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Education - Speicalist Option - Pastoral Care

The MEd offers specialist options in:

MEd-Pastoral Care
MEd-Educational Studies
MEd-SEN Literacy‌

All seek to address a real need among teachers and education professionals for high-quality professional development in each of these topical areas. These options aim to equip students with the understanding and skills required to respond effectively to a range of challenging situations. Students will be encouraged to reflect critically on local, national and international research and to then apply their learning in context.

Specialist Option: MEd Pastoral Care
This M-level specialist option addresses a need among teachers and education professionals for high-quality professional development in the crucial, challenging and fast-evolving area of pastoral care in education.

It equips students with the understanding and skills required to respond effectively to a range of challenging pastoral situations such as children experiencing abuse, bullying or mental ill-health. The modules also help students develop a clear understanding of how schools can be proactive in safeguarding children more effectively and in using the curriculum to pre-empt these issues sensitively and effectively.

Students are introduced to local, national and international research and are challenged to respond critically, applying their learning to their own context. This specialist option is open to teachers and other professionals working with children from pre-school through to post-16. Since it began in 2010 this specialist option has proven to be relevant, challenging and rewarding for its students.

Each student must undertake the module Research Methods in Education as part of their M level study and then must choose a further 3 taught modules before proceeding to dissertation.

Entry requirements

Admission Requirements
Applicants will normally hold a relevant 2:2 Honours degree or above in a related discipline, and preferably a professional teaching qualification. However, applicants who do not meet the requirements above will be considered on an individual basis, where there is evidence of relevant experience. Applicants may be required to attend an interview to determine their suitability for entry.

Further enquiries

Course enquiries can be made to:
Dr Noel Purdy
Director of Research & Scholarship
Tel: ++44 (0) 28 9038 4305

Subjects taught

International Perspectives on Bullying

Module Coordinator: Dr Noel Purdy

Start Date: Autumn 16

The module examines current forms of bullying in schools. The module will investigate a wide range of forms of bullying: traditional forms of bullying such as physical bullying and indirect/relational bullying; but also more recent manifestations of bullying such as cyberbullying, racist bullying, homophobic bullying and disablist bullying. In each case there will be a focus on the impact of bullying on children in primary and post-primary schools and on possible proactive and reactive interventions on a whole-school and individual class-room level. Throughout the module local, national and international research will be critically evaluated.

Safeguarding Children and Young People

Module Coordinator: Dr Bronagh McKee

Start Date: Spring 2017

The module examines a wide range of issues related to safeguarding practice in education and related professional settings and the impact of adversity on children and young people e.g. child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, trauma, bereavement, exclusion, disability etc. From inter-national and local perspectives and using evidence based practice, the module highlights how safeguarding practice contributes to improving outcomes for children from pre-school through post-primary by addressing adversities proactively. It explores the teacher's practitioner role in recognition and response, developing a whole-school setting approach, the importance of multiagency collabora-tion, and how to integrate preventative education into the curriculum.

Healthy Minds, Healthy Bodies

Module Coordinator: Dr Bronagh McKee

Start Date: Spring 2016

Through the use of arts-based education as well as presen-tations and group work to engage students in the learning process, this module explores the interplay between mental and physical health, the mental health needs of children and young people and the impact of mental ill-health on learning and development across the lifespan. Topics include: the neuro-scientific links between adversity, mental health and wellbeing; bereavement, suicide and self-harm; childhood trauma, maltreatment and mental health; indicators of mental ill-health; the role of teachers, practitioners, schools and settings in terms of response and prevention; and using resources effectively and working with organisations to address children's and young people's psychological and physical wellbeing proactively and collaboratively.

To be awarded an MEd in Pastoral Care students must complete at least two of the specialist option modules and one other M-level module that may be from the specialist option or may be chosen from any MEd module available. In addition they must complete the Research Methods module and a dissertation in Pastoral Care.


All students who have recently successfully completed a PGCE at Master's level will be eligible to apply for 30 M Level credit points towards a Master's qualification. Candidates may seek accreditation for completed school-based professional development activities. Application for credit transfer and exemption from module requirements will normally be made upon enrolment.

Entitlement to the Award of Master of Education (MEd)
The award of Master of Education will be made to candidates who have successfully completed 180 points at M-level, through completion of four taught modules and a research dissertation. The degree of Master of Education may be awarded with distinction on the recommendation of the Board of Examiners. Students who have accumulated 60 points on the MEd or who have successfully completed TWO taught modules may graduate with the Advanced Certificate in Education (AdvCertEd). Students who have accumulated 120 points on the MEd or who have success-fully completed FOUR taught modules may graduate with the Diploma in the Advanced Study in Education (DASE).

Application date

For further information on how to apply please
Academic Registry
Stranmillis University College
Belfast BT9 5DY
Tel: ++44 (0) 28 9038 4263

Course fee

The course fee for 2015-2016 will be £843 per taught module and £1686 for dissertation (subject to confirmation).

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