MA Education (Comparative and International Perspectives)

Start date
MA - 12 months full-time
Course Type
Postgraduate, Taught

For 2024- 2025
£10,530 (UK)
£23,310 (International)
More Fees and funding details.

On the MA Education (Comparative and International Perspectives) pathway you will focus on the similarities and differences between structures, processes, dynamics, policies and practices of different education systems.

You will explore and seek to explain similarities and differences across cultures, countries and regions and learn about theory, epistemology and methodology and participate in critical debate in the field of comparative and international education. One area of application on the MA Education (Comparative and International) pathway, will be around how concepts of human rights may be used to develop educational policies and practices.

A series of core modules on this pathway will equip you with an economic, historical, philosophical and sociological framework for understanding the field of education and the skills required for conducting critical research. A central theme of the degree is the extent to which, and how, ideas, practices and values can impact on educational inclusion and equity.  A range of optional modules will enable you to develop knowledge and skills relevant to your interests and practice.

The course will be of particular interest to education practitioners and policymakers seeking a wider and deeper grounding in debates surrounding education equity. The focus on critical analysis will be especially attractive to those working in the field of equalities and diversity and those seeking new and innovative ways of improving educational outcomes for specific groups of learners within a fast-changing area of education reform.

International students

The MA Education Masters degree attracts students from a wide range of backgrounds and nationalities, and welcomes applications from international students.

The University of Birmingham, which has over 10,000 international students from approximately 150 countries, provides support throughout the course for those that are new to, or less experienced in, studying in a UK context.

If you would like further information about studying in Birmingham, then you can visit our international students webpage

MA Education pathways

You can choose from one of our other specialist focus pathways, based on the School of Education’s principle research areas or the broader MA Education: 

Please note: that like most Masters programmes, this programme does not confer qualified teacher status (QTS). 


The MA Education (Comparative and International) programme consists of compulsory modules, two optional modules from the list below and a dissertation.

Unless indicated otherwise the modules listed below for this programme are for students starting in 2024. Find out more about each of the modules

The following must be taken:

Compulsory Modules

  • Education Policy and Society
  • Research Methods in Education
  • Citizenship, Human Rights and the Environment
  • Education as an International Issue
  • Dissertation

Optional Modules

Choose two 20 credit modules from the list below.

  • Education Futures
  • Education Policy and Improving Schools
  • Disability and Inclusive Development
  • Special Educational Needs of Pupils with Autism
  • Language, Discourse and Society
  • Citizenship, Human Rights and the Environment

Please note: The modules listed on the website for this programme are regularly reviewed to ensure they are up-to-date and informed by the latest research and teaching methods. On rare occasions, we may need to make unexpected changes to compulsory modules; in this event we will contact offer holders as soon as possible to inform or consult them as appropriate.


Fees 2024 - 2025


  • Code 870D £10,530


  • Code 870D £23,310

The fees shown above are the first year fees for students starting their courses September in 2024.

Learn more about fees

For further information contact the Funding, Graduation & Awards Office via online enquiries. 

Scholarships and Loans

You may be eligible for a postgraduate loan which provides up to £12,167 (for 2023/2024 entry) for taught and research Masters courses in most subject areas. 

Other 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

7 May 2024 is the application deadline for international students applying through the student route who wish to study in the United Kingdom. We are not able to consider applications for 2024 made after this date. The deadline for Home students is 30 August 2024.

Personal Statement

The MA Education (and Pathways) are globally competitive programmes.

We value critical thinking on local and global perspectives related to education and social justice. Even if you don't have direct experience in education or related fields, we would like to understand what drew you to these programmes.

When preparing your statement make sure you tell us about:

  • Your educational background and relevant experience(s)
  • How your experiences make you a good candidate the programme
  • The reasons why you wish to come to Birmingham
  • Your wider plans, and how an MA Education will help realise those plans
  • Any other points that are relevant

Have a look at our suite of programmes on the website and join our online and face to face events to learn more about our offering. 

How to apply

To apply for a postgraduate taught programme, you will need to submit your application and supporting documents online. We have put together some helpful information on the taught 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

A 2:1 or above (or international equivalent) Bachelor's degree is required.

Applicants without a 2:1 are welcome to apply, but should have a degree and a minimum of three years relevant professional experience post degree, in an education-focused setting.


International Requirements

International Students

Standard English language requirements apply. Speakers of English as a second language will be required to hold an IELTs 6.5 with no less than 6.0 in each band or equivalent qualification.

VISA Requirements

Obtaining a visa can be a lengthy process. Please allow sufficient time to obtain your visa. Find out more about visa requirements

English language support - before your course starts

The University offers Presessional English courses for students who wish to improve their knowledge of spoken and written English in preparation for academic study at the University of Birmingham. Students with conditional offers have the option of attending one of these courses instead of retaking IELTS.    

English language support - during your studies

BIA provides free English language services to international students who are currently studying on undergraduate or postgraduate courses at the University of Birmingham. Services include Open-access English classes, online self-assessment, online materials through CANVAS, email answers to quick questions and individual one to one tutorials. For a small fee, BIA also offers classes for partners of international postgraduate students and staff, social events including day trips and HOST visits.   

You will be taught in the School of Education, which conducts pioneering world-class research in Education. You can therefore expect that all teaching on the MA Education will be informed by seminal and contemporary research, that spans a wide variety of disciplinary areas. Whether you take a pathway route or not, you can be assured that module content will be designed and taught by experienced specialists in each discipline who have knowledge of contemporary research in the field.

The programme is delivered through a combination of face-to-face lectures, smaller-group seminars, workshops, self-study, and peer group learning. We utilise a range of digital and virtual approaches in our teaching, and you will have access to our online teaching and learning tools, including our Virtual Learning Environment. Readings and resources are made available through our online ‘Resource Lists’ system making it very easy to identify and access key readings. Module tutors make activities available online for you to engage prior to face-to-face teaching and the majority of assignments tasks can be submitted via the Virtual Learning Environment – including dissertations. Assessments on this programme will include written essays, small independent projects, oral presentation and a dissertation on a topic of your choice. 

You will be allocated a Dissertation Supervisor with whom you will have a one-to-one relationship during the dissertation phase. You will also be allocated a Personal Academic Tutor with whom you will meet regularly and all tutors keep ‘office hours’ through which you can request one-to-one tutorials.

This programme has been specially developed to appeal to a broad range of career aspirations in sectors requiring an international perspective of education, and comparative analytic skill in different contexts. The MA Education (Comparative and International) does not provide qualifications for a particular role, but the knowledge and skills that will enable you to pursue a range of career paths in education.

Graduates from this programme work in the education sector in roles including: education management, ministries and other national/regional authorities, non-governmental organisations, UN agencies, education research, publishing, education consultancy and higher or further education.