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    2024 start September 

    Applied Professional Studies in Education

    School of Education, Faculty of Social Sciences

    This distance learning course builds on your PGDE learning and enhances your skills in order to conduct a masters-level dissertation study in your own professional context.
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    Course description

    This is a distance learning course for those who hold the University of Sheffield's Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) with 120 valid credits. The programme will build on your PGDE learning, helping you to gain all the skills necessary to conduct a masters-level dissertation study in your own professional context.

    We teach this course through a series of Saturday study schools which can be attended in-person or online. You’ll also have one-to-one support for your dissertation from a personal tutor, with contact throughout the year including email correspondence, supervisory calls and meetings.

    During the study schools you’ll explore practitioner research methodologies, develop your project, and share and debate ideas in a supportive environment.

    The study schools are complemented by online materials on research methods and methodologies.


    A selection of modules is available each year - some examples are below. There may be changes before you start your course. From May of the year of entry, formal programme regulations will be available in our Programme Regulations Finder.

    The programme is taught via a number of Saturday study schools (two of which are compulsory) as well as individual dissertation supervision and support via email, phone calls or personal visits.

    During the study schools, you will explore a range of issues in practitioner-research methodologies and the development of students' projects, along with opportunities to share and debate ideas with a community of academics and peers. This is complemented by structured and targeted online materials on research methods and methodologies, as well as individual supervision from a personal tutor.


    The MA is assessed through submission of a research dissertation, submitted around the end of August. As Early Career Teachers, this allows you time to carefully consider your topic of interest, research approach and to arrange fieldwork activities around your professional roles, all carefully managed alongside your teaching workloads.

    You will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will support you throughout the year. This includes guidance on the development of your research project, discussing and approving your proposed fieldwork activities, and providing feedback on draft work prior to the final submission of your dissertation.

    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.

    Open days

    An open day gives you the best opportunity to hear first-hand from our current students and staff about our courses.

    You may also be able to pre-book a department visit as part of a campus tour.Open days and campus tours


    1 year part-time (distance learning)


    Teaching takes place via a number of Saturday study schools, spread throughout the year, as well as individual tutor support.


    Assessment is by the submission of a research dissertation.


    School of Education

    We're proud to welcome a vibrant and diverse community, with students based locally, nationally and internationally. Our research has a direct impact on educational theory, policy and practice; we're supporting the development of children, families, schools and learning communities.

    Our seminars are interactive and everyone is encouraged to take part. The course director knows every student personally, and you will get a lot of individual support across all of your modules.

    Our team of tutors at the School of Education comprises of experts in early childhood education, policy and practice, psychological theory of education, and languages and education. Many of our academic staff are internationally recognised in their specialist areas.

    Entry requirements

    You will need Early Career Teacher Status and the University of Sheffield's Postgraduate Diploma in Education (PGDE) with 120 valid credits, awarded within the past 5 years.

    Students whose first language is not English may also need to provide evidence of their English language ability.

    If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the department.


    You can apply now using our Postgraduate Online Application Form. It's a quick and easy process.

    Apply now


    +44 114 222 8177

    Any supervisors and research areas listed are indicative and may change before the start of the course.

    Our student protection plan

    Recognition of professional qualifications: from 1 January 2021, in order to have any UK professional qualifications recognised for work in an EU country across a number of regulated and other professions you need to apply to the host country for recognition. Read information from the UK government and the EU Regulated Professions Database.