Where can an Online MSc Education take you?

With education playing such an important role within our lives and communities, quality educators and curriculum leaders are always in high demand.

The education sector is also facing some pertinent challenges. The impact of the coronavirus pandemic has been significant; at the height of the pandemic more than 1.6 billion learners in over 190 countries were unable to attend school and existing inequalities within education are set to widen as a result. Distance learning is also becoming more mainstream, which requires educators to understand how to teach effectively within the online environment.

An Online MSc Education from the University of Glasgow will give you to the tools you need to tackle current challenges in education, taking a critical eye to both policy and research to enable you to enact positive change within a range of educational contexts around the world.

“We hope that you leave us with well-developed research skills and a critical and research-led mindset that will then lead you into other exciting areas of the educational world” explains Dr Jennifer Farrar, programme leader for the Online MSc Education.

This part-time course takes 30 months to complete and is aimed at students who are passionate about education.

“You don’t have to be a teacher to join this programme; we have a real mix of students. Some are current educators in a range of contexts, others are not formal educators, but have their own experience as parents or users of education. This range of student experience brings such a richness to the programme through fresh eyes and perspectives" says Farrar.

Examine the thinking that underpins education

Following an international curriculum, the 100% online programme enables students to gain insights into the learning process, policies and practices involved in modern education. It is the ideal MSc for those looking for fresh educational perspectives that can elevate their working approach, career development and students’ attainment.

The programme provides students with curriculum awareness and well-honed research skills that enable them to think critically and analytically about educational policy and practise these newly gained skills in any context.

The Online MSc Education opens a raft of positions – from primary and secondary schooling to adult education and educational leadership. It is perfect for budding teachers, pre-PhD or -EdD students and education professionals keen to start or further their careers. It readies graduates to go on to become education councilors, instructional coordinators and school principals.

“From this masters we want you to cultivate a research mind-set and be able to think about the thinking that underpins education. For example, we want you to become someone who can take a current story of how education is represented in the media, or the way a particular policy manifests in a particular context, and we want you to be able to explore the key thinking and unpack it” says Dr Farrar. “We hope students will use these skills to be able to ask questions in a constructive way to find out how positive change might happen in their own roles.”

Review the latest educational practices, theories and research

A key objective of the programme is for graduates to develop their research practice and galvanise their research mindset.

The online MSc teaches students about the landscape of research within the educational framework, helping them to become confident in understanding and applying different research methods and paradigms. Students will look at the theories of learning and policy making and how that informs and drives what happens in schools and educational settings.

The programme also covers the practices that are involved in modern education and the formulation of curricular and assessment.

“It’s a really enlightening course that allows you to really unpack education and to see how politics plays alongside educational policy” says Dr Farrar. “We want to really develop students’ research skills, emphasising the importance of research inquiry and its relationship to practice. We look at the core thinking that is happening in education, how educational thinking has developed, current trends and how the field is moving.”

The programme involves two research courses and culminates in a dissertation. As part of each research course, students can use their skills and apply them to areas of education that particularly interest them. Recent explorations have included the new competency-based curriculum in Kenya in line with sustainability goals, ‘Learning to learn’ educational reform in Hong Kong, pedagogical methods and curriculum within early childhood education and comparing policies and practice of assessment of assessment in Pakistan and Scotland.

“What we cover can be applicable anywhere” says Dr Farrar. “The aim of the programme is to give students the thinking tools they need to apply theoretical ideas from one context and apply them to another – that is where the skill lies.”

Tailor your experience with optional pathways

A key advantage of the Online MSc Education at the University of Glasgow is the ability for students to choose between optional pathways.

The programme comprises of four core courses, which cover modern educational thinking, educational policy and the politics of education, principles and practices of research and research application. Students then choose one additional course each year from three strands; adult learning, curriculum, assessment and pedagogy and inclusive learning environments.

“Our specialist pathways allow students to tailor the programme to their specific interests and career focus. Students can keep their learning more focused by taking the same stream through from year 1 to year 2, or they can choose to keep their qualification broader and choose two different specialisms” says Dr Farrar.

Why choose the University of Glasgow?

The MSc Education is an established and well-regarded programme which opens many avenues for graduates within education and academia. It is taught by a highly knowledgeable faculty who have many years of both industry and academic experience. We aim to foster a challenging but supportive environment where our tutors work closely with students to guide them through the programme and help them to reach their potential.

The programme is flexible and delivered asynchronously, meaning that students can fit their learning around their existing commitments. Being online also exposes students to a global network of likeminded peers from all over the world, allowing students to build an international community from which to learn and develop professionally.

The University of Glasgow also has an outstanding global reputation. Notably, the University of Glasgow has been awarded the Times Higher Education (THE) University of the Year 2020 for their work to redress historic links to slavery through a significant programme of reparative justice. The School of Education is ranked 1st in the UK according to the Complete University Guide (2021) and 81% of the University of Glasgow’s research is considered to be internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework 2014). The University of Glasgow has also been ranked 2nd for overall student satisfaction among in Russell Group Universities for 2020.

Enact positive change in education

If you are looking to deepen your understanding of the policies and practices involved in education, an Online MSc Education will give you the thinking tools and practical skills you need to drive positive change within a range of educational contexts.

“On the MSc Education what we're trying to do is to encourage our students to develop into great thinkers; people who think carefully about educational theory, practice and policy and then apply that understanding to their own context, in the hope of enacting change and improvement for our learners and learning communities” says Dr Farrar.

The Online MSc Education has intakes in January, April and September and applicants must have at least a 2:1 degree or equivalent from a recognised institution. We may also consider applicants who fall below the academic requirement where relevant work experience can be demonstrated.

Online MSc Education


First published: 12 May 2021