Frequently Asked Questions: MA APSE (Online)


Does the “Online” appear on the certificate I will receive from the University of Sheffield?

No, it does not. Your certificate will be for an MA in Applied Professional Studies in Education – which is what you will be studying. The “online” bit is simply in reference to the study method you will be engaging in.

I have a UK/EU passport, but I am working abroad – do I count as a UK or an Overseas student for fee purposes?

Typically, your fee status gets decided by your nationality, not your location.

I already have a PGCE/PGDE with Masters-Level credits –     can I transfer these credits across?

The answer to this is quite complex, but there are a few rules of thumb. UK-wide, credits can only be transferred for up to 5 years, so if you received your PGCE/PGDE more than 5 years in the past, then the answer is unfortunately “no”. Even if you are within the time limit, credits need to match the modules of the programme. For example, Module 2 on the APSE Online is a research study, which is aimed at preparing you for conducting your own research for the dissertation. If your Masters-Level credits don’t cover anything similar, then you will not be able to use them for transfer. In order to help make these decisions, it is important that you state your intention to transfer credits in your application, and that you supply as much information as possible. This includes proof of the credits (e.g. a transcript), but uploading any assignments directly will also be useful. Final decisions are made on a case-by-case basis.

If you have completed your PGCE or iPGCE with the School of Education at the University of Sheffield in the past 5 years, then you can assume that you will be able to transfer 60 credits, beginning directly in Period B (Year 2) of the MA APSE Online.

What if I start the programme and I am unable to continue?

We obviously hope that your time with us will be uninterrupted, stimulating, and enjoyable. We are aware, however, that nearly all of our students are juggling their studies on top of full-time teaching careers, and often families. Students on the MA APSE Online often work in international contexts, which include job moves as well as relocations to other countries. If, for any reason, it is all getting a bit much, you will be able to apply for a Leave of Absence. During this time, your relationship with the University is, essentially, “on hold” – you get on with your life, and when your Leave of Absence period is up, you pick up your studies at the point where you left off. Should such a situation arise, your tutor will be working with you to identify the most suitable period for a Leave of Absence.

The MA APSE Online also has several exit points written into its structure – after one year of successful study, you should have the credits for a PG Certificate, after two years, a PG Diploma. We obviously hope you will stay with us for the entire Masters Programme, but whatever happens, your credits won’t just “disappear”.

I have seen information about the iPGCE and the MA APSE Online – how are they different? What are the similarities?

The iPGCE and the MA APSE Online were designed to complement each other. There are two key differences. The first one is that the iPGCE is a Postgraduate Certificate, and the MA APSE Online is a Masters Programme – so the iPGCE has 60 credits at postgraduate level, whereas the MA APSE Online has 180. But the first year of the MA APSE Online is, essentially, a Postgraduate Certificate in Applied Professional Studies in Education – it is possible to exit the programme with 60 credits (see above).

The other key difference is the study school. The iPGCE features a compulsory, 4-day study school, here in Sheffield, the MA APSE Online does not. In terms of content, the two programmes are almost identical – they share units, and have similar assignment titles. We have found that some students prefer an initial face-to-face contact in order to kick-start their studies, whereas others are happy to talk to their tutor one-to-one via Skype. Similarly, some students are simply unable to attend the compulsory study school for the iPGCE, and so the MA APSE Online enables these students to have a very similar experience, entirely online. The programme is supported by the same members of staff (Dr Sabine Little, the Director for the MA APSE Online, is the Deputy Director for the iPGCE), so you can be assured of a coherent experience. Because the programmes have been designed to complement each other, it is very easy to continue your studies after your iPGCE, should you decide that you want to carry on to PG Dip/Masters Level – simply let us know!

How do I pay the fees?

There are a number of options available, depending on your circumstance: 

If you are a UK/EU student, please find more information here.

If you are an Overseas student, please find more information here

On both pages, you will find an illustration of several payment plans.