Why study this course

Fully online delivery - learn from anywhere in the world at a time that suits you

Flexible assignments allow you to tailor your learning to your own professional context and interests

Academic tutors from all phases of education and lifelong learning

Connect and share ideas with educators from a range of learning environments

Course summary

Our MA in Education is an online course designed for professional practitioners working in educational settings around the world. The course will challenge you to develop a deeper understanding of your work and understand how to adapt your practice to new challenges and different landscapes in education and/or training. You will explore the intersections between policy and practice and meet others who share your commitment and critical engagement with educational ideas.

Key facts




2-3 years

Mode of study


Start date

October and April each year

Awarding institution

Bishop Grosseteste University

Institution code


Course details

About this course

If you are a graduate working in education and looking for academic and professional development and experience, this could be the course for you. It is flexible, part-time, wholly online masters degree and is designed for busy professionals. You may already have some credits (e.g. from a PGCE or a CPD course) which you may be able to use towards the MA, subject to certain conditions.

There are five modules, designed to be flexible and allow you to interpret the assignments in ways that will adapt to your current professional role and enable you to articulate your personal learning agenda. Module leaders will help you to use the academic literature to formulate key research questions to guide your work, extend your thinking and encourage reflection on your professional context.

Throughout your studies you will be questioning taken-for-granted assumptions about evidence-based practice, exploring the implications for alternatives and sharing the results of your research in order to influence professional practice. All of our MA students are professional educators working in a variety of UK and international settings, including teachers, senior leaders and others from schools, as well as drama practitioners, arts educators, social workers, FE Lecturers and work-based trainers. The essential criterion is that your work involves educational intervention and assessment in broad terms. By drawing on your practice throughout the course, you have the chance to understand and improve education in your own work setting.

What you will study

Students on this course currently study some or all of the following modules:

Perceptions of the best of practice in any curriculum or specialist area are subject to rapid change. This module seeks to support teachers in developing research-aware practice that evaluates and develops pedagogical or innovative issues in a particular subject or specialist area. The module provides structured support for rigorous exploration and critical analysis leading to plans for the informed development of practice. This module uses 'innovations in Subject Specialism’ to fine-tune your understanding and critical engagement with innovation and development in your chosen subject area in the curriculum, or an area of specialist skill in leadership, or pastoral care, for example. By strengthening participants’ subject and specialist knowledge, and developing an increased understanding of particular issues and innovation in a subject area the enhanced awareness of the developments in educational policy, practice and research has the potential to demonstrate positive impact on the quality of subject or other specialist knowledge and skills in the your setting.

The aim of the module is to develop your understanding of educational ethnography and action research, including how the methodologies can be used to research and improve professional practice at a range of levels and in a variety of contexts. It aims to introduce you to ethnographic research as a way of analysing professional contexts and practices by ‘making the familiar unfamiliar’, and it aims to introduce action research as a way in which to improve professional practices. By combining experiences of ethnography and action research the module aims to increase your awareness of different traditions of educational research and their potential for describing, analysing, and improving professional practice.

The aim of the module is to map the landscape of public policy in educational settings and develop your understanding of the ideological and structural features of educational policy text, discover how these are constructed and how these influence practice at individual, institutional, and national levels. The policy focus is selected by you so as to be relevant to your practice. The module works by interrogating the ways in which concepts like organisational development and pedagogical improvement are constructed in different contexts through education policy at national and local levels. By examining the relationship between research, educational policy and practice, the module encourages you to engage in sustained reflection on your role as a professional practitioner and evaluate how policy can be used to inform change within individual and organisational settings.

Research Skills is a core module intended to provide you with sufficient theoretical, conceptual and philosophical grounding in qualitative, quantitative and mixed method research designs to become increasingly informed and productive members of your own professional and scholarly communities. The module will provide you with the research skills to commission or carry out and critically evaluate rigorous research in the field of education. The Research Skills Module is placed as fourth in a series of modules to act as a preparation to support the more extensive research being undertaken in the 15,000 word dissertation. Although theories and methods in educational research are embedded in the intended learning outcomes of all MA modules the emphasis here will be on methodologies and a strong focus on research ethics to include the submission of a proposal application to the University Ethics committee.

The dissertation demands enquiry and research skills, intellectual awareness of issues, discriminating use of research methodologies and refinement of argument, all at the highest level of scholarship. Supported by supervisors and prepared through workshops and action learning sets on research methodology, you will face the challenge of developing a sustained, accurate, nuanced and reflective argument on an educational issue, with a view to impacting on policy, practice or pupil progress. Dissertations will be available through the library for future reference, through open line sources with options to link to student-generated websites. The purpose is to increase your potential to influence future enquiry as well as to have an impact on the your own and others’ practice. Due consideration will be given to ethical guidelines concerning anonymity and safeguarding throughout the work. The Dissertation may include the option to undertake a desk-based research project, with attendant focus on the learning outcomes. This is a core module and forms the culmination of the degree of MA in Education at Bishop Grosseteste, whatever route is taken for the first 120 credits. Successful completion of Research Skills as a distinct module must be completed in some form and is a prerequisite for this module.

Entry requirements

You will need to have obtained, or be predicted to obtain, a good first degree (or equivalent). MA in Education Students need to be working in an educational setting.

If you have any questions about the entry requirements for this course, please contact our Enquiries team for advice on +44 (0) 1522 583658 or email enquiries@bishopg.ac.uk.

BGU is committed to widening access and participation and we adhere to a strict policy of non-discrimination.

Further information

Click here for important information about this course including additional costs, resources and key policies.

In accordance with University conditions, students are entitled to apply for Recognition of Prior Learning, RP(C)L, based on relevant credit at another HE institution or credit Awarded for Experiential Learning, (RP(E)L).

How you will be taught

The MA in Education is primarily focused on our three online study weekends each year, in October, February and April. On these weekends, you will engage in live online lectures, seminars and tutorials with the programme team and get chance to chat with your course mates. Tutorials are also available throughout the year by arrangement with module tutors. During the dissertation phase, MA students are supported by a specific supervisor(s) at mutually agreed times. Between weekends, you will be working on your assignments and able to access recordings of lectures, suggested readings and other course materials online at any time.


We aim to make assessment an integral part of your learning. Assignments are designed to support your educational practice and the area of focus is negotiated with your tutor. All assignments are written pieces in the form of reports, portfolios and assignments. There are no exams.

Careers & Further study

Many graduates of this course have found their career progression enhanced as a direct or indirect result of following this course. More significantly, they have been directly in involved in research education and developed these skills professionally in an educational context. Through the building of systematic enquiry skills and incisive critical engagement with educational issues, graduates of the MA in Education have demonstrated that they have enhanced their practice and made a direct impact on their settings as learning communities.

Completing the MA Education can open the door to study for a PhD or professional doctorate such as the EdD, both of which can be studied here at BGU. Some graduates move onto teaching positions in higher education or to leadership positions within an educational organisation.

What Our Students Say

Discover what life is like at Bishop Grosseteste University from our students.


Studying at BGU is a student-centred experience. Staff and students work together in a friendly and supportive atmosphere as part of a virtual University community. You will know every member of the team and feel confident approaching them for help and advice, and we will recognise you, not just by name, but as an individual with unique talents and interests.

You will be able to access academic support online through the library and our Centre for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT), as well as benefitting from online support through our student union, student advice and chaplaincy teams.

We will be there to support you, personally and academically, from induction to graduation.

Fees & Finance

A lot of student finance information is available from numerous sources, but it is sometimes confusing and contradictory. That’s why at BGU we try to give you all the information and support we can to help to throughout the process. Our Student Advice team are experts in helping you sort out the funding arrangements for your studies, offering a range of services to guide you through all aspects of student finance step by step.

Click here to find information about fees, loans and support which will help to make the whole process a little easier to understand.

For all applicants, there are full instructions here to make it as easy as possible for you to fill in your online application, plus help text where appropriate.