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Education MA by Research

Start date
Contact the School directly
One year full-time and two years part-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Doctoral research

For 2024-2025
£4,778 full time (UK) 
£2,389 part time (UK) 
£21,360 full time (International)
More Fees and funding details.

The School of Education has a national and international reputation as a centre of excellence and provides wide and varied opportunities research opportunities.

The MA by Research is research-based Masters programme. It is assessed by a thesis of 40,000 words maximum. You will be encouraged to participate in a research training programme, but you will not be required to complete assignments for research training modules you attend. It is suitable for those who are interested in developing their independent research skills and many students who complete this course progress onto PhD study afterwards.

Our academic expertise in the School of Education covers a broad range of disciplines which are grouped into three main departments:

We also have a number of highly successful research centres which reflect the diversity of our research activity. The results of the latest 2021 Research Excellent Framework (REF) show that the School of Education is ranked 3rd in the UK for its 4* research. 

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.  

Please view our postgraduate research webpage to find out more about the type of research degrees on offer in the School of Education


Fees 2024 - 2025


  • Code 9192 full-time £4,778
  • Code 9193 part-time £2,389


  • Code 9192 full-time £21,360

Learn more about fees

Scholarships and Loans

UK and EU students (with settled or pre-settled status) may be eligible for a postgraduate loan which provides up to £12,167 (for 2023/2024 entry) for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas.

For details of scholarships and other types of funding, search our postgraduate funding and scholarship database.

How To Apply

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.

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate research programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the research programme application process and supporting documents on our how to apply page. Please read this information carefully before completing your application.

Apply now

Our Standard Requirements

When you apply, the application system will ask you to upload a research proposal for submission together with your application. 

Learn more about entry requirements 


International Requirements

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.

Individual staff research interests

Professor Julie Allan
Disability and children’s rights, educational theory.

Professor Kalwant Bhopal
Race, racism, gender, class, intersectionality, educational inequalities, schools and higher education, qualitative research, case study research, ethnography, Gypsy and Traveller groups, social justice, equity.

Dr Helen Breadmore
Reading, spelling and writing. Causes and consequences of low literacy. Morphological awareness and processing. Evidence-based practice in literacy education. Randomised controlled trials.

Dr Laura Day Ashley
Non-state education, Education in India, The history of schooling, Cross-cultural education, Alternatives to education and progressive education, Qualitative approaches, Ethnography, Case Studies, Anthropological approaches, education and marketisation / privatisation / the private sector; NGOs and education (especially developing countries).

Dr Laura D'Olimpio
Moral education; Moral philosophy and applied ethics; Aesthetics; particularly aesthetics and ethics; Philosophy in schools; Media, mass art, technology and digital literacy; Philosophy of film and literature; Virtue ethics and character education; Public philosophy.

Professor Graeme Douglas
Visual impairment; Educational outcomes and SEN; Transitions from school; Curriculum balance; WHO ICF model of disability; The views of disabled people; Technology and SEN / disability.

Dr Reza Gholami
Impact of transnationality and diversity on education practice and policy; Citizenship education, subjectivity and social change in the contemporary/future world; Educational responses to extremism and counterextremism.

Dr Celia Greenway
Early Years workforce reform; Early Years practitioners professional identity; Gender issues connected to the recruitment of males into Early Years; Leadership and Management within the nursery sector; Creative Curriculum with reference to young children’s social and emotional development; Outdoor learning and Forest schools.

Dr Karen Guldberg
Technology Enhanced Learning for children with autism; social learning theory and inter subjectivity theory; Evidence Based Practice in Education; participatory methodologies

Mr Neil Hall
Assessment and intervention in child and adolescent mental health; understanding how family mental health and trauma affects children’s learning and well-being, behaviour and development; teachers’ models of child and adolescent mental health.

Dr Sarah Hall
Holocaust and genocide education within a school context, and post-holocaust theology in the classroom; Literary theory and re-reading narrative within Biblical texts especially through a feminist lens; RSE (Relationship and Sex Education): policy and school context; PSHE (Personal, Social, Health Education): policy and school context including work on RSE and Mental Health; Secondary School based subject mentors as ‘HEI teachers’ through their work with students undertaking professional courses; Tutoring and managing ‘the tutor’ in a HEI context.

Professor Michael Hand
Philosophy of education; moral education; religious education; political education; teaching controversial issues; philosophy in schools.

Dr Tom Harrison
Character, virtue, citizenship, cyber-phronesis, youth social action.

Dr Julie Howe
Professional practice in educational psychology services; social constructionism with a particular interest in gender; anti-oppressive practice in educational psychology; the educational implications of acquired brain injury.

Dr Dina Kiwan
Citizenship, civil society, activism, conflict, human rights, ethnic and religious diversity, disability, gender, sexuality, migration, refugees, intersectionality.

Dr Ben Kotzee
Philosophy of education; virtue theory; ethics in education; professional education.

Professor Kristján Kristjánsson
Moral education, virtue ethics, well-being, educational values, teacher/student emotions and self-concepts.

Dr Andrea MacLeod
Adults with autism spectrum conditions; models of support; self-advocacy; higher education students with autism; participatory methodologies.

Dr Eleni Mariou
Multilingualism in educational and social contexts; Language ideology and discourse; Cultural and political implications of English as an International Language; Language education.

Professor Jane Martin
Biography, history and education, Comprehensive education, Gender and education, Education and politics, Education and social movements, Identities and social action, Teacher unions.

Dr Ian McGimpsey
Youth Work.

Dr Kevin Myers
History of education; history and heritage; social history of childhood and youth.

Dr Jawiria Naseem
Dynamics of Higher Education and the labour market in France and Britain; Socio-economic inequalities among (female) graduates; Citizenship and belonging among second generation and Muslim minority ethnic groups.

Dr Prithvi Perepa
Most topics related to autism, specifically Intersectionality of autism with different factors such as culture or ethnicity, bilingualism, gender and sexual orientation, and religion; educational support; family experiences and family support.

Dr Siân Roberts
Twentieth century educational interventions with children and refugees in contexts of war or displacement; pedagogic contributions by refugee educationalists who arrived in the UK , 1914-1950; transnational interventions by British Quaker women in education, social justice and humanitarian aid, 1914-1950; visual representations of children by humanitarian and political activists; the history of educational broadcasting.

Dr Nicola Smith
Children and families with EAL; children as researchers and parental involvement in early years education.

Dr Anita Soni
Early years; Children's Centres; personal social and emotional development in young children; key person approach; supervision and group supervision.

Dr Tonie Stolberg
Science education, Sustainable development education, Science and the creative arts, The teaching of and learning about controversial issues Religion and science, The impact of faith on teaching and learning, Cultural influences on education, Pedagogy, Values and education, Philosophy of education, Phenomenological education.

Dr Emmanouela Terlektsi
Education of deaf and hearing impaired children, Literacy skills of deaf children and young people, socioemotional development of deaf children and young people.

Dr Ruth Wareham
Philosophy of education, religious education and schooling, moral education, relationships and sex education, political education, citizenship education, human rights education, education policy.

Dr Kirsty Wilson
Mathematics education; algebraic thinking; pedagogy and teachers' practices, including use of technology; primary and early years mathematics; primary teacher education.

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.