MSc Education Studies

September 2020 entry still available

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Application deadline: August
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time
  • Study: work-based learning modules available

  • Ranked: Top 10 in UK for Education (Complete University Guide 2021)

Study with us

  • develop a solid foundation for understanding transformative processes in all cultural contexts
  • enhance practice and career opportunities in the broader field of formal and informal education
  • gain a grounding in research methods and reasoning
  • suitable for those looking to pursue full-time study in this area
  • open to applications from international students
  • take part in optional work-based learning modules

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

Covid-19: information & FAQs
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Why this course?

The Masters course in Education Studies introduces the most important questions and problems by which the discipline of education studies is characterised, along with the methodologies and methods used to answer those questions. In addition to the core modules designed to give you a solid foundation for understanding educational processes, you'll have the flexibility to choose a pair of modules from a range of specialist classes to meet your personal and professional needs. This includes a pair of work-based learning modules where you can explore how learning works, components of effective teaching and encourage professional learning through practitioner inquiry.

Education Studies is a discipline in its own right. While it draws on insights from different disciplines, such as psychology, sociology, philosophy, political studies and international relations, economics and business studies, it entertains a very specific perspective on the world.

In education studies, we're mainly interested in the ways, personal growth and (trans)formation can be individually and socially initiated, guided, and supported. Those educational processes are, of course, not restricted to contexts of formal education, eg schooling, but can be perceived everywhere in modern cultures.

Student in Piece cafe, on campus, drinking coffee.

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

You'll study five core classes. In addition, you can choose from two pairs of optional modules. You'll also undertake a dissertation in a topic of your choosing.

Core modules: 

  • Thinking About Education
  • Frameworks for Understanding Learning
  • Research Methods & Reasoning
  • Globalisation, Society & Education Policy
  • Dissertation

Optional module pairs:

  • Module 1: Language Learning in a Multilingual World
  • Module 2: Contemporary Issues in Language Teaching


  • Module 1: Philosophy of Technology & Education
  • Module 2: Education & Self-Formation in Cultural Contexts


  • Module 1: Putting Theory into Practice
  • Module 2: Professionalism and Professional Learning

Learning & teaching

The course is taught through a range of student and staff-led research seminars that you’ll participate in.


You'll be assessed through written coursework that draws on academic study and reflection on practical experiences in education.

You'll be individually supported to write a 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation on a negotiated topic of interest.

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Course content

Globalisation, Society & Education Policy

In this module, you'll be introduced to globalisation and the way in which this impacts on the policymaking process. You'll be encouraged to develop a critical stance towards the ways in which policy is constructed, enacted and formed, and you'll be given the opportunity to examine a range of readings on policy and the political process. 

This module will enable you to examine social and educational policy for its impacts on the learner and teacher and the ways in which such impacts are part of the global web.

Thinking about education

The module aims to enable students to reflect in a historically informed, deeply systematic philosophical way about the phenomenon, the theory and the practice of education.

It establishes the foundation of a conscious and reflected practice of educating and teaching as well as a basis for serious and far-reaching academic research within the field of Education Studies. Topics include:

  • Education Studies as discipline
  • Education and Education Studies
  • The Student
  • The Educator/ Teacher
  • The Act of Educating/ Teaching
  • The Object of Education/ Teaching
  • Education Theory in Context
  • Issues in Contemporary Education
Frameworks for Understanding Learning

This class is designed to extend your critical understanding of learning, coming to view it as a process which can be analysed and explained via multiple perspectives. It'll focus on applying research concepts and evidence to explain learning in practical situations. Topics include:

  • Historical perspectives on learning
  • The behaviourist framework
  • Memory and cognition
  • The constructivist and social constructivist framework
  • Active and situated learning
  • The role of knowledge transfer
  • Metacognition
  • Networked learning and identity
  • Biological perspectives on learning
Research Methods & Reasoning

This class provides support in developing a critical and informed understanding of research methods in relation to your own planned dissertation project.

It also provides support in understanding research ethics and how they relate to your own research and provides support in meeting the requirements of the ethical approval process.


In this module you will be individually supported to write a 12,000 to 15,000-word dissertation on a negotiated topic. You'll be given tutorial support throughout the year.

This module builds on research methods and reasoning and forms a core part of your experience with us.

The dissertation will enable you to carry out a detailed study focussed upon an area of specific interest. It can either take the form of a literature-based study or an empirical study. If an empirical study, you might be able to gain access to an educational establishment to carry out your study subject to gaining ethical approval from the University of Strathclyde and undertaking disclosure procedures which are required by the Scottish Government if requiring access to a school.

One pair of modules from a choice of:

Module 1: Language Learning in a Multilingual World

This module has been designed for people who are or plan to be languages educators, teaching English or any other language as a foreign, second or additional language. The module combines a practical focus on language learning with a theoretical framework which explores language learner motivations and identities and the social, emotional, cultural and aesthetic dimensions to learning another language, in the context of increasingly multilingual societies – and therefore increasingly multilingual classrooms.

The aim is to promote reflection on students’ own experiences as language learners, to inform and enhance current or future roles as languages educators. Participants will:

  • learn about current theories of language learning
  • review their own experiences of learning a language and identify the range of relevant language learning opportunities available to enable them to meet their next language learning challenge
  • plan, conduct and review a personal four-week language learning experiment
  • reflect critically on their own language learning experience, relating this to theories of language learners’ motivation and identities; and the social, emotional, cultural and aesthetic dimensions associated with language learning
  • relate their experiences as language learners to their current or future roles as languages educators
  • consider the value of language learning and the benefits of bi- or plurilingualism in increasingly multilingual societies
Module 2: Contemporary Issues in Language Teaching

This module explores on contemporary issues and trends in language teaching. It enables participants who are prospective or practising teachers to familiarise themselves with a range of topics relating to language teaching so that they can draw connections between research and their own experience. A key feature of the module will be a focus on the impact of digital technologies and a sociocultural approach to second language pedagogy.

This module is aimed at prospective and practising teachers who are interested in learning more about how languages can be taught. Drawing on current research within the field of languages education and digital education, it is targeted at those who wish to develop their understanding of the conceptual and methodological frameworks relating to language teaching in order to take a critical and reflective stance towards ways to apply such understanding in their own contexts. Students will:

  • increase their knowledge and understanding of theories and practices relating to language teaching
  • develop practical skills as prospective or practising language educators, through opportunities to try out and review a range of language teaching methods and approaches
  • develop a critical and analytical understanding of the pedagogical benefits of, and limitations to, the different conceptual frameworks relating to language learning and teaching
  • reflect on how best to integrate new knowledge and skills as prospective or practising language educators in the multilingual society


Philosophy of Technology & Education

This module aims to enable students to develop a deep understanding of the philosophical issues raised by the understanding, affordances, and uses technology within education. The module will encourage substantive philosophical debate on a range of technologies and their application in education.

The technologies that arise within educational practice today raise a set of important questions around the nature of the learning society and how learning and technology have become mutually defined, questions that are increasingly urgent in the context of the development of 'Scotland's Digital Future', a strategy to prepare Scottish society for technological change.

Students in education need to understand how technological thinking shapes their practices if they are to become critical about the future direction of our technological and learning society. As technology is embedded ever more upon educational environments, the wider debates are increasingly urgent. As the world becomes increasingly globalised, and technologies employed more widely, the demand for courses of this nature is bound to increase.

Education & Self-Formation in Cultural Contexts

The module aims to enable students to identify, understand, and critically reflect on the ways the cultural sphere shapes and influences the (trans)formation of the self. With regard to the influence the cultural sphere has on personal development, there are two different perspectives that need to be reflected by those interested in the self-formation of the individual. On one hand, they need to reflect on the models of (trans)formative processes presented or maybe even prevalent in their own culture: How are educational processes depicted, understood, represented in modern culture, what characterises those processes in the eyes of the culture?

On the other hand, it needs to be understood what models of personality are represented, and how those cultural representations actually influence those who live and grow within this specific cultural sphere. In providing the opportunity to engage with this kind of hermeneutic analysis, the module establishes the foundation of a conscious and reflected practice of educating and teaching as well as a basis for serious, far-reaching and interdisciplinary academic research within the field of Education Studies.

The module attempts to add a more critical perspective with regard to the formative aspects of the cultural sphere and the structures of power inscribed in it. The need for this has been increasingly discussed within the international research community (Cultural Studies, Post-Colonial Studies, Gender & Queer Studies, Critical Whiteness, etc).


Putting Theory into Practice

This is the first of two optional work-based learning modules, available to students studying MSc Educational Studies.

Students should expect to explore:

  • How learning works
  • Components of effective teaching

We will look at what we know from research about pupil engagement, interactions and questioning and assessment in contributing to effective learning and teaching. We will be reflecting upon the impact of different approaches. Students will identify an area for professional learning, to build up their own knowledge and understanding of an aspect of pedagogy. They will be encouraged to access research /theory perspectives around their chosen area to present on the implications for theory own practice from their learning.

This is where students will consider the various components that contribute to effective learning and teaching and have a go themselves at building skills in these areas. They will be encouraged to implement what they have learned from their professional learning.

Students will have the opportunity to plan, deliver and review episodes of learning, applying what they have learned about effective questioning and interactions in teaching as well as deploying formative assessment approaches to determine the success of their teaching sessions. 

Students will be encouraged to develop a professional learning plan to support their next steps, prior to the second module, professionalism and Professional Learning.

Professionalism and Professional learning

As part of the MSc Education Studies, this optional module will explore the professional roles of a teacher, as well as encouraging professional learning through practitioner inquiry. The module will run in Semester 2 following on from “Putting Theory into Practice” from Semester 1.

Students will examine in a critical way the aspects of professional commitment and values, knowledge and understanding and skills and abilities build to form the identity of a teacher.  Students will explore what the aspects look like in practice and how the range of dispositions sit along with theory and practice.  We will look at what professionalism means for teachers in a range of contexts.  Students will be introduced to a model of Professional practitioner enquiry, and consider the place, purpose and principles underpinning this.

The module will aim to:

  • Provide creative spaces for students to practise evidence-based enquiry, to establish on-going proactive professional approaches 
  • Encourage students to be change agents, from evidence-based enquiry
  • Encourage students to recognise the power of professional learning and enquiry
  • Support students in critically reflecting on both theory and their own practice 
Lesley Waddell, Education Studies Teaching Fellow
Our two new work-based learning modules allow students to further develop their professional practice by applying learnings directly to their own workplace setting.
Lesley Waddell
Teaching Fellow

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements/experience

Degree or relevant professional qualification, or a combination of qualifications and experience demonstrating capacity for postgraduate study.

English language requirements

Please check our English requirements before making your application.

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Fees & funding


All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.



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Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

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Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Strathclyde Alumni

Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Alumni Discount

Alumni from undergraduate programmes who graduated between 2014-2019 can receive 10% off the fee for full-time programmes.

Find out more about our alumni discount

What our students think

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The MSc Education Studies is designed for people who wish to explore a diverse range of issues and perspectives that make up education. The course prepares for professional careers which are dependent on a thorough and critical understanding of educational processes in their cultural context and the ways in which they contribute to the formation of the individual person.

As such, it addresses educational and formational processes not only with regard to formal education, i.e. schooling, but is concerned with all forms of education, that is: with all processes where the learning and (trans)formation of a person is initiated, guided, or supported.

The degree is not a teaching qualification but can enhance career opportunities in the broader field of education. It supports careers in all cultural fields where people are engaged in learning and are aspiring to some sort of personal transformation, eg:

  • museums
  • galleries
  • the arts
  • publishing houses
  • youth work
  • sports clubs
  • all institutions involved with professional learning and training

Academic careers

In addition to those careers, a degree in MSc Education Studies can be regarded as part of an academic career. As such, it prepares students for a doctoral study (PhD or EdD) in Education Studies or a related field, or for participation in research projects which focus upon education in the broadest sense.

It could also be understood as a preparatory course for entering the teaching profession. In this case, the Masters course needs to be followed by a PGDE degree (for Scotland) or an equivalent degree from other countries.

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Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

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Education Studies

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Attendance: full-time

Education Studies (January intake)

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Jan 2021
Mode of Attendance: full-time

Education Studies (January intake)

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Jan 2022
Mode of Attendance: full-time

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Contact us

Register your interest and find out more about the programme

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak our team are working from home and can be contacted via our online enquiry form.

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