Education Studies

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How to Apply

Study educational issues in depth, covering policy, practice and education theory.

  • Analyses politics and policies in education.
  • Allows you to study educational topics in depth.
  • Has a strong international perspective.

“The lecturers are experts in their fields and are clearly enthusiastic about their subjects … I particularly like the structure of the course; the combination of seminars, lectures and tutorials within small groups gave opportunity for discussion and full engagement with the course content.”
– Lizbeth Bullough MA Education Studies

Why study Education Studies?

Education is much more than the study of teaching. Our programme is designed to get you questioning the assumptions that lie beneath educational policy and practice. The MA in Education Studies offers a mixture of theory and reflection on practice within an international context.

This course is for prospective teachers, as well as non-teachers looking for a new career path. If your ambition is to teach in a school, then the MA Education Studies is ideally suited (although it is not itself a UK teaching qualification). Most of our students, however, have no intention of teaching. They are attracted by the academic nature of this award, by its habit of enabling new thinking about things that seemed like common sense, and by the prospect of improving academic skills and qualities and applying them in educationally related fields.

Course structure

You’ll gain a deep insight into education. We’ll teach you to question:

  • What the nature of learning and teaching is in different countries and cultures
  • What the relationship is between education and the economy
  • How education is changing as it becomes marketed.
  • How education systems are managed.
  • Who takes decisions about the curriculum and teaching.
  • How far governments go to control education.
  • How far should they?
  • What the role of professional educator is.
  • What the role of schools and universities may become in the future.
  • What the role for education is in the knowledge economy.
  • Whether education is becoming an instrument of capitalism.

Modules

  • Trimester 1
    Language and Educational Ideology (30 credits) + Education: Economics, Politics and Society (30 credits)
  • Trimester 2
    Education Policy (15 credits) + Research Methods in Social Science (30 credits) + another chosen module (15 credits)
  • Trimester 3
    Dissertation (60 credits)

Course assessment

There are no written exams and each module is assessed by coursework. This typically involves an essay of 2,500 words for a 15 credit module and 5,000 words for a 30 credit module. Sometimes assessment is by verbal presentation.

Your dissertation will be 15,000–20,000 words and worth 60 credits. It focuses on an area mutually agreed with a specialist tutor who will offer you guidance and support. Subjects vary widely, from the nature and quality of Supply Teaching in the UK, to the education of women in the Gambia, from the role of the modern Museum Educator, to the theoretical role of education in the unification of Cyprus. To achieve the award you’ll need 180 credits in total.

Where the subject is taught:

  • Newton Park
  • Corsham Court
  • Newton Park Library
  • Corsham Court Library

Teaching methods

You’ll be taught through lectures and small group seminars. There are also individual tutorials and good opportunities for extended discussion with tutors. Analysis of ideas through discussion is the key to teaching and learning in the programme. Some lectures and seminars occur during the day. Others take place from late afternoon.

Application method

Application forms are available online and should be completed and returned to us either electronically or through the post. If you have any queries please contact the admissions department:

Telephone: (01225) 875624.

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For informal enquiries about the programme please contact Dr Howard Gibson:

Entry requirements

Students are expected to have an Honours degree from a recognised Higher Education Institution in the UK, although we often accept applicants with appropriate experience that we consider sufficient and comparable, or an equivalent degree from overseas. Equivalence of overseas students' academic qualifications is assessed by NARIC. The content and subject matter of a student's first degree is open. In some circumstances, professional work in education (e.g. PGCE) or related field can be assessed as appropriate credit for 'prior learning' (APL) and a reduction in the number of credits required to pass the programme can be negotiated. For overseas applicants who are non-native speakers of English, a minimum language level of IELTS 6.5, or equivalent, is required.

Who Can Apply?

  • Prospective teachers: The UK government has recently announced that teaching will become a postgraduate level profession in England. If your ambition is to teach in a school, then our MA is ideally suited (although it is not itself a UK teaching qualification). Some students apply for our MA having completed their PGCE with the intention of postponing their entry to the profession, whereas others apply before making a decision whether to become a teacher.
  • Non-teachers looking for new career paths: Most of our students, however, have no intention of teaching. They are attracted by the academic nature of this award, by its habit of enabling new thinking about things that seemed like common sense, and by the prospect of improving academic skills and qualities and applying them in educationally related fields.

Career opportunities

Many of our graduates seek new career paths to educational management, training or in related fields. Some wish to continue their expertise in Education Studies and gain a broader and deeper view of education. Others wish to gain employment in, say, a museum or gallery setting, while others start with the intention of taking their studies further – to PhD level – and seek eventual employment in an academic institution.

Here is a video of one of alumni, Lizbeth Bullough, who is now currently studying for her PhD:

What students say...

I chose this course to gain a deeper understanding of the theoretical, social, cultural and political influences in education. I found that Bath Spa presented a variety of modules and the capacity to step back and reflect on the 'big' themes. The flexibility of the course and the tutorials were the main things I enjoyed about studying at Bath Spa – this, along with the wonderful setting made my MA really enjoyable. Before studying here, I was an Education Officer in a small independent museum in Bath. Since leaving the university I run the formal learning department at Geffrye Museum, London. Studying the MA has provided the theoretical foundation for all my subsequent educational work and has given me the opportunity to challenge and reflect within my day-to-day practice.

Emma Dunn, MA Education Studies.