MA Education (part-time distance learning 5 years)

Entry year
Course code
School of Education and Childhood
Five years
Distance Learning part-time; starts September and January
Programme leader
Dr Fay Lewis

Please note we are no longer offering this course in its five-year duration to new applicants. If you would like information about our three-year course, please visit the part-time distance learning over three years course page.

Page last updated 16 July 2024


Gain this flexible part-time qualification and you'll drive developments in your workplace while progressing your career. Apply theory to your specific professional context, reflect on your experiences and engage in educational research to make a direct contribution to educational practice.

The quality of education plays an important role in facilitating learning. As an educator, you make a difference to the community through inspiring the next generation of learners. Educators need to understand the role they play in their students' learning and know what impacts the success of their learners. Gain an insight into what affects student performance and discover ways to develop your learners' reflective skills while improving your own too.

A relevant, context-based course

Our MA Education course allows you to personalise your studies to suit your own professional development. By linking academic theory with educational policy and your own everyday educational practice, you'll be equipped to make a real contribution to developments in your workplace.

Critically analyse and explore the relationship between theoretical models in education and professional practice, as well as examining educational policies in a range of contexts. You'll also learn how to conduct ethical and robust educational enquiry, developing your research skills to prepare you for the next steps in your career.

A tailored, student-centred approach

Our student-centred course ensures you'll reflect on your own practice and develop your expertise based on your academic interests and specific professional context. Build a critical, reflective and enquiring mindset that you can apply to your own workplace as you become a self-reliant leader.

Study remotely through our online learning community, where you'll benefit from online discussion boards and group forums with your peers and tutors. You'll have the opportunity to share experiences, provide mutual support and gain expertise from other education professionals working in the field.

A flexible course delivery

Thanks to its part-time delivery, you'll have the opportunity to work through your online course materials at your own pace. This enables you to fit your studies around your other commitments, which will suit you if you're currently working in professional practice.

This MA Education course is aimed at recently qualified teachers or practising education professionals who are looking to take between three to five years to study their chosen qualification. Many of the modules can also be taken separately as standalone modules, offering you opportunities in continual professional development.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience



The optional modules listed are those that are most likely to be available, but they may be subject to change. 

At the start of this MA Education course, you'll complete an initial 15 credit module, designed to support your professional and academic development. You'll then choose your optional modules, depending on your prior experience, qualifications and current working context. On successful completion, you'll go on to study your final two compulsory modules. Throughout your studies, the course team will offer guidance and support on module choices, timings and pathways. You'll study the following modules over a period of up to 5 years. The precise duration and format of your studies will be determined by negotiation with the Programme Leader:

You'll initially study one of the following core modules:

  • Academic and Professional Journeys (15 credits)
  • Beginning a Career (15 credits).

You'll then go on to study optional modules to the value of 60 credits from:

  • Early Years Leadership (15 credits)
  • Education Leadership, Management and Change (30 credits)
  • Exploring Professional Practice (30 credits)*
  • Leading Behaviour and Culture (15 credits)
  • Leading Literacy (15 credits)
  • Leading Teacher Development (15 credits)
  • Leading Teaching (15 credits)
  • Policy and Practice (30 credits)
  • Teaching for Learning (30 credits)**
  • Independent Study (10 credits).***

* For students who have completed the Beginning a Career module although this is not a pre-requisite

** For students who have completed the Academic and Professional Journeys module although this is not a pre-requisite.

*** Only for students such as PCAP/PGCAPP graduates needing additional credits.

You'll then study:

  • Researching Education (45 credits). This module is offered in two formats: a standard online module and a face to face version. The content, assessment and cost of each version of the module is exactly the same, but the face to face version offers students the opportunity to work alongside peers and staff, on campus at UWE for one week in July.


  • Project (60 credits)

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we'll inform you. 

Learning and Teaching

Your teaching will be delivered using a range of methods, including online lectures, project work, group work and tutorials. Throughout this part-time MA Education course, you'll work remotely using online platforms, allowing you to progress through the materials at a pace chosen by you.

Our student-centred approach enables you to follow your interests by selecting the focus of your work, feeding into the specific context of your professional practice. All course activity will be context-based, involving reflective practices and practical research relevant to your own field of work.

To supplement your learning, you'll complete self-directed study, such as independent reading and assignment preparation, as well as directed tasks, such as examining case studies and reviewing literature. Engage with our supportive virtual learning community and collaborate with your peers using online group forums, discussion boards, conferences and newsletters.


You'll be assessed using a variety of methods to enhance the inclusivity of the learning experience. These methods include essays, reports, reflective diaries and logs, professional portfolios, oral presentations and dissemination activities. Each assignment will provide evidence of your professional learning and demonstrate the skills you've gained, including academic writing, communication and presentation skills.

You'll also complete a final compulsory assessment in the form of a research project, with built-in formal and informal dissemination to your tutors and peers. After each assignment, you'll receive formative and summative feedback which will encourage you to build a reflective approach towards your practice.

Throughout your learning journey you'll shape your own personal educational ethos, which you'll learn to analyse in relation to your own professional context. Your assignments will critically explore wider contextual factors, such as ethical, political and social implications of educational practice and research, while underpinning this with academic theory.

Learn more about assessments.


Study facilities

Learn more about UWE Bristol's facilities and resources.

Get a feel for the Education and Teaching facilities we have on offer here from wherever you are.

MA Education at UWE Bristol

Learn more from the Programme Leader about our MA Education.


Postgraduate support

Our support includes access to fantastic facilities, study tools and career consultants, plus practical help to access everything from funding to childcare.


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Health and Wellbeing

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Campus and facilities

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Careers / Further study

As a practice-focused course, our MA Education offers you a tailored learning experience, applying theoretical models to contextualised practice. When you graduate, you'll be equipped to drive change in educational practice, making a contribution to workplace developments while progressing your career as an education professional.

Develop skills in critical thinking, leadership, independent research and reflection, building your confidence in your ability to become an ethical education practitioner. You'll also boost your professional development by honing your communication skills, ensuring you're able to influence key audiences with your research.

Broaden your learning as you critically explore the wider contextual factors impacting education policy and practice, such as ethical, political and social implications. You'll also appreciate the impact of globalisation on education, ideal for those wishing to gain an international perspective or working in educational settings overseas.

Whether you're a recently qualified teacher or employed in a wider educational context, our courses will support your career progression within your field. We welcome applicants from a variety of backgrounds who require a postgraduate level qualification to progress to more senior roles.

While you're employed, you'll study the course remotely on a part-time basis, allowing you to work alongside your studies. Students can take up to five years to complete the qualification, providing a flexible study route. If you're interested in continual professional development, you'll benefit from the opportunity to study modules as standalone short courses.

Graduates from this course will go on to employment in the education sectors, from the development of their teaching and educational leadership roles to wider routes into training and development and academia, with some progressing to take further degrees in educational psychology or PhDs in education related subjects.

Our award-winning Careers Service helps you develop your employability through career coaching, a vacancy service for internships, placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity plus support for entrepreneurial activity, and access to employer events.


Supplementary fee information

See our funding pages for more information.

UWE Bristol Alumni receive a 25% discount. Students working in schools in partnerships with UWE Bristol's Education Department may be eligible for a discount. Contact our admissions team for more details.


Entry requirements

Usually applicants will be required to hold an undergraduate degree (or equivalent). Applicants without a degree will be required to demonstrate suitability for study at master's level.

Accredited Learning will be available up to a maximum of 90 credits for relevant qualification, eg PGCE, Cert Ed, Dip Ed. Accredited Experiential Learning may be available for attaching academic credit to recognised professional training/CPD courses, eg NPQH/SL/ML, MAST.

International applicants

We welcome international students onto this course.

For country specific entry requirements, please find your country on the country information pages.

English Language Requirement

International and EU applicants are required to have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5 with no component below 5.5 (or approved equivalent*).

*The university accepts a large number of UK and International qualifications in place of IELTS. To find details of acceptable tests and the required grades, please visit our English Language Requirements pages.

English Language support

If you are applying to study at UWE Bristol and require additional support to meet our English language requirements, you may be able to attend one of our pre-sessional English courses.

Read more about our pre-sessional English programme.

How to apply

Applicants apply directly to the University by completing the formal application form. 

Applicants linked to Council of British International Schools (COBIS) are eligible for a 5% discount on tuition fees. To apply with the discount, in your application please answer "Yes" when asked "Are you making an application through a partner institution which has an agreement with UWE?" and then select "Council of British International Schools" as a partner.

Check if your school is a COBIS member.

Read more about postgraduate applications.

Read more about international applications and key international deadline dates.

For further information