A student sitting in a school library

Mode of Study

Full-time, Full-time by distance learning, Part-time

Duration

1 year full time, 1 year full-time distance learning, 2 years part-time

Start date

September 2023

Overview

If you believe in the lifelong value of education and want to work towards improving the experience for students in all educational contexts, this Master's in Education Studies is for you.

You may already be working in the education sector, such as a teacher, manager or researcher, but even if not, this course will refine your abilities to collaboratively explore and critique all aspects of educational policy and practice.

You'll draw on pedagogical, sociological and psychological theory to discover how people of all ages and backgrounds respond to education, and how this translates into lived experience in schools, colleges, universities, professional development programmes and other educational settings.

You'll look at the role and purpose of education from both a national and global perspective, supported by expert academics with sector experience and a diverse cohort of fellow educational professionals.

When you graduate, you'll have the tools and skills to approach complex issues in education at an advanced level, preparing you for senior roles in educational policy and services, pedagogy, learning support or research. 

Prefer to study with a work placement?

You can also study for this Education Studies Master's (with Professional Experience).

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights

  • Examine contemporary issues and perspectives in education – from the changing purpose of education and educational psychology, to the ways in which policy and practice influence the lives of students
  • Learn from an expert academic team active in educational research and education practice, including as school governors 
  • Get involved in fascinating conversations and debates about how education is perceived and delivered around with the world with fellow students on the course, many of whom may be senior educational professionals
  • Explore an area of education studies in depth for your research dissertation, related to your own educational institution and role if you already work in the sector

I enjoyed the different modules and the variety of teaching styles on the course. My favourite part was the dissertation as I was able to carry out a study that was of interest to me.

Lai Ping Yip, MA Education Studies

What you'll study on this MA Education Studies degree course

Full-time

Core

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Discuss and critically appraise the multidisciplinary nature of the study of education.
  • Evaluate the role of theory in educational studies.
  • Critically engage with key theories of pedagogy, psychology and sociology in educational studies.
  • Ascertain and justify which theoretical approach they will apply to their own education research or practice development.

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key issues in contemporary education studies 
  • Evaluate and analyse how education studies is positioned in a global and historical context
  • Critically examine key issues in education from a social perspective

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Plan, execute and present a substantial dissertation/practitioner based enquiry project according to the specification provided
  • Justify, deploy and critically evaluate advanced techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework
  • Systematically interpret complex issues from literature, current research and other data and communicate conclusions coherently and appropriately for either the academic or workplace and professional community
  • Review and identify the potential for new hypotheses and/or insights/and/or practices and ongoing study and research
  • Critically reflect upon the development of their personal and professional development
Additional content

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate the major approaches to educational research
  • Identify and critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of research designs for educational research problems
  • Appraise and plan appropriately, a range of quantitative and/or qualitative methods in educational research
  • Analyse and draw appropriate inferences from educational research data
  • Prepare a coherent research proposal

Explore this module

Optional

You can take 1 optional module.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate a critical and systematic review of research, policy and practical knowledge in relation to SEND
  • Critically reflect on and analyse the impact of their understanding of SEND issues in relation to outcomes for children and young people
  • Establish an informed and critical awareness of how the issues relating to SEND potentially impact on the role of the adult working in this field

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Appraise and formulate a critical review to illustrate how society and education across nations influence and shape each other
  • Critically analyse, locate and justify ideologies, policies and practices, and the likely interactions and outcomes within education
  • Using empirical data evaluate the issues relating to the transnational migration of people and commerce and implications of these for education in the global context
  • Identify and critically discuss the 'real world' provision in critical contexts across the globe, the need to develop global citizens and reducing the educational divide to promote stronger social and political identities through education

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Contextualise policy change in all levels of education from an institutional, local, national and global perspective
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how policies are made, who makes them and their impact on organisations
  • Identify the key stages in the strategic management process and concepts, and some of the techniques used in the different stages
  • Critically consider appropriate management and leadership styles, particularly in the motivation and development of staff
  • Appraise relevant, current principles of quality monitoring and measurements, and their impact on stakeholders within education
  • Critically analyse the methods of evaluation currently used in educational organisations and debate their prominence in positively influencing institutional improvements

Explore this module


Part-time

Core

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Discuss and critically appraise the multidisciplinary nature of the study of education.
  • Evaluate the role of theory in educational studies.
  • Critically engage with key theories of pedagogy, psychology and sociology in educational studies.
  • Ascertain and justify which theoretical approach they will apply to their own education research or practice development.

Explore this module

Optional

You can take 2 optional modules.

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Demonstrate a critical and systematic review of research, policy and practical knowledge in relation to SEND
  • Critically reflect on and analyse the impact of their understanding of SEND issues in relation to outcomes for children and young people
  • Establish an informed and critical awareness of how the issues relating to SEND potentially impact on the role of the adult working in this field

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Appraise and formulate a critical review to illustrate how society and education across nations influence and shape each other
  • Critically analyse, locate and justify ideologies, policies and practices, and the likely interactions and outcomes within education
  • Using empirical data evaluate the issues relating to the transnational migration of people and commerce and implications of these for education in the global context
  • Identify and critically discuss the 'real world' provision in critical contexts across the globe, the need to develop global citizens and reducing the educational divide to promote stronger social and political identities through education

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Contextualise policy change in all levels of education from an institutional, local, national and global perspective
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how policies are made, who makes them and their impact on organisations
  • Identify the key stages in the strategic management process and concepts, and some of the techniques used in the different stages
  • Critically consider appropriate management and leadership styles, particularly in the motivation and development of staff
  • Appraise relevant, current principles of quality monitoring and measurements, and their impact on stakeholders within education
  • Critically analyse the methods of evaluation currently used in educational organisations and debate their prominence in positively influencing institutional improvements

Explore this module

Core

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Plan, execute and present a substantial dissertation/practitioner based enquiry project according to the specification provided
  • Justify, deploy and critically evaluate advanced techniques of analysis and enquiry within an ethical framework
  • Systematically interpret complex issues from literature, current research and other data and communicate conclusions coherently and appropriately for either the academic or workplace and professional community
  • Review and identify the potential for new hypotheses and/or insights/and/or practices and ongoing study and research
  • Critically reflect upon the development of their personal and professional development
Additional content

Explore this module

What you'll learn
The learning outcomes of this module are:
  • Critically evaluate the major approaches to educational research
  • Identify and critically discuss the strengths and weaknesses of research designs for educational research problems
  • Appraise and plan appropriately, a range of quantitative and/or qualitative methods in educational research
  • Analyse and draw appropriate inferences from educational research data
  • Prepare a coherent research proposal

Explore this module


Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry. If a module doesn't run, we'll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Graduation Class of 2021

Joining us as an international student

You'll feel at home in our international community and our diverse city. You'll be joining over 5,000 international students from more than 150 countries who are studying with us.

Learn more about international student life and how we can help you with visas, applications, arrival and settling in. 

Information for international students

Careers and opportunities

Careers this Master's prepares you for

When you finish this MA Education Studies, your understanding of the theory and practical application of education practice, policy, experience and psychology will place you in a strong position to advance your career in the sector.

You'll have higher-level knowledge of education today and key research skills applied to practice contexts, ready to take on senior roles in educational policy-making, pedagogy, leadership, mentorship, consultancy, research or learning support.

Graduates of this course have gone on to roles such as:

  • Education mental health practitioner
  • Lecturer in Education
  • Research assistant

Career outcomes shown are sourced from the latest available graduate outcome surveys. The data shows career outcomes at 15 months after graduation.

Career planning

During your course you'll have expert careers advice from our Careers and Employability Centre, your tutors and our Student Placements and Employability Centre. You can access support from our Careers and Employability Centre for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Female student standing at careers and employability help desk

You'll benefit from:

  • Networking events
  • 1-to-1 appointments  
  • CV and cover letter advice
  • Interview preparation and practice
  • Workshops to enhance your employability skills
  • Recruitment events including the Student and Graduate Opportunities Fair
  • Support starting your own business

Learn more about your career support

How you'll spend your time

We recognise that you'll probably be juggling more demands when you do your Master's degree, as you may be working or you may have family responsibilities.

We'll give you as much indication here as we can of how much time you'll need to spend in on-campus or in online lectures and seminars and how many hours you can expect to spend in self-directed study, but please note that these indications are always subject to change.

Course structure

This Master's degree will take:

  • 1 year (full-time study)
  • 2 years (part-time study)

Full-time study

You can expect:

  • 6 hours of teaching time every week (lecture, seminar or workshop) between September and December. This will reduce to 3 hours a week from January to the following September, plus additional lectures and one-to-one sessions with your supervisor to support your dissertation research development.
  • 20–25 hours of independent study each week.
  • If you study full-time by distance learning, there may be occasional optional live online seminars, held at times when as many students as possible can attend. All core material is available online at all times so you can create your own study schedule around work or other commitments.

Part-time study

You can expect:

  • 3 hours of teaching time every week (lecture, seminar or workshop) during your first year and until the January of your second year, when you will have lectures and one-to-one sessions with your supervisor to support your dissertation research development.
  • 12–14 hours of independent study each week.

However you choose to study, during the last 3 months of the course, you'll be focusing on your dissertation.

Teaching

Master's study is deeper and more specialised than an undergraduate degree. This means you'll focus on something that really matters to you and your career as you work closely with academics committed to the subject.

You'll spend more time in independent study and research than you did for your undergraduate degree. If you choose campus based study, the majority of your teaching time will be in-person and face-to-face.

Teaching methods on this course include:

  • lectures
  • seminars
  • tutorials

Assessment

You'll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • presentations
  • poster presentation
  • blogs
  • dissertation / research project

You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

Teaching staff

These are some of the expert staff who'll teach you on this course:

David Mather

I am a Senior Lecturer in Educational Leadership and Management and I lead the postgraduate courses that directly correspond to that designation.I also contribute to learning, teaching and assessment activities across a range of education and sociologically-themed programmes. Furthermore, I

maintain an active research interest in Military to Civilian transition - particularly where Initial Teacher Training and education is used as a conduit for this.

Read my full profile

Dr Simon Edwards

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, a Module Leader on the MA Education Studies degree and a PhD supervisor.

My research and innovation projects include Developing Beyond the School Gates, a youth work informed charity that trains former excluded students to draw on their own lived experiences in order to mentor current excluded students and their parents to re-engage their education. 

Read my full profile

Term dates

September start

The Master's academic year runs from September to the following September. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter. Over the summer you'll be writing your project/dissertation.

See key dates

Facilities

Colourful plastic children's toys

Play room

Explore childhood experiences and approaches to working with parents and families, using equipment found in nurseries, pre-schools and reception classes.

Sensory room

Use a variety of materials for babies and children to explore sensory stimulation, sensory integration, and therapeutic approaches to play, social work and family partnerships. 

Family suite

Simulate family interactions and explore intervention strategies, and use our Therapeutic Play suite.

Supporting your learning

Master's study is more focused on independent learning than undergraduate study, but you'll get lots of support via video and phone from teaching and support staff to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. If you choose to study on-campus, you'll also get face-to-face support. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:

Types of support

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next meeting.

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University's Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • Academic writing
  • Note taking
  • Time management
  • Critical thinking
  • Presentation skills
  • Referencing
  • Working in groups
  • Revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.

You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.

If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.

They'll help you to

  • discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
  • liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
  • access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
  • liaise with external services

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone, or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

The Maths Café offers advice and assistance with mathematical skills in a friendly, informal environment. You can come to our daily drop-in sessions, develop your maths skills at a workshop or use our online resources.

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2023 start)

  • Full-time: £9,900
  • Part-time: £4,950 per year
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,500

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £9,900
  • Part-time: £4,950 per year
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,500
  • Full-time: £17,200
  • Part-time: £8,600 per year
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,500

University of Portsmouth graduates may receive a 20% alumni tuition fee discount

Fees are subject to annual increase. Read our tuition fees terms and conditions.

You'll be able to pay your fees in instalments. Find out how to pay your tuition fees.

Funding your studies

Explore how to fund your studies, including available scholarships and bursaries.

If you're a UK student, you may be eligible for a Government Postgraduate Master's Loan, which you can use to help with course fees and living costs.

If you're a UK student who achieved a first in your undergraduate degree you may be eligible for a £3,000 University of Portsmouth scholarship.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

Browse funding such as the Government Postgraduate Loan, our scholarships for new and returning students, and subject specific loans.

Explore funding

Funding for international students

Learn more about sponsorships, scholarships and loans for students applying from outside of the UK.

international business students
Discover your options

Fees and funding for postgraduate taught courses

Discover how you can fund your postgraduate studies at Portsmouth – including loans, scholarships and bursaries – and read our guidance on topics like how to budget, and how to get support if you're disabled or have dependents.

Explore funding

Additional costs

These course-related costs aren't included in the tuition fees so you'll need to budget for them when you plan your spending. Additional costs could include:

  • Accommodation: If you choose to study on-campus, accommodation options and costs can be found on our accommodation pages
  • Recommended reading: You can borrow key texts from the library and if you choose to purchase these texts they may cost up to £60 each.
  • General costs: such photocopying, memory sticks, printing charges, binding and specialist printing. We suggest budgeting £75 per year.
  • Final project transport or accommodation: where necessary, which related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Read more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

September 2023

  • A good honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject.

Please get in touch if you're not sure if your undergraduate subject is relevant to this degree.

Equivalent professional experience and/or qualifications will also be considered, such as previous study, employment, voluntary work and training courses, including courses and qualifications you didn't complete. Learn more about our Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

If you're applying as an international student with a non-UK degree, you’ll need to show you meet the UK entry requirements listed above.

To find out if your non-UK degree or other qualification is accepted, please visit our page for your country and view the UK equivalent of your qualification. 

  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 (or equivalent) with no component score below 6.0.

You do not need an IELTS or equivalent certification if:

  • you have a UK degree
  • you have a degree from a majority English speaking country (not taught by Distance Learning)
  • you are a national of a majority English speaking country

Degrees taught solely in English from non-majority English speaking countries will be considered on a case by case basis. Find out more about our English language requirements.

If you do not meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

How to apply

Unlike undergraduate applications, which go through UCAS, applications for this Master's course are made directly to us.

There's no deadline for applications to this course. We accept applications right up until the start date in September, as long as there are places available. If you wait until September to apply, you may find that the course is full. 

If you're applying to study on-campus as an international student, remember that you'll need to leave plenty of time to get your visa organised.

You can find more advice about applying in our Master's application checklist. International students and current students and recent graduates of the University of Portsmouth also have some different application options, which are detailed below.

Extra information for international students

If you're an international student, you can apply directly to us using the same application form as UK students.

You could also get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.

If you don’t meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

Ready to apply?

Standard applications

Start this course in September 2023

On-campus

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

Apply now (Part-time) – 2 years

Distance learning

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

I'm a current Portsmouth student, or a recent Portsmouth graduate

If you're currently in your final year of study at Portsmouth, or you graduated since July 2021, you're eligible to make a fast track application. You'll have:

  • a shorter application form to complete
  • access to the 20% Alumni fee discount
  • a guaranteed conditional offer, for most Master's courses 

Learn more about fast track

After you apply

Once we receive your application, we may ask you for further information. We will then either make you an offer or suggest alternatives if your application is unsuccessful.

You'll usually get a decision within 10 working days, so you shouldn't have to wait too long. Some courses have an interview stage – we'll let you know if you need to prepare for one.

Learn more about how we assess your application.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.