Education MA

Postgraduate (1 day per week full-time, part-time)


January, September

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 12 months full-time, 2 years part-time

Teaching times

Part-time, September intake

Trimester 1: Tuesday evenings 17:00 - 20:00 (September intake only)
Trimester 2: Tuesday evenings 17:00 - 20:00
Trimester 3: Tuesday evenings 17:00 - 20:00

Apply online

Apply directly to ARU


Whatever educational setting you work in, and whatever the stage of your career and the role you currently do, our MA offers the opportunity to develop and enhance your professional skills and understanding of contemporary professional practice.

Full description


Our course is designed for professionals who want to develop their expertise and knowledge of educational issues of schools, further and higher education institutions, and other educational settings. The course provides opportunities to focus on and critique learning, teaching and educational leadership. It’s an excellent choice for continuing professional development for teachers and lecturers at all levels, as well as leaders and managers within the educational system. It’s also open to NQTs who want to advance their learning whilst still completing their first teaching year. This course can also be the first step towards working in research or university lecturing and can be a pathway to a PhD or EdD.

Links with industry and professional recognition

We have strong links to Local Authorities and schools, we’re experienced providers of in-house training for schools and academies locally, nationally and internationally, keeping our course practice-focused and relevant to today’s classroom.

Modules & assessment

Core modules

  • Major Project
    The Major Project is central to the Masters award and enables you to demonstrate your ability to synthesise learning from previous modules. You will use this learning as the basis for planning, conducting and writing up a research or work-based project. This is the opportunity for you to demonstrate the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your chosen topic and a critical understanding of research methods and their relationship to knowledge. You will also be in a position to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice and to expand existing knowledge to contribute to the development of best practice.
  • Educational and Social Research Methods
    This module provides you with the opportunity to consider the aims and intentions of educational research, critique published journal articles, and examine the role of evidence from research as a basis for improving education and social care. You will gain grounding in educational research issues, methods and strategies together with knowledge of how to match intended outcomes with specific educational questions and methods of investigation.
  • Key Issues and Themes in Education
    This module examines current key issues and themes in education. It explores principles of teaching and learning, the derivation and design of the curriculum and the role of schools and other education settings within the wider community. The module will engage with national strategies, frameworks and international dimensions and students will be encouraged to explore the processes and complexities of teaching and learning. The module will cover the following broad themes and will prepare students for the negotiated study module and the postgraduate major project: Learning and Teaching; Leadership, Mentoring and Coaching; Learning and Knowledge Technology; Social Justice and Equality in Education; Including Vulnerable Learners. Assessment will comprise of a written assignment in which students will develop a critical analysis of literature related to at least two of the themes listed above.
  • National and International Policy Perspectives
    Policy has a central place in all phases of education at macro, meso and micro levels. Students taking this module will have the opportunity to explore aspects of policy in depth, considering the ideologies, values and evidence that inform policy and the position of individuals and groups when responding to and implementing policy. MA Education and MA Early Childhood Education students take this module together as some global and national policy initiatives have an impact across all sectors and policy developments in one part of the educational system are likely to affect others. Students are expected to be active learners, engaging in group discussion and group presentations in order to share their ideas about both theory and practice.
  • Specialist Studies in Learning and Teaching
    This module is designed to enable students to explore a subject that is relevant to their role as a teacher in compulsory or post compulsory education. Students will be required to focus on one of the specialist areas provided by the course team and to work with other students to successfully achieve the learning outcomes. Students will choose from a range of subject specialisms which will include but not necessarily be limited to: Developing Assessment for Learning in the classroom context; Enhancing learning and teaching using learning technologies; Supporting students with Special Educational Needs; Outdoor Learning; Critical Education and Social Justice. This module may be used as a vehicle to offer an agreed specialist subject for continuing professional development purposes, for example, if a group of teachers in a school wanted to pursue a particular topic to link with a particular issue. In some circumstances this Specialist Studies in Learning and Teaching module could be replaced by the Professional Enquiry module for example, if a group of teachers wished to pursue an action research project in a school context.
  • Professional Enquiry in Education
    This module offers students the opportunity to develop specialist knowledge and expertise in an area of personal and professional interest, relating to education. The notion of enquiry used in this module is broad and is intended to reflect the contributions which students bring to advanced study of education from both their academic and professional contexts. Students may pursue individual or small group enquiries or a larger group of students may work, with a specialist tutor, to enquire into an agreed subject area together.

Please note that you will need to complete 5 of the above modules, including the ‘Educational and Social Research Methodologies’ and the ‘Major Project’ modules. The availability of modules will depend on whether you are a full-time or part-time student and on when you start your course. More information and guidance will be available from your course leader. All modules are subject to change.


You’ll be assessed in a range of ways to demonstrate your understanding of each module. Collaborative group work and peer review are key and each module has the equivalent of a 6,000 word written assessment. Usually your Major Project will be a written research report of 14,000 words.

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Education, Medicine and Social Care is the largest in ARU, with over 7,000 students. Our Faculty is teeming with expertise and primed to meet the demand for creating health professionals, teachers, doctors, scientists and educators for the three districts we serve: Chelmsford, Cambridge and Peterborough.

We have been training undergraduates for professional roles for over 25 years, with a reputation for quality, dedication and ambition balanced with student satisfaction.

We know that to give our students the very best experiential learning, prior to getting into the workplace, simulation is second to none, for safe, realistic, learning environments. We have invested heavily in purpose built simulated wards, science labs and skills space, to support our students through their learning.

Where can I study?

Tindal Building on our Chelmsford campus

Our striking, modern campus sits by the riverside in Chelmsford's University and Innovation Quarter.

Explore our Chelmsford campus


You'll study in our purpose-built classrooms with excellent audio-visual and ICT equipment. Studying on our Chelmsford Campus you’ll have access to our university libraries, and there is also a specialist Early Childhood Room which you can access if you have chosen to specialise in this area. Our Virtual Learning Environment allows you to access a wide range of course materials outside of the classroom.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (per year)


UK & EU students starting 2020/21 (part-time, per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (per year)


International students starting 2020/21 (part-time, per year)


Important fee notes

The part-time course fee assumes that you're studying at half the rate of a full-time student (50% intensity). Course fees will be different if you study over a longer period. All fees are for guidance purposes only.

How do I pay my fees?

Paying upfront

If you're a UK or EU student, you won't need to pay fees until you've accepted an offer to study with us – though you must pay your fees upfront, in full or in instalments.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You can pay your fees upfront, in full or in two instalments. We will also ask you for a deposit of £4,000 or a sponsorship letter. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees

Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our finance guide for postgraduate students to learn more about postgraduate loans and other funding options.

We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you're at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.

Funding for international students

We offer a number of scholarships, as well as an early payment discount. Explore your options:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

International students

We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for postgraduate courses.

Improving your English language skills

If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry.

We also provide our own English Language Proficiency Test (ELPT) in the UK and overseas. To find out if we are planning to hold an ELPT in your country, contact our country managers.

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