Education (Full Time) MA

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

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The full-time 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 (Generic)
  • 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 (core):

  • Critical Thinking (30 credits)
  • Research Methods (30 credits)

Semester 2:

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


  • Thesis (60 credits)

If you choose 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 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 (30 credits)

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.

  • 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 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

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

You should also 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 an advantage, but not an essential requirement for this course.

If your first language isn’t English, you must achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.5, with 6.5 in writing, and at least 6 in Reading, Speaking and Listening.

Fees and finance

The annual fee is:

  • £6,250 if you are from the UK or EU
  • £13,000 if you are from outside the EU

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.

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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.

Meet the students

  • I always felt I could approach any tutor for help.
    Laura Tokell Square

    Laura Tokell

Meet the team

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