The School of Education has a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence and provides wide and varied opportunities for students to undertake research. We have a history of 5 star rated research and in the 2008 Research
Excellence Exercise (RAE), 80 % of our work was recognised as being of international quality.
The MA by Research is a pure masters level research course. Students will need to complete a thesis of 40,000 words maximum and a research training programme. This programme is suitable for applicants who are interested in developing their independent research skills and many students who complete this course progress onto PhD study afterwards.
We have a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence and provide wide and varied opportunities for students to undertake research. Our academic expertise covers a broad range of disciplines grouped into three main departments:
We also have a number of highly successful research centres which reflect the diversity of our research activity
Our strategy towards research and research degrees is centred on three key principles:
- Research should seek to combine scholarly and empirical work on fundamental issues with a concern for development work linked to practice; a dialogue between fundamental study and development work can enrich both
- Research should recognise the importance of professional practice and be pursued through active collaboration with schools, colleges, LAs, and voluntary and other professional bodies in the UK and internationally
- Research is often a multidisciplinary activity and strong links across specialisms must be encouraged and supported
The interdependence of research with development and professional practice means that we particularly welcome the contribution of research students to our work. We provide a comprehensive programme of research training, together with opportunities to take part in research seminars where speakers with national and international reputations present work that is at the forefront of current debates within the field.
The Education MA by Research
The MA by Research is a pure masters level research course. Students will need to complete a thesis of 40,000 words maximum and a research training programme.
This programme is suitable for applicants who are interested in developing their independent research skills and many students who complete this course progress onto PhD study afterwards.
Please view our postgraduate research webpage to find out more about the type of research degrees on offer in the School of Education
Standard fees apply
Learn more about fees and funding
Scholarships and studentships
Scholarships may be available. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government.
For further information contact the School directly or the Student Funding Office via online enquiries.
When you apply, the application system will ask you to upload a research proposal for submission together with your application. Your research proposal should meet these research proposal requirements
Learn more about entry requirements
We accept a range of qualifications from different countries – learn more about international entry requirements
Standard English language requirements apply – except for the Warwick University English Language Test – we require ABB
When applying for a MA Research programme you will be required to submit a detailed proposal, which outlines the nature of your proposed study. This proposal will not be held as a final contract and may change in negotiation with your supervisor. However, it is an indication that you have the background ideas and knowledge to begin independent research in the broad area of your interest. It also enables us to send your application to appropriate members of staff for consideration.
The proposal should include the following information:
- The aims or objectives, and research questions if possible
- The justification for the study or area
- An outline of the research design (approach, population, methods, time scale)
- An indication of related literature
- Any previous work you have done in the area
- Any facilities available to you for the research or access to the research site, and research subjects
- The amount of time per week you are able to devote to the study.
Learn more about applying
When clicking on the Apply Now button you will be directed to an application specifically designed for the programme you wish to apply for where you will create an account with the University application system and submit your application and supporting documents online. Further information regarding how to apply online can be found on the How to apply pages
Perhaps the most important step in the formulation of your research project is to identify a member of academic staff with appropriate expertise to supervise your area of interest. Your supervisor will act as the main source of academic supervisory support and research mentoring during your time as a doctoral researcher at the University and as such, it is vital that you ensure that the department to which you are applying is able to offer appropriate supervisory support in your relevant research area. Before submitting your application to the University you will need to identify potential supervisors in your desired field of research and contact them directly about your research proposal.
Applicants are encouraged to view the research activity within each school department as well as on the individual staff profiles. You may also download a summary of staff research interests (PDF, opens new window).
The University of Birmingham has recently been ranked 9th in the UK, and 55th in the world, for post-qualification employability in a global survey of universities commissioned by the International Herald Tribune. Over the last five years, an impressive 98.3 % of Education postgraduates have been in work and/or further study six months after graduation.
Birmingham’s Education graduates choose to work in variety of education roles in schools and administrative roles in public and private sector organisations. Work in retail, sales and administration are also popular options. Some chose to continue their education and apply for professional courses such as teacher training. Some of our graduates are attracted to careers in education such as teaching, community and youth work or other public sector occupations such as social work, police, housing and probation. New opportunities in partnership enterprises within sport, leisure, education and community schemes appeal. Some graduates also consider work in the private sector such as retail, finance or marketing.
What type of career assistance is available to those who complete the Education MA by Research?
The College of Social Sciences, to which the School of Education belongs, has specially designated careers advisors and careers consultants who can provide guidance for students on career paths, CVs, training opportunities, application and interviews. The University’s central Careers’ Service also runs workshops and offers personally tailored advice and guidance including 1-1 careers advice and 1-1 CV advice. The Career’s Service runs CV writing workshops especially for postgraduates in the College of Social Sciences, giving advice on how to compile CVs for both employment and for academic roles.
The University also has dedicated careers advisors who run workshops and provide networking opportunities with potential employers. These are especially popular with international postgraduate students.