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MSc in Education

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Course description

The MSc in Education provides students with the opportunity to develop their knowledge of education theory, research and practice in international comparative ways, while studying in one of the UK’s leading centres for educational research.  The programme is distinctive because it offers exciting opportunities for students to work in a truly inter-disciplinary social science environment and to benefit from a breadth of knowledge and expertise.  

This programme is aimed at practitioners working in education, training, workforce and skills development, youth work and community work, and postgraduate students who want to engage in the advanced level study of education in an international context. It offers the opportunity to examine leading edge theories and research evidence concerned with developing understanding of the social, historical, philosophical and political frameworks of education and training policies and practices, nationally and internationally. 

The Cardiff Educational Research Group has a reputation for its emphasis on policy and practice across a range of educational settings, locally, nationally and internationally. Graduates from this programme will have a theoretical and substantive foundation from which they may critically evaluate contemporary education and training structures, institutions and practices, together with enhanced employability and study skills, making them attractive to a variety of employers. The MSc also provides a basis for progression to further study such as a taught Professional Doctorate (EdD) or research degree (PhD).

Course structure

This is a taught modular master’s programme made up of 180 credits.  A distinctive feature of the MSc in Education is that it is operated as part of a combined programme and comprises two parts.  Teaching is organised in two semesters.  Semester One, September to January, and Semester Two, January to May. 

In the first part, there are two 30 credit common compulsory modules in (i) principles and practice of research design and methods and (ii) critical perspectives in social science.  This means that students not only come into contact with experts in the field of Education, but also benefit from the knowledge and expertise of world leading researchers at the forefront of knowledge production in a range of areas. There are also three 20 credit modules, taken from a choice of education modules such as International and Comparative Skills Systems, Global Educational Alternatives, Social Contexts of Education, Debates in Educational Research, and Teaching and Learning in the 21st Century, or from modules on other master’s programmes in areas such as: Equality and Diversity; Childhood and Youth Studies; Health and Healthcare; Crime, Safety and Justice; Social Policy, and Social Science Research Methods. 

In the second part, students undertake a 60 credit dissertation study, guided by a personal supervisor.  This is an opportunity to explore in-depth a topic arising out of study on the programme, and to apply and further develop research skills, analysis and presentation of findings.

Course aims

Graduates from this programme will be able to:

  • Critically evaluate existing knowledge, scholarship and research, and appreciate competing claims and theoretical perspectives; 
  • Describe, understand and explain how education and training developments take place in key global regions (developed and emerging economies);
  • Critically evaluate the evidence and methodologies on which, institutional, national, regional and international education and training policies and practices are based and contested;
  • Utilise their knowledge and skills to assess and explain the relationships between the processes of education and training in different regions, and how they affect the outcomes of learning and life chances in these places;
  • Apply their knowledge and skills and show originality in their thinking by tackling both familiar and unfamiliar problems;
  • As appropriate, evaluate, synthesise and interpret data, and be able to collect, evaluate, synthesise and interpret data in the form of a project or dissertation;
  • Demonstrate high level academic and personal skills applicable to their own research or scholarship, such as writing, oral presentations, problem solving and group work, and the use and application of information technologies in, for example, literature searches, research methods, and data analysis and presentation.

Career prospects

This programme is aimed at practitioners working in education, training, workforce and skills development, youth work and community work, and postgraduate students who want to engage in the advanced level study of education in an international context.  It may lead to further specialist training in, for example, teaching, youth work or social work, or to direct employment in these areas, especially in administrative roles, and for those who aspire to develop leadership roles.

View this course on the University's Coursefinder website


Masters Programmes Office, School of Social Sciences

Telephone: +44 (0)29208 70284
Fax: +44 (0)29208 74175
Email: socialscience-masters@cardiff.ac.uk