Education MA by Research

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

The School of Education provides wide and varied opportunities for students to undertake research. More than 82% of its research was rated as ‘internationally excellent’ (3*) or ‘world leading’ (4*) in the 2014 REF

The MA by Research is research-based Masters programme. It is assessed by a thesis of 40,000 words maximum. Students are encouraged to participate in a research training programme, but they are not required to complete assignments for research training modules they attend.

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.

Quick links: Fees and Funding | Entry Requirements | How to apply

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

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


Fees 2019 - 2020


Code 9192 full-time £4,320 (to be confirmed in Spring 2019)

Code 9193 part-time £2,160 (to be confirmed in Spring 2019)


Code 9192 full-time £16,740

Code 9193 part-time £5,580

Learn more about fees and funding 

For EU students applying for the 2020/21 academic year

The UK Government has confirmed that EU students will continue to be eligible for 'home fee status' for entry in September 2020, and will continue to have access to eligible financial support via the Postgraduate Masters or Doctoral loan for the duration of their course. For more information visit the website.

You can also visit our EU Referendum information page for more information and updates.

Scholarships, Studentships and Loans

Postgraduate Loans for Masters students

The postgraduate loans system for Masters degrees in the UK will provide up to £10,609 for taught and research Masters courses in all subject areas including part-time and distance learning. For more detailed information view our Postgraduate funding page

Scholarships and studentships

Scholarships may be available, please view the Scholarships webpage in the School of Education. International students can often gain funding through overseas research scholarships, Commonwealth scholarships or their home government. More details may be found on the international scholarships page.

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.

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

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. Your research proposal should meet these research proposal requirements 

Learn more about entry requirements 

International students

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 

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.

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).

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.