Masters in Education UK, (MEd, MA) Postgraduate Teaching Degree

Studying for masters in education UK (MEd) postgraduate teaching qualification provides educators, researchers, lecturers and teachers additional skills, knowledge and a greater insight into general or a specialist area of education.

What is a masters in education?

Masters in Education UK

Abbreviation M. Ed advanced higher educational degree that helps to extend previous learning and understanding in teaching & learning. The masters degree can be studied as a general education course or choose to specialise in a specific subject area and age level that is awarded by universities in countries globally.

MEd degree in education or MA is additionally becoming a requirement for new teachers in primary schools, especially management and specialist roles.

Teachers and educators study towards the qualification as part of continued professional development effective role of a teacher in a school classroom.

The UK government is evolving education at all levels, teachers and other people in education could benefit and gain an advantage holding a postgraduate degree in education for better understanding & career advancement.

What kind of education masters can I study?

Master of Education (M.Ed) popular after a PGDE diploma or PGCE teacher training
Master of Arts Teaching (M.A.T)
Master in Education (MA) common in UK following a BA, PGCE or PGDE
Masters Academic Content Areas, although not in UK
Master of Science in Education (M.S. Ed)

Can you teach in a school classroom with MEd or education MA?

Does a masters in education or MEd allow you to teach in UK schools or abroad? No, unless it is awarded with qualified teacher status (QTS) which would be a masters in teaching UK. Some countries do accept an MEd degree to teach in school settings.

What is the difference between masters in teaching and masters in education? MEd studied at a Scottish university or university in UK is a postgraduate degree that extends educational learning & teaching focused on students, teaching and the classroom experience.

MA in education is more focused for researchers, curriculum developers & design or general education management.

Both MA & MEd can be suitable for teachers and other educators depending on course content.

Ask the university course provider if the masters awards qualified teacher status.

What kind of masters degree can I get in education?

Masters in education (MEd) traditional general advanced degree are flexile and have many routes to a final qualification that you’ll study and are awarded.

Specialist masters degree that confers a MEd or MA in learning & teaching, leadership & management, primary school teacher education and international education or others are different from each university provider.

Students choose a path of study such as primary education, childhood studies or leadership & management and study core modules in a specialist area & additionally choose optional modules as part of a masters course.

Popular specialist areas of postgraduate MEd educational study:

  • General education
  • Early years leadership
  • International education
  • Coaching & mentoring
  • Youth & community education
  • Special educational needs
  • Childhood studies
  • Leadership and management

What will I learn on postgraduate education masters degree?

Everyone that studies for an education (MEd) completes core training, academic subjects and then specialises in a certain area of education offered by the course provider.

A dissertation is normally required to be written and possible formal lesson delivery depending on your course, then completing the written assignments for each course subject.

All masters course study will require you to complete research methods study module before completion of the dissertation for your course.

After successfully completing your postgraduate degree you should be equipped with the ability:
  • Advanced knowledge and understanding of practices, processes and learning outcomes of learning, assessment and teaching
  • Analyse educational issues and put into practice a research-led approach to education and teaching
  • Apply advanced research methods
  • Critically analyse education issues
  • Apply advanced research methods

On full and part time and many distance learning courses you will attend lectures, small group tutorial and complete independent study throughout the course length.

Masters is more difficult in theory and knowledge than bachelors of education, although not that technical.

Each student is allocated a dissertation mentor who they can ask for assistance, receive feedback and is the person who first grades your course final dissertation.

Masters in education study modes

Full time over one academic year up to 11 months study time. Students attend classes 4-5 days per week.

Part time popular mode of study for practicing teachers and other educators working. education courses with classes taught one or two nights per week attendance at university with study from home.

Online learning education masters UK where you follow and complete study on topics with all materials and learning delivered & correspondence via online method. You can complete the masters course from the UK or study abroad.

Distance learning MEd MA in education is where you as a student complete study and learning via a combination mainly home based independent learning and intensive classroom based study, possible at periodic weekends.

Assessment method postgraduate MA education

Commonly no formal examinations as each course are assessed by completing assignments or essay and a written dissertation.

Grades calculated as pass (50% +) merit (60 +) and distinction (70% +).

Good grades do matter in masters study, especially if you’re employer funded the course or require a good grade for admission to PHD. You can fail to pass a masters degree course in education with a final grade below 50%.

Education masters university course entry requirements

Universities look for at least a 2.2 undergraduate degree (50% +) or top course providers admission requirement 2.1 (60% +).

UK universities such as The University of Manchester is looking for a good undergraduate degree also.

Mature students can gain a place on an MA education course with prior learning and professional relevant experience without an undergraduate degree for example Birmingham City University.

Masters credit transfer accredited prior learning

Transfer credit could be available from many universities. PGDE or PGCE qualification will gain you exception from some module topics on an MA or MEd masters course.

Do PGCE masters credits expire? If it was in excess of 10 years between a PGCE and masters study some universities might not provide credit, although not many.

MEd & MA common questions & answers

You can use an education masters degree to increase knowledge of general or specific areas of learning, teaching or age of school students. Also, use the degree award knowledge to develop resources or training.

Does it matter where you get your masters in education? Not in particular, as long as the university is recognised and accredited for the country you wish to teach. Western countries qualifications are generally seen as better quality for teaching in a western country.

Is a PGCE equivalent to masters? NO. A postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) is the first stage towards a masters degree giving 60 credits award. A masters in education is a higher academic award that comes after PGCE teacher training course.

How much does a masters degree increase your salary UK? Indirectly could be a significant amount per year as an MA or MEd will help with any job promotion.

What is the best masters degree for teachers? Med degree or MA with QTS both qualifies you as a school teacher in the UK. One or the other is a good choice to build upon prior educational learning and possible career aspirations.

Can I do PhD after MA in education? Yes, if you are awarded an above average grade and the university thinks you can successfully complete doctorate studies in education.

Student funding education master’s degree in UK

Teachers and lecturers in an education position can have fees paid from an employer or part funded, although not all employers.

Self-funding: students or people looking to complete a master’s degree that is not in an educational role.  

One option could be a commercial study funding loan or postgraduate training bursaries should you qualify.

Remember any commercial bank loan requires to be paid back with interest.

How can I get free masters in education? Options are paid by an employer, grant or bursary if you are eligible. Funding is available for one year masters study course, including toping up a PGCE to masters.

UK course fees masters postgraduate in education

Tuition fee rates for all education masters degrees are different from each university for all modes of study and can be up to £12,000 full time for home students.

Full Time   1 year    £6,600 per year home student MA Education (Birmingham City University 2021)
Part time study  2-4 years  £800 per 20-credit module (Birmingham City University 2021)
Full Time  1 year international student tuition fee £13,200 per year

University of Northampton Fees 2021/2

Home studentsFull Time: £7,470Part Time: £1,245 per 30 creditsOnline: £1,110 per 30 credits
International studentsFull time: £14,000N/AOnline: £1,110 per 30 credits

University of Edinburgh MSC course fee 2021/2

Full time: Home £11,900 tuition fee rateHome part-time: 2 Years £5,950 tuition fee rate per year
Full time: International £24,000 tuition fee rate International part-time : £12,000 2 Years

As a UK resident you pay “Home” tuition fee rate.

Overseas residents and other UK resident no eligible for home tuition rate require to pay overseas tuition cost charged study.

Course providers for masters in education

Many of the universities in all 4 nations of the UK provide education masters courses, conduct a search online.

Universities in UK including:

  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Kings College London
  • University of South Wales
  • Swansea University
  • University of Portsmouth
  • University of Exeter

This type of education degree is no a substitute for initial teacher training such as a BA Hon’s, Bachelor of education (BEd), or a PGCE qualification.  Why? An education master’s degree does not include classroom training and contact with children.

On the one year full-time or 2 years part-time course you complete assignments and a dissertation after attending lectures and group work classes.

How to apply for an MEd or MA in education

Many UK Scotland universities and in England allow you to apply direct through the university online application method.

Is there clearing for Masters? Generally not for full or part time study, distance learning or online study.

Course start dates vary depending on study mode: Full time or part time start in August/September.

Distance learning or online learning MA or MEd January, April, and October or in other months decided by each individual university.

Masters education distance learning study

Universities provide learning programmes to study for students who would like to obtain a qualification from undergraduate & postgraduate level at home.

Popular option for teachers with full time jobs is to attend university classes at certain weekends and complete coursework over a two year period via online or distance learning study mode.

Distance learning education masters degrees can be studied from almost any location, as most courses only require one or two days attendance, some none. Is an online degree or distance learning less valuable? No, it’s the same learning, assessment and qualification as part or full time study in UK.

Do employers look down on online masters degrees? Some employers although depends on the industry and profession. Good idea completing class study for occupations in professions such as engineering, education, nursing and law.

Will my diploma say I got my degree online, in class, part or full time study? Yes and no, the degree award you receive will say on the transcript clearly stating the mode of study for example distance learning or full time class study with the relevant education masters award.

Are distance education degrees as valid as a regular degree? Yes, they are the same degree as any other mode of study in UK. Some countries and employers around the world do not accept or recognise any degree other than classroom based.

MEd & MA education course online distance learning

Tutorials and seminars are provided by course providers for a wide variety of subjects with online course material for students to work through.

The majority of courses require some form of attendance part or full time and distance learning if your not studying by online method.

How courses are studied via distance learning?

Distance education courses are studied using prepared written books, notes or online material accessible from the learning provider website.

Guidance and support are still available from course tutors and many colleges and universities provide learning environments to study such as libraries, computer rooms and work areas to use should you wish.

Distance learning suitable medium for masters study

Not all students and learners are suitable to distance learning masters in education and may prefer a more structured approach to gaining a qualification and additional learning in class.

Education at home and attending university allows you to create your own study plan and choose when to complete course work within the course timeline.

Think about employers, as some employers do not see a degree for instance as valuable as a degree studied full-time attendance at a university.

Studying for a qualification by distance learning in the UK is the same as a full-time qualification from the same course provider, giving the same value when you achieve the qualification you studied.

MEd in education courses studied at home means you can continue to work full time or do something else during your courses.

Career options completing education MA degree

Curriculum Developer

Teacher in school

Business/corporate trainer for a company or with your own business

Training instructor in the UK or work abroad in Middle East or Asia

Education consultant working for a school group, company, local council or government

College or university lecturer

School guidance counselor

Specialist careers advisor in education