Education (Literacy) MA

London, Bloomsbury

The MA Education (Literacy) gives students a unique opportunity to explore how literacy operates in a diverse and changing world. Recognising that literacy is a social practice in a multilingual and multimodal world, this MA considers how literacy has been, and continues to be understood and politicised. Our modules focus on the various ways in which literacy is perceived, valued, used and appraised, across a range of life domains and cultural contexts. As a result, this MA explores how literacy links with constructions of power, agency and gender and considers the implications of this for all. Students who take this MA learn with world-leading experts in the field of literacy and leave with key skills that can be used in a range of workplace contexts or to take on to further study at doctoral level.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
£11,800
£5,900
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
£29,000
£14,500
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 31 Mar 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

A minimum of a second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. (Please note: one or two optional modules may have additional, specific entry requirements).

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. International Preparation Courses

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

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 (Literacy) will have the skills and knowledge to reflect critically on the role of literacy within a variety of contexts, including schools, the home and the workplace.  Using a primarily socio-cultural perspective, this MA explores literacy use and learning across the life span and across a range of life domains and cultural contexts. Having engaged with a range of different theoretical approaches in the study of literacy, this MA gives students an opportunity to conduct a small-scale study of their own into an aspect of literacy that is relevant to the student.

Who this course is for

The MA Education (Literacy) is a broad based, generalist programme, appropriate for all those who have a serious interest in literacy education, practice, policy and research. It suits those aiming to work in education policy, development, research or leadership, as well as educators who are looking to develop their careers in a wide variety of contexts. As such the course will appeal to those who have recently completed a first degree in a related field, as well as others such as teachers, health care professionals, librarians, early childhood practitioners and family support workers. The MA Education (Literacy) is not a teacher training programme and, since it does not include a practice component, is unlikely to satisfy teacher certification requirements.

What this course will give you

As well as the subject knowledge and skills mentioned above, this course will also give you access to the International Literacy Centre at IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society, which is a world-leading centre for the study of literacy learning and teaching. 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 (Literacy) 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. Should you decide to continue your studies to doctoral level 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 will leave with a strong skill set applicable to a range of workplace settings; their professional in-depth knowledge of literacy practices will 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.

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 the MA Education (Literacy) may use their new professional expertise to apply for promotions at work, to develop a new role focused on literacy or go on to undertake a doctorate focused on literacy.

Teaching and learning

Teaching on MA Education (Literacy) takes place on a blended basis with the options to study mostly face to face but with some online provision.

Our pedagogy is based around discussion and debate which takes place face to face or online in seminars and tutorials, or online through discussion forums. We use a mixture of group seminars, group tutorials and individual tutorials to support student learning.

The programme is assessed through essays and a written dissertation or report. There are no examinations. Module essays involve critical engagement with specific area of literacy. Students have considerable freedom to decide what aspects of literacy to focus on in their assignments and this is particularly true of the dissertation and report element of the programme, chosen by the student from a range of areas covered within the module.

Formative assessment is provided by tutor feedback in tutorials and elsewhere and in comments on draft assignments.

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

Your programme can be studied full-time (one academic year), part-time (over two years) or 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 blended: some lectures/materials online, some face to face seminars/tutorials and resources/task work via a Virtual Learning Environment.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. MA Education (Literacy) 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 (Literacy).

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 (we particularly recommend the optional module Perspectives on Literacy Learning (PoLL)), are as follows:

  • Literacy in a Changing World (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1

OR

  • Literacy in a Changing World (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Report (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1
  • Optional module 2

Dissertation OR Report on Literacy (with integrated research methods) 
The dissertation/report will allow you to conduct a small-scale study in a literacy-related topic of your choice. The module will enhance your ability to read research in your chosen field, to devise investigative strategies, to develop knowledge in your field and to communicate this through scholarly writing and argument.
In the first term of this module you will follow an online research methods course through which you will learn how to conceptualise and write a coherent research proposal. You will be supported in formulating relevant research questions on the basis of relevant literature and/or observations of practice. On the basis of this you will develop your plans for data collection and analysis strategies that will allow you to answer your questions. In term two and three you will implement your research proposal, gathering and analysing data and presenting your conclusions systematically.  
If you are completing the Dissertation you will be assessed on the basis of a 20,000 word submission which is comprised of a 17,000 word dissertation, a copy of the final research proposal (2,000 words), and a peer review of another student’s research proposal and your online contributions (1,000 words).
If you are completing the Report you will be assessed on the basis of a 10 000 word submission which is comprised of an 8,000 word Report, a copy of the final research proposal (1,500 words), and a peer review of another student’s research proposal and their online contributions (500 words).

Your programme can be studied full-time (one academic year), part-time (over two years) or 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 blended: some lectures/materials online, some face to face seminars/tutorials and resources/task work via a Virtual Learning Environment.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. MA Education (Literacy) 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 (Literacy).

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 (we particularly recommend the optional module Perspectives on Literacy Learning (PoLL)), are as follows:

  • Literacy in a Changing World (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1

OR

  • Literacy in a Changing World (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Report (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1
  • Optional module 2

Dissertation OR Report on Literacy (with integrated research methods) 
The dissertation/report will allow you to conduct a small-scale study in a literacy-related topic of your choice. The module will enhance your ability to read research in your chosen field, to devise investigative strategies, to develop knowledge in your field and to communicate this through scholarly writing and argument.
In the first term of this module you will follow an online research methods course through which you will learn how to conceptualise and write a coherent research proposal. You will be supported in formulating relevant research questions on the basis of relevant literature and/or observations of practice. On the basis of this you will develop your plans for data collection and analysis strategies that will allow you to answer your questions. In term two and three you will implement your research proposal, gathering and analysing data and presenting your conclusions systematically.  
If you are completing the Dissertation you will be assessed on the basis of a 20,000 word submission which is comprised of a 17,000 word dissertation, a copy of the final research proposal (2,000 words), and a peer review of another student’s research proposal and your online contributions (1,000 words).
If you are completing the Report you will be assessed on the basis of a 10 000 word submission which is comprised of an 8,000 word Report, a copy of the final research proposal (1,500 words), and a peer review of another student’s research proposal and their online contributions (500 words).

Your programme can be studied full-time (one academic year), part-time (over two years) or 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 blended: some lectures/materials online, some face to face seminars/tutorials and resources/task work via a Virtual Learning Environment.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. MA Education (Literacy) 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 (Literacy).

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 (we particularly recommend the optional module Perspectives on Literacy Learning (PoLL)), are as follows:

  • Literacy in a Changing World (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Dissertation (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1

OR

  • Literacy in a Changing World (compulsory)
  • What is Education? (compulsory)
  • Report (compulsory)
  • Understanding Research (compulsory)
  • Optional module 1
  • Optional module 2

Dissertation OR Report on Literacy (with integrated research methods) 
The dissertation/report will allow you to conduct a small-scale study in a literacy-related topic of your choice. The module will enhance your ability to read research in your chosen field, to devise investigative strategies, to develop knowledge in your field and to communicate this through scholarly writing and argument.
In the first term of this module you will follow an online research methods course through which you will learn how to conceptualise and write a coherent research proposal. You will be supported in formulating relevant research questions on the basis of relevant literature and/or observations of practice. On the basis of this you will develop your plans for data collection and analysis strategies that will allow you to answer your questions. In term two and three you will implement your research proposal, gathering and analysing data and presenting your conclusions systematically.  
If you are completing the Dissertation you will be assessed on the basis of a 20,000 word submission which is comprised of a 17,000 word dissertation, a copy of the final research proposal (2,000 words), and a peer review of another student’s research proposal and your online contributions (1,000 words).
If you are completing the Report you will be assessed on the basis of a 10 000 word submission which is comprised of an 8,000 word Report, a copy of the final research proposal (1,500 words), and a peer review of another student’s research proposal and their online contributions (500 words).

 

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.

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Education (Literacy).

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 & Wellbeing team.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society Virtual Event series

Please note that there are 27 sessions across a range of subject areas. IOE is ranked number one for education for consecutive nine years and the world's leading centre for research and teaching in education, culture, psychology and social science. If you’re interested in enhancing and progressing your career in education and related social sciences, why not join our open events? You’ll get to meet the programme team, ask any questions you have and find out what it’s like studying at UCL.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £11,800 £5,900
Tuition fees (2023/24) £29,000 £14,500

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

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 Centenary-Windle Trust Scholarship

Value: Full tuition fees and stipend (online study only) (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE Windle Trust Scholarship

Value: Full tuition fees and stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees and a stipend of £17,609 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2023
Value: Tuition fees and accommodation at International Students House (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK, EU, Overseas

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 £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Education (Literacy) at graduate level
  • why you want to study Education (Literacy) at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this 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.

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: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.