MA Education 

The MA Education course is no longer accepting applications for the 2020 entry period. The following MA courses are still accepting applications for 2020:

MA Education: Early Childhood
MA Education: Language and Education
MA Psychology and Education

Duration: 1 year full-time

The MA 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.

The course is designed for students who do not have professional experience in teaching, but are interested in theory and research relating to learning, teaching and assessment and educational policy. It is possible to undertake a placement module in an educational setting as part of this course.

Course Structure

Course Structure

Photograph of Students

The 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. Students can exit with a Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma if they do not wish to complete the Masters course.

EDU6043 - The Dissertation - GRAD YR 60 Credits

The dissertation is a major part of the MA Education. 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 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 August). 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.

Module Information


Students can choose modules from across the full-time masters suite. They are guided in their choice of modules by an academic tutor, who will help students to choose modules that suit their needs. Students on the MA Education are able to undertake a placement module, outlined below.

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.

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.

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.

Optional modules

EDU6359 - Reflections on Practice in Learning and Teaching - SPR SEM 30 Credits

In this unit, students will engage on critical reflection regarding approaches to learning, teaching and assessment used in a range of educational institutions. The unit is intended to provide an introduction to current research and theory in curriculum and pedagogy studies and will enable students to engage in direct observations of teaching in partner institutions.

EDU6084 - Globalisation and Education - AUT SEM 30 Credits

This module explores the relationships between globalisation and education. It begins by enquiring into students´ personal and professional experiences of globalisation and considers how educational experiences have been influenced by globalisation in different contexts. After exploring key globalisation theories, with focus on the economic, political and cultural dimensions, the module considers specific theoretical aspects relevant to education, including: the significance of intergovernmental and non-governmental organizations in national education policymaking; the reconstitution of education policy as an element of economic policy; language and power; the Knowledge-based Economy and Information Society; e-learning; Postcolonial perspectives; and the impact of globalisation on cultural life.

EDU 6085 - Globalising Curriculum, Assessment and Pedagogy - SPR SEM 30 Credits

Recent years have witnessed increased focus on the importance of reforms in curriculum, assessment and pedagogy in national education systems, reforms premised in the imperatives and opportunities of the Knowledge-based Economy, the Information Society, and more generally our increasingly interconnected and interdependent world. This module examines changing conceptions of curriculum, assessment and pedagogy policy and practice in international contexts. Key areas explored include: the relationship between curricula and assessment; international assessment measures and their influences on curricula; the historical contexts of curricula; constructivist pedagogies; teaching and learning with ICT; English Language Teaching; pedagogy and multiliteracies; and internationalizing teaching and learning.

EDU6089 Early Childhood 1: Development, Learning and Curriculum - AUT SEM 30 Credits

This module introduces learners to recent ideas related to development, learning and curriculum in Early Childhood Education. Sessions to be taught include the following: key figures in the history of ECE; birth to five child development and learning; tracing UK policies on curriculum and learning; alternative perspectives on curriculum and learning: Reggio, Forest Schools, international schools; play and learning; learning to communicate: literacy and multimodal practices; early intervention studies: REAL, inclusion, equality and diversity. This will be followed by student-led presentations on topics related to the above. It is intended that this will prepare them for their assessment.

EDU6099 Early Childhood 2: Contemporary Issues in Early Childhood Education - SPR SEM 30 Credits

This module introduces learners to recent ideas related to contemporary issues in Early Childhood Education. Sessions to be taught include the following: children's rights; quality in Early Childhood Education and care; creativity in arts and contemporary communication practices; popular culture; digital literacies; gender; traditional and digital play; including children in research. This will be followed by student led presentations on topics related to the above. It is intended that this will prepare students for their assignment.

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.

EDU6345 - Language Acquisition Learning and Pedagogy - AUT SEM 30 Credits

This module will explore key theories and approaches in language acquisition, learning and associated pedagogies. Various theoretical and empirical issues will be addressed together with learner-internal and learner-external factors that influence processes of second language development in education. The course provides students with an opportunity to consider critically second language acquisition (SLA), Universal Grammar (UG) and the roles of learner factors such as age, first language and language interference. The theory and application of new technologies in the field are addressed. The application of SLA theory and research to aspects of second language teaching and learning is also explored.

EDU 6346 - Language, Society and Education - SPR SEM 30 Credits

This module gives students an advanced understanding of the relationships between linguistic structures, social categories and educational settings. It includes research methods in the interdisciplinary fields of sociolinguistics and education. By the end of the module, students will have developed advanced competence in qualitative research methods for the study of language, society and education. Students have the opportunity to explore topics within educational settings relating, for instance, to the evolution and transmission of culture, intercultural communication, bi/pluri/multilingualism, attitudes to language varieties, narrative and inequality in ordinary and institutional settings, and global spreads of language and cultural forms.



Photograph of MA 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.

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.

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

Course Director

Course Director

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.

Dr Andrey Rosowsky (Programme and Course Director)

Dr Andrey Rosowsky is the Director of the full-time MA Programme, and the Course Director of the MA Education. 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.

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.