Education (Assessment) MA

London, Bloomsbury

The MA Education (Assessment) route investigates theories, practice, policies and use of assessment in all phases of education. Our modules offer opportunities to explore assessment from a range of perspectives by applying theory related to policy research, sociology, philosophy, psychology and more. Students who take this MA learn with world-leading experts in the field of assessment and leave with key research skills that they are able to use in a range of educational workplaces or take on to further study at doctoral level.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2024/25)
£12,700
£6,350
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
£31,100
£15,550
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 05 Apr 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Entry requirements

Normally applicants are expected to have a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, and a clearly expressed interest in educational assessment, gained largely through experience. Teaching, assessment development and implementation, and/or policy experience is welcomed, but not a requirement.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level.

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

This programme is suitable for international students on a Student visa – study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Students who complete the MA Education (Assessment) are able to interrogate assessment from policy positions, practice-based, philosophical, historical and sociological perspectives. Our students learn to think critically, to engage with a range of assessment resources and understand principal concepts in educational assessment so they can engage effectively with policy and practice in assessment locally, nationally and globally. The programme helps to develop strong writing skills applicable to research, policy authorship and other roles in assessment organisations or educational settings.

The MA Education (Assessment) has a teaching and research group: EAG@IOE. The Group runs regular assessment-related seminars and events open to all staff and students.

Who this course is for

This programme is suited to teachers, educational administrators, examinations officers, inspectors, educational researchers and education policymakers. We recommend that applicants have some knowledge and experience of assessment practice either in a classroom setting or through working in policy/research.

We welcome applicants who want to improve their skills and understanding about assessment issues and practices including themes such as assessment for learning, formative and summative assessment, educational measurement and assessment research.

What this course will give you

The Department of Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment (CPA) at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society is a world-leading centre for the study of curriculum, teaching and learning and assessment. The MA Education (Assessment) is the only Master's level course of its kind in Europe. 

Our students come from around the world and include full-time students who are learning alongside part-time peers who might include practising teachers and lecturers, awarding body staff members, education policymakers and educational researchers; this diverse student body ensures a rich and engaging learning experience for all.

The department provides an impressive range of cutting-edge MA and Continuing Professional Development programmes (some of which are certified), variously presented in face-to-face, distance learning or mixed mode formats. In addition, we offer a first-class doctoral programme and staff members are actively involved in an extensive range of innovative, nationally and internationally acclaimed, research and development projects.

The foundation of your career

Our graduates leave with a strong skills set applicable to a range of workplace settings; their professional in-depth knowledge of assessment systems and policies enhance any role in a school or education workplace. Our students learn to work in teams and develop key skills in time management working to a demanding set of individual deadlines. Graduates will demonstrate a genuine commitment to learning and, along with sound problem solving skills, are able to think critically about key educational issues and articulate their theoretical expertise through a range of excellent written and spoken communication skills.

Throughout my studies, the academic support from course tutors was excellent. Sessions were planned to encourage you to challenge your thinking on a variety of topics, with tutors sharing their expertise and experiences to further enhance your knowledge and understanding. Readings were carefully considered to complement, reflect and form links to the the taught content and assignments were constructed to further reflect and enhance this.

Seb Rowland, Education Assessment MA

Seb Rowland

Education (Assessment) MA

Employability

Graduates of this programme are employed in a diverse range of roles and educational settings, for example, as teachers, heads of department in schools and colleges, as staff in awarding organisations, education policy makers and as educational researchers. Recent graduates from our programme have used their new professional expertise to secure promotions at work, to develop a new role focused on assessment and others have gone on to undertake a doctorate focused on assessment. 

Networking

IOE has a vibrant research community and students are encouraged to attend public seminars and events to network and meet others in a range of educational disciplines and settings.

The Assessment team in CPA has it's own research group that run regular seminars and all students are welcome to attend these to meet experts, engage in discussions and learn about working in assessment. 

Guest tutors feature in all of the modules run through the Assessment route and these provide opportunities to meet and discuss current assessment theory, research and practice. Our guests are very friendly and happy to talk to students about their aspirations or ideas for working in assessment contexts.

Teaching and learning

At IOE, we draw on the breadth of expertise in teaching and learning so that students can expect to be challenged, engaged and motivated through taught sessions, group work and independent study. Students are likely to experience teaching methods and assessments that are unfamiliar and we expect students to embrace these new experiences as they are designed to enhance your Master's level learning. Students will learn how to write at Master's level, how to engage in critical and analytical thinking and how to source and read a range of texts. Tutors expect students to be proactive in searching out resources, to ask questions and be curious - these skills will add depth to your learning experience at IOE. Teaching sessions are rarely didactic lectures - we know that students learn best when they are involved so you will be expected to participate, you might have to present ideas to a class or group, you might be asked to prepare work to share in a seminar, or to post comments and feedback in the Virtual Learning Environment. You will be joining a learning community; your participation is part of what makes the community successful.

Depending on the modules taken, the programme is taught through face-to-face evening sessions, occasional weekend daytime sessions, and/or online.

A typical face-to-face session consists of about two hours of lectures, dialogue, small group discussions, presentations and/or a range of other activities.

Assessment students will experience a range of assessment modes during their time at IOE. We use a wide range to help you learn and understand about assessment in all its forms; we expect you to put your learning into practice.

Typically, a module of 30 credits has about 4000 words of graded assessment that is presented in writing. However, as experts in assessment we are committed to developing your understanding of how important formative assessment is to help you fully engage with learning and your tutors will include assessment 'points' throughout your programme so you can reflect on your learning as you work towards your Master's degree.

Our aim is to create and use assessments that are relevant to your life at IOE and beyond. Summative and formative assessments might include some or all of the following: a critical review of your reading, a traditional essay, a policy report, a presentation, short patchwork text assessments, tests and quizzes, group writing tasks and much more.

Full-time students can expect to spend about 26-30 hours of each week preparing for and participating in seminars/lectures, and engaged in independent study and research.

Part-time students (depending upon their choice of modules) can expect to spend about 10-12 hours per week on preparation/attendance at lectures and seminars, and independent study.

Modules

The programme can be studied full-time (one academic year), part-time (2 years) or modular/flexible (up to 5 years). The schedule for module completion will depend on the length of time that you have to complete the MA programme - you can discuss this with the Programme Team. 

Teaching is sometimes blended: with some face-to-face lectures/seminars/tutorials and resources/task work via a Virtual Learning Environment.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. MA Education (Assessment) consists of three compulsory modules (90 credits), and either one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits), or a 30-credit report plus two additional optional modules. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Education (Assessment).

Compulsory modules:

  • One assessment module: Assessment Issues and Practice.
  • Two education modules: Understanding Research and What is Education?

Optional modules:

A range of optional modules focusing on Assessment are available (Educational Testing, Assessment for Learning, International Perspectives in Educational Reform), or you choose from other optional modules offered across IOE subject to availability - see the UCL Module Catalogue for details.

All students on the programme take: "What is Education?" and "Understanding Research" as common compulsory modules. The compulsory elements of your route, along with the optional elements, are as follows:

  • Assessment: Issues and Practice (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1

OR

  • Assessment: Issues and Practice (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Report (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1
  • Optional module 2.

Your programme can be studied part-time (2 years). You can discuss your schedule for completion with the Programme Team. 

Teaching is sometimes blended: with some face-to-face lectures/seminars/tutorials and resources/task work via a Virtual Learning Environment.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. MA Education (Assessment) consists of three compulsory modules (90 credits), and either one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits), or a 30-credit report plus two additional optional modules. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Education (Assessment).

Compulsory modules:

  • One assessment module: Assessment Issues and Practice.
  • Two education modules: Understanding Research and What is Education?

Optional modules:

A range of optional modules focusing on Assessment are available (Educational Testing, Assessment for Learning, International Perspectives in Educational Reform), or you choose from other optional modules offered across IOE, subject to availability - see the UCL Module Catalogue for details.

All students on the programme take: "What is Education?" and "Understanding Research" as common compulsory modules. The compulsory elements of your route, along with the optional elements, are as follows:

  • Assessment: Issues and Practice (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1

OR

  • Assessment: Issues and Practice (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Report (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1
  • Optional module 2.

Your programme can be studied as modular/flexible (up to 5 years). Your schedule for module completion will depend on the length of time that you have to complete the MA programme - you can discuss this with the Programme Team. 

Teaching is sometimes blended: with some face-to-face lectures/seminars/tutorials and resources/task work via a Virtual Learning Environment.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. MA Education (Assessment) consists of three compulsory modules (90 credits), and either one optional module (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits), or a 30-credit report plus two additional optional modules. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in Education (Assessment).

Compulsory modules:

  • One assessment module: Assessment Issues and Practice.
  • Two education modules: Understanding Research and What is Education?

Optional modules:

A range of optional modules focusing on Assessment are available (Educational Testing, Assessment for Learning, International Perspectives in Educational Reform), or you choose from other optional modules offered across IOE, subject to availability - see the UCL Module Catalogue for details.

All students on the programme take: "What is Education?" and "Understanding Research" as common compulsory modules. The compulsory elements of your route, along with the optional elements, are as follows:

  • Assessment Issues and Practice (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1

OR

  • Assessment Issues and Practice (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Report (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1
  • Optional module 2.

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 are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Education (Assessment).

Accessibility

Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support and Wellbeing team.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £12,700 £6,350
Tuition fees (2024/25) £31,100 £15,550

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

Students should take into account any travel, accommodation and expenses involved in their report or dissertation.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees, return flights and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 3 May 2024
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

Next steps

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

The programme welcomes students with a range of experiences (teachers, students, policymakers, exam board staff and more). Our teaching is underpinned by the sharing of ideas and expertise in order to develop as learners. You should be willing to be an active and involved learner and ready to participate both face-to-face and online to benefit from participation in the programme. E.g., you will be expected to speak and present in front of others, to take part in discussions and debates and to actively contribute to the programme.

When you write your statement, you need to explain why you wish to focus on assessment. Avoid writing broad, descriptive statements about education, instead you should focus on addressing the following:

  • why you want to study MA Education (Assessment) at graduate level
  • what aspect(s) of educational assessment are of interest to you
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of the programme
  • where you might like to go professionally with your degree

If you have substantial experience (3+ years) of working in assessment and/or teaching but don't meet the standard admission requirements, please call the Programme Leader to talk about your interest. We are willing to consider skills and experience beyond academic qualifications on a case by case basis.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2024-2025

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