Education (Generic) MA

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

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The Education (Generic) MA is a highly flexible degree. Depending on the modules you choose, you will graduate with one of four MA degree titles:

MA Education (Generic)
MA Education (Advanced Professional Practice - Primary)
MA Education (Advanced Professional Practice - Secondary)
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.

Why us?

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

Course structure

This course is taught via seminars, workshops, support sessions, collaborative group work and discussion, tutorials, presentations, interactive practical sessions and directed private study.

Your progress will be assessed with written assignments, including the dissertation, and oral and written presentations. Throughout the degree you'll have one-to-one support from academic staff.

Compared to an undergraduate course, you will find that this Masters degree requires a higher level of independent working. You'll have one-to-one support from staff throughout your degree.

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

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

Year 1

Semester 1:

  • 30 credit optional module
  • 30 credit optional module
  • 30 credit core module (Research Methods)
  • 60 credit core module (MA thesis)

Semester 2:

  • 30 credit optional module

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

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

To gain an award in a named route you need to complete 2 out of 3 of the optional modules within your chosen route and also complete your thesis in the same subject area. In this case, the name of the route will be added to your degree certificate. For example, if you complete the two Newly Qualified/Early Career teachers modules you may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate in Education Studies for Newly Qualified/Early Career Teachers.

Core modules:

  • Research Methods in Education (30 credits)
  • Masters Project / Dissertation (60 credits)

Optional modules:

Professional Development for Early Career Teachers (30 credits)

This module is specifically aimed at Early Career Teachers or NQT’s, enabling them to make effective transitions into their early career trajectories.

Reflective Practice for Early Career Teachers (30 credits)

This module looks at how reflection and reflective practices are at the heart of both self-improvement and the enhancement of teaching and learning practices.

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.

Barriers to Learning (30 credits)

Examine the physical, psychological, intellectual, social and emotional difficulties which may be encountered by children and young people.

Approaches to Learning for Learners with Special and Individual Needs (30 credits)

Examine the breadth of approaches to learning available for pupils with Special or Additional needs, such as behaviourist and child-centred approaches.

Introduction to Criticality (30 credits)

Examine the importance of critical thinking as the basis of all your study, located in the belief that critical thinking and analysis in the broader context of education is the model for educating critical professionals.

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.

The David Goldman Informatics Centre,
Sir Tom Cowie Campus,
St Peter's Way,


  • 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


You'll be taught in the David Goldman Informatics Centre on the Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s - a modern and vibrant campus with a riverside view.

The Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s is nestled between the River Wear and the sea, just two minutes from the coast, and set in expansive green space on the banks of the river next to the historic St Peter's Church. This provides a picturesque backdrop and a great location for travelling to the beach or the city centre.

The David Goldman Informatics Centre is most striking buildings inside and out and has been described as a ‘computing cathedral’ in the past, and with over 300 computer workstations in one space it’s easy to see why.

Entry requirements

Our typical offer is

  • 2:1 classification or equivalent from a Canadian bachelor's degree
  • 2:1 classification or equivalent from a USA bachelor's degree

We also expect you to have experience of working at educational institutions, following your graduation. A recognised teaching qualification is desirable but not essential.

We also require three passes at GCSE grade C or above, which must include Mathematics and English Language, or an equivalent qualification, for example; a minimum of Level 2 Key Skills in Communication and Application of Number. If you have studied for a new GCSE for which you will be awarded a numerical grade then you will need to achieve a grade 4 or above.

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

Fees and finance

The annual fee is:

  • £6,000 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £12,500 if you are from outside the EU

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.

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This information was correct at the time of publication.

Student in the Sunderland Futures department


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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