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MA Oracy in Education and Professional Practice

Oracy – the teaching of effective speaking and listening – is so important for educational outcomes and life chances. Marjon is proud to offer the first MA Oracy in Education course in the country, equipping and empowering people working in education settings to provide sustained and comprehensive high-quality oracy education. This taught masters combines the educational theory of oracy with opportunities to put oracy into practice in your setting.

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

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.

We are committed to safeguarding and promoting the welfare of children and trainees. All trainees are expected to share this commitment and demonstrate consistently high standards of personal and professional conduct.

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

Can be studied either full-time or part-time, online or as blended learning

Apply research and theory to practice in order to drive improvements in your current professional settings

Offers flexibility for busy professionals to engage in postgraduate study

Includes a conference at the end of the course to support you to network and share ideas

Learn how to embed oracy across your setting, including curriculum design and pastorally

Modules for this course

Course Snapshot

"Good communication and language – oracy – is so important for students of all ages. Research tells us that it gives children a great start in life, enables students to express their feelings, and is a key skill as young people enter higher stages of education and the workplace. This course allows you to teach oracy effectively, no matter what the age range of your students or the subject you teach. It is an applied degree that links theory to practice and explore policy as a driver for development" Dr Laura Kerslake – Course Leader
Course snapshot

1st Year

Foundations of Oracy
• Introduction to oracy • The oracy landscape (past and present) • What oracy looks like in the classroom and beyond • Research basis for oracy • The case for oracy
Dialogic teaching
• Introduction to dialogic teaching • The difference between oracy and dialogic • Theories of dialogic (Bakhtin/Buber/Bohm) • Dialogic teaching in the learning setting • The role of the teacher/ professional • Assessing dialogue in the classroom
Oracy and Dialogue in Practice
Students select one of three strands to personalise their learning that incorporate oracy and dialogue in context: • Early years and Primary • Secondary and FE • HE and adult learners
Research Design
You’ll learn how to design a research project, gaining an understanding of methodologies, ethics and analysis. This module will enable you to effectively carry out future research projects
A tutor-supervised project focusing on an element of practice, policy, professional learning or research. You will study 90 credits per year if you choose to take this course part-time over 2 years.

Perfect if you're curious about..

Planning purposeful talk into lessons and giving effective feedback

Making changes to school culture to establish shared expectations for oracy and increase understanding of how these can be achieved

Measuring the impact of oracy work on children, young people and adults

Developing research ideas to explore something that matters to you and/or your 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 

How you’ll be taught and assessed?

How will you be taught?

Either entirely online, or through a combination of online and face-to-face teaching. 

You will be expected to complete tasks in your learning setting. If you are not currently working in an educational institution, you can still take this course so long as you can arrange for a short period of time in a setting (and we may be able to assist with this)

How will you be assessed?

You will be assessed through a range of methods, including essays, discussion and practice based coursework and in-depth study based activities or research. A feature of this course is that assessment embeds principles associated with oracy and dialogic teaching.

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Laura Kerslake

Course leader

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Dr Laura Kerslake has 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 (both University of Cambridge). Laura has published several articles and book chapters which focus on oracy and dialogic teaching. For an informal chat about the course, please contact Laura at

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.