Sector menu
City scape

Education (part-time, on campus)

Our MA Education can transform the way you approach your professional practice, delivering genuine benefits for your learners while giving fresh impetus to your career progress. It could be a vital stepping stone to specialising in the field of your professional interest.

We offer an exciting range of options to match your MA Education studies with your current role, personal interests and career ambitions. You can complete a broad-based masters degree in education or pursue one of seven specialist pathways leading to a named MA Education:

  • Early Years
  • Leadership and Management
  • Leadership Coaching and Mentoring
  • Lifelong Learning
  • Primary Mathematics
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability
  • Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL)

You can also study the MA over a year on a full-time basis.

Our MA Education course is designed to help you balance your learning with your professional and personal commitments. We offer start dates in September and January. If you already have masters credits, you may also choose to commence study in May. Modules are delivered on campus and all learning materials are made available online.

While we encourage and support you to complete the full masters degree, you can choose to ‘step off’ the course at various stages to receive a recognised award according to the number of credits you have achieved:

  • University Certificate of Achievement (20 credits)
  • University Certificate of Continuing Professional Development in Education (40 credits)
  • Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)
  • Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)
  • MA Education (180 credits)

If you and several other colleagues are interested in the MA Education, we can also customise the course for groups of between eight and 20 learners, tailor the content for your organisation and deliver it in your workplace.

The MA Education explores the key theories, policies, practices and debates which are shaping education today. You can deepen your knowledge, improve your professional performance and build your confidence.
You will choose modules which suit your particular interests and your assignments are focused within the context of your own educational practice, with direct relevance to your learners. A final independent study also focuses on a professional practice theme of your choice. You will develop key skills for research, analysis and critiquing.

Our course is delivered by a highly experienced team who have expertise across a range of educational contexts and who regularly publish their academic work. They will keep you abreast of latest thinking, challenge your perceptions and support your progress.

Our MA Education draws on the cutting edge educational research for which the University is renowned. Conducting influential studies on everything from early years to adult learning, we provide consultancy for Government, schools and the wider education sector. It means your learning will be underpinned by innovative ideas which are changing the face of the education professions.

We pride ourselves on providing a friendly, welcoming learning environment where you will receive plenty of encouragement and guidance. Our tutors are approachable, dedicated and passionate about their subjects.

The MA Education also offers an invaluable networking opportunity. You will study alongside learners from different professional and academic backgrounds, who contribute different perspectives to your experience.

Previous students have been principals, vice-principals, head teachers, executive head teachers and deputy heads.

Entry requirements

You’ll usually need an undergraduate degree or an equivalent qualification and a role within education that will allow you to complete the work based assignments.

Even if you don’t have these entry requirements it is worth contacting us if you have relevant professional experience as we may be able to consider your application.

Course modules

Our course is made up of three phases: Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma, and Master of Arts.

Each module is worth 20 credits, apart from the Independent Study module which is worth 60 credits.

You will study modules such as:

  • Crafting your Masters Study
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Independent Study (Dissertation)

If you choose to study our broad-based MA Education, you will also study four optional modules, examples of which are outlined below. Even if you are not studying a specialist pathway, you can also select your optional modules from the pathways.

Examples of optional modules:

  • Applying Educational Thinkers and Theorists in Practice 
  • Comparative Education 
  • Developing the Skills of the Specialist Practitioner
  • Motivation, Communication and Learning
  • Educational Policy into Practice
  • Measuring and Evaluating Learning
  • Negotiated Module – Applied Focus of Study

If you choose to study an MA Education with a specialist pathway, you’ll choose two optional modules such as those listed above, plus two specialist modules relating to your pathway.

Early Years

  • Children’s Places
  • Children’s Workforce Development

Lifelong Learning

  • Aspects of Ability in Learning
  • Lifelong Learning: Principles and Issues

Special Educational Needs and Disability

  • Specific Learning Difficulties
  • Special Educational Needs and Disability (SEND): Current Issues and Concerns

Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages

  • The Principles of English Language Teaching
  • Language Learning: Theory and Practice

Leadership and Management

  • Quality, Leadership and Management
  • Developing Leadership Capacity

Leadership Coaching and Mentoring

  • The Leader as Coach and Mentor
  • Principles and Practices of Coaching and Mentoring

Primary Mathematics

  • Fostering Mathematical Understanding in the Primary School Classroom
  • Learning and Teaching Mathematics in the Primary Classroom

Assessment methods

Your assignments are contextualised to diverse educational contexts and are directly relevant to your learners as well as your own professional practice and personal career development.

You will be assessed through a variety of coursework assignments including essays, presentations and portfolios.

Sponsorship information

We offer a 10% discount on postgraduate course fees for all Derby alumni.


You will need to gain 180 credits in total to complete the full MA or MSc. If you are studying part time you will normally complete your studies over two or three years, depending on the course structure.

Please note that all fees may be subject to annual increase.

Get in touch today and increase your future employability