Masters in Education
The Masters in Education is a very important part in your arsenal when it comes to applying for teaching positions.
If you're looking to become a teacher, you can look at a number of different qualifications, such as the PGCE, but what else can you study that will boost your student CV further?
What is a Masters in education?
A Masters degree in education is a qualification you can obtain after achieving a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) or a postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE), with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).
It is not a valid teaching qualification that registers you to teach in any country. Some training providers allow students to earn the credits needed for a full Masters in education once they’ve finished their training.
The qualification is not needed for most teaching jobs, however, it allows you to gain more understanding and knowledge into the subject. It can also help job prospects and potential employees see your commitment to the subject.
Why do a Masters in education?
Initial Teacher Training courses provide a decent foundation for further development. A Masters degree, which is a postgraduate qualification, will help deepen the knowledge you already have and enhance teaching skills.
It will also allow you to specialise in a particular discipline or subject area, such as enrolling onto a Masters in Medical Education or a Masters in Special Education course. By getting this postgraduate qualification you are improving your career prospects, adding to your range of professional skills and opening more doors.
What can I do with a Masters in Education?
A Masters degree in Education allows you to showcase the higher level of knowledge you have in this subject, more than Initial Teaching Training and PGCEs/PGDEs. Some courses, like a Masters in Primary Education may look into linguistics, inclusive practice, leadership and management, and teaching and learning.
These areas are what you’ll experience daily in an education role. Each course will differ depending on the modules available and the institution you choose to study with. From a Master's in Mathematical Education to a Masters in Outdoor Education, each degree will feature specific modules.
What can you do with a Masters in Education?
The course will enable you to think deeply and critically about education as a topic of study and research. It is a rich field that will aid most who have completed their Initial Teacher Training. Many will offer a wide range of positions and disciplines that include philosophical, analytical and critical study.
Specific degrees will offer particular opportunities, like a Masters in International Education course will help those looking to study overseas.
It can help teachers who want to specialise in certain subjects, with a Masters of Music Education, allowing people to move into this subject area or progress in the Arts department.
How long does it take to complete a Masters in education?
A Master of Education (MEd), as well as a Master of Arts (MA) and a Master of Science (MSc), typically take two to three years to complete. This is the same for online Masters in Education.
However, this can change depending on whether you choose full-time or part-time study, as some part-time or online courses can take up to six years to complete. They allow students to take modules either part-time or online so they don’t get in the way of teaching. Most of these courses mix studying with practical experience of working in a teaching environment.
Although the structure, content and assessment nature of Masters courses differ depending on the course and university, so it is best to check with your chosen institution.
What can you do with a Masters in Education beside teach?
It isn’t just teachers signing up to this postgraduate qualification. Education involves an array of job roles and careers, from administration to government.
For example, a Masters in Education Policy will look at the policy and law behind the education system, and include modules that may not be found on a Masters in Physical Education course. Furthermore, a Masters in Education Management, or a Masters in Higher Education, will offer a high level of study in areas that may not be covered in other courses.
How many credits is a Masters in education?
The number of credits awarded for a Masters in Education can vary depending on the training programme you enlist on. Typically, a postgraduate certificate in education contains up to 60 credits and a postgraduate diploma in education is up to 120 credits.
Both PGCE and PGDE can be transferred to a full Masters degree when a final dissertation is completed, making the total 180 credits.
How many credits do you need for a Masters in education?
The entry requirements for a MEd depends on the course and university, although they tend to ask for an undergraduate bachelor’s degree from a UK university or other recognised body. If you do not hold an undergrad degree the institution may ask for an equivalent qualification. Spoken and written English skills are also important, and it’s usually asked to be at an adequate standard for postgraduate study. A Masters in Education is a level 7, which is more intense than undergraduate learning.
If English is not your first language, some universities may advise you achieving a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language Testing System, also known as IELTS.
Prospective students will also need to provide examples of them working with learners, either through teaching or an education advisory service. Experience in educational administration, or a similar field with informal learning settings may also be accepted. It is best to check with your institution before applying.
The course will also need you to relate the theoretical side of study to your own experiences in and around the classroom, therefore, most people study a Masters in Education alongside a work placement or during their current teaching role.
Although, if you are not currently working in a classroom in a school or college, there are other educational services that can count, including nursing education, play, youth or early years work. In some scenarios, you may need experience that isn’t in a typical primary or secondary school, like for a Masters degree in Early Years Education course.
What job can you get with a Masters in Education?
All around the world there is an increasing demand for innovative and creative professionals, especially within the classroom. Teachers are mentoring the next generation of world-thinkers, entrepreneurs and academics.
Teachers are expected to have highly developed skills and a deep understanding of learning, and being able to use this to inspire and teach others. A Masters in Education will aid you in career advancement in education and training sectors.
This qualification is designed to improve professional practice and to enrich knowledge, as well as offering transferable skills to use on a regular basis in your working life. It will also offer critical reflection, ideas and frameworks, problem-solving, self-determination and how to apply them in a working environment.
How much does a Masters degree in Education cost?
For anyone considering a postgraduate qualification, funding for Masters in Education is important. Even though it is a big commitment you should see it as a good investment. Courses begin at £5,000, depending on the university, and paired with the hard work involved and the career opportunities, it can really benefit teachers who have a PGCE or PGDE.
Some Masters degrees are eligible for a loan from the government, where you can receive up to £10,000 for your course and related costs. This can reduce some of the financial pressure whilst studying and conducting work experience throughout the course.
The price of a course may also differ for those looking for a distance learning Masters in Education, where you can complete it online and at your own pace. You should check how much your course will cost and whether you’re eligible for a postgraduate student loan.