MA Psychology and Education

Duration: 1 year full-time

The MA Psychology and Education is a one-year full-time course at the University of Sheffield, one of the leading Universities in the UK. The course runs from September to August.

Who is the course for?

The course is designed for graduates across the globe who are working in education or with young people in a variety of contexts and who are seeking to develop their understanding of the challenges facing the education-related world of the 21st century with a particular focus on psychological theory. The course will thus encourage consideration of the contribution of psychology to education policy and practice in changing international and global contexts.

The course attracts education professionals working in Communities, Education Professional Associations and Teacher Unions, Educational publishing, Further Education Institutions, Higher Education Institutions, Local Authorities, Ministries of Education/Government Departments, NGOs and Schools (nursery, primary, secondary).

The School of Education has a long tradition of welcoming students from around the world and our graduates include many from countries across Africa, Asia, the Middle East, South America and all the European countries, including the UK.

Course Structure

Course structure

Photograph of StudentsThe course begins with a one week induction to the University, to the School of Education, and to study at Masters level. This is followed by six months of taught modules and six months supervised research study for the award of the MA.

There are four taught modules, two of which are studied October to December, and two from January to March. From April onwards students work on their independent study which is submitted in August. The four modules each involve ten two-hour sessions. The students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma if they do not wish to complete the Masters course.

Aims of the course

  • Critically examine core principles of psychological research, theory and practice as they relate to education and young people
  • Critically explore the connections between the study of individual differences and broader socio-cultural contexts.
  • Examine a range of research methodologies and approaches used to investigate contemporary educational policy and practice.

EDU6043 - The Dissertation - GRAD YR 60 Credits

The Dissertation is a major part of the MA Psychology and Education course. The dissertation topic can develop a theme raised during the taught part of the Course, or an issue which relates to the specialised research areas covered by the students´ own professional interests.

The Course Team provides guidance on the choice of a suitable topic for investigation and advice and support throughout the study period (April to September). A wide variety of study is possible, including empirical studies, theoretical reviews, historical or philosophical investigations. The dissertation is 15,000-20,000 words in length.

Each student is allocated a supervisor - a specialist in the research area. Students and supervisors work together over the six months of the dissertation period before submission of the thesis.

A Student Perspective

If you would like to hear what our students have to say about the programme, please take a look at the Student insight webpages.

Module Information


There are four compulsory modules, two modules which are studied from October to December and two modules studied from January to March. From April to August students carry out their independent study.

Required Modules

EDU6356 - Critical Issues in Education and Educational Research - AUT SEM 30 Credits

This module introduces students to key issues in education and educational research that will underpin their studies, regardless of which pathway they take through the full-time masters programme. It outlines historical approaches to educational research and introduces the key paradigms of educational research. The module moves on to consider critical issues in education and educational research, drawing on the research strengths of the module team and focusing in particular on educational psychology and globalisation, enabling the module to provide a foundation for other modules on the programme. The module thus offers students an opportunity to develop a critical stance towards some of the most pressing issues in educational research in contemporary societies.

EDU6349 - Developmental Psychology - AUT SEM 30 Credits

This unit examines the core concepts of Developmental Psychology, for example, cognition and emotional development (intelligence, language, learning), behaviour, social development (including family and attachment, trauma) as well as the study of individual differences (with reference to psychopathologies such as autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), and how these core concepts relate to development of young people in a range of educational contexts and childcare professions. The ways in which psychological research and theory has affected a range of governmental policies, services and professional practices and wider societal attitudes to young people will be considered within transnational contexts.

EDU6350 - Psychology & Learning Communities - SPR SEM 30 Credits

This module explores learning as an ongoing result of our active participation in social relationships and community. To do so, critical attention is drawn to the way in which language facilitates social practices including those involved in the construction of different kinds of knowledge. In this sense, knowledge relates to formal conceptualisations of learning provided by developments in scientific disciplines (e.g. psychology) and the social sciences (e.g. education and sociology). It is also concerned with informal understandings such as the continual constitution of learner's identities through social engagement. The module aims to challenge notions of learning as an individual enterprise.

EDU6358 - The Practice of Research - SPR SEM 30 Credits

This module introduces students to the processes involved in designing a research project, conducting the study and completing the research report. The module focuses on research design, on identifying issues, formulating research questions and choosing appropriate methods to use in particular instances and settings. It explores various approaches to data analysis and outlines issues to be considered in the writing up process. It aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to complete a dissertation in an education-related field.

In addition to the taught module sessions, the course provides a comprehensive Support Programme with weekly taught support sessions. These sessions are informed by an inquiry-based learning approach and cover issues relating to research study at Master's level, e.g. academic reading and writing, students as developing researchers, study skills and critical thinking.



Photograph of StudentsThe teaching team is committed to formative assessment, whereby students are continuously supported and advised about the ongoing development of their ideas and the writing of assessment tasks. Students learn through lectures, seminars, workshops, discussion, active inquiry and investigations.

Opportunities are provided for students to speak with module coordinators/lecturers to clarify the requirements of the assessment activities. In addition, tutorials are held to support students' intellectual growth.

For the dissertation study, students are supported by an experienced research tutor who has expertise in the appropriate field.

There are no formal written examinations and assessment is by coursework and a dissertation study.

Assessment of the taught element consists of written assignments of 6,000 words each, one for each module. The Dissertation study consists of a research dissertation of 15,000-20,000 words.

Course Directors

Course Directors

The course is taught by a range of research active academics from across the School of Education, all of whom have national and international reputations. Below are the Directors of the course:

Dr Andrey Rosowsky (Programme Director)

Dr Andrey Rosowsky is the Director of the full-time MA Programme. Andrey’s research interests include language and education, sociolinguistics, multilingualism and faith-based complementary schooling. He has published in the fields of multilingualism, the sociology of language, the sociology of language and religion, language and education and language and identity. He is interested by the range of literacy and language practices bi- and multi-lingual children experience, and the way these relate to and interact with, and upon, one another. Much of his recent research has taken place within theoretical frameworks which view language as a social practice and language as performance.

Potential applicants should note that this course is not primarily focused on teaching methods nor is it a teaching qualification per se. It is aimed at students wishing to study education more broadly, at a theoretical, philosophical, psychological and sociological level. It will not generally include teaching methods or classroom practice. Neither is it a suitable course for those seeking to develop further their TEFL or TESOL teaching expertise. On the other hand, many serving teachers do come onto the course in order to reflect on their own practice and enhance their existing teaching qualifications. Equally, some of our students subsequently go on to pursue a teaching qualification once they have completed the MA.

If you wish to train as an Educational Psychologist, the MSc Psychology and Education (Conversion) course is specifically designed to equip you with the necessary understanding, skills and qualifications to enable you to pursue a career in Psychology or cognate discipline. Please visit the MSc Psychology and Education (Conversion) webpages.

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 any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.