Considering taking a Masters in Education? A Master’s Degree in Education (M.Ed) focuses on the theories and practises of teaching in order to prepare you for a career in professional teaching, or to boost your development through educational research.
Before making your decision about what to study and where, it’s important to do adequate research first. To help you out, let’s take a look at everything you need to know about studying for a Masters in Education here in the UK, including the best universities.
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A Masters in Education is a postgraduate degree awarded by a number of universities, not just here in the UK, but also around the world. Four major areas are typically covered:
- Curriculum and Instruction
- School Psychology
- School Administration
Common specialisms for Masters in Education degrees include, but are not limited to:
- Masters Degrees in Educational Psychology
- Masters Degrees in Secondary Education
- Masters Degrees in Early Childhood Education
- Masters Degrees in Music Education
- Masters Degrees in Educational Leadership
The exact topics covered in your degree will be dependent on your specialist program. Generally, M.Ed’s cover four main topics, and commonly include:
- Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment
- Responding to Pupils
- Teachers and Learners
- Schools, Equity and Achievement
You will also be required to write a dissertation on a research topic of your choice. Research topics include:
- School Crime
- Learning New Research Methods
- School Safety Improvements
- Improved Integration of Technologies
Where is best to study?
As well as knowing what to study, it’s also important that you study at the university that is right for you. Below is a rundown of the top 5 ranked universities that offer a Master's Degree in Education in the UK.
- University of Cambridge - The University of Cambridge is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. It offers a handful of specific M.Ed programs, including an MA in Primary Education and an MA in Educational Leadership and School Improvement.
- University of Edinburgh - The University of Edinburgh’s MA in Education offers both compulsory courses and optional courses, which include Adult Education and Lifelong Learning, Children and Technology, and Ethics and Education.
- University of Oxford - There are a number of Master's Degrees in Education offered by the University of Oxford, and these include an MSc in Child Development and Education, an MSc in Learning and Teaching, and an MSc in Research Training.
- University of Manchester - The University of Manchester is home to a high-ranking MA Educational Leadership, an M.Ed aimed at students who aspire to become leaders in education.
- University of Bath - The University of Bath offers an MA International Education and Globalisation, a degree that is designed to boost your research and critical thinking skills, as well as improve your professional practice.
A 2:1 undergraduate degree is the usual prerequisite for being accepted onto a Masters in Education degree program. If you have a 2:2 award or lower, you may be accepted depending on your circumstances. For example, if you have a PGCE with master’s level credits, the university may offer you a place. International students will be required to have the international equivalent of a 2:1 undergraduate degree.
To boost your chances of acceptance, relevant professional experience will help. However, if you have the preferred academic qualifications but no experience, you will still be considered.
Some postgraduate degrees in Education may require students to attend an entrance interview. To help you understand postgraduate interviews we have put together an article for the top 10 questions that are likely to pop up and the best ways that you can answer them: Top 10 Postgraduate Interview Questions.
Most students who take a Masters Degree in Education aim to pursue a career in teaching. But it’s worth remembering that education is diverse, and gaining an M.Ed doesn’t necessarily mean that you’ll be working in a school. You might find that you want to teach children with social needs or disabilities, or you might decide to work as a university lecturer.
Private tutoring companies also look for young professionals who have an M.Ed, as do international language training companies. You might also decide to pursue an education role with an organisation such as a gallery, a museum, or a local council.
Job prospects are good, with around 78% of graduates with a Masters in Education finding full-time work just within six months of graduation. Besides work, there are opportunities for higher education, such as studying for a doctor (PhD).