UCL Graduate degrees


Education (Assessment) MA

The MA Education (Assessment) route investigates theories, practice, policies and uses of educational assessments. Our modules focus on key issues in assessment practice including summative and formative theories and the relationships between the two. Students who take this MA learn with world-leading experts in the field of assessment and leave with key skills that they are able to use in a range of workplaces or take on to further study at doctoral level.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2021

Modes and duration

Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

The majority of seminars are in the evenings - usually from 17.30 to 20.00 hours - and run for 10 consecutive weeks. There are occasional Saturday sessions and these depend on the module and tutor.

Application dates

Visa nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 22 April 2021
UK nationals and Republic of Ireland nationals
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Citizens of Crown Dependencies and those with Pre-settled or Settled status
Open: 9 November 2020
Close: 31 May 2021
Applications may close earlier if all places on the programme are filled.

Tuition fees (2021/22)

£10,500 (FT)
£5,250 (PT)
£23,300 (FT)
£11,650 (PT)

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: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

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.

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

Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English

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. International Preparation Courses

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

International students

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.

Select your country:

About this degree

Students who complete the MA Education (Assessment) are able to interrogate assessment from 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.

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).

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.

Compulsory modules

You will take:

One assessment module: Assessment Issues and Practice (available as a face-to-face module in the Autumn Term, or as an Online module in the Spring Term). The Online module requires weekly live participation online. 

Two education modules: Understanding Research and What is Education?

  • Assessment Issues and Practice
  • Understanding Research
  • What is Education?

Optional modules

The following list indicates the kinds of modules we have on offer. Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that every module will run every year.

  • Assessment for Learning
  • Educational Testing
  • International Perspectives on Education Reform: Curriculum and Assessment

Visit the UCL Institute of Education website for more information, including module descriptions, which can be seen by clicking on the module title.


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a Dissertation (60 credits) or a Research Report (30 credits).

Teaching and learning

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 two-and-a-half hours of lectures, dialogue, small group discussions, presentations and/or a range of other activities.

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.

Additional costs

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


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 & Wellbeing team.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE Centenary Masters Scholarships

Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE Windle Trust Scholarship

Deadline: 31 December 2020
Full tuition fees and some allowances (Up to 3yrs)
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 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 apply for promotions at work, to develop a new role focused on assessment and others have gone on to undertaken a doctorate focused on assessment. 


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.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Curriculum, Pedagogy and Assessment Department at UCL Institute of Education is a world-leading centre for the study of curriculum, teaching and learning and assessment. The MA Education (Assessment) is the only Masters level course of its kind in Europe. 

The department provides an impressive range of cutting-edge MA and CPD programmes, 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.

Our students come from around the world and their input and experiences ensure a learning experience that is rich and diverse. Students on the MA Education (Assessment)  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. 

Department: Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment

What our students and staff say

Alumni view

"What I enjoyed most about my programme was not only the content—as it is so rare to find a graduate program that focuses on the theory and practice of assessment (as opposed to psychometrics)—is how diverse my classes and campus were. That diversity of experiences from all walks of life and from many nations allowed for a learning experience like no other. Professors, while not only being at the top of their field and doing ground-breaking and important research/community work, really cared about their students’ well-being and you could clearly tell how much they loved to teach. Each class was purposeful and provided take-aways that I still use in my career today. I would recommend the IOE for any current or future practitioner who wants to be able to inform their practice with theory, and be surrounded by individuals who crave to give our students a more just, equitable, and fulfilling educational experience."

Manisha Chase

Education (Assessment) MA (2017)
Alumni view

"Studying a Master's part-time at IOE had the potential to be a difficult balance between work and studying, however this was not the case. Over my two years studying, I thoroughly enjoyed embracing learning and reflecting on my own pedagogy. Course seminars embedded a learning climate rich in discussion and collaboration; providing opportunities to support and challenge theory and others’ opinions. Applying these discussions to practice was deepened by the diversity of students within each session; discussing practice internationally within different educational contexts. A Q&A with Seb Rowland"

Seb Rowland

Education (Assessment) MA (2018)

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.

This programme only requires one reference in support of your application. Your reference should be academic unless you have been out of university education for more than four years. Further information regarding references can be found in our How to apply section.

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: ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/application.

Who can apply?

This programme is suited to teachers, educational administrators, examinations officers, inspectors, educational researchers and education policymakers. 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. 

Application deadlines

Visa nationals
22 April 2021
UK nationals and Republic of Ireland nationals
31 May 2021
Citizens of Crown Dependencies and those with Pre-settled or Settled status
31 May 2021

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

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 (Assessment) at graduate level
  • why you want to study Education (Assessment) 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.

The programme welcomes students with a range of experiences and we encourage sharing of ideas and expertise in order to develop as learners. You should be willing to be an active and involved learner and be 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. 

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 28 August 2021