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MA Education

Study in either Plymouth or Truro for this Masters degree. Research your area of interest within education and apply your findings to benefit your organisation, and enhance your career progression. Delivered part-time to support working professionals (Saturday and evening sessions).

A teacher teaches two students who are doing computer work

Find out more about Marjon University Cornwall. 

Marjon University Cornwall

Flexible part-time options

Apply now for this course


Entry requirements

An undergraduate degree is usually required, however admission on the grounds of experience is considered for highly experienced applicants

Accreditation of prior, certificated learning can be given for up to 90 credits for relevant Masters' study undertaken within the last five years

UCAS code Apply to Marjon

UCAS institution code P63

Duration One year full-time or two years part-time

Any questions about postgraduate study at Marjon?

Contact Rachel Bailey-Lewis, our Student Recruitment Officer (Postgraduate).

Course Summary

Our MA Education provides opportunities for practitioners across a wide range of contexts to research and apply theory to practice in order to drive improvements in their current professional settings. The course offers flexibility for busy professionals to engage in postgraduate study. It can be studied either part-time or full-time at our Plymouth campus or part-time at our Marjon University Cornwall in Truro to fit in with professional and family commitments. 

Our MA Education is taught in partnership with Teaching School Alliances, Multi-Academy Trusts, SCITT partners, Diocesan offices, military, health, sport, outdoor education, local authorities and a wide range of other employers and organisations throughout the South-West and beyond.

The course ethos is informed, first and foremost, by a renowned student-centred approach focusing on developing and enhancing professionals’ practice and specific subject expertise, which allows you to identify your own research focus.

This course is a development, if you like, of undergraduate studies. It allows the consolidation of theory and practice in education. So it generally attracts people who have worked in education for a number of years. Whether that’s school teachers, headteachers, leaders within schools, within colleges, nursery settings, people who want to learn a little bit more about education. And the education itself can be formal or informal. We attract a lot of students with diverse approaches and research ideas as well. So I think with the staff team and the expertise within the staff team and also within the class setting in terms of the students experience, because we get so many different students from different areas, the diversity of the discussions are fantastic. So it really helps to draw on that knowledge that they already have and then build their schemas of knowledge around education that takes it further. So some students look at the M.A. to go into leadership positions within an educational establishment. So they may well become a lead within the PE department or lead within the nursery setting, or possibly in a middle management senior leadership within colleges as well, and or for headteachers as well. So it's not limiting that. However, so far my experience has been that it's more about individual development and that self-development, that the students can realize something else, that they didn't know about themselves and that they can do it. And I think there is that that keenness, if you like, to learn more about the world. Okay, I've done this. I've got my my undergraduate degree. I've worked for a few years. What's next? And I think there is that that passion that drives to learn about education. And also because of the nature of the course, you can specialize the subject areas. You look at and research into. Because of that, I believe students become empowered by that self knowledge, but also in that particular area of research or study that maybe hasn't been looked at and it may well link to that practice or not. So it might be just, you know, a little bit of a topic that's sort of been mulling in the back of their minds. You know, I really want to look into that. I t's always fazed me. I'd like to know a little bit more about that. And so that enables them to become a specialist in that area. At Marjon Plymouth, we offer the M.A. with all three pathways and those three pathways, or the generic pathway where you focus on education, you've then got to the leadership coaching leadership pathway and then you've also got the disability pathway and all three pathways give you and me, but it allows you to then focus on those specialisms a little bit more, you know, and it tailors to interest at the moment. our Disability Pathways, for example, is incredibly popular, and I think that says something about our culture and society at the moment. With all three of those courses here at Plymouth, we offer them full and part time. So full time is over the course of one year where you will have what we currently have timetabled sessions, a twilight session every every three weeks say through the year. Plus we have Saturday workshops. If you're studying part time you would study a mixture of both depending on the semester over a two year period. Marjon has a unique community feel the small classes, the fact that tutors know students' names. There's an ethos that's very Marjon and that acceptance and kindness. And I think that when you're looking for somewhere to feel that you belong Marjon is that place.

Why this course at Marjon?

An individual student-centred approach with outstanding support from a community of expert tutors

Flexible modules which enable students to develop their subject and research focus

Opportunities to join an inter-disciplinary Masters’ community for the sharing of innovative ideas and practice

Opportunities to study for MA Education, MA Education - Educational Leadership, MA Education - Coaching, Mentoring & Leadership or MA Education - Disability

A flexible and practice-centred approach developed to support the needs of busy professionals

Taught by highly experienced expert tutors

Modules for this course

1st Year

Independent study
A tutor-supervised study on any topic of your choice.
Values-based education
A tutor-supervised study in which you'll explore the values of the organisation you work within to gain an understanding of their impact upon practice.
Becoming a reflective practitioner
You'll develop your understanding of reflective models and how to critically reflect upon your own practice and the practice of others.
Research design
In preparation for future research projects you'll design a research poster outlining your chosen methodology, methods and paradigm, and develop your understanding of research ethics.
A 15,000-word, tutor-supervised research dissertation.

Current students say...

Rebecca Brewer

“The most enjoyable aspect of my course has to be the research I have been inspired to carry out: local schools have embraced the papers I have written and written policy based on recommendations I have made. It couldn’t be more fulfilling. I have looked at how schools and families best engage and the impact it can have, and how children’s characters are developed throughout their time at school. This MA has enabled me to gain deep insight into how I can add real value.”

This course is perfect if you’re curious about

How can I enhance my own subject expertise?

How do I develop research ideas to explore something that matters to me and/or my employer?

How can I enhance my own capacity for excellence as an educator?

How can I develop my critical writing skills at Masters’ level?

How do I publish my research to reach a wide professional community?

How can I use this as an opportunity to contribute to the organisation I am a part of?

See where our graduates are now

Emmanuel Rouve

“I use my Masters’ every day, specifically in the creation of a coaching culture within the School. I also using my knowledge and pedagogical practice to inform wider change in educational technologies. The findings of my research provided me with strong arguments to create an innovative culture and to create a Learning Lab. I am in no doubt that this initiative influenced my appointment as Director of the School of Apprenticeships.”

Emmanuel is the Director of the School of Apprenticeships for the French Navy.

John Blackmore

“The course allowed me to reflect on my classroom practice and consider how to address the barriers to learning faced by my students. My action research papers transformed the ways I broach certain skills, topics and modules with my students, while the breadth of my critical reading has made me more receptive to new teaching strategies. The MA has given me confidence to take new risks in the classroom and provided reassurance and direction in my pursuit to become an even better practitioner.”

Jon is Head of Faculty for English and Drama.

Pam Bryant

“My research looked at how to close the attainment gap between disadvantaged and non-disadvantaged learners within music, which involved trialling many different methods. This has enabled me to ensure that the gap remains very small within my classes. In turn I have been able to share this practice with the wider educational community, a skill which will stand me in good stead when I look to progress further in my career. I cannot wait to progress further by undertaking a Doctorate”.

Pam teaches music and drama.

What might you become?

In general terms, a Masters’ degree can enable career progression in a highly competitive market place and promote career mobility. Career opportunities will vary according to students’ fields of work, but holders of a Masters’ degree can expect to demonstrate highly flexible and transferable skills such as high levels of initiative, leadership of learning and mastery of a subject area. For example, previous graduates have progressed to County Advisor positions, middle leadership, school leadership and/or executive leadership positions.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

The course is delivered to fit in with your work, through distance learning, focusing on 1:1 tutorials, practice-based conversations at your workplace, professional focus groups, Saturday workshops and occasional key-note lectures at our campuses in Plymouth or Truro. Hours per week vary depending on work, life and family commitments.

How will you be assessed?

The key assessment methodology is action research, taking the form of small practice-focused projects, a research proposal poster and a final-stage research dissertation. You'll use evaluative, investigative, and/or analytical methods to diagnose problems or weaknesses and to develop practical solutions to address them quickly and efficiently.

Staff photo of Alison Milner

Alison Milner

Course leader

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Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £8,000 per annum

Fees for International students: £14,500 per annum

This fee covers your tuition and access to course-specific equipment and facilities, as well associated services including access to the library, study skills support, IT support, student support and wellbeing services and membership of the Student Union. There may be additional costs by course.

Funding available for this course

Our Student Funding Advisors offer confidential and impartial advice about your funding options.

Learn more


Marie Bradwell

Associate Lecturer

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Marie has worked in Early Years and education for the past thirty years, working in various roles from manager to teaching assistant and with individuals who have special education needs. She is interested in policy, Early Years, active listening and children’s rights. 

Kate Firks


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Kate specialises in Special Educational Needs and Disability. She is a Qualified Teacher of Children and Young People with Vision Impairment and worked across a range of mainstream and special school settings for 20 years. 

Jan Gourd

Senior Lecturer

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Jan was previously a primary head teacher in the South West and she now leads a teaching team at Marjon who together draw on decades of classroom experience and wide-ranging research specialisms to deliver Education courses.

Dr Jonathan Harvey

Senior Lecturer

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Jonathan's specialist area is disability studies. He is interested in viewing disability and impairment in terms of the way they impact on inclusion and much of his work is concerned with how social theory can be used to make sense of the lives of disabled people. Jonathan has an acquired brain injury so his work is influenced by direct experience of disability.

Professor Tanya Ovenden-Hope

Provost & Professor of Education

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An innovative academic, Tanya’s research focus is on educational isolation of coastal, rural and small schools and the relationship with teacher development , teacher supply and educational improvement.

Tanya is currently supervising the following theses:

  • Educational Isolation - composite indicator
  • Early career teacher identity
  • HE in FE Teacher identity
  • Muslim parent school choices
  • Pupil wellbeing and SATs
  • Recovery conversations and pupils from persistently disadvantaged backgrounds.

Miles Smith

Associate Dean of Education

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Miles has more than twenty years of experience teaching, including to adults and children. An experienced English Language and Primary School teacher, Miles is also a postgraduate researcher of children's curriculum experience. 

More information

At the start of this course you will meet your university tutor at either our Plymouth or Truro campus to discuss your aims and preferred course pathway, as well as the most appropriate study timeline for you.

Pathways on this programme are:

  • MA Education
  • MA Education - Educational Leadership
  • MA Education - Coaching, Mentoring and Leadership
  • MA Education - Disability

Apply now for this course


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