Course structure

Module Information Distance Learning

Module Information

Module 1: Critical reflection on professional development (Part One)

Participants compile a portfolio of professional development activity, collecting, selecting and reflecting on evidence of subject focused professional development activities organised by subject associations and local authorities. Tutorial support will help them to identify their professional development needs and aspirations.

Module 2: Classroom-based inquiry

This module enables participants to build on module 1 by identifying specific action research interventions in their own classrooms to enhance the teaching and learning of their specialist subjects. They will learn how to manage and monitor change, and will consider research methods to enable them to evaluate impact on learning outcomes.

Module 3: Critical reflection on professional development (Part Two)

Participants continue to compile their portfolio of professional development activity, through attendance at subject association and local authority professional development activities. In addition, participants consider strategies for disseminating pedagogic subject knowledge to colleagues and have the opportunity to present their own classroom-based inquiries at an annual conference.

Module 4: Research methods in education

Introduces participants to a wider range of issues in research methodology, and requires them to design a subject-specific classroom/department/school-based research project. Completion of this project may be written up as a Masters dissertation, leading to the MA in Applied Professional Studies in Education.

Support & Supervision

SupportSupport & Supervision

Since the MA APSE (Online) is entirely web-based, support and supervision on the course is flexible and tailored to each students' needs.

A range of staff with clear roles are available to support your studies. Participants can consult with the programme director or deputy director at any time about their needs. Participants are also allocated a personal tutor who will also provide academic guidance.

For those participants working on the dissertation, a supervisor will be allocated with expertise and experience in your chosen area of research.

Course participants will maintain contact with the University throughout the duration of the course. As well as regular email contact, we will engage in online group discussions, where students will be able to draw on each others' expertise and experience. Although the course is online, face-to-face tutorial support meetings can be arranged for students who live geographically close or are visiting Sheffield.


Photograph of booksAssessment

Each module will normally be assessed through a 30-credit assignment. Module 2 will give students the opportunity to engage in a small-scale research study, which will enable them to rehearse and contextualise issues surrounding educational research before they reach the dissertation point. For all assignments, students will be able to negotiate with their personal tutor topics and themes most suited to their circumstances and interests.

Course Team

Photograph of Sabine LittleCourse Team

The MA in Applied Professional Studies in Education (Online) is directed by Dr Sabine Little who has been working in online education for over 15 years, and is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy. The programme has close links with the School of Education's iPGCE. In addition to the core team, other members of the department contribute to the programme and also act as research supervisors.

The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of changes the University will consult and inform students in good time and will take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.