Entry requirements

A first- or second-class undergraduate honours degree or equivalent qualification, plus either a minimum of one year of experience of work in teaching, education or a related context, or a degree in this area. For the International Baccalaureate (IB) pathway you must have at least one year of experience working in an IB school. For the Early Years pathway there are two entry routes: (1) in the graduate route you will normally need a first- or second-class undergraduate honours degree, although degrees below this level can be considered it candidates have considerable experience in Early Years, (2) in the employment-based route you will need a first- or second-class undergraduate honours degree in any subject and be currently working as a trainee teacher within a UK school in an Early Years or Foundation class setting. All applicants must have achieved a GCSE grade C (or equivalent) in English, maths and a science subject, and pass the UK Department for Education professional skills tests in numeracy and literacy.

Months of entry


Course content

Masters-level courses in education and teaching are designed to meet the needs of those working – or wanting to work – in teaching, management, education and development contexts. We aim to provide courses that:

  • are grounded in research
  • recognise and build on your prior education-related knowledge and experience
  • develop professionally relevant knowledge, skills and understanding
  • introduce new knowledge and research perspectives on educational issues
  • enable the acquisition of further qualifications that enhance your career prospects.

This is an innovative, highly regarded and flexible MA with a significant research component designed for education professionals and students interested in education in both UK and global contexts.

The course enables you to develop your understanding of a broad range of issues and theoretical perspectives on practice and policy, and to specialise in areas that interest you most.

The full-time course is largely taught with research components while the part-time course is centred around supported, practice-based research.

The Early Years pathway (available one year full-time only) offers a route for trainee teachers wanting to earn Early Years teacher status working with children from birth to five years old.

As an Early Years teacher, you will specialise in early childhood development and be trained to deliver the Early Years Foundation Stage. Early Years focused sessions include: Communication, Language and Literacy including systematic synthetic phonics, Early Mathematical Development, Attachment disorder, Physical Development, Early Childhood Development.

Course Structure

We continue to develop and update our modules for 2017 entry to ensure you have the best student experience. In addition to the course structure below, you may find it helpful to refer to the Modules list. Modules may be subject to change.

Full-time course structure

Autumn term: you take Critical Reflection: Professional and Context-bound Learning • Educational Theory and Practice: Critical Reflection • Contexts, Curricula and Values: Literature Review.

Spring term: you take either Research Methods and Minor Project or choose a maximum of two modules from relevant, associated disciplines such as: Psychology in Education • Teachers: Policy and Practice in International Contexts • Curriculum, Learning and Society • Childhood and Youth in Global Perspectives: Rights, Protection and Justice • Critical Higher Education• Practical Teaching Techniques for Teachers of English as a Foreign Language.

Summer term: you work on a dissertation on a topic of your choice, either in the form of empirical research or a literature-based study.

Throughout the academic year, all full-time students take a module in Academic and Research Skills, which prepares them for academic writing on the course as well as for their Dissertation.

Part-time course structure

Our part-time routes are suitable for education professionals, including teachers and others with a range of specialist interests. These include disciplines such as English, Mathematics, Science, Humanities and Music; Special Educational Needs and Disabilities; and Widening Participation (refer right). We also offer a bespoke pathway for those teaching the International Baccalaureate (refer right).

The part-time course is designed to suit busy professionals, with taught sessions taking place on evenings (5pm-7pm) and Saturday mornings (a maximum of six per year). You also have the personalised support of a tutor with specialist expertise in your chosen research area. Tutorials can be arranged at your mutual convenience. These can be face-to-face and/or virtual.

All students typically take the following:

  • Critical Reflection: Professional and contextbound learning. This module enables you to gain 15 M-credits by demonstrating prior professional learning via presentation of a portfolio of evidence and discussion at interview
  • Educational Theory and Practice: Critical Reflection
  • Contexts, Curricula and Values: Literature Review
  • Research Methods: a poster presentation evaluating the piloting of a research instrument
  • Minor Project: a small-scale, empirical project
  • Dissertation: an empirical project or literature based review on a topic of your choice.

We offer variations on this part-time course structure:

  • Newly Qualified Teacher route (for all subject specialists): this route is suitable for newly qualified teachers who can bring up to 90 credits of advanced standing from their PGCE. The module Enhancing Professional Knowledge provides support through the NQT year leading towards the final dissertation.
  • School Research Leaders route: this is designed for our school-University partnership supporting schools wishing to develop a culture of classroom research by designating and sponsoring future school research leaders.
  • Coaching and Mentoring: this develops the understanding and skills of those involved in mentoring student teachers or coaching peers through reading, journals and seminars.
  • Special Educational Needs and Disabilities (SEND): this route is particularly suitable for anyone working in a special-needs context as all assessed work will be based on experience of SEND practice.
Widening Participation (WP)

This course is designed for those working in any context aiming to widen participation and improve fair access to university. This includes professionals in Higher Education or the voluntary sector and teachers or staff working in schools, colleges and universities.

You follow the same full- or part-time course structure as students on the MA in Education but your work is focused on fair access. You develop your understanding of theory, research and policy, and learn how to apply this to WP practice.

International Baccalaureate (IB)

IB teachers with a minimum of a year’s teaching experience in an IB context can take this course full- or part-time and register for an additional award: the IB Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research.

This course enables teachers to study areas of practice that interest them most, focusing on the philosophy and values of the IB.

Information for international students

Please visit: International qualifications for Masters courses or Fees and Scholarships.

Fees and funding

UK students
Please see our website
International students
Please see our website

Please visit our website for latest fees information: http://www.sussex.ac.uk/study/masters/2017/education-and-social-work/education-ma

The University of Sussex aims to attract the most talented students to postgraduate study. For full details of our scholarships please visit: Masters Scholarships

Qualification and course duration


part time
24 months
full time
12 months


AssessmentWhat kind of work will I be doing? (proportionally)
Written coursework / continuous assessment30

Course contact details

Student Recruitment Services
+44 (0)1273 678447