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Online study

MA Education (Online)

UCAS code 1234
Duration 2-5 years
Entry year January 2024


Discipline MA Education (Online)

Web: Enquire online

Co-Programme Directors:
Dr Clare Dowdall &
Dr Caitlin Kight

Typical offer

View full entry requirements

A 2:1 with honours in any discipline from a recognised university

Contextual offers


  • Critically examine educational theories, apply theory practically and engage with the latest research in the field of education.
  • Be taught by an outstanding faculty, ranked in the Top 150 in the world for Education*.
  • Tailor the programme to your area of interest and develop your skills within the education industry.
  • Designed to suit the needs of students from a range of backgrounds including teachers, lecturers, administrators, education advisors, and other related professions.

* The Times Higher World University Rankings by Subject 2023<

100% of our Education research is internationally excellent

Based on research rated 4* + 3* in REF 2021

Top 150 in the world for Education

The Times Higher World University Rankings by Subject 2023

100% online. No on campus attendance required

Dedicated student success advisor

Clare joined the School of Education as a Lecturer in Education (Language and Literacy) in 2020. Her current research focuses on children’s writing and text production in a variety of school-based and informal contexts. She completed her PhD in children's text production in online social networking sites in 2012, and has been working in this evolving area ever since.

Clare has an active interest in all aspects of literacy education and policy. She is a long-standing member of the United Kingdom Literacy Association and currently sits on their Executive Council, with responsibility for convening the UKLA Research Sub-Committee. In March 2022 Clare was awarded a British Academy/ Leverhulme SR grant to investigate teaching narrative writing with digital resources and apps.

Read more from Dr Clare Dowdall

Dr Clare Dowdall

MA Education Online Programme lead

Caitlin is a Lecturer in Education Studies in the School of Education. She came to education via a circuitous and multidisciplinary route, starting in behavioural ecology (specializing in animal communication), then moving through science editing, communications and marketing, and academic development, before finally accepting an academic position.

My family contains many teachers and wordsmiths, so it is perhaps unsurprising that I have always been interested in supporting learning -- not just in the classroom, but also through outreach events, writing, and art. I am a LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator and often use this and other playful techniques in my approach.

Read more from Dr Caitlin Kight

Dr Caitlin Kight

MA Education Online Deputy Programme lead

Entry requirements

For postgraduate programmes we usually require students to have a minimum of a 2:1 undergraduate degree or equivalent.

While we normally only accept applicants who meet this criteria, if you have a high 2:2 or equivalent, are coming from a different academic background which is equivalent to degree level, or have relevant work experience, we would welcome your application.

Entry requirements for international students

International students need to show they have the required level of English language to study this course.

The required test scores for this course fall under Profile B2.

Find out more about our English language requirements.

Course content

Please note that programme structures may be subject to change. The modules listed here are indicative. The precise modules available to you in future years may vary depending on your point of entry, staff availability and research interests, new topics of study and student demand.

Our MA Education programme has been thoughtfully designed to suit those with busy schedules. Fully online, you can access the course materials at your convenience.

Our programme integrates four core themes that underpin each module’s curriculum content.

  • Theory: Critically examine educational theories such as learning and models of leadership.
  • Practice: Put theory into action with practical learning activities, connecting what you learn to your professional context.
  • Research: Engage with the latest research in the field and develop your skills as a researcher.
  • Policy: Gain insights into the policies and regulations shaping education and learning in various settings.


Following the successful completion of two core modules, students select from a set of specialist modules, prior to undertaking the final dissertation. 

If you choose two modules from different pathways, you will emerge with a generalist MA Education. Alternatively, select both modules from one group and ensure your dissertation is pathway-specific if you want to specialise. Please note, in order to be awarded a specialist degree (MA Education: Leadership and Management, for example), the focus of your dissertation must be related to this specialism.

Educational Leadership Pathway
Explore concepts and issues underpinning effective leadership in various educational contexts. Learn different leadership models and critically examine these in the light of theory and practice.

  • Education Leadership
  • Leading and Managing Education Change 

Language and Literacy Pathway
Deepen your understanding of educational issues related to reading and writing by exploring both the theoretical ideas and the pedagogical implications of teaching reading and writing.

  • Writing Matters
  • Reading Rights

Special Education Needs Pathway
Discover concepts, approaches, and issues relevant to the teaching and learning of students with special educational needs and disabilities worldwide.

  • SEN: Learning, Teaching and Assessment
  • Critical International Perspectives on Special and Inclusive Education

The course has exceeded my expectations. It has challenged me intellectually, but I have never felt out of my depth. There are scaffolded steps and support amongst your peers to debate, discuss or clarify your thoughts.

The course content is varied, creative and engaging. I have a much deeper understanding with key theoretical concepts and knowledge of the most up to date research.

I have particularly enjoyed the move into SEN specialism and it has already affected my choice of teaching and learning strategies in the classroom and requests for future professional development.

Read more from Anne-Marie


MA Education online student

Fees and funding


£15,000 in total


The fee shows the total amount it will cost if you complete the degree if you take the minimum time of two years. If you take longer than two years, for example, because you take one or more breaks between modules, the total fee you pay may increase slightly due to inflation.

Pay as you study

To make it easier to budget, you don’t need to pay the total fee upfront. Instead, you can pay for each module as you are about to start studying it. You can pay for the whole year if you prefer, but the minimum payment is at least the cost of the module you are taking that term. Please note that if your payment has not reached us by the end of week one of a module, you will have to wait until the next iteration of that module to start (in two terms time).


We want to ensure that online postgraduate study remains accessible to the brightest minds of the future. The School of Education Online Scholarship award is to the value of £5,000 and is available to UK and International applicants who hold an offer to study on our MA Education Online beginning in January 2024. The award will be deducted from your tuition fees when you register with us in January.

How to pay

You can pay online using a credit or debit card. We are unable to give you access to your study materials before your payment reaches us so it’s important to have your finances in place and pay when prompted to ensure you can access your studies at the start of each term.

Other costs to consider

As well as your fees, there are some potential additional costs to be aware of to ensure that you give yourself the best chance of success. These include a suitable computer or device to study and work from, an adequate internet connection to access your learning materials and connect with others, and a comfortable place to study.

While our online programmes do not require any attendance on campus, as a student of the University of Exeter you are always welcome to visit. You may also be offered the chance to attend a graduation ceremony in person, for which travel costs and gown hire will apply.

Help with paying for your studies

If you are struggling to afford your chosen programme of study, some help may be available from either the government or the university. This includes:

  • Postgraduate student loans. If you live in the UK, you may be able to access a loan to help pay for your online degree fees and living costs while you study. To be eligible, you must not already have a Masters degree (or above). For information on how to apply and your student finance entitlement, please visit the following links depending on whether you live in England, Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland.

    If you are awaiting the approval of a postgraduate loan to pay for the course and evidence is provided through the Admissions application gateway, access to learning material will be provided prior to receipt of payment.

  • Disabled Student Allowance (DSA).
    Most UK students with a physical disability or mental health difficulty, long term health condition or specific learning difficulty will be able to apply for Disabled Students’ Allowance which can help towards the cost of specialist equipment, one-to-one support and other costs associated with your condition. If you feel this applies to you, you are encouraged to apply as early as possible as the whole process can take up to 12 weeks. If you complete an application and are not eligible for DSA, please make an appointment with the AccessAbility Team to discuss alternative funding and support. This step-by-step guide to applying for DSA will give you all the information you need on applying.

  • Success for All fund. Some financial support may be possible through our Success for All fund as assessed on a case-by-case basis providing eligibility criteria are met. Fully online students are not automatically eligible for an IT bursary, but exceptions may be made in some circumstances. However, please note the University would expect students to have made reasonable provision to support themselves during their studies prior to enrolling on a module.

  • Employer sponsorship. Your employer or another organisation you are associated with may be happy to pay all or part of your fee. If you are getting financial support in this way, we can invoice them directly for the value that they have agreed to support before you start your studies. You will have to pay any balance so that the module you are studying is paid in full before you start. 

  • Student discounts. Our online students are fully registered students of the university, and therefore can ask for an Exeter Unicard, which can be used to access a wide range of student discounts on everyday items including food and clothing. You can also apply for student discounts on products and services through the UniDays card*.

*Please note: these discounts may only apply to purchases made in the UK.

Read more

I absolutely loved the online learning experience. The platform and content was thoroughly engaging. I felt supported by the lecturers. I had check ins at the start of each module from my Student Support Advisor. The check-in’s made me feel like I wasn’t alone and they were always available via email with any queries I had, as were the lecturers.


MA Education online student

Teaching and learning

At Exeter, we use a 30-credit-per-term, three-term-per-year structure. This means you will study one 30-credit module per term. Your final module will be a 60 credit ‘Introduction to Educational Enquiry’ module, which runs over two terms and includes working with a supervisor.

Terms start in January, May and September. Summative assessments take place at different points during the term, but each module will have one towards the end of term, after which you will have time to recharge, to reflect on how your module and assessments went, and to consider the next module.

You should expect to be engaging in structured teaching and learning activities for 10-15 hours per week on average, plus additional time spent on self-directed learning (such as further reading or preparing for assessments).

For more detailed information on what studying online with the University of Exeter looks like, visit our ‘Why study online’ pages.


The programme comprises a diverse mix of carefully designed modes of assessment that go beyond essay-writing including quizzes, online posts/reflections, communications with peers and tutors, project reports, and short filmed presentations. The assessments will focus on the application of your learning, and they are all coursework-based. Also included in most modules is an engagement log, marking your engagement on the module.

Support with online study

We understand that balancing study with other commitments in your life may be tricky at times. Our modules are designed to stand alone (with the exception of the ‘Introduction to Educational Enquiry’ module), meaning that if life gets in the way you can take a break and re-join the programme at a later point. We have resources to help you manage your time, and our Study Zone staff can help you with the academic and planning skills you need to make your time with us as successful as it can be.

Each module has an academic lead to direct your learning, with substantive multimedia content across the programme provided by experts from the School of Education and elsewhere in the University of Exeter. All online students also have a dedicated Student Support Officer (online), there to guide you throughout your journey with us. In addition, we have teams of professionals around the university ready to help you – from staff in the Library to those in Wellbeing Services.

Read more


The flexibility of this programme means it is ideal for students from a range of subject, professional and career backgrounds including teachers, lecturers, administrators, education advisors, or other related professions. 

The online MA Education can help you to find a position in traditional and non-traditional educational settings, including:

  • Schools
  • Colleges
  • Universities
  • Education Departments
  • NGOs
  • Youth work
  • Prisons
  • Museums
  • Consultancy
  • Curriculum development
  • Training and development
  • Education Policy development

Students considering an academic career and progression to PhD are advised to undertake the MSc Educational ResearchMSc Educational Research. Students considering a career in Teaching are advised to undertake one of our Teacher Training coursesTeacher Training courses, as the MA Education Online does not provide you with Qualified Teacher Status (QTS).

Careers support

As an online student, you will have full access to the Careers and Employability team who can offer support in terms of skills training, internship opportunities, job vacancies, employment fairs and other events.