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MA Oracy in Education and Professional Practice

This course will equip and empower teachers and schools to provide sustained and comprehensive high-quality oracy education

An educator is giving one-to-one support as a child writes

Designed to enable oracy development for curriculum design

link theory to practice and explore policy as a driver for development

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 direct to Marjon

UCAS institution code P63

Duration One year full time, two years part time

Course Summary

This is a flexible and practice-centred programme developed to support the needs of busy professionals who have an interests  in oracy education in a range of educational contexts.

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.

You will benefit from outstanding tutorial support from expert lecturers in oracy education and educational research.

As you progress through the course you will develop communities of practice with your fellow students in order to share experiences,  expertise and learning focusing on oracy education.

Why this course at Marjon?

Provides opportunities for practitioners across a wide range of contexts

Research and apply theory to practice in order to drive improvements in your current professional settings

Offers flexibility for busy professionals to engage in postgraduate study

Can be studied either part-time or full-time through blended learning

Includes a conference to support you network and share ideas

Allows you to explore Oracy education from different perspective

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

This course will equip and empower teachers and schools to provide sustained, and comprehensive high-quality oracy education. This is designed to enable oracy development for curriculum design across all age ranges from early years to Higher education. It is an applied degree that links theory , to practice and explore policy as a driver for development
Course snapshot

1st Year

Foundations of Oracy
Introduction to oracy •Examining oracy (types of talk) •The oracy landscape (past and present) •What oracy looks like in the classroom •Research basis for oracy •Controversies •Constructivist learning The case for oracy •Learning gains •Holistic life skills
Dialogic teaching
Introduction to dialogic teaching •The difference between oracy and dialogic •Theory of dialogic (Bakhtin/Buber/Bohm) •Dialogic and dialectic (types of talk) •Tensions and controversies Dialogic teaching in the classroom / professional learning setting •Markers of dialogic discussion •Dialogue as education and dialogue for education •The role of the teacher/ professional •Assessing dialogue in the classroom / workplace
Oracy and Dialogue in Practice
Students select one of three strands to personalise their learning that incorporate Oracy and dialogue in context, Strategies for oracy for developing oracy skills, Barriers to good oracy practice, oracy for specific populations, oracy as an outcome. 3 strands •Early years and Primary Education •Specialist Subject, secondary or FE /HE Phases •Inter-disciplinary – oracy and dialogue across the professional sectors
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 that will enable you to carry out a applied project or research project.
A tutor-supervised project focusing on an element of practice, policy, professional learning or research.

Perfect if you're curious about..

How do I plan purposeful talk into lessons and provide effective feedback to learners to aid progression?

What changes to school culture could we make to established shared expectations for oracy and increase understanding of how these can be achieve?

How do we measure the impact of oracy work on children, young people and adults?

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

“Globalization, multiculturalism, and diversity—whether ethnic, racial, or socioeconomic—now require new approaches to social life and decision making. In an increasingly connected but diverse world, deliberation and discussion must be employed not just to communicate what people already know or believe, but also to build knowledge and craft negotiated solutions to complex political, medical, and environmental problems.”
Michaels, Sarah and O’Connor, 2010 - ‘How (well structured) talk builds the mind’

What might you become?

Oracy lead or subject specialist, senior leader in schools, expert teacher, Professional leading education initiatives in interdisciplinary teams, leader or manager.

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Blended learning – combination of online and face to face learning and teaching  

How will you be assessed?

Assessment embeds principles associated with oracy and dialogic teaching. Including essays, discussion and practice based coursework and in-depth study based.

Course leader

Dr Laura Kerslake has completed a PhD at the University of Cambridge where she researched oracy and dialogic education. She has worked on several oracy-focused research projects, including the teacher dialogue project (T-SEDA) and Inquiring Learners, for which she is co-investigator (both University of Cambridge). Laura has published several articles and book chapters which focus on oracy and dialogic teaching

Fees and funding

Fees UK students: £6500

Fees for International students: £12,000


Judy Clark


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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.