PGCert/PGDip/M.Ed in Practitioner Enquiry

Duration: Part-time 24-36 months

Teachers’ professional learning has never been more important; the expectations that society and government have of teachers is huge, and the demands to provide a world class education mean that educational reform is constant.  Research consistently indicates that the quality of teaching is the greatest single factor affecting students’ learning outcomes.  So as teachers and school leaders we need to take our own professional development and learning seriously.   Just as importantly teachers find fulfilment in engaging in professional learning which allows them to explore key aspects of their own context and to develop practice in an innovative and disciplined fashion.

What is the M.Ed in Practitioner Enquiry?

It is a part-time Master’s course designed specifically for working teachers & lecturers, and school leaders.  It provides them with opportunities to develop their knowledge & skills and thus enhance the learning opportunities of their students and pupils and their own abilities to evaluate the impact of their work.  Essentially practitioner enquiry is an R&D (research and development) process.  It promotes innovative professional practice in the context of teaching as an evidence-based profession.  The practitioner enquiry approach helps participants to make more informed sense of theory, policy and research in a way that can have a real impact on practice and can lead to meaningful change and proactive cultures. 

What is the M.Ed in Practitioner Enquiry (Leadership)?

Students focussing on leadership can exit with a new degree: M.Ed in Practitioner Enquiry (Leadership). Developing the capacity of existing and emerging school leaders and managers is an essential component of successful schools.  Professional development is a critical component of this capacity building.  As such the MEd in Practitioner Enquiry can play a significant role in succession planning.  If you have NPQH you can use this as the basis of a conversion module worth 60 credits, for which you pay reduced fees. Advanced Skills Teachers can also study modules relevant to their role, both in developing pedagogic approaches and coaching and mentoring others. 

What is the course structure?

The course is designed with maximum flexibility in mind.  Most teachers undertake 60 credits per year as this allows them to use the TDA subsidy towards the fees (see below). Modules are either 40 or 20 credits in value.  Teaching sessions for each module are planned to enable attendance & gradual completion of portfolio sections over time.  Some modules are taught on Saturdays, some in evenings and others over full days.  This reduces the disruption to your teaching timetable.  Modules can be taken in any combination and order allowing each student to create a tailor-made course which suits their professional needs and interests.  Some modules are taught in conjunction with the full time programme so students come from all over the world, while others tend to attract more classroom practitioners. To gain the full M.Ed students undertake a dissertation or extended research portfolio (worth 60 credits). 

Read more about the range of modules offered for this programme. The module handbook (pdf link, 700k) also contains more information.

Please also see the study guide (pdf link, 700k) for more information about stating the course.

Successful M.Ed students can also transfer to the Doctorate in Education (Ed.D) after completing 100 taught credits with an average of over 60% (a merit).

Can I use my PGCE M.level credits as part of the M.Ed?

If you studied primary or secondary PGCE at Newcastle University since 2005/6 you have completed Year 1 of the M.Ed in Practitioner Enquiry.  This means that you can enter at Year 2 to complete another 60 credits from taught courses and then go on to Year 3 to complete a dissertation or extended research portfolio.  Marks from your PGCE are transferred into your M.Ed.  You DO NOT relinquish your PGCE qualification.  It is possible to return to the M.Ed in Practitioner Enquiry using your PGCE credits for up to 5 years from completion.  

What if I have M.level PGCE credits that are not from Newcastle University?

You can transfer up to 60 credits from other PGCE courses at M.level within 5 years of completion if you complete the following 120 credits at Newcastle University.  In this case you are granted Accreditation of Prior Learning. 

Can the M.Ed help me to fulfil specialist roles and develop innovative teaching and learning?

One of the aspects of the M. Ed in Practitioner Enquiry that students find valuable is the close relationship between the teaching and the contemporary research activities based at Newcastle University, particularly that conducted by the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching (CfLaT).The recent University Internal Subject Review of Education programmes regarded this feature as evidence of exemplary practice. Examples of this interaction between our teaching and research are in fields of developing of coaching and mentoring, analysing the processes and outcomes of Learning to Learn, and developing pedagogies based on thinking skills and enquiry.

Entry requirements

  • Most participants will be UK teachers/lecturers working in any subject area and any phase
  • Other teaching qualifications (e.g. QTLS) and/ or experience (e.g. in HEIs) are also relevant


Please get in touch with us for the most up to date fees information.


For further enquiries about this programme, please contact:

Programme Secretary Jane White

Telephone: +44 (0) 191 222 6799


The final 2013/2014 module timetable is available here.