MA Education

Postgraduate degree

Develop the expert skills, knowledge and understanding of contemporary educational practice, advance your career and achieve your ambitions, with our MA Education online degree.

  • Study our MA in Education flexibly around your life commitments with supported online learning
  • Learn from experienced and passionate professionals
  • Our MA Education will take your practice in the field of education to the next level
  • Be part of the University of the Year (THE)

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About your MA Education course

Our MA Education online degree is ideal if you have a personal and professional interest in educational practices and work in an educational setting. Are you looking to enhance your professional skills and understanding of the key themes in education, such as looking into what drives education policy? Perhaps you're ready to realise your potential and achieve your career dreams?

With a strong focus on learning, teaching and educational leadership this course will help you develop in your existing role and open doors for career development. You'll study online giving you the flexibility to grow your career around your other commitments.

Course highlights

  • Our MA Education is practice-focused and relevant to today’s classroom
  • Grow your understanding of contemporary professional practice in education
  • Tailor your studies and research project to focus on your areas of interest in the field
  • Choose to study over 1 or 2 years depending on your other commitments

How you'll study

This course is studied 100% online
Course lengthChoose to study over 1 or 2 years
Start datesStart in January or September
Application deadlineOur next deadline is

31st July 2024

UK Quality Assured

Course overview

Our MA Education offers you the opportunity to develop and enhance your professional skills and understanding of contemporary practice in a wide range of educational settings including schools, further education and higher education.

The course is designed for developing your expertise and knowledge, whether you’re part of a teaching team or in an education management or leadership role, whether you have years of experience behind you or you’re at the start of your career.

Studying our MA Education online will nurture your continuing professional development. It will give you the opportunity to tailor your studies and carry out research to focus on your particular interests, and apply the new theories you learn directly to your everyday practice, enhancing and improving the pupil or student experience in your place of work.

It is an excellent route for teachers and lecturers at all levels, as well as leaders and managers within the educational system. The course is also ideal if you are recently qualified and want to advance your learning alongside developing your teaching practice. This course can also be the first step towards working in education research or university lecturing and can be a pathway to a PhD or EdD.

The successful completion of the MA Education can support a wide range of career opportunities in a variety of sectors, enhancing your existing role and supporting your future career aspirations.

You may also be interested in the following courses:

MA Education with Early Childhood Studies

MA Education with Leadership and Management

MA Education with Special Educational Needs and Disability

MA Education with Montessori

Our advisers will be happy to answer any questions you have about the MA Education course, studying online or any other aspect of distance learning.

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Due to the structure of this course, there will be instances where you will study two modules simultaneously during a trimester. You will be supported by your tutors to help manage your workload and assessment deadlines.

Please contact one of our advisers to discuss the pacing of this course and the options available to match your circumstances.

Exploring Educational Research

Designed to familiarise you with the various research approaches that you may read about, critique and use during your Master’s course and beyond. It’ll provide a forum for exploring, discussing and evaluating different types of educational research.

You’ll have the opportunity to: look at a range of research methodologies; to find, read and review research studies; and to discuss the relevance of research for practice in education across different sectors (from birth to life-long learning). You’ll be encouraged to learn about research methodologies and methods through critical reflection on published work.

Specialist Studies in Learning and Teaching

This module is designed to enable you to explore a subject that is relevant to your role as a teacher in compulsory or post-compulsory education. You will be required to focus on one of the specialist areas provided by the course team and to work with other students to successfully achieve the learning outcomes.

You will choose from a range of subject specialisms which will include but not necessarily be limited to: Developing Assessment for Learning in the classroom context; Enhancing learning and teaching using learning technologies; Supporting students with Special Educational Needs; Outdoor Learning; Critical Education and Social Justice.

Key Issues and Themes in Education

This module examines current key issues and themes in education. It explores principles of teaching and learning, the derivation and design of the curriculum and the role of schools and other education settings within the wider community.

The module will engage with national strategies, frameworks and international dimensions and you'll be encouraged to explore the processes and complexities of teaching and learning. The module will cover the following broad themes and will prepare you for the postgraduate major project: Learning and Teaching; Leadership, Mentoring and Coaching; Learning and Knowledge Technology; Social Justice and Equality in Education and Including Vulnerable Learners.

Developing Educational Research

You’ll be supported to develop a high-quality research proposal to implement for your postgraduate major project. A workbook approach will guide you through the various elements that need to be considered during the process of planning and preparation for a small-scale educational research study.

There will be opportunities to discuss your ideas with your tutor and peers and to present your developing research proposal for feedback. You’ll also learn by giving constructive feedback to your peers. By the end of the module, you’ll be prepared to submit an application for ethical review, to the appropriate research ethics panel, and to embark upon research for the postgraduate major project.

Postgraduate Major Project in Education

The Major Project enables you to demonstrate your ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to your specialism which may involve working at the current limits of theoretical and/or research understanding.

This independent research project involves the ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in your research or professional practice. Gaining an understanding of an appropriate methodology, appropriate methods and an ability to draw meaningful and justifiable conclusions from information that may be complex or contradictory. Expand or redefine your existing knowledge, to develop new approaches to changing workplace situations and/or to contribute to the development of best practice. You’ll communicate these processes in a clear and elegant fashion, and evaluate your work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner.

Research topics will be negotiated with your appointed supervisor. The project may take the form of a written dissertation, a formal presentation and full research paper, an exhibition, a performance, an artefact or the development of software, or other written, aural or visual material. The project may be formed from a combination of these modes but will normally include a written component.

Modules are subject to change and availability.


Instead of sitting exams, you’ll benefit from preparing high quality written assignments. These build up throughout each module, with opportunities for peer and tutor feedback as you learn. You’ll develop core strengths in valuable appraisal methods, such as the ability to carry out individual and collaborative critical reflections.

You’ll also carry out enquiries applied directly to your specific interests and context. Each assignment will progress your learning, assessing your ability to communicate with clarity, both verbally and in written reports aimed at a range of audiences.

How you'll study

Our MA Education is studied 100% online, making it ideal for UK and international students.

You’ll study through Canvas, our world-class online Learning Management System (LMS), which can be accessed from your phone, pc or tablet at home or on the move. Canvas provides instant access to study materials, forums, and support from tutors and classmates, as well as enabling easy submission of your assignments.

You can choose to study our MA Education over 1 or 2 years. Please note that if you choose the 1-year option this is the equivalent of full-time study and may be a challenge if you’re employed full-time or have other life commitments. Our advisers will be happy to talk through your options in more detail.

On successful completion of your studies you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony on campus. If attending the ceremony in person is not possible then we’ll arrange to have your certificate sent to you.

Supported distance learning

We understand that distance learning is different to traditional campus study and if you’re new to online study you may have concerns or apprehensions about studying your MA Education remotely, and that’s natural.

To help put your mind at ease we have a dedicated Distance Learning Support Team to help and support you throughout your time at ARU, starting with your first online induction and staying with you right through to graduation. In addition, you’ll also be supported by specialist education module tutors, well experienced in supporting distance learning students.

Once you start your MA Education, we encourage the creation of online communities and many of our learners find these connections with others invaluable, helping them to stay motivated, share concerns or make new friendships.

Contact us to talk through any questions or concerns or visit our support page for more information about the support services available.

Our support services

Be part of the University of the Year

We're proud to be the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2023.

The prestigious THE awards honour ’exceptional performance during the 2021-22 academic year, and reflect ARU’s success in delivering high-impact projects during this period, despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The award recognises the difference we make in the region and our communities – while also acknowledging the broader impact of our world-leading research, and the contributions our students and graduates make to society.

THE 2023 Awards Logo


What could an MA in Education do for my career?

With an online MA in Education, you’ll learn a range of new academic skills and research methods, as well as building on your own existing experience.

As well as expanding your professional knowledge and awareness, this course will also help you develop valuable interpersonal skills. This course will teach you how to approach leadership and management in the field of education, giving you the power not only to provide the best education possible for students, but to offer guidance to your peers and unite teams behind the mission of learning.

With our MA Education online, you’ll expand your capabilities in and out of the classroom to enact change, further your own personal development and deliver the highest standard of education for your students. And as well as empowering you with the skills to have greater influence in your current role, this course can also be an avenue to more senior positions, enabling you to progress and succeed.

What job roles can I consider with an MA Education?

An MA in Education can lead to a wide range of career opportunities within educational environments such as management and leadership roles, specialist co-ordinators, subject leads, heads of curriculum, mentoring or education consultants.

What skills will I get from an MA Education to help my career?

Choosing to study our MA Education will give you many transferable skills; here are just some of them:

  • Conduct independent study and work as part of a team
  • Improve your academic writing and verbal communication skills
  • Develop your critical understanding and creative thinking skills
  • Master your presentation skills
  • Hone your research skills and project management
  • Increase your self-confidence.

What can I study after an Education MA?

Depending on your long-term goals and interests you may decide to explore a doctorate qualification. Having a master’s degree under your belt is a key entry requirement in opening doors to study at this level.

Careers Advice Service

Once you become an ARU student you’ll be able to access our Employability service to help you at whatever stage of your career, whether that’s landing your dream job or the next progression step.

We offer:

  • careers advice, including one-to-one online and telephone appointments with our experienced advisers
  • help with your CV, job searches, applications and interview preparation
  • an online portal packed with useful careers resources
  • our Employability Programme, which helps you hone the skills employers say they want in graduates.

Entry requirements

  • You’re expected to have a first degree, with honours, at a minimum final classification of Lower Second (2:2) or equivalent.
  • You will be required to obtain a satisfactory enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check through the University.
  • If you have lived outside of the UK for 6 months or more within the last 5 years, then you will need to provide a police check from the country/countries previously resided in.
  • If you are completing placements overseas you will be required to obtain a police check/certificate of good conduct from the relevant country.
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 (Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by ARU.
  • As a distance learner, you’ll also need a suitable computer with internet connection, together with sufficient IT competence to make effective use of word processing, internet and email.

Please note: Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course.

Fees & funding


The full tuition fee for our MA Education course is £8,200.

The tuition fees you pay each year will be between £4,100 and £8,200 depending on how long you take to complete the course. You can choose to study our Education MA in either 1 or 2 years.

Accredited Prior Learning may reduce the tuition fees. This will be confirmed once your application has been submitted.


Your MA Education degree can be fully funded by the Postgraduate Student Loans now available (subject to eligibility).

We offer payment by instalments, so you can spread the cost of studying with us.

For military students: You can use your ELCs towards this course. ARU is a recognised ELCAS provider (number 1007). Please contact your Learning Centre for details of ELC, eligibility and how to apply.

For more information on how you fund your studies please see our funding page.

What our students say

Mark - TESOL MA Student

Studying an MA has given me confidence in my ability as an educator. The course has opened my mind to new teaching ideas and has added some new dimensions into how I teach.

Read Mark's story
Sophie - ARU Distance Learning Student
The support from ARU has been amazing. Since day one, I have felt so supported and reassured. Being a distance learner, you do not feel like you are on your own.
Read Sophie's story
Dio Giotas - ARU Student
ARU was a great choice that allowed me to achieve my personal and professional ambitions. I felt supported, empowered, and accomplished.
Read Dio's story
Shipa - ARU Distance Learning Student
The distance-learning mode helped a lot, as I was able to manage my job, family life and study in the comfort of my home whilst still developing my career.
Read Shipa's story

Frequently Asked Questions

Next application deadline:

31st July 2024

Discover what you're made of.Apply now before the application deadline.
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Further reading