UCL Graduate degrees


Education MA

The MA Education encourages and enables students to think deeply and critically about education as a field of study. Our stimulating programme supports students to begin to articulate, explain and justify their own position within this complex and diverse field.

Covid-19 programme updates

Due to COVID-19, there may have been updates to this programme for the 2020 academic year. Where there has been an update, these are indicated with a red alert and a link which will provide further information.

Key information

Programme starts

September 2020

Modes and duration

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

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 4 September 2020

Tuition fees (2020/21)

£8,940 (FT)
£4,605 (PT)
£20,110 (FT)
£10,240 (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. 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

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).

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

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.

Visa information

For students starting in October, this programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October only.

For students applying through the University of London International Programmes: international students can apply for a Student Visitor Visa to study the face-to-face parts of this programme if required.

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 supports beginning educational researchers and practitioners to make a contribution to the field of education studies based on a grounded understanding of their own position.  To do this it introduces such themes as curriculum, pedagogy, assessment, relationships between education and society, and the importance of education research, whilst encouraging students to relate these to their own contexts. 

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two compulsory modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded a MA in 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.

Compulsory modules

  • What is Education?
  • Understanding Research

Optional modules

Students are able to choose from a wide range of option modules.  The list below indicates the kinds of modules we are usually able to offer.  Please be aware that we cannot guarantee that every module will be available in any given year.

  • Critical Perspectives on Learning and Teaching
  • Curriculum, Policy and Practice
  • Communicating Knowledge: Possibilities and Opportunities
  • Education and Identities: Citizenship, Rights, Narratives
  • Assessment: Issues and Practice
  • Education and Development in Asia
  • Gender, Sexuality and Education
  • Education, Ethics and Imagination in a Globalising World
  • International Perspectives on Education Reform: Curriculum and Assessment
  • Gender, Sexuality and Education
  • Assessment for Learning
  • Development Education in the Era of Globalisation
  • Teaching Controversial Issues
  • Educational Traditions and Systems in Europe
  • Shakespeare in Education
  • Contemporary Issues in English Education
  • Education, Values and Identities
  • Early Childhood Education
  • Philosophy of Education: Knowledge, Mind and Understanding

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

Covid-19 module updates
Due to COVID-19, there may be updates to the modules for your chosen programme of study this year. Some modules may not be available or may need to be moved to a later term or year of study. These updates are relevant for 2020-21 academic year only.  The full list of modules will be available in the module catalogue from late August.  From the first week of September, you will be invited to complete module selection from Portico, our student record system. There may need to be additional updates or changes to modules during the academic year to allow for new guidance from the UK Government and Public Health England. Your department shall keep you updated of these changes as they become available.


All students submit a written dissertation.

Teaching and learning

Modules are available as distance learning, face-to-face or mixed-mode (please note that some modules are not available in all modes). The programme is also offered flexibly, allowing students to take one or two modules a year and spread their studies out as they see fit.

Students are expected to spend a substantial proportion of their time on independent study.  

Covid-19 contact hours on campus
In Term One, while campus will be open, all the learning activity for the core content of your modules will take place online – including lectures, tutorials, seminars and assessments. By “core content” we mean everything you need to learn to complete the module successfully. In addition to these online contact hours, we will be offering some face-to-face educational activities for students on campus, and we will provide alternative online activities for those students unable to join us on campus. These activities, which will include contact with academic staff, will be relevant to your programme of study may include seminars, academic and employability skills workshops, small-group or individual tutorials, lab and practice-based teaching. UK Government safety guidelines will limit the amount of ‘in person’ activity we can offer and while it will vary from programme to programme, is likely to be no more than 1-2 hours per week. This will vary across departments, particularly if your programme includes laboratory/practical/studio/workshop sessions. You will be updated with more specific details as they are available and your timetable will indicate which sessions will be on campus and which will be available online.
Covid-19 assessment updates
There may be changes to the format of assessments for modules in this programme due to COVID-19. These will be summarised for each module on the module catalogue from 17 August 2020.   If any changes to assessments need to be made during the academic year due to updates in government guidance, these will be communicated to you as soon as possible from your department.    
Communicating further Covid-19 mitigation plans
We are continuing to follow UK Government guidance, as well as the expertise of our researchers, including specialists in health, education, human behaviour and infection prevention, to make sure UCL is as safe as possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. If it becomes necessary to make further changes to your programme as a result of new guidance/regulations, UCL and your department will communicate these as soon as this becomes clear. We will keep you up-to-date with our plans throughout term one, so you have the information you need to be able to take decisions that are right for your circumstances. Please ensure that you keep in touch with your department by regularly checking your UCL emails, Moodle courses, the Coronavirus FAQs for Students page and any UCL online groups or social media you follow.

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. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline Monday 25 May 2020 (5pm London time).
Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: Monday 18 May 2020 (5pm London time).
Full tuition fees and accommodation (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 from the MA Education have gone on to be successful in a wide variety of contexts related to education. Those already teaching have often been promoted, sometimes to senior leadership positions.  Others have found new opportunities in a different educational phase (from early years through to higher education) or in education policy or research.  Some graduates go on to work internationally on education and development projects, whilst others have developed plans to open their own schools.  A good number of graduates undertake further research on PhD programmes.


MA Education students develop a wide range of skills including the ability to:

  • Think critically 
  • Apply principles from one context to another
  • Build logical and balanced arguments based on careful consideration of evidence
  • Offer creative solutions to complex problems
  • Frame research questions, gather evidence and analyse it
  • Express ideas clearly in both writing and speaking

Why study this degree at UCL?

The MA Education is based in the UCL Institute of Education (IOE), and draws on the breath of expertise available in this world-leading centre for education research.

The MA Education's uniquely diverse student body comes together in compulsory modules for town-hall style lectures and debate and divides into smaller groups to study optional modules alongside students from other programmes.

The MA Education team is deeply committed to the aims of the programme and passionate about the development of their students’ understanding.

Department: Curriculum, Pedagogy & Assessment

What our students and staff say

Student view

"It has been a wonderful experience studying as a postgraduate student at the IOE. The best thing about the Education MA programme is that it provides a wide variety of disciplines for you to choose from. As a Chinese student who comes from a different context and was introduced for the first time to this complex and diverse field, it was for sure a new challenge. Excitingly, the Education MA was designed to leave space for student autonomy and self-directed learning, therefore it is essential find out one’s own motivation. Being a postgraduate student may not always be enjoyable, but it is definitely a great experience to learn how to justify my own position and find my voice."

Zixi Zuo

Education MA
Student view

"The best things about my course were:

  • The quality of teaching – many professors and lecturers are the leading scholars in their own fields.
  • The flexibility of the course – there is both face to face and online learning as well as a wide choice of selective modules which I could choose to serve my own learning purpose.
  • The learning environment – you meet people from different parts of the world and with different backgrounds.
  • The learning support – the IOE has the largest library for education studies in Europe and offers workshops for improving different academic learning skills.
  • Meeting like-minded new friends at UCL.

Vivian Wu

Education MA

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?

The MA Education is a broad based, generalist programme appropriate for those with a serious interest in education practice, policy and research.  It suits those aiming to work in education policy, development or research as well as educators looking for career development in a wide range of contexts.  The MA Education is not a teacher training programme and, since it does not include a practice component, it is highly unlikely to satisfy teacher certification requirements.

Application deadlines

All applicants
4 September 2020

We are not usually able to consider late applications.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

In your application you should answer the questions below in as much detail as you can. 

Please do not include descriptive biographical detail that does not directly help you answer these questions.

  • Why do you want to study Education?
  • What particularly attracts you to the MA Education at the UCL IOE?
  • How does your academic and professional background prepare you to meet the challenges of the MA Education?
  • What benefits do you hope to gain both professionally and personally by studying the MA Education?

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Page last modified on 13 August 2020