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Lifelong Learning

* Please note that new student recruitment to this course has been suspended for the September 2015 intake. Applications for 2016 should be made from 01 September 2015. If you would like information about our alternative course(s), please visit the MA Education *

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About this course

  • Entry year: 2015/16
  • Course code: X39042
  • Level: Postgraduate
  • Department: Education
  • Campus: Frenchay
  • Delivery: Starts September/October
  • Programme leader: Dr Richard Waller


The MA in Lifelong Learning will provide participants with a chance to develop knowledge and understanding of issues related to lifelong learning. By coming together with others in a context that supports critical enquiry, research, innovative thinking and imaginative reformulation, the programme provides opportunities for personal and professional growth and renewal.

The MA in Lifelong Learning is aimed at those with a professional and/or personal interest in the field of lifelong learning. This may include those working in all phases of formal education, including further and adult education, as well as those active in the growing domain of informal education. It is a programme with relevance to those who work in the areas of policy development and implementation as well as teaching and learning, training and staff development in a range of settings.

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The MA in Lifelong Learning provides opportunities for the interrogation of policy and practice related to aspects of lifelong learning. The programme will also facilitate the exploration of a variety of transformational dimensions associated with lifelong learning, considering both personal and institutional contexts, and how they have been articulated over time and on local, regional, national and global scales. It also aims to develop reflective practitioners who are committed to developing their practice to enhance equality, diversity, inclusion and social justice related to lifelong learning policy and practice.

The total credits required to gain the MA in Lifelong Learning are 180 credits. Core and compulsory modules include:

  • Transformational Dimensions of Lifelong Learning
  • Policy and Practice of Lifelong Learning
  • Researching Education
  • Dissertation

In addition, a further 30 credits can be gained from a variety of optional modules.

Learning and teaching

Accredited Learning (AL)

Up to two thirds of the credit for the award can be achieved through appropriate prior accredited learning or accredited experiential learning. The MA provides a natural progression route for those already qualified at certificate or diploma level in the field of Post-Compulsory Education and Training. For those with a suitable CertEd, BEd, BA/BSC plus QTS, PGCert or PGCE, credit exemption will normally be possible from the first 30-60 credits of the programme. Support is also provided for the accreditation of experiential learning.


Each module has some form of assessment. A range of assessment modes are used in the programme including written assignment, poster presentations, oral presentations, reflective diaries and portfolios, research and enquiry tasks. Support and guidance are provided in developing work for assessment - with scope for negotiation about the content and focus of the assessment and the assessment criteria to be used. The MA culminates in a written dissertation of 15,000 - 20,000 words - supported through close individual supervision.

For more detail see our full glossary of assessment terms

Special Features

Study facilities

The Department of Education at UWE's Frenchay Campus has excellent facilities and resources for learning and teaching. Its modern, purpose-built facilities provide high quality teaching rooms with state-of-the-art technology available. The Department has excellent IT facilities and houses an Open Learning Area with the latest equipment.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Student views

The MA Lifelong Learning was an excellent learning experience. I particularly liked the local focus of some of the areas of study which developed my understanding of educational provision in Bristol. The dissertation enabled me to study an area of specific interest related to my practice in greater depth and I enjoyed the challenge of studying at Masters level.  The MA has developed my knowledge and understanding of the Lifelong Learning sector which has enhanced my role as a teacher educator.  
Julia Allison-Geraghty, Teacher Training Department, City of Bristol College

I started my MA in Lifelong Learning after completing my PG Certificate in Education with UWE, and used some of my module achievements as accreditation for my MA. I found the course extremely stimulating and it substantially stretched my academic abilities. It was not easy studying while working full time, but I have never regretted doing it. The MA LLLcontinued on from my PGCE studies particularly well and has played a key part in moulding me into an educational manager. Now I have my own department in a FE college and an endless range of possible ways to continue with my career and, I feel, my MA has been a keystone to my success.
Mark Harwood-Browne. Head of Horticulture, Hartpury College

The MA has proved invaluable for me as a teacher trainer. As a direct result of having the qualification I gained a permanent post managing a postgraduate programme at my local college. My own teaching has been informed, not just by the content of my study on the MA, but also by the experience of being a learner again. I am often able to refer to my experience when tutoring my own postgraduate learners. I definitely think in a more critical manner as a result of it.
Johanna Wright, Teacher trainer, Yeovil College

The MA developed my knowledge and understanding of the historical and current issues in the adult education sector. The MA has also supported the development of my professional practice as a teacher educator in the lifelong learning sector.  The support and guidance that I received from my research supervisor was outstanding and conducting the dissertation developed my skills as a researcher which, in turn,  has allowed me to guide and supervise my own students in completing their Research project.
Mary Clark, Teacher trainer, City of Bristol College

Careers/further study

Important intellectual, professional and key transferable skills and abilities are developed during this programme. The qualification of a Master's degree enhances career opportunities and progression. The MA Lifelong Learning can also lead on to further study and qualifications e.g. an EdD, MPhil or PhD. The programme itself does not confer qualified teachers status.

Find out more about ongoing professional development opportunities in Education


Part time course

FeeAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-15 Credit Module Fee442

Part time course

FeeAmount (£)
Home/EU-Part Time-15 Credit Module Fee442

Supplementary fee information

For information about fees and funding for courses please see our fees and funding pages.

For funding options, please see our funding and scholarships information.


Entry requirements

Normally participants will be required to hold a degree (or equivalent) plus experience and/or qualification related to the field of lifelong learning. This qualification might be a teaching qualification (e.g. PGCE; CertEd plus experience; CertEd (FE) or PGCert (FAHE), PGDip). Candidates without a formal role in the professional field of lifelong learning but with an informal and/or personal interest will be considered. Candidates without a first degree will be required to demonstrate suitability for study at Master's Level. This may be provided through written application or interview.

For further information

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