Open University in Ireland


This flexible masters degree is suitable for education professionals who wish to acquire qualities and transferable skills that are highly prized by employers. There are three specialist routes to choose between – learning and teaching, leadership and management or inclusive practice. You can change your specialism after Stage 1, so you can study two specialisms within one qualification. The final dissertation module gives you the option of conducting a small-scale inquiry on a topic of your choice, or completing an extended literature review and research proposal relevant to your educational professional interests and practice.

Subjects taught

To gain this qualification, you need 180 credits as follows:

You’ll choose one of the following specialisms and study one 60-credit module at each stage:

inclusive practice
leadership and management
learning and teaching.

Stage 1
This introduces some of the big ideas in education and their specialist domain(s). You'll engage with concepts, current debates and issues in the area of education relevant to your chosen route.

Stage 2
This stage broadens your knowledge and understanding of your chosen aspects of education. You can change specialisms after Stage 1 to give you the opportunity to study across two specialisms. Your choice at Stage 2 will commit you to that specialism as your Stage 3 dissertation topic.

Stage 3
You are required to submit a dissertation in a chosen area that is based in your practice and contributes to organisational development and/or effectiveness. This will be a small-scale inquiry on a topic of your choice situated within your own educational practice or setting. If this is not possible in your setting, you can complete an extended literature review and research proposal relevant to your own educational professional interests and practice.

For more information go to the course webpage link below.

Entry requirements

To study for this masters degree, you must hold a bachelors degree from a UK university or other recognised degree-awarding body, or a qualification at an equivalent level.

In order to study this qualification you do not need to be employed in an educational setting. However, it is important that you have some experience in engaging or working with learners, children or young people as our specialisms are all explored through the lens of education. Therefore you will need to be able to apply your learning to a relevant context or learning environment. This can be through employment or other means, such as volunteering and/or special arrangements undertaken for the purposes of your study. Apart from schools and colleges, other organisations providing educational services – such as health and care education environments, youth, play, or early years work, armed forces, business and commercial environments – all could provide suitable settings to apply your learning and later carry out your dissertation.

Please note: It is a legal requirement in the UK, rather than an Open University requirement, that you must obtain Enhanced DBS clearance (or equivalent in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) in order to work with children on the module, Masters multi-disciplinary dissertation: education, childhood and youth​ (E822). This is the responsibility of you and your employer and not The Open University. If you are in doubt about your eligibility or to find out more, you should contact the relevant agency in the country in which you are proposing to conduct your study for more information.

Your spoken and written English must be of an adequate standard for postgraduate study. If English is not your first language, we recommend that you will need a minimum score of 7 under the International English Language Testing System (IELTS). Please see their website for details.


180 credits


3 - 6 years.

How long it takes
Learning and Teaching, Inclusive Practice, and Leadership and Management specialisms: The minimum time to complete is three years, and the maximum time to complete is six years.

Applied Linguistics specialism: This must be completed by 31 December 2026.

Enrolment dates

See Course Web Page link for next start date.

Post Course Info

Throughout the world, there is an increasing demand for creative, innovative education professionals who have highly developed skills and a deep understanding of learning. In many countries, a masters degree is becoming essential for career advancement in education, training and professional development settings.

This qualification is designed to enrich your knowledge and improve your professional practice. On completing your studies, you should be able to:

demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems at a professional or equivalent level
reflect critically and constructively, in the light of ideas and frameworks presented in the modules, on how these apply to your practice and organisational context.

You will also acquire qualities and transferable skills that are highly prized by employers within education and related fields, such as:
exercising initiative and personal responsibility

the ability to make decisions in complex and unpredictable situations
the ability to draw on appropriate research and ethical understanding
the production of reports/outputs for academic and professional purposes.

You will be guided through the materials on how you can recognise and acknowledge these additional skills.

Please note that this masters degree does not qualify you for teacher registration in any country.

More details
  • Qualification letters

    MA Ed or MEd

  • Qualifications

    Degree - Masters at UK Level 7

  • Attendance type

    Part time

  • Apply to

    Course provider