This programme offers teachers and educational professionals opportunities to learn across a range of areas within the broad field of education.
Education professionals in the twenty-first century are expected to have strong knowledge and skills in core areas as well as an ability to move flexibly in and out of a variety of specialist areas. This Educational Studies programme is designed to meet these diverse needs by offering students the opportunity to select modules from a wide range of topics including: learning and teaching, assessment, educational leadership, inclusion and special educational needs.
The programme offers students an opportunity to familiarise themselves with current research on these topics. In addition, students are encouraged to consider and reflect on the practical implications of theoretical perspectives and research findings.
The MEd in Educational Studies is open to teachers in primary-, secondary- and tertiary-level institutions as well as to professionals in other fields of education.
On completion of the modules students will be able to:
- demonstrate a broad-based knowledge and understanding of educational research, policy, practice and theory covered by the modules of their choice
- analyse and critically apply examples of the research literature in the chosen modules (and, where appropriate, skills)
- reflect critically on their own personal practice.
Closing date for applications: Wednesday 30th June 2021 at 4pm.
Educational Studies highlights
Our educational research has been ranked 4th within the UK in relation to research intensity with 87% assessed as ‘internationally excellent or world leading’ (REF, 2014).
Internationally Renowned Experts
- The core discipline of Education at Queen’s is one of the leading areas for educational research in the UK and Ireland.
- The diversity of topics is particularly appreciated by students who want to learn across a range of topics, rather than focusing on one specialist subject.
- Credit transfer Students who have completed other master's-level awards, eg PGCE, within the last 10 years are eligible to credit transfer. The credit transfer application must be submitted at the same time as the online programme application as retrospective applications are not accepted.
- Flexibility This programme is delivered via blended learning (a mixture of face-to-face and online learning).
- Flexible exit qualifications (PgCert, PgDip) are available and individual course modules can also be taken as short courses.
“The MEd in Educational Studies offers a fantastic range of opportunities for teachers and others involved in education to engage in professional development. You will benefit from a stimulating and supportive environment that will introduce you to new ideas, the latest research and fresh approaches in the field of education.” Dr Andy Biggart, Programme Director
Students may enrol on a full-time (1 year) or part-time (3 years) basis. Individual modules may be studied as a short course. Part-time students typically complete one or two modules per semester. Full-time students typically complete three modules per semester.
The MEd is awarded to students who successfully complete six taught modules (120 CATS points) and a 15,000 - 20,000 word research dissertation (60 CATS points).
Exit qualifications are available: students may exit with a Postgraduate Diploma by successfully completing 120 CATS points from taught modules or a Postgraduate Certificate by successfully completing 60 CATS points from taught modules.
We've made it easy to study for a master's module as a short course. If you would like to apply for a short course, please contact the Education Secretary (firstname.lastname@example.org) for advice.
Course Details List of Indicative Programme Modules
Modules* (20 CATS points) :
An Introduction to Research Methods: Children, Young People and Education (compulsory)
This introductory research methods module is compulsory for all Master’s students in the School of Social Sciences, Education and Social Work and assumes no previous experience or knowledge of research methods. The aim of the module is to provide a general research overview and to contextualise the broad range of approaches and debates that are evident within contemporary educational research. The module aims to provide students with an understanding of the theory and an appreciation of the differing perspectives that underpin quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Students will be introduced to the ethical issues relating to educational research as well as a range of methodological approaches, within which the key theoretical and practical issues will be addressed.
Assessment Issues in Teaching and Learning in Classrooms
This module takes an issues-based approach to assessment in relation to teaching, learning and research in classrooms. It reviews various approaches to, and developments in, assessment in relation to three underlying themes:
• the practical issues of assessment for teaching, learning and research
• the relationship between assessment and pupil learning; and
• the social impact of assessment and testing on learning;
Throughout the module, students are encouraged to think critically about assessment practices (including their own) in the light of a deeper understanding of the fundamental concepts in assessment theory. The aim of the module is to give teachers and educators from all phases of schooling and educational institutions as well as other assessment practitioners, an understanding of the issues surrounding assessment practice, policy and research.
NB Students are not permitted to take this module if they have taken/will take module EDU7253.
Behaviour Change and Education
Behavioural issues and problem behaviours in the classroom often hinder academic achievement. A well-managed classroom and school enhances pupil and staff experience. Managing the classroom effectively, including supporting children with mild behaviour problems, and supervising personnel working in educational contexts are important skills for teachers and related staff. This module introduces teachers and other education professionals to behaviour analysis and its application to effective teaching and classroom management. Humane, positive-only procedures are developed that reduce or eliminate discipline problems as well as enhancing skills, problem-solving, and creativity in students.
This module covers “Philosophical Underpinnings” (30 hours) and “Personnel Supervision and Management” (30 hours), as described in the BACB 5th Task List. This module is compulsory for students on the ABA programme but will also be relevant to students on a range of programmes, as well as other areas of pedagogy and education studies.
*Note: This module covers technical knowledge on the science of behaviour analysis and its applications in educational settings. Students must have one year of relevant classroom/ABA experience if they wish to take this module. This does not apply to MSc ASD and MSc ABA students.
Contemporary Perspectives on Learning and Teaching
The purpose of this module is to examine current research in teaching and learning. In particular, it will focus on key contemporary debates in learning theory, teacher effectiveness and pedagogy. This module will be of particular interest to teachers who wish to evaluate their current practice in the light of educational theory and to establish evidence-based classroom strategies. It will also appeal to those who lead, or hope to lead, learning or training in a wide range of education-related environments.
Curriculum: Theory, Policy and Practice
Questions about what constitutes the purpose of educational policy and the fitness-for-purpose of curricula are prevalent in contemporary discourses about education across the life course, and across the globe. From the macro-level to the micro, these debates are important because they have to do with educational and societal change, and whose needs such change should serve. This module will provide students with an opportunity to reflect on curriculum theory, policy and practice. It will investigate socio-political and theoretical influences on curriculum development and provide analytical concepts and skills. Sessions include examining how knowledge is organized and de/legitimised in the curriculum; social formation within the hidden curriculum; and the role of the curriculum in societies with legacies of conflict, inequality and division, and in relation to the Sustainable Development Goals and global challenges.
Education, the Law and Children's Rights
This module will focus on children’s human rights at school under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. International obligations arising under the European Convention on Human Rights will also be considered. Topics to be covered will include school admissions, the curriculum, attendance, discipline, children’s right to be heard and the rights of children with disabilities. The issues will be analysed from the twin perspectives of children's rights and teachers' obligations. No prior legal knowledge is expected.
E-learning: Concepts and Practice
This module will enable you to explore the policies, issues, facts and the hype surrounding eLearning. It will introduce you to ideas such as Third Space and 4th Industrial Revolution. You will reflect on the affordances offered by technology-enhanced learning, virtual learning environments, managed learning environments and data analytics. There will be opportunities to compare and contrast the face-to-face environment of the classroom with online learning and to hear from experts in the field. The various developments in e-learning will be examined at several levels including technical (e.g. how does it work?), practical (e.g. experience of creating online courses) and theoretical (e.g. what types of learning models are involved?). Finally, your own professional working context will provide the focus for your assignment work.
Reflective Practice and Action Research (10 CATS points)
There is a considerable body of literature highlighting the importance of practitioner-led enquiry and reflection, its centrality in the learning process and the key role it plays in the process of continuing professional development. Despite this there tends to be little opportunity within teaching and learning programmes for teachers to explore the nature of reflection, the various perspectives and theories surrounding the topic or to examine the concept in any depth. This module begins to address this shortcoming by inviting participants to consider and experiment with various approaches to reflective practice as used in small-scale action research project design within the field of education in general and their own professional development in particular.
Please note this is a 10-point module and is only available to those students who require this specific number of points to complete their qualification.
Students must choose 120 CATS points from the modules listed above or any other modules from the MEd/MSc programmes offered by the School (except certain ABA modules EDU7225/7227/7229/7230/7900).
Modules on the Educational Leadership and Inclusion and Special Needs Education pathways may be of interest, e.g.
Digital Literacy and Communication
Fundamental Elements of Behaviour Change
Leadership for Change
Leadership Theory and Practice: An Overview
Reimagining Special Needs Education: Inclusive Pedagogy
School Effectiveness and School Improvement
Special Needs Education and Issues of Equity
The Intellectual Foundations of Special Education
Understanding Adults with ASD
Understanding Children with ASD
* These modules are subject to change.
People teaching you
The majority of sessions are in the evenings. Attendance at weekend workshops is occasionally required.
Graduates from this degree have found the skills and knowledge learned to be beneficial in their workplace by improving their professional practice. In the case of teachers this has meant the development of research-informed practice and the ability to lead professional development within their schools.
Furthermore, a higher degree can enhance employment prospects to help secure future promotion. Having deepened their knowledge in a specific area, other students have chosen to continue academic study to doctoral level.
Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes help our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.
Learning and Teaching
Learning opportunities available on this course are outlined below:
Evening and Weekends
The majority of sessions are in the evenings. Attendance at weekend workshops is occasionally required. In some modules there is an online taught element.
Assessments associated with this course are outlined below:
There are no written examinations. Modules are assessed by coursework. Modules with an online element use a variety of assessment methods, eg multiple choice tests and contributions to an online forum.
The Graduate School
The School is located within a recently renovated building, with state of the art teaching and learning facilities, together with dedicated student space including a large student common room. The teaching facilities enable an interactive learning environment.
Prizes and Awards
- The Northern Ireland Centre for Educational Research (NICER) offers two awards to support teacher researchers working on classroom-based projects aimed at improving teaching and learning (eligibility criteria apply).
A 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in any subject discipline.
Applicants with a 2.2 Honours degree or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University may also be considered if they have at least two years of professional experience in an education, training or relevant context.
Closing date for applications: Wednesday 30th June 2021 at 4pm.
For information on international qualification equivalents, please check the specific information for your country.
English Language Requirements
Evidence of an IELTS* score of 6.5, with not less than 5.5 in any component, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University is required. *Taken within the last 2 years.
International students wishing to apply to Queen's University Belfast (and for whom English is not their first language), must be able to demonstrate their proficiency in English in order to benefit fully from their course of study or research. Non-EEA nationals must also satisfy UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) immigration requirements for English language for visa purposes.
For more information on English Language requirements for EEA and non-EEA nationals see: www.qub.ac.uk/EnglishLanguageReqs.
If you need to improve your English language skills before you enter this degree programme, INTO Queen's University Belfast offers a range of English language courses. These intensive and flexible courses are designed to improve your English ability for admission to this degree.
- Academic English: an intensive English language and study skills course for successful university study at degree level
- Pre-sessional English: a short intensive academic English course for students starting a degree programme at Queen's University Belfast and who need to improve their English.
INTO - English Language Course(QSIS ELEMENT IS EMPTY)
Fees and Funding
Northern Ireland (NI) 1 £6,450 Republic of Ireland (ROI) 2 £6,450 England, Scotland or Wales (GB) 1 £7,250 EU Other 3 £17,700 International £17,700
1 EU citizens in the EU Settlement Scheme, with settled or pre-settled status, are expected to be charged the NI or GB tuition fee based on where they are ordinarily resident, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly Student Fees Regulations. Students who are ROI nationals resident in GB are expected to be charged the GB fee, however this is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
2 It is expected that EU students who are ROI nationals resident in ROI will be eligible for NI tuition fees, in line with the Common Travel Agreement arrangements. The tuition fee set out above is provisional and subject to the publication of the Northern Ireland Assembly student fees Regulations.
3 EU Other students (excludes Republic of Ireland nationals living in GB, NI or ROI) are charged tuition fees in line with international fees.
For further information please refer to www.qub.ac.uk/brexit-advice/information-for-students.
All tuition fees quoted are for the academic year 2021-22, and relate to a single year of study unless stated otherwise. Tuition fees will be subject to an annual inflationary increase, unless explicitly stated otherwise.
Additional course costs
Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs which are not covered by tuition fees, which students will need to consider when planning their studies.
Students can borrow books and access online learning resources from any Queen's library. If students wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow them from the University Library, prices per text can range from £30 to £100. Students should also budget between £30 to £75 per year for photocopying, memory sticks and printing charges.
Students undertaking a period of work placement or study abroad, as either a compulsory or optional part of their programme, should be aware that they will have to fund additional travel and living costs.
If a programme includes a major project or dissertation, there may be costs associated with transport, accommodation and/or materials. The amount will depend on the project chosen. There may also be additional costs for printing and binding.
Students may wish to consider purchasing an electronic device; costs will vary depending on the specification of the model chosen.
There are also additional charges for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines.
Educational Studies costs
There are no specific additional course costs associated with this programme.
How do I fund my study?
The Department for the Economy will provide a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500 per NI / EU student for postgraduate study. Tuition fee loan information.
A postgraduate loans system in the UK offers government-backed student loans of up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas. Criteria, eligibility, repayment and application information are available on the UK government website.
Information on scholarships for international students, is available at http://www.qub.ac.uk/International/International-students/International-scholarships/.
How to Apply
Terms and Conditions
The terms and conditions that apply when you accept an offer of a place at the University on a taught programme of study.
Queen's University Belfast Terms and Conditions.
Fees and Funding