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Module Descriptions – MA Education & PGDip Education

Module Descriptions – MA Education & PGDip Education

Core Modules:

Practice-Based Inquiry (30 credits)

The content will involve students in active critical consideration of participating in and leadership of practitioner inquiry in relation to professional context mapping and workplace learning.

These processes will be achieved through:

  • Conceptualising different kinds of practitioner inquiry relevant to work-based understanding and development (purposes, processes, contexts, dilemmas, outcomes)
  • Examining a range of approaches to educational inquiry, with an emphasis on action research
  • Developing an inquiry into the student’s professional context

Dissertation (60 credits) (Masters degree only)

This involves the researching and writing of a substantive piece of scholarship within the field of the course. Students will choose a topic in consultation with their course leader and an appropriate supervisor. The topic will normally be based on interests and skills which they have developed in the course of the modules already studied.

Elective Modules: (30 credits each) (select 3)

Changing Classrooms: Policy, Research and Practice

This module critically examines contemporary debates surrounding orthodoxies in curriculum, learning and assessment in schools, and how these relate to policy and practice. In particular it considers the way different orthodoxies frame what children and young people learn in schools, how they learn and how assessment practices inform learning processes. The module will explore these orthodoxies in terms of their origins and purposes and it will consider alternative models from an international perspective.

The module starts by considering the history, politics and ideology of the curriculum as it currently exists. It then develops understanding through application of psychological, social and cultural theories of learning and assessment. These theorised views of schooling and classroom practices enable students to analyse and critique the wide-ranging policy and research discussions about curriculum, learning and assessment that are currently underway. Students will be engaged in considering how developments of, and alternatives to, current practices will impact learning and teaching in the future.

Leading Learning

The module will address the essential features of effective learning, as relevant to the sector by examining:

  • The process of learning
  • Supporting learning (for example, through adults, peers and technology) both within and beyond the educational organisation
  • An overview of approaches to improvement and raising achievement in educational organisations
  • Monitoring and evaluation of learning: the use of data, target-setting, monitoring

Issues in Educational Leadership

This module is designed to introduce students to a range of key educational issues facing leaders and managers in their professional practiced in organisational settings. Improving school and system leadership and management is a subject which has become increasingly important as educational jurisdictions around the world seek strategies to continuously improve at local, regional, national, and international levels. There will be an emphasis on reviewing research evidence from different cultural perspectives in order to explore, and learn from, comparative systems.

Effective Leadership and Change in Education

This module will address the nature and practice of leadership in education. It will look at six themes:

  • Concepts of leadership
  • Change
  • Leadership qualities, behaviours and competencies
  • Power and authority
  • Organisational cultures and distributed leadership
  • Professional development

Social Contexts of Learning

This module provides an introduction to the interpersonal and societal contexts within which educational innovation with learning technology occurs. In particular it positions students to understand the institutional dimension of creating and sustaining learning technology innovation. It addresses theories of effective interpersonal learning interactions and the relevance of learning technology to their mediation.

Learning Theories for a Digital Age

The module covers:

  • Associative models of learning
  • Cognitive models of learning
  • Constructivist models of learning
  • Cultural, situated and connectionist models of learning
  • Multimedia: the encoding and production of representations
  • Intelligent tutoring: theories and implementations of artificial intelligence
  • Variation in learners and learning
  • Assessment and its electronic mediation


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