What is a Master's in Education?

Ben Maples  · Jan 17th 2024  · 4 min

A Masters in Education is a wonderful way of honing your skills ready to apply 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 about boosting your knowledge of education further?

Masters in Education

What is a Master’s in Education?

A Master’s degree in education (MA) is a postgraduate qualification. It is obtained after achieving a postgraduate certificate in education (PGCE) or a postgraduate diploma in education (PGDE), with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

It’s worth noting that this isn’t a valid teaching qualification that registers you to teach in any country. Although, some training providers allow students to earn the credits needed for a full Master's in Education once they’ve finished their training.

What can you do with a Master's 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 help thosewho have completed their Initial Teacher Training. Many courses will offer a wide range of positions and disciplines that include philosophical, analytical and critical study.

Specific degrees will offer particular opportunities, like a Master's in International Education course will help those looking to study overseas.

It can help teachers who want to specialise in certain subjects, with a Master's of Music Education, allowing people to move into this subject area or progress in the Arts department.

Uni Masters in Education

So… can I only be a teacher, then?

Not at all! A Master's in Education wasn’t created just for people looking to teach! Teaching is, of course, one of the main aspects of the course, but that doesn’t mean you can’t look at other careers with this qualification.

Lots of different sectors appreciate students having a Master's in Education. Working in education does not mean you have to become a teacher or lecturer. You can work as a careers adviser, an educational administrator, or even teach English as a foreign language. Other sectors can also include social work, the civil service, consultation, publishing, human resources and marketing.

Why should I do a Master's in Education?

Initial Teacher Training courses provide a decent foundation for further development. A Master’s 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. By getting this postgraduate qualification you are improving your career prospects, adding to your range of professional skills and opening more doors.

How many credits is a Master's in Education?

The number of credits awarded for a Master's in Education can vary depending on the programme you do. Generally, a Master's in Education is worth around 180 credits.

Typically, a PGCE contains up to 60 credits and a Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) is up to 120 credits. Both PGCE and PGDE can be transferred to a full Master’s degree when a final dissertation is completed, making the total 180 credits.

University Masters in Education

How long does it take to complete a Master's 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 Master's 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 Master's courses differ depending on the course and university, so it is best to check with your chosen institution.

What are the entry requirements for a Master's in Education?

This will depend on where you are applying and what the subject is. The entry requirements for a Master's in Education will vary, but generally universities will ask that you have a 2:2 honours degree before you apply.

How much does a Master’s degree in Education cost?

Courses begin at £5,000, depending on the university. Some Master's 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 Master's. Distance learning courses tend to be somewhat cheaper, as they don’t actually require you to appear in a class in-person (or rarely), so the resources needed for the course are not as vast. You should check how much your course will cost and whether you’re eligible for a postgraduate student loan.

postgraduate Uni's

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