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MA Education Practice

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The MA Education Practice provides the core knowledge, skills and professional values to enhance your practice as an educator. It supports your development as a critically reflective practitioner prepared to fully engage with the changing educational environment.

The programme is committed to enhancing the student learning experience by fostering dynamic approaches to teaching and learning through creativity, innovation and continuous development. This programme provides you with the opportunity to engage in educational scholarship, which is integrated with your research and/or professional activities.

There are three potential exit points from the programme:

  • At PG Certificate level after completion of three compulsory units (a total of 60 credits at level 7)
  • At PG Diploma level after completion of a further three units out of a range of options (a total of 120 credits at level 7)
  • At MA level after completion of an additional research methods unit and pedagogic innovation/research project (a total of 180 credits at level 7)

You can also take the PG Dip stage options as part of continuing professional development or gain 20 credits after successful completion of the assessment. The full MA may enable progression to doctoral level study. Completion of all or part of this programme will help you evidence your knowledge, understanding and skills around education practice. 

Key information

Next start date:

October 2018


Bournemouth University, Talbot Campus


MA: typically 36 months; PGDip: typically 24 months; PGCert: typically 12 months; individual CPD units: typically 3 months


Successful completion of the PGCert leads automatically to Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowship and registration of Teacher Status with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC)

Entry requirements:

A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:1 in any subject or equivalent. Applicants should be teaching in a practice or academic setting. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

International entry requirements:

If English is not your first language you'll need IELTS 7.0 (Academic) or above. For more information check out our full entry requirements.

Course details

On this course you will usually be taught by a range of staff with relevant expertise and knowledge appropriate to the content of the unit. This will include senior academic staff, qualified professional practitioners, demonstrators, technicians and research students.

Year one

After the completion of three compulsory units (a total of 60 credits at level 7), you will achieve a PG Certificate.

  • Investigating Education Practice: This unit will prepare you to support the student learning experience in a higher education and work place settings. It will examine theories and methods of learning, teaching and assessment, introduce the underpinning pedagogic knowledge and skills and enable you to engage in a scholarly approach to your education practice. 
  • Enhancing Education Practice: In this unit you will design and implement innovative learning environments which enhance the student learning experience in higher education and practice settings. It will enable you to situate and develop your understanding of the elements of curriculum design within underlying factors which shape this process.
  • Scholarship for Professional Development: This unit will promote scholarship in continuing professional development which incorporates education, research, and professional practice. You will be supported to reflect upon the context in which you work, both disciplinary, organisational and the wider higher education environment. The management of change and the enhancement of their professional capabilities will be developed to ensure that you are prepared to work in complex settings.  

Year two

After the completion of a further three units out of a range of options (a total of 120 credits at level 7), you will achieve a PG Diploma.

Option units (choose 3):

  • Technology Enhanced Learning: Creativity in Design: Technology enhanced learning (TEL) used to be seen as an optional add-on for teaching and learning but we are now at the stage where TEL is an essential teaching aid that students expect to see embedded in their learning materials. Teachers, tutors and lecturers can be faced with a bewildering array of applications, tools and approaches, all promising to help students learn.  But how do you make informed decisions on the TEL that is appropriate for your students? This unit aims to address this gap by enabling you to gain a critical understanding of how and why TEL can be selected and implemented to enhance education practice. Applicable to teaching and learning in schools, further and higher education, the unit does not focus on any discipline or subject but aims to allow you to contextualise the unit material to your own environments and requirements.
  • Employability/Work-Based Learning: Implementing Best Practice: Employability is a key driver in education within the UK and internationally; the majority of students want to be employable at the end of their education journey in order to move seamlessly into the productive world of work. The aim of this unit is to identify best practice in relation to work based learning in the curriculum, analysing the impact of a variety of innovative pedagogical tools and techniques that support the development of employability, and enhancing the skills of integrating these into innovative programmes of learning. In particular, the unit attempts to merge theory with practice and knowledge with experience.
  • Innovations in Assessment & Feedback: This unit will develop in-depth knowledge and skills in assessment and feedback and develop innovative approaches to the practice of assessment and feedback. You will explore current research and practice in designing assignments that promote learning and will extend your knowledge and skills of assessment for learning and techniques for feedback and feedforward in the context of student-centred learning.
  • Reflections on Leadership in HE: Developing High Quality Staff to Deliver High Quality Learning Opportunities: The UK government increasingly expects academics to offer excellent learning opportunities to students and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) requires new ways of measuring the quality and impact of teaching and learning. Leadership is a key element to successful curriculum development, adoption of appropriate and innovative pedagogic approaches and, therefore, a consistently high quality learning experience. The aim of this unit is to offer experienced academics an opportunity to reflect on their skills as leaders and to develop these further as role models and motivators for others to follow, creating a culture of creativity and continuous improvement.

Year three

After the completion of the research methods unit and pedagogic innovation/research project (a total of 180 credits at level 7), you will achieve the MA Education Practice.

  • Pedagogic Research Methods: This unit will enable you to understand and critically question the different approaches to education research. This will include the different methodologies that could be used, as well as specific research methods and techniques to address research objectives or questions. Whilst a key focus will be on research into education practice, this will be set within the wider context of policy at institutional and sector level, as well as the impact on individual learners. You will be exposed to a variety of cutting-edge research practices and will also be introduced to opportunities and challenges of conducting applied research using some of the main data collection and analysis techniques that are relevant to education research.
  • Pedagogic Innovation/Research Project: You will critically apply the principles and techniques of systematic research to produce a piece of independent research in order to facilitate academic and professional thinking in the field of education practice. It builds upon, and consolidates, knowledge and experience from all the earlier units in the programme. You will explore in detail core aspects of your chosen area of education practice, with a view to generating new theoretical and/or practical insights. The output, therefore, may be an academic paper of a publishable standard or a report which addresses an identified problem or situation around teaching and learning and demonstrates how recommendations or actions would be implemented. It is envisaged that the research undertaken for the Masters final dissertation or project could act as a ‘gateway’ to doctoral research or further postgraduate research studies.

Programme specification

Programme specifications provide definitive records of the University's taught degrees in line with Quality Assurance Agency requirements. Every taught course leading to a BU Award has a programme specification which describes its aims, structure, content and learning outcomes, plus the teaching, learning and assessment methods used.

Download the programme specification for MA Education Practice.

Whilst every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the programme specification, the information is liable to change to take advantage of exciting new approaches to teaching and learning as well as developments in industry. If you have been unable to locate the programme specification for the course you are interested in, it will be available as soon as the latest version is ready. Alternatively please contact us for assistance.

Full entry requirements

The normal requirements for embarking upon a postgraduate taught degree are:

  • A Bachelors Honours degree with 2:1 in any subject or equivalent.

  • Applicants should be teaching in a practice or academic setting.

  • Alternatively demonstrating learning through experience, via portfolios or records of achievement, and/or by tasks set at interview, and confirmed by employer reference/s; or a combination of academic and experiential qualifications, to be considered on its individual merits, may also be acceptable.

If you lack the formal academic qualifications needed to enter a postgraduate or post-experience degree, there are several alternative routes to follow - some based on experience. Contact the Future Students Enquiry Team for more information.

International entry requirements

If English is not your first language, you will need to provide evidence that you can understand English to a satisfactory level. English language requirements for this course are normally:

  • IELTS (Academic) 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in writing and 6.0 in the other three components of speaking, listening and reading or equivalent.

View further information about our English language requirements.

A number of pre-sessional English and preparatory programmes are offered through our partner institution, Bournemouth University International College, and will get you ready for study at BU at the appropriate level.

You can also find further details of the international qualifications we accept, and what level of study they apply to, on our postgraduate entry requirements page.

Accreditation information

Successful completion of the PGCert leads automatically to Higher Education Academy (HEA) fellowship and registration of Teacher Status with the Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC). In order to meet this standard, healthcare professionals entering the programme must have access to a minimum of 12 weeks (360 hours) teaching practice. This may include all aspects of the teacher’s role, such as mentoring, one-to-one support, assessment, course evaluation and curriculum development. Students must also fulfil the following criteria:

  • Be registered in the same part or sub-part of the register as the students they support
  • Have completed at least three years post-registration experience, gained additional professional knowledge and skills, and have experience in an area where students are gaining practice experience relevant to their registration
  • Have extended their professional knowledge, relevant to their field of practice, to at least first degree level, prior to undertaking an NMC-approved post-graduate teacher preparation programme.

Meet our staff

Professor Debbie Holley

Professor and Head of Centre for Excellence in Learning

Dr Sue Eccles

Senior Principal Academic

Dr Curie Scott

Senior Lecturer, Centre for Excellence in Learning

Jenny Hall

Senior Midwifery Lecturer; PG Cert Tutor

David Biggins

Academic Learning Designer

Carly Lamont

Lecturer in HRM/Organisational Studies

Anne Quinney

Senior Lecturer in Practice Development

Dr Ann Luce

Principal Academic

Dr Shelley Thompson

Senior Lecturer

Further study

Research is fundamental to the development and delivery of Higher Education. At BU we recognise this, and place research at the core of our activities. You can find out more about our Research Themes online.

Such is our commitment to research that we have over 200 students studying for a research degree at BU. They are all members of the Graduate School and are undertaking projects that will make a real difference in tomorrow’s world.

To find out more about the subject areas for research, visit our doctoral research pages.

No hidden extras

As a student at BU we will provide many things to support you and there will also be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying at BU. The information below will help you understand our provision and what you need to budget for.

What you can expect from us

All of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of support and services, many of these are included on the Next Steps insert enclosed with your offer letter.

  • One set of study-related consumables such as a memory stick/ DVD
  • Materials for laboratory and field-based teaching activity
  • Support for placements (UK or abroad) and fieldwork, and non -financial support whilst on placement
  • A range of student services – advisors, help desks, counsellors, placement support and careers service
  • The Library – access to a wide range of electronic resources (databases, e-journals and e-books), print and multimedia collections, subject librarians and study spaces
  • IT labs (some open 24/7), wireless network, AV equipment to borrow
  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL) scheme
  • Disability and additional learning support
  • The BU Language Centre to help you develop/improve foreign or English language skills
  • 24 hours a day, 365 days a year security team.

Costs of living and other expenses you need to consider

  • Accommodation and living costs: view our price guide
  • Text books: remember that our award-winning library is stocked with a large range of text books for all courses, as well as online resources such as industry journals, free of charge
  • General stationery and other supplies such as print and presentation materials: the Students’ Union shops stock a wide range of stationery supplies on both campuses
  • Travel to, from and between BU campuses: our bus service operates in the local areas offering a subsidised travel rate; we also have a large number of secure bike storage compounds
  • SportBU membership: check out our student membership packages, sports events, varsity teams, information about our new facilities and more on the SportBU webpages
  • Optional fieldwork travel, outdoor wear and footwear (where applicable)
  • Telephone and travel costs incurred when undertaking interviews for coursework/securing placements.
  • A fee will be payable towards the cost of an Educational Psychology Assessment if this is required in connection with additional learning support. BU pays for approximately two-thirds of the cost of this assessment for UK students. For more details and current pricing please visit the students section of the website.

Repeat units

If you need to repeat one or more units during the course of your studies (with or without attendance) you may be required to pay additional fees equivalent to one ninth of the tuition fee per 20 credit unit.

Financial help available from BU

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries to students who are beginning their studies at BU. Our website also provides details on living costs, budgeting and paying your tuition fees.