A student sitting in a school library

Education Studies MA

Develop the skills needed for leadership roles in educational policy and pedagogy. Carry out a research project related to your teaching subject or CPD needs.

Key information

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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. 

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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

Contact information

Admissions

+44 (0) 23 9284 5566

Contact Admissions

Entry requirements

Eligibility

This course accepts UK, EU, and International students.

September 2024 / January 2025 start

  • A minimum of a second-class 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.

Course costs and funding

Tuition fees (September 2024 / January 2025 start)

  • Full-time: £10,400
  • Part-time: £5,200 per year
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,900

(including Transition Scholarship)

  • Full-time: £10,400
  • Part-time: £5,200 per year
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,900

  • Full-time: £17,900
  • Part-time: £8,950 per year
  • Full-time (distance learning): £8,900

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.

Loans, scholarships and bursaries

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

Female Master's student
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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 Master's courses

Explore Master's funding options, including loans, scholarships, bursaries and more.

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.

Modules

Full-time (on campus)

Core modules

You’ll evaluate education through historical and contemporary lenses, questioning power and equity in education systems.

You’ll develop your own distinct perspectives, informed by robust academic debate.

You’ll design and write up an education research proposal for your dissertation.

You’ll start by thinking about any research skills you might need to improve on and develop ways to strengthen your skillset, through core training, chosen focus areas and applied learning.

Then, you’ll work on your own postgraduate research proposal planning out the specific research methods you’ll use and taking ethical issues into account. You’ll include clear objectives and document your literature and data sources.

You’ll focus on three key approaches to educational research, including psychology, sociology and pedagogy.

You’ll get an introduction to key theories from each of these disciplines as they relate to educational research, while engaging with how these perspectives inform research design and analysis.

By the end of the module, you’ll be able to use theoretical perspectives in your own research.

Optional modules

You’ll examine real-world issues impacting neurodiverse and disabled learners, reviewing the latest research alongside public policies and practices.

You’ll evaluate inclusion models, family partnerships and transition programs, and question how systems, tools and culture might transform to foster agency and dignity for diverse minds and bodies.

You’ll learn how provision often reproduces societal norms and divisions by preparing students to fulfil their expected roles in society.

You’ll focus on the economic, social, cultural and political issues that impact societal norms, divisions and lives through education policies, curriculum and modes of learning.

You’ll gain insider perspectives on the policy-making process, from agenda-setting to real-world implementation.

Study change models, quality control approaches and evaluation methods driving systemic improvements.

You’ll explore motivating leadership styles that empower organisations and communities, and investigate education governance across institutional, local, national and global contexts.

You'll consider both what we know about how people learn languages and the practical considerations determined by the context in which the classroom teaching happens.

You'll learn about planning activities, lessons and courses for a variety of situations, as well as strategies for motivating learners.

For the first half of the module, you’ll cover a wide range of project management tools and techniques for managing different aspects of a project (for example time, cost, quality and risk).

The emphasis is on the ability to critically appraise and justify their use.

For the second half of the unit, you’ll take an in-depth look at the project management processes within the project life-cycle.

You’ll focus on the relationships between the key participants within the different project phases, using case studies drawn from real life.

With academic guidance, you'll choose your own literature or empirical topic within a field of education that fits the parameters of your intended Master’s exit award.

You'll bring together everything you’ve learned to design and evaluate ethical methodologies, conduct systematic research, and communicate your ideas professionally in your dissertation or report.

With academic guidance, you'll choose your own literature or empirical topic within a field of study that fits the parameters of your intended Master’s exit award.

You'll bring together everything you’ve learned to design and evaluate ethical methodologies, conduct systematic research, and communicate your ideas professionally in your report.

Full-time (distance learning)

Core modules

You’ll evaluate education through historical and contemporary lenses, questioning power and equity in education systems.

You’ll develop your own distinct perspectives, informed by robust academic debate.

You’ll design and write up an education research proposal for your dissertation.

You’ll start by thinking about any research skills you might need to improve on and develop ways to strengthen your skillset, through core training, chosen focus areas and applied learning.

Then, you’ll work on your own postgraduate research proposal planning out the specific research methods you’ll use and taking ethical issues into account. You’ll include clear objectives and document your literature and data sources.

You’ll focus on three key approaches to educational research, including psychology, sociology and pedagogy.

You’ll get an introduction to key theories from each of these disciplines as they relate to educational research, while engaging with how these perspectives inform research design and analysis.

By the end of the module, you’ll be able to use theoretical perspectives in your own research.

Optional modules

You’ll examine real-world issues impacting neurodiverse and disabled learners, reviewing the latest research alongside public policies and practices.

You’ll evaluate inclusion models, family partnerships and transition programs, and question how systems, tools and culture might transform to foster agency and dignity for diverse minds and bodies.

You’ll learn how provision often reproduces societal norms and divisions by preparing students to fulfil their expected roles in society.

You’ll focus on the economic, social, cultural and political issues that impact societal norms, divisions and lives through education policies, curriculum and modes of learning.


You’ll gain insider perspectives on the policy-making process, from agenda-setting to real-world implementation. Study change models, quality control approaches and evaluation methods driving systemic improvements.

You’ll explore motivating leadership styles that empower organisations and communities, and investigate education governance across institutional, local, national and global contexts.

For the first half of the module, you’ll cover a wide range of project management tools and techniques for managing different aspects of a project (for example time, cost, quality and risk).

The emphasis is on the ability to critically appraise and justify their use.

For the second half of the unit, you’ll take an in-depth look at the project management processes within the project life-cycle.

You’ll focus on the relationships between the key participants within the different project phases, using case studies drawn from real life.

With academic guidance, you'll choose your own literature or empirical topic within a field of education studies or educational leadership and management that fits the parameters of your intended Master’s exit award.

You'll bring together everything you’ve learned to design and evaluate ethical methodologies, conduct systematic research, and communicate your ideas professionally in your dissertation or report.

With academic guidance, you'll choose your own literature or empirical topic within a field of study that fits the parameters of your intended Master’s exit award.

You'll bring together everything you’ve learned to design and evaluate ethical methodologies, conduct systematic research, and communicate your ideas professionally in your report.

Part-time

Core modules

You’ll evaluate education through historical and contemporary lenses, questioning power and equity in education systems.

You’ll develop your own distinct perspectives, informed by robust academic debate.

You’ll focus on three key approaches to educational research, including psychology, sociology and pedagogy.

You’ll get an introduction to key theories from each of these disciplines as they relate to educational research, while engaging with how these perspectives inform research design and analysis.

By the end of the module, you’ll be able to use theoretical perspectives in your own research.

Core modules

You’ll design and write up an education research proposal for your dissertation.

You’ll start by thinking about any research skills you might need to improve on and develop ways to strengthen your skillset, through core training, chosen focus areas and applied learning.

Then, you’ll work on your own postgraduate research proposal planning out the specific research methods you’ll use and taking ethical issues into account. You’ll include clear objectives and document your literature and data sources.

Optional modules

You’ll examine real-world issues impacting neurodiverse and disabled learners, reviewing the latest research alongside public policies and practices.

You’ll evaluate inclusion models, family partnerships and transition programs, and question how systems, tools and culture might transform to foster agency and dignity for diverse minds and bodies.

You’ll learn how provision often reproduces societal norms and divisions by preparing students to fulfil their expected roles in society.

You’ll focus on the economic, social, cultural and political issues that impact societal norms, divisions and lives through education policies, curriculum and modes of learning.

You’ll gain insider perspectives on the policy-making process, from agenda-setting to real-world implementation.

Study change models, quality control approaches and evaluation methods driving systemic improvements.

You’ll explore motivating leadership styles that empower organisations and communities, and investigate education governance across institutional, local, national and global contexts.

You'll consider both what we know about how people learn languages and the practical considerations determined by the context in which the classroom teaching happens.

You'll learn about planning activities, lessons and courses for a variety of situations, as well as strategies for motivating learners.

For the first half of the module, you’ll cover a wide range of project management tools and techniques for managing different aspects of a project (for example time, cost, quality and risk).

The emphasis is on the ability to critically appraise and justify their use.

For the second half of the unit, you’ll take an in-depth look at the project management processes within the project life-cycle.

You’ll focus on the relationships between the key participants within the different project phases, using case studies drawn from real life.

With academic guidance, you'll choose your own literature or empirical topic within a field of education that fits the parameters of your intended Master’s exit award.

You'll bring together everything you’ve learned to design and evaluate ethical methodologies, conduct systematic research, and communicate your ideas professionally in your dissertation or report.

With academic guidance, you'll choose your own literature or empirical topic within a field of study that fits the parameters of your intended Master’s exit award.

You'll bring together everything you’ve learned to design and evaluate ethical methodologies, conduct systematic research, and communicate your ideas professionally in your report.

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

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, on campus or by distance learning)
  • 2 years (part-time study)

Full-time study

You can expect:

  • 6-9 hours of teaching time every week (lecture, seminar or workshop) between September and December, and 6 hours a week from January to May. You'll also have additional lectures and one-to-one sessions with your supervisor to support your dissertation research or work-based project development before submitting in September. 
  • 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:

  • 3-6 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 or work-based project development.
  • 12–14 hours of independent study each week.

However you choose to study, during the last three 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:

Simon Leslie Edwards Portrait

Dr Simon Edwards

Senior Lecturer

simon.edwards@port.ac.uk

School of Education, Languages and Linguistics

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Jasmine Kay Course Portrait

Ms Jasmine Course

Lecturer

Jasmine.Course@port.ac.uk

Read more
Thomas Peter Fleming Portrait

Mr Tom Fleming

Senior Lecturer

Tom.Fleming@port.ac.uk

Read more
Ann Emerson Portrait

Dr Ann Emerson

Senior Lecturer

ann.emerson@port.ac.uk

School of Education, Languages and Linguistics

Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

PhD Supervisor

Read more

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.

January start

Courses that start in January have the same amount of teaching as September-start courses, and run from January to the following January. There are breaks at Christmas, Easter and in the summer. In the last few months you’ll be writing your project / dissertation.

See key dates

Career development

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

Supporting you

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.

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 dates in September and January, as long as there are places available. If you wait until your start month 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 postgraduate 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?

Start this course in September 2024

On-campus

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

Apply now (Part-time) – 2 years

Distance learning

Apply now (Full-time) – 1 year

Start this course in January 2025

On-campus

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 2023, 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.