MSc Education Studies

January 2021 entry now available

Key facts

  • Start date: January & September (modules differ)
  • 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

Interested in postgraduate study?

Our friendly and knowledgeable team will be available to provide you with all of the information you need to kick-start your postgraduate journey at the University of Strathclyde.

Join one of our upcoming online drop-in sessions on:

  • Wednesday 20 January - 3pm to 4:30pm
  • Thursday 25 February - 3pm to 4:30pm
Register for drop-in sessions

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:

The list of available optional module pairs are dependent on the start date of your course.

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

or

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

or

  • 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.

Assessment

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.

Dissertation

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.

Choose one of the three pathways (Each has two modules):

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).

Or

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 

Or

Conceptions of Leadership

The principal aim of this module is to enable students to come to a deeper understanding of what constitutes leadership and how it is understood so as to inform and enhance practice within educational settings.

Learning Objectives

Students will gain insight into:

  • the purposes of educational leadership
  • what leadership constitutes and how it has been understood over time
  • contemporary models of leadership and their theoretical underpinnings why these models of leadership have come to the fore and the drivers for change which have led to this positioning of leadership
Leadership for Learning

The principal aim of this module is to enable students to revisit conceptions of leadership, what constitutes ‘learning’ and the nature of the connections between these two contested ideas.

Learning Objectives

Students will:

  • Critically review their understanding of ‘leadership’ and the sources from which that understanding derives
  • Examine and discuss how ‘learning’ is variously understood and the contexts in which those conceptions arise
  • Explore ways in which the connections between leadership and learning have been expressed in policy and practice
  • Reframe their understandings of how ideas ‘travel’ nationally and internationally, the language in which ideas take root and the problematic nature of ‘cultural isomorphs’

Choose two of the three modules:

Alternative Education

This module addresses the growing trend towards provision of education outside the mainstream. The module invites students to reflect on education and its established norms, and to consider what makes education ‘alternative’ (and what is meant by ‘mainstream’). The module explores the rationale of ‘alternative education’ through a study of philosophies, practices and pedagogies that choose 'non-traditional' ways of thinking or practice in the realms of formal and informal education.

The aim is to help learners recognise the existence of alternate education practices and understand why they are deemed so, and to enable learners to consider the implications, benefits and challenges of such classifications.

This module will prepare students to explore the territory of alternative education, the various ways in which education gets labelled as alternative and look at learnings that could be useful to them as educators both in the formal or alternative spaces.

Philosophy of Technology and 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.

Listening to Children and Hearing their Voices

This module aims to develop an understanding of the ways that children communicate and the importance of adopting a listening pedagogy. It offers opportunities to critically reflect on how children are viewed in practice and research and promotes the concept of children as active agents in their own learning and development. The module explores current examples of child-centred practice both in Scottish and international contexts.

Throughout this module students will:

  • Learn about the different ways that children have been viewed in practice and research, considering a view of young children as active agents who drive their own learning and development
  • Develop an understanding of the different ways children express themselves and communicate their thinking to others
  • Explore the importance of playful approaches to learning and research that focus on listening to children and illuminating their emerging theories about the world
  • Critically reflect on the way they interact with and view children and learning in the early years
  • Consider and discuss examples of international practice like Reggio Emilia and Te Whariki
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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Scotland

£6,800

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£6,800

International

£15,300

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.

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Fees & funding

All fees quoted are per academic year unless stated otherwise.

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Scotland

£7,100

England, Wales & Northern Ireland

£7,100

International

£14,800

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 postgraduate students

Scottish 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.

Scholarship opportunity

To recognise academic achievement, the Dean's International Excellence Award - MSc Education Studies awards students a merit-based scholarship of £4,500 for entry onto a full-time postgraduate programme in the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences. This is available for the MSc Education Studies, commencing in January 2021.

Apply for scholarship

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

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