Education Research MA

Education Research MA

Full time: minimum 12 months, part time: minimum 24 months


Our course provides you with social science research training and specialised education modules. You'll develop a critical understanding of research methods, educational issues, practice, evidence and theory. It is ideal preparation for doctoral research in education.

The course will enable you to relate debates and methodological principles in education research to broader issues in social science research and educational policy and practice.

It also provides you with opportunities to acquire the theoretical frameworks, knowledge, understanding, skills and aptitudes necessary to undertake advanced research in education.

You will be a member of the Research Centre for Learning and Teaching at Newcastle University (CfLaT). You are encouraged to contribute to our education research culture, participating in events such as seminars, research teas and project dissemination events.

We aim to produce graduates who can successfully proceed to research, education and teaching careers in Universities, the public sector, or the private sector.

The course is recognised by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) as the first training year for students wishing to go on to study for a PhD under their 1+3 arrangements (Master's degree plus PhD).

The School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences (ECLS) with the Faculty of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences (HASS) are ESRC-accredited through our ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership, one of the largest and most innovative centres of the ESRC's national network. These are centres of excellence for postgraduate social science scholarship, offering students a world-class, interdisciplinary environment for doctoral training and research.

Find out about our education research, and individual education staff and their current research interests, projects and publications.  Staff in the education section work with staff in the the ESRC Northern Ireland/North East (NINE) Doctoral Training Partnership and HASS.


The course structure combines compulsory and optional modules which help you to engage with and evaluate educational theory and research. You will also be taught how to prepare and carry out a research proposal. The optional module and the dissertation topic can be chosen to relate specifically to your professional situation.

A variety of forms of assessment are used, carefully chosen to reflect the form of training provided. There are written assignments of 4,500-5,000 words but other forms are used such as:

  • group oral presentation
  • written report
  • detailed bibliography
  • critical methodological review
  • data practical assessments
  • portfolio

The dissertation is assessed through a thesis of 15,000 words maximum.

We aim to be as flexible as possible with module timetables. Some skills-based teaching is repeated at different times to fit in with personal and professional commitments. The research modules are moving over to a blended learning approach, while our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, and recap, are used with all modules. Many but not all sessions are at 'twilight' times or on a Saturday.

Some of our students choose to study full time and some choose to complete study over two years part time. If you are concerned about fitting study around full time work commitments it is worth contacting us to find out how this might work for you.

The taught aspect of the course runs from the final week of September through to the end of March. After this, dissertation study is by tutorial arrangement between you and your supervisor. This can be face-to-face or remote, to allow you to continue your study at home, elsewhere in the UK or overseas.

Student Profile

The course provoked me to think more in depth around the area of social sciences and to understand the philosophical and theoretical backgrounds.

Alan's student profile.
Alan S

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You will study modules on this course. A module is a unit of a course with its own approved aims and outcomes and assessment methods.

Modules for 2019 entry

Module changes

Course content changes 

The information above is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content changes periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability

Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

Fees & Funding

2020-2021 fees

The fees displayed here are per year. If your studies last longer than a year your fee maybe subjected to an annual inflationary increase



Full time: £7,800
Part time: £3,900


Full time: £7,800
Part time: £3,900


Full time: £18,000

Find out more about our tuition fees, including how to pay them and available discounts.

EU students starting at Newcastle in 2020 will pay the UK (Home) tuition fee for the full duration of their course.

Funding opportunities

Entry Requirements

A 2:1 honours degree in a related subject and a real interest in education research. Related subjects include:

  • educational research
  • education
  • educational psychology
  • social science research

Some experience of teaching in a school, college, university or workplace is desirable but not essential.

We will consider applicants on an individual basis with lower or non-standard qualifications.

Find out the equivalent qualifications for your country.

Use the drop down above to find your country. If your country isn't listed please email: for further information.

English Language Requirements

Select an English language test from the list to view our English language entry requirements.

Please email us at for further information.

If you have lower English Language scores, you may be accepted onto a pre-sessional English course. 

How to Apply

You apply online, track your application and contact the admissions team via our applicant portal. Our step by step guide can help you on your way.

Start dates

The course starts in September. There is no application closing date for this course.

We suggest international students apply at least two months before the course starts. This is so that you have enough time to make the necessary arrangements.


If you live outside the UK/EU you must:

  • pay a deposit of £1,500
  • or submit an official letter of sponsorship

The deposit is payable after you receive an offer to study at Newcastle University. The deposit is non-refundable, but is deducted from your tuition fees when you register.


School of Education, Communication and Language Sciences
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 208 6569