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Programme in Education MA


The MA Programme in Education engages with education across the age range from early years to adulthood and is relevant to a wide diversity of educational settings. There is a strong focus on social justice and inclusion and the opportunity to reflect on your own professional practice throughout the courses.

The course offers a unique opportunity for experienced professionals to gain a practice-focused higher degree. Specialisms in Autism and SEND are also available. Individual MA modules can also be taken as Continued Professional Development (CPD). Accreditation of Prior Learning is also possible within the all the MA programmes at LSBU. If you have completed EIC and SEND options at LSBU you are a third of the way there! (APEL from other universities is also possible).

Students will gain much from working with a diverse group of peers and tutors from a wide range of educational backgrounds. The close association between the Centre for Educational Research and the MA provides opportunities to work with like-minded research-active peers within a lively and supportive learning community. Opportunities for accreditation of prior learning are available to participants with an appropriate background and this should be discussed with the admissions tutor who will also explain the CPD processes on request.

We're 3rd in London for graduate prospects in Education (Complete University Guide 2019).

Modes of study:

  • Within a partnership school as part of a school cohort.
  • As an independent student.

The programme's distinctive and innovative feature is its school-based character. For most participants their schools and colleges have always been the context of their study. This programme allows the work that participants do, as they write about issues of central concern to themselves and their institutions, to be properly valued. It places much importance upon the value of a professional practice approach to study at Masters level, allowing all aspects of this practice to inform and to be informed by critical reading of the literature, by theory and by relevant research.

Key course information - ordered by mode
Mode Duration Start date Location
3 years
Start Date
Southwark Campus


  • K2 building

    K2 building

    A major feature of our Southwark campus is K2, a new eight-storey building, designed and constructed using the latest in green building technology.

  • Jane Scarsbrook, MA Education

    As a result of the success Jane Scarsbrook enjoyed on her MA Education degree, Jane was awarded a Studentship by Cambridge University.


Year 1

Students take two of the optional modules list below in year 1

  • Equality and achievement This module focuses on problematic definitions and teachers’ understandings of the words in a rapidly changing political climate. You’ll explore issues of equality (and inequality), broadly in relation to social class, ’race’ and ethnicity, gender and sexuality, disability and inclusion, as well as linguistic diversity. You’ll also explore current debates as well linguistic diversity. You’ll also explore current debates as well as some of the historical antecedents. The context of the module is the is the UK, with comparisons where appropriate, and awareness of local influences, as well as attitudes of and priorities for the young people, their parents/carers, and communities, are reflected in the module.
  • Language and literacy across the curriculum In this module you will focus on aspects of language use across the curriculum central to pupils’ cognitive and social development, including consideration of pupils’ writing, reading and speaking/listening. Exploration of the relationship between language, class, gender, culture, ethnicity and learning will underpin the whole module. You’ll be encouraged to consider these theoretical frameworks in the context of your specific school and to identify potential areas for practical exploration at department/whole-school level.
  • Teaching and learning This module will focus on the implications of developments in teaching and learning and changing beliefs about curriculum and assessment – within the school and its local and national context – which have accompanies them. A central aim is that discussion, planning and development, both within the school and across related common modules, will be both encouraged and informed by a shared critical understanding of such changes in practice. Furthermore, this activity will take place within an agreed framework.
  • Leadership and management In this module you will critically examines the challenges of school leadership in the urban context. You will explore conceptions of leadership and considers the implications for participants working at different levels with your institution. Within the module a central aim is to examine theoretical conceptions of educational leadership situated in the political contexts within which we work.
  • School effectiveness and school improvement In this module you’ll critically examine the contemporary interest in claims of the School Effectiveness and School Improvement discourses and their influence on practice. A shared critical understanding of these influences on practice will inform discussion, development and planning within areas of the work of the school.
  • Special educational needs and disability This module will not simply provide you with a toolkit for educational interventions. The notion of inclusive practice is relevant to all learners in all settings, across the age range into adulthood. While the focus of this module is on disability the content has broader application in relation to positively engaging with diversity. It is necessary to understand before attempting to intervene therefore you will be expected to think deeply (at M level) and engage with theory and policy which underpins practice to enable disabled and disadvantaged pupils /students to achieve in their learning.
  • Understanding autism and learning Participants will gain an evidence based understanding of ways in which people on the autism spectrum learn at all ages with a view to developing effective interventions. Insights directly from people with lived experience of autism will facilitate appreciation of individuality and strengths as well as challenges associated with autism. Critical disability studies theory will underpin the module and this will involve gaining understanding of societal barriers to social inclusion of people with autism. Participants will combine understanding of characteristics associated with   autism alongside environmental considerations with a view to creating learning environments which minimise barriers and potentially maximise learning.
  • Autism individuality and identity Participants will develop evidence based understanding of autism at all ages (into adulthood) via insights from individuals on the spectrum. Transitions are notoriously problematic for people with autism therefore the focus will be on developing effective mentoring skills (informed by an understanding of individuality and identity) in order to empathically mentor through transitions within / beyond education.  Participants will: appreciate the wide diversity of autism and potential impact of labelling, reflect on barriers to participation  including restrictions arising from stereotyping and environmental /societal factors, focus on gender and life span, and consider  conditions conducive to success in education, relationships and work reflect on mentoring for effective  transition
  • Part 1 SENCO National Award This module aims provide students with the skills, knowledge and understanding to enable children and young people with SEND to successfully achieve in their learning.  It is the first of two modules that, on successful completion will provide the student with the National Award for SEN Co-ordination.  The module focuses on the identification of SEND and the teaching and learning strategies needed to improve learning outcomes for children and Young People with SEND.  The module explores why pupils with SEND are more likely to underachieve, experience bullying and barriers to learning.  The module’s content includes examination of current relevant legislation, working with the voice of pupils, pupils’ families and working in a multiagency environment.  The module content and learning outcomes have been designed to enable students to meet the learning outcomes for the NCTL National Award for SEN Co-ordination.  
  • Part 2 SENCO National Award This module builds on the previous module, developing the content explored previously in the context of becoming a leader and manager of SEND provision in an educational setting.  The aim of the module is to enable students to achieve the National SENCO award particularly in relation to the standards relating to Leadership and Management.  In particular it enables students to develop and demonstrate the personal and professional qualities and leadership they need to shape an ethos and culture based upon person-centred, inclusive, practice in which the interests and needs of children and young people pupils with SEN and/or disabilities are at the heart of all that takes place.

Year 2

In addition to one of the modules listed above

  • Research Methods (compulsory) Teaching is an evidenced-based profession and the Researching Education Module concentrates on the research practices and data collection methods that are commonly used in educational research. Most of the teaching on the MA is research-based, so students will have been introduced to reading research within the other modules. In this module we further develop skills in reading research and go beyond that, to start designing and carrying out small-scale educational research projects, building on the skills developed through coursework for the MA programme.

    Year 3

  • Dissertation (compulsory) The dissertation provides you with an opportunity to probe deeply into educational issues that are of concern or interest to you. The dissertation will require you to make use of methods of research and collection of evidence that apply to education; methods to which, for the most part, you will have been introduced within the contexts provided by earlier modules.


The MA Programme in Education is designed to deepen your understanding of working with pupils /students in any educational setting, across the age range into adult education. It is therefore relevant to employment in school, college, alternative education settings and to work with disabled students at college and university. Content is applicable to teachers and staff in non- teaching roles, such as mentor, disability officer or learning support assistant. The content is also relevant to staff in strategic and operational leadership roles.

The programme is designed to complement and support all current career and professional development initiatives and frameworks. It will naturally extend to the provision of evidence required for addressing the Professional Standards for teachers and hence progression throughout the teaching profession.

Employability Service

We are University of the Year for Graduate Employment for the second year in a row - The Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018, 2019.

At LSBU, we want to set you up for a successful career. During your studies – and for two years after you graduate – you’ll have access to our Employability Service, which includes:

  • An online board where you can see a wide range of placements: part-time, full-time or voluntary. You can also drop in to see our Job Shop advisers, who are always available to help you take the next step in your search.
  • Our Careers Gym offering group workshops on CVs, interview techniques and finding work experience, as well as regular presentations from employers across a range of sectors.

Our Student Enterprise team can also help you start your own business and develop valuable entrepreneurial skills.


Access to the workplace (including voluntary work) is essential for most of the modules within the MA.


Gianna Knowles

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Centre for Education and School Partnerships
Job title: Associate Professor in Education Studies

Gianna is an Associate Professor in Education Studies. She has over 12 years experience of teaching in primary schools in London and the Midlands. Gianna has written widely about inclusion, diversity and social justice.

Sophie Mackay

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Centre for Education and School Partnerships
Job title: Senior Lecturer, Primary/Early Years Education

Sophie Mackay is a senior lecturer in Education studies in the Department of Education. Her main areas of interest are citizenship, identity, children's literature and childhood studies.

Dr Nicola Martin

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Centre for Education and School Partnerships
Job title: Head of Research, Higher Degrees and Student Experience

Nicola has a PhD focussing on inclusive practice with autistic university students. She has 35 years’ experience in education working with disabled pupils and students from nursery age to adults in FE and HE and an international research profile in the field.

Edlene Whitman

School/Division: Law and Social Sciences / Centre for Education and School Partnerships
Job title: Senior Lecturer ITE

Edlene is a senior Lecturer in the Education department. She is Module leader for PGCE and School Direct Professional Studies, on which she also teaches.


Teaching and learning

Students also have the opportunity of benefiting from engagement with the research profile of the Education Department, with its particular expertise in global citizenship and sustainable development education, equality and inclusion, and the personal and social development of young people in schools. 

You'll benefit from an up to date Virtual Learning Environment via Moodle and be actively encouraged to make use of the extensive range of support services across the university. You'll have access to a supervisor during the dissertation phase.

Entry requirements

Applicants are mostly practicing teachers across the age range from pre-school to post compulsory education. Our  experience tells us that students benefit most when participants reflect the whole of the school community and we welcome applications from other suitably qualified education professionals, for example mentors or other support professionals. 

Applicants to the Programme in Education MA should have a good honours degree at 2.2 or above.

How to apply

Instructions for Home/EU applicants
Mode Duration Start date Application code Application method
3 years
Start date
Application code
Application method

Postgraduate students and research students should apply through our dedicated application system. Full details of how to do this are supplied on our How to apply section for postgraduate students and our How to apply section for research students.

See our admissions policy (PDF File 298 KB) and complaints policy (PDF File 448 KB).


Students should apply for accommodation at London South Bank University (LSBU) as soon as possible, once we have made an offer of a place on one of our academic courses. Read more about applying for accommodation at LSBU.


It's a good idea to think about how you'll pay university tuition and maintenance costs while you're still applying for a place to study. Remember – you don't need to wait for a confirmed place on a course to start applying for student finance. Read how to pay your fees as a postgraduate student.

Postgraduate Application Service

Book a session with one of our specialist Postgraduate Advisors. Over a one on one Advice Session they'll advise you on postgraduate degrees at LSBU that match your interests and experience. Book an Advice Session.

Fees and funding

For more information, including how and when to pay, see our fees and funding section for postgraduate students.

See our Tuition Fees Regulations (PDF File 144 KB) and Refund Policy (PDF File 102 KB).

Possible fee changes

The University reserves the right to increase its fees in line with changes to legislation, regulation and any government guidance or decisions.

The fees for international students are reviewed annually and the University reserves the right to increase the tuition fees in line with the RPIX measure of inflation up to 4 per cent.

Postgraduate loan (PGL) for Masters study

If you are starting a Masters course, studying either full- or part-time, you may be entitled to apply for a postgraduate study loan. Find out more at our postgraduate fees and funding section.


We offer several types of fee reduction through our scholarships and bursaries. Find the full list and other useful information on funding your studies on the scholarships and fee discounts page.

Fee status

Please check your fee status and whether you are considered a Home, EU or International student for fee-paying purposes and for our regulatory returns, by reading the UKCISA regulations.


Select a story and read about practical project work, students' placement experiences, research projects, alumni career achievements and what it’s really like to study here from the student perspective.

  • K2 building

    K2 building

    A major feature of our Southwark campus is K2, a new eight-storey building, designed and constructed using the latest in green building technology.

  • Jane Scarsbrook, MA Education

    As a result of the success Jane Scarsbrook enjoyed on her MA Education degree, Jane was awarded a Studentship by Cambridge University.

  • KidsINNscience – innovation in school education, turning kids on to science

    KidsINNscience – innovation in school education, turning kids on to science

    KidsINNscience is a research project conducted by the Centre for Educational Research. The project aims to identify and promote innovative approaches for teaching and learning science whilst implementing them in mainstream schools.

  • Developing education systems in Cambodia

    Developing education systems in Cambodia

    Dr Jane Courtney from London South Bank University (LSBU) has been working with International NGO World Education on a Food For Education (FFE) project to improve food security, access to primary education and learning outcomes in Cambodia.

Prepare to start

We help our students prepare for university even before the semester starts. To find out when you should apply for your LSBU accommodation or student finance read How to apply tab for this course.

Enrolment and Induction

Enrolment takes place before you start your course. On completing the process, new students formally join the University. Enrolment consists of two stages: online, and your face-to-face enrolment meeting. The online process is an online data gathering exercise that you will complete yourself, then you will be invited to your face-to-face enrolment meeting.

In September, applicants who have accepted an unconditional offer to study at LSBU will be sent details of induction, which is when they are welcomed to the University and their School. Induction helps you get the best out of your university experience, and makes sure you have all the tools to succeed in your studies.

Read more about Enrolment and Induction.

Suggested reading

  • Byrne, B and de Tona, C. "Multicultural desires? Parental negotiation of multiculture and difference in choosing secondary schools for their children." The Sociological Review (2013).
  • Jones,O (2011) Chavs :The demonisation of the working class. London. Virso
  • Kemmis, S, McTaggart, R, & Nixon R (2014). The Action Research Planner: Doing Critical Participatory Action Research. Springer.
  • Shain,F. (2013) Race, Nation and Education: An overview of British attempts to 'manage diversity' since the 1950s, Education Inquiry, 4:1, pp.63-85

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Contact information

Course Enquiries - UK

Tel: 0800 923 8888

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