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Education - Speicalist Option - Education Studies

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.

Education Studies is unique in that it draws upon a wide range of academic disciplines (such as history, philosophy, psychology and sociology) to further our under-standing of learning and educational contexts. Since these contexts and our understanding of learning are continually evolving, so the nature of Education Studies is dynamic and changing. Education Studies is concerned with understanding more about how we learn, from early childhood through the years of compulsory schooling and into adulthood. As well as this focus on the individual learner, Education Studies offers a rigorous analysis of broader educational systems (for instance curricula, policies, schools) in their societal context, drawing upon the most recent research evidence. In Education Studies students are encouraged to consider fundamental questions about the nature and aims of education; to engage with the problematic nature of educational theory, policy and practice; and to develop and express their own reasoned viewpoint on a wide range of issues.

The specific aims of the option are to provide students with opportunities to:

develop a critical understanding of how education
systems can be developed to ensure that all learners achieve to their full potential;

encourage reflection on existing policy and practice;

question concepts and theories and to interrogate
assumptions underpinning theory and research;

critically consider how recent international research relates to students' own educational contexts.

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 consid-ered 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

Critical Perspectives on Disadvantage

Module Coordinator: Dr Brian Cummins and Dr Bronagh McKee

Start Date: Autumn 2016

On completion of this module, participants should be able to demonstrate critical understanding of:

contemporary research, policy and practice developments regarding social disadvantage locally and internationally;

the range of, and interplay between, social disadvantage factors;

social disadvantage as a global phenomenon and how it impacts on children's and young people's holistic learning and development;

the role of education professionals in recognizing and responding to the factors associated with social
disadvantage proactively in education;

the significance of developmental neuroscience and
global education-based preventative interventions;

the importance of multiagency collaboration in relation
to social disadvantage response, early intervention and prevention in education;

the contribution of community partners, other profession-als and alternative education providers in relation to
interventions and international models of good practice.

Gifted and Talented Education

Module Coordinator: Mr David Ryan

Start Date: Autumn 2015

Gifted and Talented Education as a concept is a contentious issue. For some the area is regarded as elitist and they argue that pupils with a natural ability do not need anything done to assist them. Others argue that gifted and talented pupils have a number of problems, including social, emotional and behavioural difficulties and a tendency to suffer from 'top end' underachievement. This module explores the origins of gifted and talented education and the importance of identifying, assessing and providing for students who are, or have the potential to be, gifted and talented. The interventions of acceleration, differentiation and enrichment are considered alongside whole school policy.

Throughout the module, the teaching methodology used will
model best practice interventions for pupils. The module
objectives are:

to develop students' knowledge as to the main elements of
gifted and talented education;

to enable students to support the need for gifted and talented education in Northern Ireland;

to engage student learning using gifted and talented education principles of acceleration, differentiation and enrichment;

to create a desire for future involvement in gifted and
talented education;

to equip the practitioner with skills, knowledge and abilities
in introducing and developing gifted and talented education in their educational settings;

to provide a range of learning opportunities through a wide range of different media.

A participatory approach is taken in the module through which the delivery dates and times will be agreed with students on the first session.

Tackling Underachievement in Schools

Module Coordinator: Dr Sharon Jones

Start Date: Spring 2016

On completion of this module, participants should be able to demonstrate critical understanding of:

contemporary research, policy and developments
concerning regional, whole school, departmental and
classroom-based approaches to unlocking learner
potential and raising educational achievement;

a range of issues which can impact on learners and
act as barriers to educational achievement;

opportunities and challenges relating to the development of critical, creative and independent learners; the role of the teacher in promoting high-quality learning through challenge, critical thinking and creativity in the classroom and beyond.

Entitlement to the Award of Master of Education (MEd)
The award of Master of Education will be made to can-didates 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).

To be awarded an MEd in Education Studies 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 Education Studies.


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.

Application date

For further information on how to apply please contact:
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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