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Fully online Master of Education with Specialisms


We offer specialisms in:

  • Working with Children and Young People(EDU704 and EDU705)
  • Conflict Transformation and Peace building(EDU706 and EDU707)
  • Learning and Teaching(EDU953 and EDU955)
  • Special and Inclusive Education (EDU963 and EDU964)
  • ICT (EDU920 and EDU922)
  • TESOL (EDU701 and EDU956)

You can access more details on the Specialisms, and when they are offered, here.

Students must complete two modules in their specialism to get that Specialism recorded on the MEd parchment. Modules can be chosen from a range of specialisms, in which case the MEd parchment will read Professional Practice.

Please note that modules from the Specialism Educational Leadership are not available in this fully online course.

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About this course

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For all educators whether they practice in the UK, Ireland or internationally, and regardless of their field of educational practice, we offer an opportunity to develop their educational practice to the highest standard and thereby further our aim of promoting continuing professional development for teachers and educators. Our programme offers you the prospect of critical engagement with relevant theory and research, developing skills as a reflective practitioner and adopting systematic and ethical approaches to enquiry and research in your own educational setting.

You can access more details on the Specialisms, and when they are offered, here.


The course is delivered fully online, using the Blackboard system. Thus no face-to -face attendance is required, although some modules may offer optional workshops for students able to attend them.

Start dates

  • September 2017
How to apply

Entry conditions

We recognise a range of qualifications for admission to our courses. In addition to the specific entry conditions for this course you must also meet the University’s General Entrance Requirements.

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Entry Requirements

Anyone who is a qualified teacher and currently teaching in their own context (whether in a formal or an informal educational environment) should be qualified for entry. The formal requirements are as follows:

a) To be eligible to apply applicants must be currently working in a teaching or training environment AND normally must have gained:

(i) an Honours or non-Honours degree from a University of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic Awards, the National Council for Educational Awards, the Higher Education and Training Awards Council, or from an institution of another country which is recognised as being of an equivalent standard; or
(ii) an equivalent standard (normally 50%) in a Graduate Diploma, Graduate Certificate, Postgraduate Certificate or Diploma or an approved alternative qualification, e.g. a professional qualification; and

b) provide evidence of competence in written and spoken English (GCSE grade C or equivalent); or for non-native speakers of English, meet the requirements in the table below:

Level: Postgraduate

IELTS: 6.0

Cambridge Proficiency: C

(The University may accept TOEFL tests from non‐EEA applicants if taken prior to the 6th April 2014 as Secure English Language Test (SELT) evidence.)

English Language Requirements

English language requirements for international applicants
The minimum requirement for this course is Academic IELTS 6.0 with no band score less than 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement for Tier 4 visa purposes.

Ulster recognises a number of other English language tests and comparable IELTS equivalent scores.

Teaching and learning assessment

The variety of teaching, learning and assessment methods and approaches used throughout the course enable students to develop flexible, appropriate and creative and/or entrepreneurial approaches to the resolution of problems within their professional work roles and also in terms of their own personal professional development. The intentional building of communities of learning non-synchronous discussion boards facilitates this.

Most modules have two assignments of around 2500 words, one in the middle and one at the end.

All Masters courses require individual research. In the MEd with Specialisms this can be a one-Semester Research Project of 8000 words or a two-Semester Dissertation of 18,000 words. Each student is allocated an individual supervising tutor for their research.

Exemptions and transferability

Accreditation for Prior Learning may be available if you have a recent qualification at Masters level, or extensive and outstanding recent experience. For details, and a copy of the application form, download the document here.

Careers & opportunities

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Career options

Students completing this course must aready be working in a teaching or training environment. However, many of our students report that the course is very helpful in supporting them professionally and in developing thier career opportunities.


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How to apply

Start dates

  • September 2017

Fees and funding

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Fees (total cost)

Important notice - fees information Please note fees displayed are for 2017/18 Academic Entry. Fees are correct at the time of publishing. Additional mandatory costs are highlighted where they are known in advance. There are other costs associated with university study.
View Ulster University’s 2017 fees policy

Where the postgraduate course selected offers multiple awards (e.g. PG Cert, PG Dip, Master’s), please note that the price displayed is for the complete master’s programme. Postgraduate certificates and diplomas are charged at a pro-rata basis. Find out more

Additional mandatory costs

Tuition fees and costs associated with accommodation, travel (including car parking charges), and normal living are a part of university life.

Where a course has additional mandatory expenses we make every effort to highlight them. These may include residential visits, field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering) inoculations, security checks, computer equipment, uniforms, professional memberships etc.

We aim to provide students with the learning materials needed to support their studies. Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. Computer suites and free wifi is also available on each of the campuses.

There will be some additional costs to being a student which cannot be itemised and these will be different for each student. You may choose to purchase your own textbooks and course materials or prefer your own computer and software. Printing and binding may also be required. There are additional fees for graduation ceremonies, examination resits and library fines. Additional costs vary from course to course.

Students choosing a period of paid work placement or study abroad as part of their course should be aware that there may be additional travel and living costs as well as tuition fees.

Please contact the course team for more information.


Course Director: Dr Stephen Roulston

T: +44 (0)28 7012 4241



Primary school teacher, studied in Greece
I would like to thank you for your help and support during the module, I am one of the survivors as it seems! I also want to acknowledge you the volume of work you had all this time, answering promptly and inclusively on every question.

Secondary School Teacher, studied in Northern Ireland
I am presently a 2nd year student. To date it has been a challenging yet fully rewarding experience. The Masters in Education offers flexible scheduling and is designed to meet the demanding time commitments of a teacher workload, modules are offered online and in a class context, in person. Teaching is carried out by a faculty who continue to receive high recognition in their field of study. The faculty and lecturer support is outstanding; staff are always willing to listen. It has definitely given me a wider perspective into the world of education itself and progressively I feel it has had an impact on my teaching. The college facilities are superb and the staff friendly to assist on any related requests. I certainly didn't expect to enjoy the journey towards an MEd so much. I recommend the experience to teachers looking to develop themselves and their classroom.

Secondary School teacher, studied in Republic of Ireland
If you are thinking of developing yourself as a school leader than I can definitely recommend the MEd at the University of Ulster. In my role working in the professional development service for teachers I work on a daily basis with principals and I needed some credibility with them. Because of my busy lifestyle I needed a course that was manageable. I found it to be extremely manageable and that was largely because of the excellent support given by the tutor. The course was relevant to teaching and to leadership today. I couldn’t recommend it strongly enough. Best of luck if you decide to take on the course.

Primary school teacher based in Galway

After working as a primary school teacher for seven years, in 2012, I decided to finally take the plunge and enrol as a student once again in the in the quest of a Masters in Education qualification. Initially, I feared that I may find it difficult to settle into student life and to motivate myself, however, I was surprised at how quickly I adapted to the change. As I was a distance learner, good time management was essential for me because I was already quite a busy person. I immediately put a plan in place and decided which evenings would suit me best to do my study. The introductory online sessions put me more at ease as I quickly learned that others were in similar positions and together, we became a close-knit community of online learners, very ably led by our supervisor. Even though I had not met many of my online fellow students, I felt I had a good relationship with them and trust and loyalty among the group predominated alongside a strong culture of collaborative learning and sharing. On many occasions, I learned a lot from the online contributions of my fellow students. I particularly, enjoyed the real time ‘live’ chat forums where our tutor would often bounce questions and provoke invaluable discussions, which was golden when preparing for assignments. Although I am based in County Galway, and never actually got to visit the University Campus during my study, I grew a huge allegiance for Ulster University as I felt that the course director, tutors, supervisors and library staff were only more than happy to help me when I needed support. The hardest part is getting started and after that, it’s just about using your time efficiently, or studying smartly as I called it. I am delighted now that I dipped my foot into the unchartered waters and am honoured to have achieved my goal. I certainly feel that I am a better teacher and moreover, a better person as a result of the education I have received from Ulster University.

Primary school teacher

The master’s programme at the University of Ulster enriched my life both personally and professionally. Having taught in a mainstream primary school for eight years I decided to undertake the three year part time Masters of Education programme with the University of Ulster. The master’s programme offers different specialisms in the area of education but the area in which I chose to specialise was ‘Special and Inclusive Education’. I found it to be an enriching and rewarding experience.

The first two years of the Masters paved the foundation for my dissertation year. The module entitled ‘Reflective Practitioner’, allowed me to critically reflect on my own practice. The first module which focused on Special and Inclusive Education entitled ‘Inclusive and Special Education: Developing and Analysing Practice’, allowed me to develop an in-depth knowledge of special educational needs and inclusion in the every changing classroom. The second module of SEN programme ‘Policy and Practice’ helped me to analyse and reflect on my own practice and to recognise international policy. The last module’ Research Design and Initiation’, focused my study on research methodology. All modules were delivered online and were building blocks towards my final year. The course is facilitated by tutors who are highly skilled, very approachable and helpful. Their support was paramount to the success of my master’s programme

The third year of my master’s programmes was the most challenging but worthwhile. I learned many new skills during this journey. The dissertation offered me an opportunity to pursue in-depth study of an area of Special and Inclusive Education. It enabled me to analyse qualitative and quantitive data and to evaluate the perceptions of Irish primary school teachers.

My experience with the University of Ulster has been very positive and rewarding. The master’s programme is very manageable with full time employment and family commitments. The journey towards a master’s programme is one which I would highly recommend.

Secondary school teacher, teaching in Northern Ireland

I began the MEd course largely because I wanted to challenge myself: after many years’ teaching, I wanted to ensure that I was still learning. It certainly provided a great learning experience.

Although it wasn’t always easy to balance reading, research and assignments with a demanding school schedule and all the complications of ‘real life’, it always felt worthwhile. Completing this course reminded me just how much I love learning new things: even though studying took up a lot of my spare time and holidays, I always found it very interesting and stimulating.

In particular, working on the Dissertation module attuned me to the difficulties faced by A Level students completing A2 coursework or extended essays, and I hope it helped me to improve my teaching in this respect. I found my Dissertation topic – the role and importance of effective teacher Continuous Professional Development – absorbing, thought-provoking and worthwhile.

I would recommend this course really highly to anyone interested in a personal or professional challenge: the modules are interesting and offer something for everyone, the combination of seminars and VLE contact makes the learning flexible enough to fit around a busy working life, and the teaching is excellent. I’ve been inspired and rejuvenated in completing this course.