Schooling can be viewed as just one context within which education may take place; there are many other contexts in which educational approaches are used to work with children, young people and adults. Some of these contexts include advisory work, early childhood practice, educational administration and policy, learning support and the third sector to enhance educational provision for children, families and communities. This MA will explore education across these different areas.

The programme will draw on the wider professional experiences that students may have of working in contexts where educational approaches are important. These may include experiences such as employment in youth work, sports coaching with young people, and working for charities with children and young people to provide learning opportunities in this country or internationally.

This MA will cover critical social and educational theories and perspectives, as well as policy and practice relevant to global and local educational contexts. It will support you to achieve a critical awareness and understanding of education in its broadest sense as a process of human learning and development.

You will be introduced to the key concepts of race, ethnicity, class and gender in the Power in Education and Society module. You will be moved beyond theoretical knowledge to reach an informed position in relation to equality, diversity and social justice in education. Awareness will be raised of past and current international discourses in education, critically examining how they impact on children, young people, families and communities.

The compulsory final dissertation module will give you the opportunity to select a topic of your choice and undertake a critical enquiry of the subject. You must also take a compulsory research module, called Social and Educational Research, which is designed to teach you about social and educational research and to prepare you for the dissertation.

You will select a further four modules from a range of options, including those from related MA programmes in Early Childhood Studies, SEN Disability & Inclusive Education and Education Leadership and Management. This gives you the opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of an area of education that interests you or is relevant to your chosen career. A maximum of two from any of these programmes can be taken and decisions about which of these are appropriate for each student are made by the Programme Convenor in consultation with students.

You will benefit greatly from engaging with the insights, experiences and perspectives of your peers who may come from a diverse range of contexts, backgrounds and experiences. These insights combined with your own experiences and the theory gained from the modules will allow you to deepen your understanding of working with children and young people and of education in its broadest sense.

Lecturers leading modules in this programme have specialist qualifications, and teaching or leadership experience in the field of education, with relevant research and scholarly backgrounds, which will help shape the content of the programme.

Those with less practical experience will need to have studied a degree programme such as BA Education, BA Children’s Studies, BA Youth Work, BA Early Childhood Studies, BA Social Pedagogy or BA Sports Coaching, all of which emphasise the practices of working with children and young people to enable their participation, development and learning.

Modules Level 7
Compulsory modules
  • Power in Education and Society: Discourses of Difference
  • Social and Educational Research
Optional modules
  • Early Childhood Pedagogy and Practice
  • Representing Childhoods
  • Developing Staff and Leading Teams
  • Understanding Language Learning and Teaching
  • Philosophy of Social Science Research
  • General Research Skills
  • Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Excellence: from Glass Ceilings to Sticky Floors
  • Contemporary Education Policy Debates: National and International Perspectives
  • Social-Emotional Dimensions of Education and Wellbeing
  • Introduction to Research Design
  • Qualitative Research Approaches
  • Quantitative Research Approaches
  • Social Theory and Research
  • Developing Inclusive Practice: Applying Critical & Social Pedagogies
Dissertation module
  • Dissertation

These modules are those we currently offer and may be subject to change each year.

Career Options

The programme supports and enables you to:

Move into or develop your career in working with children and young people. Depending on professional qualifications already achieved, this might include advisory work, teaching, early childhood practice, learning support, careers in youth engagement and participation, working for the community, non-governmental organisations and the third sector to enhance and enrich educational provision for children, families and communities both in the UK and internationally
Move into or develop careers in policy-making, implementation and development of children and young peoples’ services/education, education information management or administration and contract research both in the UK and internationally.
Undertake a Doctorate and move into a career in academic research
*Note that students wishing to move into a career for which a professional certificate is necessary – for example ‘Qualified Teacher Status’ to become a teacher or Graduate Basis for Chartered Membership to be an Educational Psychologist, should undertake the relevant professional practice course. This course does not provide any certification or accreditation for professional practice.

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