Postgraduate taught 

Educational Studies MSc

Comparative Education EDUC51074

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Education
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

A great deal of educational research engages in comparison. This course explores educational goals, policies and practices around the world through a comparative lens. During the course, students will learn 'What does it mean to compare? And 'What are the different types of comparisons in education? Comparisons of education policies and practices across contexts can help think critically about other systems. Thus, comparative research facilitates the enhancement of education at different levels and in diverse contexts.


Weekly 2 h sessions- lectures and seminars

Excluded Courses

EDUC5858 International and Comparative Education




Group presentation: Normally each group will make a presentation to the class focused on one of the proposed questions. The contribution of each group member must be recorded in the presentation. Other students in the class will submit a formative feedback evaluation to the students presenting. The assignment will be graded as group work. Value: 20% of overall grade


Essay: The student will compare at least two countries/ regions/ school/classrooms regarding an educational topic. The student may develop the topic of their presentation into a full summative essay. The essay should include a clear set of questions, a review of relevant literature, an analysis of the issues, and the implications of what the student have learned for education policy and/or practice. The assignment must be the student's individual work. Value: 80% of overall grade

Course Aims

■ To familiarise students with basic comparative methods and frameworks

■ To facilitate reflection on the relationship between education, inequality and social justice within a global and local scale.

■ To equipped students with the necessary critical skills needed to undertake research projects in the field of comparative and international education.

■ To equipped students with the tools needed to critically evaluate practices and research in the field of comparative education.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

In terms of subject-specific knowledge and skills, by the end of the course, students will be able to:

■ Understand the principles behind the analysis of educational systems in different countries.

■ Understand different approaches within comparative education and be able to use and evaluate different methods in comparative studies.

■ Use concepts and theories derived from comparative and international studies to analyse their own educational experiences from a wider perspective.

■ Build on these concepts and theories to analyse and evaluate educational issues and current debates, locally and globally. 

■ Develop knowledge and understanding of diverse perspectives, global awareness, or other cultures.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.