This MA programme is unique in the UK. It is based in a major centre for philosophy of education and aims to give students a comprehensive grounding in the subject.
Modes and duration
Full-time students will normally attend two weekly evening sessions in their first term, and one weekly evening session in subsequent terms, in addition to completing their dissertation/report.
Tuition fees (2020/21)
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 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 UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institution.
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 or January.
International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.
Select your country:
About this degree
This programme enables students to explore further the relevance of ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of mind and epistemology to contemporary educational issues and to bring philosophical thinking to bear on their own educational concerns including professional practice. Students will gain a grounding in philosophical approaches, becoming part of a lively community of Masters and Doctoral students from a wide range of backgrounds.
Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.
The programme consists of two compulsory modules (60 credits), one recommended module (30 credits), and either one optional module (30 credits) and the dissertation (60 credits), or two optional modules (60 credits) and a report (30 credits).
Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Philosophy of Education.
All students are required to take the following core module, which provides an introduction to some central questions and modes of enquiry within the field of philosophy of education.
The recommended module and a selection of optional modules appear below, and further optional modules can be selected from a wide range offered by various taught Master's programmes at the UCL Institute of Education.
- Philosophy of Education: Knowledge, Mind and Understanding
- Further optional modules include:
- Theoretical Foundations of Educational Ideas
- Understanding Education Research
- Rights and Education
Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.
All students are required to submit either: a dissertation of 18,000-20,000 words in philosophy of education (60 credits) or a report of about 10,000 words plus a further 30-credit optional module approved by the Programme Leader.
Teaching and learning
The taught sessions consist primarily of presentations by the tutor(s) or another speaker, often reviewing a range of positions and arguments on a topic (on occasion students may be invited in advance to make their own presentation to the group); and discussion, both as a whole class and in small groups, which is vital both to clarifying and being able to argue for your own position, and to understanding the positions and arguments of others.
Assessment on the Philosophy MA modules is by means of a 5,000-word written essay.
Most of your work on the MA will take the form of independent study. While everybody's needs and work habits are different, to make the kind of progress that is required at MA level, you should assign to studying 8-10 hours per week if you are a part-time student and 10-15 hours per week if you are a full-time student, in addition to formally timetabled classes and individual tutorials. You will also benefit from attending the weekly Philosophy of Education research seminar, as well as occasional guest lecturers, seminars or day conferences within IOE or elsewhere in UCL.
Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.
- Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2020/21
- Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
- 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 programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers and senior school leaders, while others have jobs as university lecturers and researchers. Graduates can also be found working as staff in policy think tanks and as youth workers or in adult and informal education.
Students will develop and enhance their ability to interrogate underlying assumptions in educational policy, theory and research; to formulate and defend coherent arguments; to write academic papers emphasising conceptual clarity and rigour; to use theoretical tools to reflect on educational practice, and to articulate critical perspectives on a range of common-place educational ideas and concepts.
Why study this degree at UCL?
The Department of Education, Practice and Society at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is the well-established home of an interdisciplinary grouping bringing together high-quality teaching and research in the history, sociology and philosophy of education and international development.
The IOE has, through the decades, been in the vanguard of the development and dissemination of work in the field. Its Centre for Philosophy draws together research across the IOE as well as showcasing our extensive connections in the field.
The centre is committed to rigorous exploration of a variety of philosophical approaches, encompassing such topics as the aims of education, teaching, learning, and the curriculum, democracy, citizenship, philosophy with children, new technology, and the environment.
Department: Education, Practice & Society
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.
There is an application processing fee for this programme of £80 for online applications and £105 for paper applications. Further information can be found at: www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.
Who can apply?
This programme is suited to anyone interested professionally or personally in questions about the moral and political justification of education, educational aims and values in liberal societies, the nature of knowledge and understanding, and the educational implications of different philosophical traditions.
- All applicants
- 24 July 2020
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 Philosophy of Education at graduate level
- why you want to study Philosophy of Education 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.
UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.