Global Learning MA

Distance learning programme

Global Learning is a pedagogical approach that encourages active engagement with a diverse, interdependent and fragile world. It encompasses Education for Sustainable Development and Global Citizenship Education, which are essential for achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. This online degree will equip you to incorporate global learning into your educational practice, and apply it through policy or research, thereby advancing global social justice and sustainability.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2022/23)
£10,800
£5,400
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2022/23)
£24,000
£12,000
Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.
Duration
1 calendar year
2 calendar years
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2022
Applications accepted
All applicants: 18 Oct 2021 – 30 Jun 2022

Applications closed

Notification

Application closes at 17:00 GMT.

Entry requirements

Applicants are expected to have a minimum of a lower second-class UK Bachelor's degree or overseas qualification of an equivalent standard, and an interest in education and approaches to learning about global issues, such as sustainability and global citizenship.

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

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

The MA in Global Learning is a distance learning programme which introduces students to a range of perspectives and approaches to global learning, global citizenship education and education for sustainable development. The programme is coordinated and run by staff from the Development Education Research Centre and is the only Masters’ programme in the UK that focuses exclusively on these important areas of educational theory and practice.

The programme offers a collaborative online learning environment through which students develop their own knowledge and skills, as well as interacting with, and learning alongside, peers from around the world. It provides opportunities for participants to reflect critically on their own engagement and interest in how education responds to and promotes learning about global issues, such as sustainability and global citizenship as well as how they link to broader debates, such as those related to education quality, aid and development, sustainable development, poverty, global inequality and social justice.

You will explore the key theoretical perspectives and research evidence that underpin the field and understand how global education policy and practice link with action. Through engagement with research- and practice-active lecturers, and peers from educational environments across the world, you will explore transformational educational approaches that tackle global challenges and prepare learners for life in an increasingly complex and challenging world.

Who this course is for

The MA is for anyone interested in developing, promoting and managing educational responses to global challenges, in schools, further and higher education, NGOs or youth work. It is open to early career or more established professionals internationally, who want to bring a global and social justice perspective to education.

What this course will give you

At a time of increasing interest in global and sustainability issues within education internationally, this MA offers a unique opportunity for you to develop the knowledge and skills to respond to this demand. Through exploring current research and theoretical perspectives you will deepen your understanding of the role of education in preparing learners for living and working in a world of increasingly complex global challenges.

The online format allows you to contribute your own perspective, whilst offering a collaborative space in which you can compare and challenge your understanding in dialogue with peers based in diverse international and educational settings.

This MA is offered by the Development Education Research Centre (DERC) research and teaching team. DERC is a world leading hub for knowledge generation, research, and new thinking on policy and practice in global learning, education for sustainability and education for global citizenship. DERC conducts research and consultancy across the education sector, working alongside international NGOs such as UNESCO, or with organisations operating more locally, such as the British Council, or Oxfam. The DERC team also supports doctoral students conducting research across the globe, from UK and other European countries, to Pakistan, South Africa, Ghana, Kazakhstan, Brazil, Korea and China.

The MA therefore offers students the unique opportunity to become an active member of the vibrant DERC community, with opportunities to participate in seminars and conferences, and to have access to new publications. Students will also have the chance to join the international network of academics and researchers in global education (ANGEL), which is coordinated by the DERC team. Through these activities students will be able to interact with internationally recognised academics and practitioners, as well as to hear from leading NGOs and other organisations promoting educational responses to global issues.

This MA will prepare you for an exciting career across education sectors internationally. You will be equipped to run educational initiatives that prioritise action for global social justice, as a teacher, education leader or researcher. This includes embedding global and sustainability themes into the curriculum within your institution, helping schools achieve school awards or run international partnerships, organising educational programmes related to NGO global issue campaigns, or working as lecturers and researchers in higher and further education. Previous graduates have also undertaken doctoral study in this important academic field and our alumni contribute to the dissemination of research findings globally.

The foundation of your career

Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas in countries around the world. Many are working as teachers and senior leaders in schools (in the UK and internationally), while others have found jobs with international organisations such as UNESCO, UNICEF, and British Council, and international NGOs such as Red Cross and Oxfam. Graduates can also be found working as education consultants, and further and higher education lecturers. Their work includes a wide range of projects and initiatives both within formal education (e.g. in curriculum development, school awards, international partnerships) and in non-formal education (e.g. education campaigns and advocacy work).

Employability

Graduates who complete this programme will have developed knowledge and skills in how to apply learning about global and international development issues to educational environments. This knowledge and these skills are increasingly seen as important by employers within education in order to enable learners to respond to the challenges of living and working in a global society.

As a student on this MA, you will develop the skills to:

  • Design and run innovative education initiatives that equip learners to respond to today’s global challenges
  • Conduct research and apply the outcomes to your educational practice
  • Analyse and design education policy that promotes learners’ engagement with sustainability and global citizenship
  • Work cross-culturally in collaborative projects
  • Reflect on your professional practice

You will also build connections globally with other practitioners and leading researchers in the field and gain a greater understanding of professional opportunities to engage with education and learning to achieve sustainability and global social justice.

Teaching and learning

The MA Programme uses a variety of assessment activities across the module, such as visual representations of theoretical ideas, essays looking at relationship of theory to practice, writing of policy for education for sustainable development.

Please note that assessment for optional modules from other programmes will vary.

You will also be required to complete either a dissertation or a report, and to participate in a series of online study units which support students to develop a coherent research design.

Each of the programme modules is delivered online, asynchronously and consists of 5 main activities spread over 10 weeks. Students are expected to study for between 10 - 15 hours a week for each module. This includes reading, accessing video material and tutor presentations, posting contributions to discussion forums, online dialogue with module tutors, working with peers on group activities, individual tutorials, and working on coursework.

Modules

The MA structure consists of either:

4 modules (2 compulsory and 2 optional) and a Dissertation
or
5 modules (2 compulsory and 3 optional) and a Report

To complete the MA you must complete (i) compulsory modules located within the academic discourses around global learning, education for sustainable development and global citizenship education and (ii) optional modules that help you explore the application of this theory within specific educational environments. The programme  team strongly recommends that students take the optional module within the programme: Global Citizenship Education: Research, Policy and Practice plus optional modules from other programmes at the UCL Institute of Education (see optional module list below), as long as they contribute to a coherent programme of study.

The two compulsory modules of

  • Global Learning: Principles and Theoretical Perspectives  (30 credits) – Term 1 (Autumn)
  • Education for Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Policy and Practice (30 credits) – Term 2 (Spring)

    will introduce you to a range of theories and concepts around global learning, education for sustainable development and global citizenship education and how these influence policy and practice. The modules include introduction to newer theoretical perspectives questioning human – non-human relations.

Global Learning: Principles and Theoretical Perspectives

Global learning is a pedagogical approach that encourages active engagement with a diverse, interdependent and fragile world, which encompasses approaches such as education for sustainable development and global citizenship education. This online module encourages critical engagement with current and diverse theoretical perspectives underpinning these approaches, and reflection by students on the links between these perspectives and their educational practice. 

By the end of the module students will be able to:

identify, discuss and develop a deep understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives that underpin approaches to global learning, education for global citizenship and education for sustainable development
•    critically assess the contribution of these theoretical perspectives to research, policy and practice in the field;
•    critique a wide range of professional and academic articles and other publications in the field
•    identify and re-assess their own theoretical position in relation to global learning, education for global citizenship and education for sustainable development
•    reflect critically on the value of these theoretical perspectives for understanding their own practice
This module is assessed by a visual representation (1000 words) and a written coursework assignment (4000 words).

Education for Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Policy and Practice

This fully online module focuses on the evolution of policies and practices related to education for sustainable development (ESD) and their relationship to the discourses around global learning and global citizenship education. This is an educational area of increasing importance globally, particularly with the focus climate change and other environmental crises and debates about the relationship between humans and other living beings. The module will consider how educators to be able to support learners in navigating their understanding and responses to these issues. This module will encourage critical engagement with theoretical perspectives on approaches to ESD and give students the opportunity to examine the strengths and limitations of various international policy and practice initiatives around education for sustainable development and their relevance for their own practice.

This module will enable students to:

•    Develop a deep and critical understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives and models of education for sustainable development and their applications to policy and practice
•    Identify and reflect critically on the connections between education for sustainable development and global citizenship
•    Develop a deep and critical understanding of diverse perspectives on the relationships between humans and the environment, and how education can respond to these.
•    Critically analyse examples of policy and educational practice related to education for sustainable development and develop skills in writing policy
•    Critically reflect on how your learning about education for sustainable development relates to your, or wider, educational practice
This module is assessed through a 5000-word written task to produce a policy on ESD for an organisation of a student's choice. 

Students taking the programme part-time will initially take the two compulsory modules in the first two terms of their first year, followed by one optional module in Term 3. We recommend students take Global Citizenship Education: Research Policy and Practice. In their second year they complete their optional modules, and either a Report or Dissertation.

Compulsory Modules

Global Learning: Principles and Theoretical Perspectives

Global learning is a pedagogical approach that encourages active engagement with a diverse, interdependent and fragile world, which encompasses approaches such as education for sustainable development and global citizenship education. This online module encourages critical engagement with current and diverse theoretical perspectives underpinning these approaches, and reflection by students on the links between these perspectives and their educational practice. 
 
By the end of the module students will be able to:
•    identify, discuss and develop a deep understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives that underpin approaches to global learning, education for global citizenship and education for sustainable development;
•    critically assess the contribution of these theoretical perspectives to research, policy and practice in the field;
•    critique a wide range of professional and academic articles and other publications in the field
•    identify and re-assess their own theoretical position in relation to global learning, education for global citizenship and education for sustainable development
•    reflect critically on the value of these theoretical perspectives for understanding their own practice
This module is assessed by a visual representation (1000 words) and a written coursework assignment (4000 words).

Education for Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Policy and Practice
 

This fully online module focuses on the evolution of policies and practices related to education for sustainable development (ESD) and their relationship to the discourses around global learning and global citizenship education. This is an educational area of increasing importance globally, particularly with the focus climate change and other environmental crises and debates about the relationship between humans and other living beings. The module will consider how educators to be able to support learners in navigating their understanding and responses to these issues. This module will encourage critical engagement with theoretical perspectives on approaches to ESD and give students the opportunity to examine the strengths and limitations of various international policy and practice initiatives around education for sustainable development and their relevance for their own practice. 
This module will enable students to:
•    Develop a deep and critical understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives and models of education for sustainable development and their applications to policy and practice
•    Identify and reflect critically on the connections between education for sustainable development and global citizenship
•    Develop a deep and critical understanding of diverse perspectives on the relationships between humans and the environment, and how education can respond to these.
•    Critically analyse examples of policy and educational practice related to education for sustainable development and develop skills in writing policy
•    Critically reflect on how your learning about education for sustainable development relates to your, or wider, educational practice
This module is assessed through a 5000-word written task to produce a policy on ESD for an organisation of a student's choice. 
 

Students taking the programme as modular / flexible will initially take the two compulsory modules, and then choose optional modules from the programme and across IOE, and finally complete their studies with either a Report or Dissertation in their final year of study. Students can plan their study over 5 years. We recommend, however, that all students start with the compulsory modules before undertaking any optional modules.

Compulsory Modules

Global Learning: Principles and Theoretical Perspectives

Global learning is a pedagogical approach that encourages active engagement with a diverse, interdependent and fragile world, which encompasses approaches such as education for sustainable development and global citizenship education. This online module encourages critical engagement with current and diverse theoretical perspectives underpinning these approaches, and reflection by students on the links between these perspectives and their educational practice. 
 
By the end of the module students will be able to:
•    identify, discuss and develop a deep understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives that underpin approaches to global learning, education for global citizenship and education for sustainable development;
•    critically assess the contribution of these theoretical perspectives to research, policy and practice in the field;
•    critique a wide range of professional and academic articles and other publications in the field
•    identify and re-assess their own theoretical position in relation to global learning, education for global citizenship and education for sustainable development
•    reflect critically on the value of these theoretical perspectives for understanding their own practice
This module is assessed by a visual representation (1000 words) and a written coursework assignment (4000 words).

Education for Sustainable Development: Perspectives from Policy and Practice
 
This fully online module focuses on the evolution of policies and practices related to education for sustainable development (ESD) and their relationship to the discourses around global learning and global citizenship education. This is an educational area of increasing importance globally, particularly with the focus climate change and other environmental crises and debates about the relationship between humans and other living beings. The module will consider how educators to be able to support learners in navigating their understanding and responses to these issues. This module will encourage critical engagement with theoretical perspectives on approaches to ESD and give students the opportunity to examine the strengths and limitations of various international policy and practice initiatives around education for sustainable development and their relevance for their own practice. 
This module will enable students to:
•    Develop a deep and critical understanding of a range of theoretical perspectives and models of education for sustainable development and their applications to policy and practice
•    Identify and reflect critically on the connections between education for sustainable development and global citizenship
•    Develop a deep and critical understanding of diverse perspectives on the relationships between humans and the environment, and how education can respond to these.
•    Critically analyse examples of policy and educational practice related to education for sustainable development and develop skills in writing policy
•    Critically reflect on how your learning about education for sustainable development relates to your, or wider, educational practice
This module is assessed through a 5000-word written task to produce a policy on ESD for an organisation of a student's choice. 
 

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.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MA in Global Learning.

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: Applying for Graduate Study at UCL

The Applying to UCL for graduate study session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Graduate Admissions and Student Recruitment teams, provides helpful information about the process of applying for graduate study, as well as offering an insight into what we consider to be a competitive application.

Online - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Funding your studies

The Funding your studies session took place in December 2021. The session, covered by our Funding and Student Recruitment teams, provides information and guidance about the various scholarships and funding opportunities for graduate study at UCL.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time Part-time
Tuition fees (2022/23) £10,800 £5,400
Tuition fees (2022/23) £24,000 £12,000

Programme fees on a modular (flexible) basis.

Additional costs

Students are not required to buy books for the programme, however, many students opt to buy core texts.

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

Students who require a DBS check will need to pay for this themselves.

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 Windle Trust Scholarship

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

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2022
Value: Tuition fees and a stipend (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: EU, Overseas

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Deadline: 2 May 2022
Value: Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: 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.

We recommend that students who plan to work alongside their studies enrol in either part-time or flexible modular mode. This will allow you to make the most of opportunities provided on the programme and have the space to reflect on how your learning can be implemented in your professional practice.

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes in any application cycle.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.