Mentoring and Coaching
  • Youth and Community Education

If you are interested in these awards please email

Jodie White

Having been diagnosed with fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue syndrome, as well as anxiety, Jodie has had a difficult few years. However, she’s using this as the driving force behind her postgraduate degree in MA Education and wants to inspire young students who suffer with the same issues. Jodie has just enrolled onto her course but is hopeful and excited for the future.

Read in full

Why Choose Us?

  • This recognised qualification will help you to meet a variety of Continuing Professional Development requirements, such as senior/executive leadership in schools

  • If you're thinking of changing your career for a move into teaching please be aware that this course doesn't lead to qualified teacher status.

  • 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.

Studying with us during the Covid-19 pandemic

The University has put in place measures in response to Covid-19 to allow us to safely deliver our courses. Should the impact of the pandemic continue in future years, any additional or alternative arrangements put in place by the University will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.

Open Days

Join us for an on-campus Open Day where you'll be able to explore our campus and facilities in person. You'll be able to hear more about your chosen subject area from our academics.

Register your interest

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.

International students

If you are an international applicant you must provide us with a copy of your Good Conduct certificate as you may undertake supervised visits during the course.

Fees & How to Apply

Please select your student status to view fees and apply
  • UK Student
  • International Student

UK students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £6,800 in 2022/23
  • Part Time
  • 2-4 years
  • £756 per 20 credit module

International students

Annual and modular tuition fees shown are applicable to the first year of study. The University reserves the right to increase fees for subsequent years of study in line with increases in inflation based on the Retail Prices Index and the additional costs we incur each year to deliver our courses, maintain and develop our infrastructure and provide a range of support services, or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament. View fees for continuing students.

Award: MA

Starting: Sep 2022

  • Mode
  • Duration
  • Fees
  • Full Time
  • 1 year
  • £16,300 in 2022/23

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

Access to computer equipment

You will require use of a laptop, and most students do prefer to have their own. However, you can borrow a laptop from the university or use one of our shared computer rooms.


You will receive £5 print credit in each year of your course, available after enrolment.

Field trips

All essential field trips and associated travel costs will be included in your course fees.

Access to Microsoft Office 365

Every student at the University can download a free copy of Microsoft Office 365 to use whilst at university and for 18 months after graduation.

Key Software

You will be able to download SPSS and Nvivo to your home computer to support with your studies and research.

Key subscriptions

Subscriptions to key journals and websites are available through our library.

Free access to Rosetta Stone

All students can sign up to the online learning language platform for free through the Graduate+ scheme.

Excess printing (optional)

Once you have spent your £5 credit, additional printing on campus costs from 5p per sheet.

Books (optional)

All module key texts will be in the University library, but in limited numbers. You may choose to purchase a copy.

Subscriptions (optional)

You may wish to purchase subscriptions to additional journals and websites.

Memberships (optional)

You may wish to join a union or professional body related to this course.

Accommodation and living costs

The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.

Personal statement

Students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.

Your postgraduate personal statement is going to shine a light on your personal experience, academic success, personal skills and any other factors that will support your application for further study.

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

Your passion and motivations

Studying a postgraduate course usually means you want to specialise in something. So what’s driving you?

Why this course?

Show that you’ve researched the course offering. What is it about this particular course that appeals to you? Is it the lecturers? The modules? Etc.

What makes you a good postgraduate candidate?

Tutors want to know that you can handle postgraduate study, so show them how your undergraduate experiences or work life has equipped you for a more advanced level of study. Key areas to address are research and group work but this can vary depending on your chosen course.

Relevant academic or work experience

Add anything relevant that relates back to your chosen course and shows how your skills will contribute towards your learning. What extra-curricular activities have you taken part in? What awards have you won? What employment or voluntary experience do you have that has helped you develop transferable skills? How do these specifically relate to the course you are applying for?

You should also mention your future plans and how a postgraduate qualification fits in. Try to look beyond your postgraduate study – do you plan to jump straight into a specific career or follow your studies with a research degree? Lastly, use plain, professional English and, where possible, utilise the language of your chosen industry.

Get more information on writing personal statements.

Course in Depth

Core Modules

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits):

This module focuses on your transition to level 7 work. This focus on transition is important because although at first glance a typical taught Masters programme can look very similar to its undergraduate equivalent there are a number of important differences, such as the greater emphasis on your ability to undertake independent, self-directed study. This is not just true of the dissertation project that concludes a typical Masters programme; it is also the case for all taught units, which will expect you to prepare for assignments by independently researching your particular areas of interest and experience for summative assignments.

Doing a Master’s degree involves many skills, which will be familiar from an undergraduate programme of study; however, there are some crucial differences. This core module is designed to introduce you to the principles of educational research at Masters level encouraging you to build on your experiences of conducting independent research.

The module covers everything you need to know in order to conduct research at Masters Level effectively. This includes ensuring that you can plan research that complies with HELS ethical considerations create a literature review, complete with a comprehensive and accurately cited reference list and demonstrate a critical understanding of methodologies.

The Dissertation module is the culmination of your Masters programme. It provides you with the opportunity to develop a systematic understanding of research in relation to your chosen area, and to develop your professional practice through the processes of educational research. You will be encouraged to use self-direction and originality in pursuing your development focus through this independent piece of independent research.

The module provides you with opportunities to act autonomously in designing and planning a Masters level enquiry; to investigate the relationships between theoretical, practical and research knowledge; and to consider the actual and potential impact on educational practice.

Your chosen development focus for the module will be based on your personal, professional and/or organisational needs and priorities. It may build on work carried out in earlier modules, or address an entirely different or new aspect of professional practice.

Optional Modules

In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 80 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules:

While all core modules are guaranteed to run. Optional modules will vary from year to year and the published list is indicative only. If you are interested in a specific module please contact the Course Director, Louise Lambert

This module aims to support you to become an ethical and critically reflexive practitioner, able to operate effectively as a coach or mentor in a range of different educational settings.

In this module you will be encouraged to think critically and increase your awareness of issues in adult learning and development that impact directly on coaching and mentoring practices. You will be encouraged to integrate your prior work and life experiences with the theoretical concepts underpinning coaching and mentoring discussed on the module. You will use relevant theories effectively to relate your understanding to the skills and approaches necessary to develop professionally as a coach or mentor in a variety of working contexts.

This module is can also be taken as a standalone credit-bearing course.

Apply to start in January 2022

For this module you will examine the societal issues of class, gender, race, sexuality, age and disability, with an emphasis on the equality, diversity and Inclusion agenda in educational policy and practice. You will engage in a critical and challenging exploration of the principles informing equality, diversity and inclusion across the education sector in the UK and internationally.

The module will cover topics such as historical perspectives on inclusion and diversity, equality rights movements, social/historical origins of inequality and innovative inclusive practices in education. You will consider how social constructions and policy trajectories around equality, diversity and inclusion can lead to potential educational barriers for many groups in society. The module will also focus on legal rights and obligations with regard to equality, diversity and inclusion in professional educational practice, as well as organising effective inclusive learning environments and how to personalise learning for different groups of learners with diverse needs and backgrounds.

This module provides an opportunity to explore and understand the contributions of key thinkers in critical pedagogy. It will also provide an opportunity to explore and debate critical pedagogical issues such as critical literacies, -, issues of identity, agency and power, critical discourse analysis and dialogical teaching.

You will examine the relationship between these theories and teaching and learning practices across a variety of educational settings and contexts.

It is very important that educational professionals are able to critique their practice in terms of the historical traditions of their subject and the curricula that support it. This module is designed to equip students with a critical perspective, informed by knowledge, understanding and skills to analyse critically the ways in which curricula is led and managed across educational settings. To this end it explores how curriculum design influences the processes of learning and teaching, as well as educational outcomes for learners.

Partnership and collaborative working with business, industry and employers, other stakeholders, is increasingly a part of the modern educational landscape across all sectors for a variety of reasons, operating in a variety of ways. For example, consider multi-agency working in schools, information sharing and partnership with external agencies to support learners with special needs or the ways in which further and higher education institutions work with industry around employability.

This module offers a critical and interdisciplinary, integrated practice approach to childhood and youth studies. During the module you will cover childhood and youth issues relating to your own practice, which could include family; law; children’s rights; childhood as a social construct; children’s participation in society and the issue of children’s voice and multi-cultural childhoods, within a national and worldwide context.

In this module you will learn about the fundamentals of business and social enterprise, business ethics, marketing and financial considerations, businesses and social enterprises functions and contemporary issues in social enterprise. This will allow you to develop your critical skills and personal strengths further your knowledge of good business management.

The aim is to support you in developing proposals for small business and social enterprises development towards a career and explores each of these two strands progressively, whilst maintaining a holistic view of business within various contexts.

In this module approaches to institutional effectiveness and improvement in education and how they are reflected in national educational policy agendas will be discussed. Cross-national education models for institutional effectiveness and change management used in schools, further and higher Education institutions will be critiqued and evaluated.

This module will enhance your awareness of education systems, traditions and issues in a number of countries, helping you to understand the relationships between education and other social phenomena by introducing the concepts and skills needed for systematic comparison. This programme will help you to gain a rigorous multidisciplinary grounding in the comparative analysis of education and society, deepening their understanding of contemporary issues in education in many parts of the world.

Urban and community education represent some of the most exciting and dynamic fields in education today. In this module we bring multiple perspectives to the study of urban schooling and community education. The module focuses on the ways broad structural factors - such as poverty, race relations, and globalisation - influence the conditions of education in urban and community settings and in how students, families, educators, and community members experience policies and practices educational in urban schools, further education colleges and higher education institutions, as well as community educational organisations such as non-profits, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and advocacy organisations. You will be encouraged to explore the social context of urban education, especially the social, economic, political, and historical factors that shape city classrooms, schools, and communities.

This module, Professional Enquiry, forms an introduction to active examination of professional practice in the workplace and a reflective approach to personal development. It provides a foundation for future study modules and enables you to develop practice-based enquiry skills. Increasing importance is placed on evidence-based enquiry to inform professional development in education, most recently in The Carter Review of Initial Teacher Training (ITT). 

This module explores the politics and historical trajectories of education and education policy. It draws on concepts from the social sciences such as the state, globalisation, neo-liberalism, discourse, policy cycle, convergence, policy learning and policy borrowing and considers the ways in which they impact on education practices (including assessment, teaching and learning etc.) across the different sectors.

The place and role of assessment in education today is highly significant. Assessment is not only concerned with grading and marking learners, it also serves an evaluative function for ways in which schools, colleges, universities, and other learning sites can be evaluated. This module is designed to equip students with a critical perspective, informed by knowledge, understanding and skills to analyse critically the ways in which uses and purposes of assessment function across a range of educational settings.

This module considers how, in order to be a successful pedagogue an understanding of self is as crucial as an understanding of the learner. This module will move you into a deeper level of professional self-reflection and provide a framework to help you to challenge your daily work practices to support transforming special needs pupils/students towards their full potential for learning.

There will be a strong theory-practice link serving to guide you towards a critical understanding of your daily classroom practice and skills as a transformative teacher.

This module will consider leadership and management definitions, values, theories, strategies and styles and their impact on the performance of others and on teaching and learning; the relationships and differences between leadership and management.

It will examine the role of legislation, policy, guidance and local/national frameworks in relation to educational leadership across a range of setting.

This module looks at the identification, assessment and provision for Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND).

You will be introduced to a range of issues related to social, emotional and behavioural difficulties as we examine national and local policies in relation to definitions, legislation and guidance documents. You will develop your understanding of the concept SEND.

This module is concerned with adapting and applying professional skills and underpinning understandings to new working contexts which is a cardinal feature of the development of professionalism. It aims to provide you with a broad and analytical experience of the role of the supervisor within special educational settings. The skills developed through the module will be applicable to working with any special needs learner and will reflect the responsive and dynamic approach to the learning process generally. This module will enhance your skills in working with teaching assistants and other colleagues within a team.

Historically Conductive Education has been delivered mainly to children with cerebral palsy and although the adult based work is increasing many conductors do not feel fully trained to work in this field. This module is, therefore designed to enable qualified conductors holding a BA Hons in Conductive Education (CE) or equivalent qualification to specialise in working with adults with Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, and stroke.

This module forms an introduction to the processes and importance of active reflection around educators’ and educational managers’ professional practices in the workplace. It promotes the importance of reflexivity for educational professionals by asking you to reflect upon how key critical incidents in your working life can be illustrative of wider educational practices and principles.

In-line with the TMF framework philosophy this module is a level 7 optional module, situated within a flexible framework that aims to meet the specific academic needs of individual practitioners. A blended learning approach is taken in accord with the University’s learning and teaching strategy and the programme’s philosophy and aims.

In-line with the TMF framework philosophy this module is a level 7 optional module, situated within a flexible framework that aims to meet the specific academic needs of individual practitioners. A blended learning approach is taken in accord with the University’s learning and teaching strategy and the programme’s philosophy and aims.

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We'll offer you a structured route tailored to your professional needs. During your studies you'll gain valuable skills, knowledge and understanding relevant to the educational context you chose to study.

Your pattern of attendance will be determined by the pathway you chose and whether your course is full-time or part-time. However, a 20 credit modules typically involve at total of 200 study hours, made up of:

  • Tutor contact: 20 hours
  • Faculty-based directed tasks: 50 hours
  • Independent study time (student-led): 130 hours

Again, these hours may vary between modules and pathways and the number of participants choosing to study particular modules.


Enhanced Employability Skills

This course will give you a foundation for a career in many different educational settings, both public and private, in the UK or abroad.

It's also suitable if you want to change career direction. This is because it provides a comprehensive international overview of teaching, learning and educational systems - although it doesn't give you Qualified Teaching Status (QTS).

You'll develop important transferable skills in scholarly studies, research skills and practice. These will prove useful when you find yourself working as part of a team, or having to handle lots of data.

The master’s programmes within this framework aim to prepare you to become a creative, confident, technologically-competent and forward-looking individual who has developed the skills of research, reflection and critical evaluation and is aware of the local, national and global themes, issues, policies, ideology and philosophy that effect professional practice within your chosen field.

The development of autonomous professionals is central and participants should be in a position to analyse, synthesise and evaluate information from diverse sources in order to inform their professional development. They should also be able to evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in their discipline and be able to evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, propose new hypotheses. These programmes provide a safe space where you can engage in critical academic enquiry and risk taking. 

In addition to this, you'll develop the qualities and transferable skills necessary for employment requiring the exercise of initiative and personal responsibility, decision-making in complex and unpredictable situations, the ability to deal with complex issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of incomplete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.


Birmingham City University is a vibrant and multicultural university in the heart of a modern and diverse city. We welcome many international students every year – there are currently students from more than 80 countries among our student community.

The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.

Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:

Facilities & Staff

Our facilities

Our School of Education and Social Work is based at our City South campus in leafy Edgbaston.

We’ve spent £41million expanding the education facilities at City South. These facilities offer hands-on practical experience, replicating the spaces you will come across in professional practice. Alongside classrooms and lecture theatres, we also have a range of specialist teaching and learning spaces for specific subjects including science, design and technology, drama and physical education.

As well as subject-specific rooms, our facilities include the Primary Innovation Lab, which houses £24,000 worth of LEGO. This room is a special resource for our education students, offering an innovative and creative way to approach subjects across the curriculum – from computing to English, mathematics to art. The lab responds to research that children and young people learn best from practical experience.

Our Social Work students have access to a home environment room and mock hospital wards which offer an opportunity to gain experience of working with service users in different situations.

Computer facilities

The Seacole building has two open-access IT Suites which offer PCs, printers, photocopiers and scanners. There is also an IT Helpdesk for quick and easy help with your computing or internet issues.

Our PCs utilise the latest Intel i5 core technology, all with:

  • Fast (unrestricted) internet connectivity
  • Ability to save files to USB, DVD & CD
  • Microsoft Office software
  • Research and statistical software
  • Storage space which can be accessed from any PC across the University and from home

Our PCs are also designed to support students who may have difficulties with reading and writing, featuring specialised software with zooming/magnification and screen reading capabilities, which may also be customised for individual student needs.

In addition to desktop PCs, we also offer a laptop loan facility, allowing students to borrow a laptop for up to six hours while on campus.

Our staff

Dr Amanda French


Amanda has worked in higher, further, adult education and the voluntary sector for 30 years as a lecturer, writing developer and researcher. Her research interests include academic writing, learner development in higher education, participatory research, transition experiences in education, employment literacies, widening participation and social...

More about Amanda

Dr Tina Collins

Senior Lecturer

Tina is a Senior Lecturer in Education. She is joint course lead of the Masters in Education (taught) programme. Tina’s experience also includes teacher training. She is ITE secondary partnership research lead and link tutor for the PGDE(I) and MA programmes working with the Indus Training and Research Institute in India (ITARI).

More about Tina