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Philosophy of Education MA

This MA programme is unique in the UK. It is based in a major centre for philosophy of education and aims to give students a comprehensive grounding in the subject.

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

Full-time students will normally attend two weekly evening sessions in their first term, and one weekly evening session in subsequent terms, in addition to completing their dissertation/report.

Application dates

All applicants
Open: 1 November 2019
Close: 11 August 2020
Notification
Due to the large number of applications received, this programme is no longer accepting applications for 2020/21 entry. We apologise for any inconvenience caused. Applications for 2021/22 entry will open later in the year.

Tuition fees (2020/21)

UK/EU:
£8,940 (FT)
£4,605 (PT)
Overseas:
£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 UK Bachelor’s degree in an appropriate subject, or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard from a recognised higher education institution.

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

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

This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October or January.

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 enables students to explore further the relevance of ethics, political philosophy, philosophy of mind and epistemology to contemporary educational issues and to bring philosophical thinking to bear on their own educational concerns including professional practice. Students will gain a grounding in philosophical approaches, becoming part of a lively community of Masters and Doctoral students from a wide range of backgrounds.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two compulsory modules (60 credits), one recommended module (30 credits), and either one optional module (30 credits) and the dissertation (60 credits), or two optional modules (60 credits) and a report (30 credits).

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

All students are required to take the following core module, which provides an introduction to some central questions and modes of enquiry within the field of philosophy of education.  

  • Philosophy of Education: Values, Aims and Society

Optional modules

The recommended module and a selection of optional modules appear below, and further optional modules can be selected from a wide range offered by various taught Master's programmes at the UCL Institute of Education.

  • Philosophy of Education: Knowledge, Mind and Understanding
  • Further optional modules include:
  • Theoretical Foundations of Educational Ideas
  • Understanding Education Research
  • Rights and Education

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.  We have included these updates below:   Philosophy of Education: Values, Aims and Society (EDPS0072) and What is Education (CPAS0117) are now core modules. Philosophy of Education: Knowledge, Mind and Understanding (EDPS0039) will not be a core module. 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.  

Dissertation/report

All students are required to submit either: a dissertation of 18,000-20,000 words in philosophy of education (60 credits) or a report of about 10,000 words plus a further 30-credit optional module approved by the Programme Leader.

Teaching and learning

The taught sessions consist primarily of presentations by the tutor(s) or another speaker, often reviewing a range of positions and arguments on a topic (on occasion students may be invited in advance to make their own presentation to the group); and discussion, both as a whole class and in small groups, which is vital both to clarifying and being able to argue for your own position, and to understanding the positions and arguments of others.

Assessment on the Philosophy MA modules is by means of a 5,000-word written essay.

Most of your work on the MA will take the form of independent study. While everybody's needs and work habits are different, to make the kind of progress that is required at MA level, you should assign to studying 8-10 hours per week if you are a part-time student and 10-15  hours per week if you are a full-time student, in addition to formally timetabled classes and individual tutorials.  You will also benefit from attending the weekly Philosophy of Education research seminar, as well as occasional guest lecturers, seminars or day conferences within IOE or elsewhere in UCL. 

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.

Accessibility

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.

Funding

Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Note:
Applications for this scholarship are now closed for 2020/21
Value:
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE-ISH Centenary Masters Scholarships

Note:
Deadline: Monday 18 May 2020 (5pm London time).
Value:
Full tuition fees and accommodation (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
Based on both academic merit and financial need

IOE-Clarke Scholarships

Note:
Deadline Monday 25 May 2020 (5pm London time).
Value:
Tuition fees, stipend, flights (1 year)
Eligibility:
Overseas
Criteria:
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.

Careers

Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as teachers and senior school leaders, while others have jobs as university lecturers and researchers. Graduates can also be found working as staff in policy think tanks and as youth workers or in adult and informal education.

Employability

Students will develop and enhance their ability to interrogate underlying assumptions in educational policy, theory and research; to formulate and defend coherent arguments; to write academic papers emphasising conceptual clarity and rigour; to use theoretical tools to reflect on educational practice, and to articulate critical perspectives on a range of common-place educational ideas and concepts.  

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Department of Education, Practice and Society at UCL Institute of Education (IOE) is the well-established home of an interdisciplinary grouping bringing together high-quality teaching and research in the history, sociology and philosophy of education and international development.

The IOE has, through the decades, been in the vanguard of the development and dissemination of work in the field. Its Centre for Philosophy draws together research across the IOE as well as showcasing our extensive connections in the field.

The centre is committed to rigorous exploration of a variety of philosophical approaches, encompassing such topics as the aims of education, teaching, learning, and the curriculum, democracy, citizenship, philosophy with children, new technology, and the environment.

Department: Education, Practice & Society

Application and next steps

Applications

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?

This programme is suited to anyone interested professionally or personally in questions about the moral and political justification of education, educational aims and values in liberal societies, the nature of knowledge and understanding, and the educational implications of different philosophical traditions.

Application deadlines

All applicants
11 August 2020

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 Philosophy of Education at graduate level
  • why you want to study Philosophy of Education 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.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 13 August 2020