Master of Education with Specialisms.
The Master of Education degree is a professional development course for teachers and other adult educators, who wish to update their knowledge and qualifications. The award has been developed in conjunction with the teaching community and is designed to ensure you will have the opportunity to explore contemporary issues in education which impact upon your own professional practice. The full master’s programme will normally take you up to 3 years to complete, but you can exit with the Postgraduate Certificate (normally after 1 year) or Postgraduate Diploma (normally after 2 years).
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About this course
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If you are currently working in a teaching or training environment and you wish to build on the qualifications and experience you already have, then this course is for you. You will enter at the Postgraduate Diploma level and undertake modules worth 120 credits for your Postgraduate Diploma award and a further 60 credits for your MEd award.
If, after completing 60 credits, you wish to exit the course, you can do so with a Postgraduate Certificate award.
This is summarised below:
- Year 1
Award: Postgraduate Certificate (exit award only)
Modules: 2 modules of 30 credits
Accumulated credits: 60
- Year 2
Award: Postgraduate Diploma
Modules: 2 modules of 30 credits
Accumulated credits: 120
- Year 3
Modules: 1 modules of 60 credits (Dissertation)
2 modules of 30 credits to include the Research Project module
Accumulated credits: 180
Please note that this award does not qualify you as a teacher.
Specialisms available (you must complete two modules in a Specialism to get that named on your parchment):
- Educational Management Specialism
- EDU927 Building Teams and Managing Resources (Monaghan: Semester 1, year 1; Other Centres: Semester 2 Year 1)
- EDU867 Leadership for Learning (Monaghan: Semester 2, Year 1; Other Centres: Semester 1, Year 2)
- EDU912 Strategic Development Planning (Monaghan; Semester 1, Year 2)
- Inclusive and Special Education Specialism
- EDU963 Inclusive and Special Education - developing and analysing practice (Fully online: Semester 1)
- EDU964 Inclusive and Special Education - Leading and Managing (Fully online: Semester 2)
- ICT Specialism
- EDU920 Leading, Managing and Assessing ICT(fully online: Semester 1)
- EDU922 Collaborative Learning Online(Fully online: Semester 2)
- Learning and Teaching Specialism
- EDU953 E-Portfolios: Personal Development Planning(Fully online: Semester 2)
- EDU955 Children’s Learning and Assessment(Fully online: Semester 2)
- Children and Young People Specialism
- EDU705 Policy Development and Implementation(Fully online: Semester 1)
- EDU 704 Introduction to Children’s Rights (Fully online: Semester 2)
- Conflict and Peace Building Specialism
- EDU707 Schooling in Conflict Affected Contexts(Fully online: Semester 1)
- EDU706 Education, Conflict and Peace building: From Theory to Practice (Fully online: Semester 2)
- TESOL Specialism
- EDU701 English Language Teaching Methodologies (Face-to-face/weekend/evening)
- EDU956 English as an Additional Language(Face-to-face/weekend/evening)
A candidate who does not do two modules from the same specialism will get the Specialism of Professional Practice
Year 1 Semester 1: EDU957 The Reflective Professional(except for students studying for the Educational Leadership Specialism at Monaghan)
Year 2 Semester2: EDU958 Research Design and Initiation (preparing for personal research)
Year 3 Semester 1or 2: EDU969 Research Project (8000 word individual research, supported by a supervising tutor)
Year 3 Semester 1and 2: EDU899 Dissertation (18000 word individual research, supported by a supervising tutor)
You can access more details on the Specialisms, and when they are offered, here.
It is possible to complete the course fully online so that your physical attendance is not required
Modules in the Educational Leadership Specialism are delivered face-to-face or are a mix of face-to-face and online delivery (i.e. blended delivery).
Although the course is administered through Jordanstown, no teaching takes place there. Face-to-face modules are delivered at Carrick-on-Shannon Education Centre, and at Athlone and Monaghan Education Centres, and in the Magee Campus of the University.
Attendance requirements will depend on the modules that you select.
- September 2017
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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Applicants must normally:
(a) have gained
(i) a degree from a university of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, from the Council for National Academic 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) be currently working in a teaching or training environment (please note: the PGDip/MEd with Specialisms does not qualify you as a teacher)
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 via synchronous and non-synchronous discussion boards, combined with an interactive approach to the face to face seminars, along with the use of guest lecture sessions facilitate this.
Each module will have its own form of assessment tailored to the content being covered but, typically, these comprise two 2500 word assignments.
Exemptions and transferability
The PGDip/MEd with Specialisms comprises six 30-credit point modules (180 credits in total).
You may be able to enter the course at a higher stage or claim exemptions from particular modules. We call this process the Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL). You can gain APL credits based on awards that you hold (certificated learning) or life experiences that you have accrued (experiential learning). In the case of certificated learning, awards must have been achieved within the last five years.
There is a limit to the number of APL credits that you can claim against our course. See the table below:
Award: Postgraduate Diploma in Education with Specialisms
Comprising: 120 credits
Maximum APL claim: 60 credits
MEd with Specialisms
Comprising: 180 credits
Maximum APL claim: 120 credits
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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In addition to improving your career portfolio, this course will allow you to develop higher level skills of argument and critical thinking as well as developing academic writing skills and research capability. Having a Masters level qualification should enhance potential career advancement, and is a useful preparation for Doctoral level study.
Past students who have taken the specialisms Learning and Teaching, Inclusive and Special Education and ICT have used the qualifications for career advancement, while several of those studying or having completed the Leadership and Management modules have been successful in gaining Vice-Principal and Principal posts both in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland. Other pathways have also led to enhanced professional practice and career advancement.
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.
Visit our Fees pages to find out more
To find out more about fees related to this course please visit
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
I began the M.Ed. 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, whether at lively seminars at Magee or Coleraine, or through online learning in the University’s VLE.
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.
Carragh Little MEd (Graduated 2015)
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 am also honoured to be awarded the Biggar Award in Educational Studies, in recognition of my results. 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.
Sinéad Cahalan MEd (Graduated 2015)
“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.
Jennifer Fox MEd (Graduated 2015)