Education (Part-time) MA

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Course starts: 09 March 2020Apply now

If you are applying for this course from within the UK/EU, click apply now

Course starts: 05 October 2020Apply now

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Become a specialist in Education. Deepen your knowledge. Expand your career options.

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Our MA Education is a highly flexible degree. Depending on the modules you choose, you will graduate with one of two MA degree titles:

  • MA Education
  • MA Education (Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion)

This degree is ideal for teachers or other educational professionals who want to develop their careers with a highly specific postgraduate degree.

Upcoming start dates
9 March 2020
5 October 2020

Why us?

  • ‘World-leading’ research in Education, according to the latest Research Excellence Framework (REF)
  • Tailor the degree content to your interests
  • Carry out research which is specific to your own workplace
  • Opportunity to study a Special Education Needs and Disabilities route

Course structure

Your progress will be assessed through written assignments, including a dissertation, and oral and written presentations. Throughout the degree, you will have one-to-one support from academic staff, including the appointment of a supervisor during your thesis year.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that a Master's degree requires a higher level of independent working.

When you complete a part-time Masters in Education, your optional modules may be taught on-campus (one evening per week) or via distance learning. Where modules run as taught modules, you would study on-campus one evening per week. 

This degree is also available as a full-time Education MA and a distance learning Education MA.

You will need to complete 180 credits to achieve the full MA award as follows:

Year 1

Core modules:

  • An Introduction to Criticality (30 credits)


  • Optional module (30 credits)
  • Optional module (30 credits)

Year 2

  • Research Methods (30 credits)
  • Thesis (60 credits)

If you have studied modules at Masters level previously, eg: through a PGCE, NPQH or NASENCO award, then you may be able to transfer some of these credits to the MA Education course. The credits must be less than 5 years old and mirror some of the learning criteria associated with the MA Education modules.

If you chose to leave the course before completing all 180 credits, then you may be awarded the following:

  • 60 option module credits – Postgraduate Certificate
  • 60 option module credits and completion of the Research Methods core module – Postgraduate Diploma

To gain an award in a the Special Educational Needs, Disability and Inclusion route, you need to study both of the SEND-focused optional modules on offer at the time of your study and have your thesis focus on an aspect of SEND-related theory, research and/or practice.

Core modules:

  • Research Methods in Education (30 credits)
  • Masters Project / Dissertation (60 credits)
  • An Introduction to Criticality (30 credits)

Optional modules may include:

  • Mentoring and Coaching (30 credits)

Explore mentoring and coaching of colleagues, students or other staff in educational establishments.

  • Inclusive Education From Policy to Practice (30 credits)

Understand the concepts behind inclusive policies in the UK and other countries, and examine and contrast how these policies translate into practice.

  • The Nature of Teaching and Learning (30 credits)

Study current educational policy and practice, grounded in a range of ideologies that suggest improvements within teaching, learning and assessment.

  • Supporting Social, Emotional and Mental Health Needs (EPDM102)

Explore the impact of supporting and working with children, young people, families and stakeholders in the area of social, emotional and mental health. Undertake a critical examination of the rights and needs of children with SEMH difficulties, including childhood adversity, and the impact of school policies and procedures in supporting participation and learning and preventing school exclusion.


Some modules have prerequisites. Read more about what this means in our Help and Advice article.

  • You can access free Wi-Fi throughout the University campus, so you can work from anywhere. If you don't want to carry a laptop around, just use one of the University’s PCs or Apple Macs. We have hundreds of computers for you to use in the Murray Library, St Peter's Library, and the David Goldman Informatics Centre. If you ever have any technical problems, just ask the friendly helpdesk team.

    IT provision
  • We’ve got thousands of books and e-books, with many more titles available through the inter-library loan service. We also subscribe to a comprehensive range of print and electronic journals so you can access the most reliable and up-to-date academic and industry articles.

    Library resources which you might find particularly useful include:

    • EBSCO Professional Development Collection, which is a specialised collection of over 500 education journals, including full-text education journals dating back to 1965
    • British Education Index, which contains information on research, policy and practice in education and training in the UK
    • Australian Education Index, which covers more than 130,000 documents relating to educational research, policy and practice
    • Educational Resources Information Center (ERIC), which is a comprehensive, searchable bibliographic and full-text database of research and information. Over 650 journals are indexed
    • JSTOR (short for ‘Journal Storage’), which provides access to important journals across the humanities, social sciences and sciences
    • Lexis, which provides access to legal information as well as full-text newspaper articles
    Library Services - Education MA
  • Map and directions


You'll be primarily based at The David Goldman Informatics Centre, on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s. It’s a modern building with great views of the River Wear, and just a few minutes walk from the coast.

Entry requirements

We usually require applicants to hold at least a second class honours degree (usually a 2:1) or equivalent.

We also expect you to have experience of working in education; this may be as a teacher or in another capacity in the field of education. A recognised teaching qualification is desirable but not essential.

Applicants whose first language is not English must achieve a minimum IELTS band score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing, and no less than 6 in Reading, Speaking and Listening.

After 6 April 2015 you must take your IELTS exams at one of the test centres listed on the UKVI website. If you took your IELTS exam before 6 April 2015 this does not apply, and your qualification is still valid regardless of which test centre you used.

Fees and finance

2019/20 fees

  • £361 per 10 credits if you are from the UK or EU

2020/21 fees

  • £375 per 10 credits if you are from the UK or EU

This part-time course is not available to international students. International students wishing to study a part-time MA Education programme may be interested in MA Education (Distance Learning) or MA International Education (Distance Learning).

Please note, if you are a UK home student or EU student residing in the UK, you can apply for SLC funding if you choose to study the part-time course, on campus, over two years or the full-time course over one year. If you elect to take longer to complete the course or bring any Level 7 credits from prior study with you, you are likely to be ineligible for SLC funding.

If you are not sure whether you qualify as a UK, EU or international student, find out more in our Help and Advice article.

Take a look at the Your Finances section to find out about the scholarships and bursaries that may be available to you.

Use our scholarships calculator to see what you may be entitled to.

Scholarships calculator

This information was correct at the time of publication.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter's by night


This degree is ideal for teachers and people working in educational management who want to quickly progress their careers. The ability to specialise the content of the course offers opportunities in particular fields of education, such as Special Educational Needs.

The knowledge and skills you develop will also transfer to many other sectors, particularly education policy and government. Please note that this course does not qualify you as a teacher.

Centre for Pedagogy

The University of Sunderland’s Centre for Pedagogy has three research themes: Affective Issues in Learning and Teaching, Pedagogy and Critical Thinking in Specific Subject Areas, and Professional Education and Development. The Centre unifies the University’s research, influences policy, and organises conferences and professorial lectures.

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