Education, Health Promotion and International Development MA
The MA offers students the opportunity to extend and deepen their understanding of concepts, theories and issues related to international development, education and sustainable ways of promoting health, wellbeing and social justice
- build on their existing knowledge to develop new understandings of key concepts and issues in education, health promotion and international development
- appraise and evaluate current policy and practice through evidence-informed analysis
- draw connections between distinct academic disciplines with regard to the promotion of wellbeing and social justice,
- investigate and propose sustainable ways of working and,
- through conducting a small-scale research study, apply what they have learned to create personally and professionally relevant new knowledge of the field.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits), or three optional modules (90 credits) and a report (30 credits).
- Education and International Development: Concepts, Theories and Issues
- This module introduces a range of concepts from the social and political sciences that assist the understanding and analysis of the relationship between education, learning and international development in low and middle income countries. The module also explores critically the changing links between these relationships at individual, local, national, regional, international and global levels. It introduces and discusses issues of educational policy and practice in low and middle income countries. This module is also available on a distance learning basis beginning in the autumn term studied through virtual learning environment Moodle.
- Promoting Health and Wellbeing: Planning, Practice and Participation
This module is for professionals and practitioners who are interested in promoting health and wellbeing through education in its broadest sense whether working in local communities, schools or other settings, and whether with statutory services or voluntary, civil society or social enterprise organisations.
This is a core module for the MA Education, Health Promotion and International Development, but can be taken by all post-graduate students at the UCL Institute of Education (IOE). It can be studied by those from a range of backgrounds including education, counselling, health, social work, community development, social development and other related areas. You do not need to have a health or medical background to study this module.
A range of optional modules from across UCL Institute of Education (IOE) Master's-level offering are available, including:
- Education, Conflict and Fragility
This module critically explores complex interactions between education, armed conflict and state fragility. It examines the role of education in the formation and prevention of socio-political tensions in low and middle-income countries and provides an opportunity to debate the key political and sociological theories in the field of education and conflict studies. Students engage in the analysis of education both as an instrument that is complicit in reproducing socioeconomic divisions as well producing a critical mass of learners who resist inequalities and social injustices. The multitude of ways violent conflicts and state fragility impact upon marginalised groups, including children, the intersection with inequalities associated with poverty, gender and ethnicity, and the gender dimensions of conflict, are also considered.
In addition to formal lectures and seminars on the module, students will also be encouraged to participate in institutional visits and engage with the work of various international non-governmental organisations that support education in low and middle-income countries. This will not only provide an opportunity to gain insights into current policy debates and development priorities in the field but also a networking opportunity with practitioners and policy makers. A large number of our students who come from conflict-affected societies or with an experience in such environments create a unique learning space on the module.
- Education and Development in Asia
This module will examine the relationship between education (primarily at the level of schooling), state formation and patterns of economic growth in selected Asian countries and regions. It will be informed by a critique of various concepts of 'development', and will focus in particular on controversies relating to the significance of trends such as globalisation, cultural identity and autonomy in the developing world. While it will feature discussion of the relationship between education and economic development, the conceptualisation of 'development' adopted here will extend beyond a concern with GDP and poverty reduction, to broader considerations of the role of education in the search for Asian models of 'modernity'.
Key themes will include the role of skills formation strategies in the East Asian 'Economic Miracle', the contribution of education to nation-building and identity formation, and the implications of globalisation (both cultural and economic) for education policy in Asia. A particular focus will be the tension in education policies in China, India and elsewhere between an elitist pursuit of high skills seen as crucial to competitiveness in the 'global knowledge economy', and the promotion of basic education for the masses with a view to fostering greater equality of opportunity and 'social cohesion'. The dangers inherent in the relationship between education (particularly schooling) and nationalism in East and South Asia are another major theme of this module.
- Education and Muslim Communities
This module will primarily focus on exposing participants to the historical, geographical, political, economic and cultural underpinnings of education in a host of Muslim communities. It will elucidate the state of education and seek understanding and explanation of such educational provision in the light of global declarations such as: Education for All (Dakar 2000, Jomtien 1990); Human Rights Declaration (1948); and the universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity (UNESCO 2002), which have been ratified by the vast majority of the world's countries.
The module will therefore critically investigate current global efforts and approaches to improve educational provision. National and regional case studies will be presented to illuminate the interconnected areas of concern and issues and challenges to appreciate education in Muslim communities. Case studies will reflect the geographical range of Muslim communities: majoritarian Muslim countries, countries with significant Muslims, and regions where the settlement of Muslims is a relatively new phenomena.
- Planning for Education and Development
The module provides an international perspective on collaborative education planning, governance and administration within and between non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and inter-governmental organisations (IGOs; bi-lateral agencies), the private sector, and governments. It considers conflicting demands on education and ways to put new ideas into action, working from an examination of how decisions are made, to how they are implemented. Dilemmas regarding resource allocation and dealing with corruption and violence are explored. In two problem-based case studies at the end of the module, participants look at significant contemporary issues and possible education planning approaches.This module is also available through distance learning.
- Gender, Education and Development
This module aims to link work in education and international development with insights from gender and education and relate these to educational policy and practice. It is designed to develop an understanding of the circumstances in low and middle income countries, under which gender affects rights to, rights in and rights through education. The course looks at the gendered dimensions of processes of teaching and learning. It considers sexual divisions in education and the gendered political economy of family, work, political action and cultural production. Particular attention is given to gender and violence in school settings. Throughout the course there will be a concern to explore gender sensitive strategies and alternative approaches in education to overcome social division and inequalities.
- Gender, Sexuality and Education
This module aims to encourage a critical examination of current debates concerning theory research and practice in the areas of gender and sexuality in education. Lectures, seminar activities and readings will engage with a number of key topics, including feminist theory, pedagogy and research methods; intersectionality, poststructural, psychosocial, new materialist and queer theories; analysing gender, sexuality and educational policy and practice (e.g. achievement, behaviour, sex education and e-safety policies); and researching sexualities, femininities, masculinities and identity in educational contexts. By engaging in discussion of a range of research projects with experts in their respective areas of study, the module will cover a range of issues relating to professional practice, providing teachers, researchers, and diverse practitioners a forum for investigating their own interests in the field of gender, sexuality and education.
- Learners, Learning and Teaching in the Context of Education for All
- This module will look critically at current theories, policies, practice and approach to learning and teaching in the context of education for all (EFA). It will provide participants with an awareness of political, social, cultural and linguistic contexts in which teaching and learning take place. It will analyse challenges faced by governmental and non-governmental agencies in providing quality education for all. It will examine debates about planning and selection of knowledge, especially as related to teacher education and curriculum development systems in developing contexts. It will also consider different approaches to assessment of learning and consider the implications and effects on teaching.
- Children's Rights in Practice
This module explores the relationship between children's rights, professional practice, and contemporary theories of childhood and society. It provides an understanding of sociological, socio-legal and political theories of children's rights and citizenship, and includes critical debates about international children's rights conventions and their applicability in different contexts and countries.
- Learn about the rights and responsibilities of people who work with children and young people.
- Hear from internationally renowned academic experts in the field of children's rights - past speakers include Gerison Lansdowne and Priscilla Alderson.
- Make connections with leaders in national and international third sector organisations working in the field of children's rights - past guest speakers include Save the Children, Child-to-Child, and Action Aid.
- Watch international films about childhood and children's rights, and visit the Foundling Museum in London to explore adult-child relations in history.
- Meet peers from around the world working in the field of children's rights, often leading to networks and collaborations sustained far beyond the module.
- Explore your own area of interest or professional practice in relation to the rapidly developing field of children's rights under the tutelage of expert module tutors.
- Theories of Childhood and Society
This module explores cutting-edge research and theorising about children and young people's experiences and their social status in varied global contexts. You will:
- investigate a range of contemporary social theories about childhood and society
- examine children and young people's participation in society, including their involvement in working, caring, playing, learning, and taking action for social justice with others
- explore a range of current issues and debates, including discussions about:
- adult-child power relations
- unequal childhoods
- the impact of the state, economy, and cultural practices on childhood
- children and young people's friendships and popular cultures
- changing relationships between school, work and childhood
- children and young people's citizenship and political participation
- consider the implications of sociological theories of childhood for professional practice
- learn from internationally renowned and research-active lecturers
- explore your own area of interest under the tutelage of expert module tutors.
- Understanding Education Research
This module will provide participants with an introduction to a range of research approaches and methods. They will also be able to engage in specialist issues and look in detail at sourcing, generating and analysing specific kinds of extant and new research content. These will include autobiographies, biographies, documents, interviews, life histories, media and multi-media texts, narratives, observations, oral histories, philosophical arguments, statistics and conceptual analysis, photographs and other visual representations, statistics and numeric data. Reading of original source texts of key studies will provide participants with the opportunity to interrogate the changing and contested nature of education research.
The module is designed to be both multi- and inter-disciplinary, exposing all students to approaches to research from across the foundation disciplines of history, philosophy and sociology. Participants will be invited to explore the sorts of questions that might be asked, and answered, by education research. Moving on, we will think about the implications of these questions for designing research as well as engaging, or even influencing education policy and practice. The role of the researcher, her/his relationship with the researched, and the ethical dimensions of this will be key considerations.
- Understanding Research
The module aims to provide participants with a grounding in educational and social research. It will provide students the opportunity to:
- explore the politics and purposes of different types of research
- investigate the range of theories of knowledge which underpin different approaches to research
- critically reflect on ethical issues for research and their own identity as a researcher
- become familiar with a range of research concepts and methods for data collection and analysis
- read and critique research within their own and other disciplines.
We are keen to encourage students to select modules from across the IOE - including those related to education technology, effective learning, social policy, art education. Please discuss your optional module choices with your personal tutor so that you can build a modular programme relevant to your professional development in the field
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of up to 20,000 words or a report of 10,000 words
Teaching and Learning
The programme is taught through a combination of lectures, participatory and interactive groupwork, online learning and individual tutorials. Assessment is through coursework, taking the form of 5,000 word assignments or equivalent, such as a 3,500-word project proposal + 1,500 word conceptual framework. The small-scale research study is assessed by way of a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report
Fieldwork is not a compulsory part of the programme. However, students are encouraged to draw from their professional or voluntary experience as well as the ideas encountered during the programme to write critically and cogently for different audiences. The small-scale research study usually takes the form of a combination of desk-based research (a literature review) and fieldwork.
Placements are not routinely part of the programme. But good links have been established between the programme and UCL’s Volunteering Services Unit (http://uclu.org/services/volunteering-at-uclu). Some students have also taken part in the UCL ChangeMakers programme (https://www.ucl.ac.uk/changemakers). Taking part in these programmes can provide those studying in London with valuable international development-related experience. That said, both on-campus and distance learning students are encouraged to bring their own interests and concerns into their programme, helping to make it personally relevant and professionally significant.
Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.
A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard is required, normally in social science, education or nursing - but a range of undergraduate programmes are excepted (including arts and humanities if the applicant can demonstrare an interest in and understanding of health promotion in their personal statement). In addition some appropriate experience in a low or middle-income country (a minimum of one month) is normally a condition of entry.
English Language Requirements
If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.
The English language level for this programme is: Good
Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.
Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.
This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- Overseas students
- Based on both academic merit and financial need
For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.
Graduates of this Master's degree have been engaged:
- as policy-makers and advisers in government ministries and departments
- as policy advocates and programme managers in international NGOs and development agencies
- as social research consultants
- as teachers and lecturers in schools, colleges and universities
- as international development consultants
- in doctoral study (either on PhD or EdD programmes).
Graduates of this Master's degree have used the academic and professional expertise gained through the programme to:
- set up and manage an NGO or consultancy
- prepare successful project and research proposals
- develop new reporting procedures adopted throughout their organisation
- gain employment as consultants
- take on new roles and responsibilities within an organisation
- transfer their expertise into international development
- engage policymakers, practitioners and members of the public through research-informed practice.
Why study this degree at UCL?
This unique Master's programme provides students with opportunities to explore and examine the links between three academic and professional fields - education, health promotion and international development. It encourages a consideration of the ways that these fields are both distinctive, yet inter-related, and how evidence-informed practice might best contribute to working across professional boundaries, enhancing wellbeing and advocating for social justice
Students learn alongside tutors who hold a breadth and depth of expertise in education, health promotion, social research and international development and who have professional experience in national and international contexts. Tutors are active in research on areas related to physical and emotional health and wellbeing, international development, refugees, young people, gender and sexuality, teaching and pedagogy and curriculum development.
Students on this MA benefit from involvement in a number of key academic networks including:
- being part of a cluster of four international development MA programmes, so learning with student peers from across the world
- an annual study visit to Paris (not included in the programme fee) and usually including visits to UNESCO, the International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) and OECD
- membership of the London International Development Centre.
Department: Education, Practice & Society
Research Excellence Framework (REF)
The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.
The following REF score was awarded to the department: Education, Practice & Society
78% rated 4* (world-leading) or 3* (internationally excellent)
Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.
Application and next steps
Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.
Who can apply?
This programme welcomes professionals and practitioners from a range of backgrounds in health, education, health promotion, arts and humanities, anthropology, psychology, sociology (and social sciences in general), nursing, medicine, as well as in social development in low- or middle-income countries. The programme encourages applications from those with substantial experience in low- and middle-income countries, as well as those with minimal experience in these country settings but who would like to extend and deepen their understanding of research, policy and practice in these contexts
- All applicants
- 28 July 2017
For more information see our Applications page.Apply now
What are we looking for?
When we assess your application we would like to learn:
- why you want to study Education, Health Promotion and International Development at graduate level
- why you want to study Education, Health Promotion and International Development at UCL
- what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
- how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
- where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.
We look for applicants who not only have some existing expertise in education, supporting people's health and wellbeing, and working in developing country contexts, but who also have a passion for advocacy, working within and across professional and disciplinary bounderies, sustainable development, and enabling others in challenging circumstances to flourish