MA Education (including pathways): Optional Modules

Citizenship, Human Rights and the Environment

The module will examine issues of social justice in education and has been designed for those with an interest in or responsibility for curriculum development or equal opportunities. Human rights texts are international and the module will explore how these can be used as a basis for developing policy in schools which are working in a context of linguistic, cultural, religious and ethnic diversity. The module will examine the contribution of citizenship and environmental education across the curriculum and their contribution to social and political education.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should be able to: 

1. Understand and critically discuss the different ideologies concerning 'the citizen', the 'global citizen' and 'citizenship education'; 

2. Have a philosophical understanding of the basis to human rights, of the possibility of conflicts of rights, and of the bases whereby such conflicts can be resolved; 

3. Distinguish different models of democracy, particularly as they refer to different cultures, contexts and philosophies.

Curriculum Design in Global Contexts

This module will develop innovative ways to understand and design curriculum in response to changing circumstances in a globalising world, including the arts, internet, and media. Your assignments will reflect your personal experience and interests, for example health education, street children, Special Educational Needs (SEN), environment, Teaching English as a Foreign Language (TEFL), and early childhood education.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • critically analyse and evaluate global and international factors affecting curriculum;
  • critically analyse and evaluate differing approaches to curriculum design, planning, presentation and implementation;
  • apply and contextualise practical, political and cultural challenges when implementing curricula;
  • critically analyse and evaluate diverse school-based, national and international case studies of curriculum design;
  • design a curriculum and materials, in relation to their own personal interests and national context, and present it clearly and competently at a professional level.

Education Policy and Improving Schools

This module will enable you to critically review current debates in education policy and the implications of alternative stances on education policy for school improvement and professional practice. The module will focus on (i) the different contributions that are made by parents, students, education professionals and policy makers to the outcomes of schooling and (ii) the impacts of professional practice and school organisation on the interactions between education professionals, parents, students and policy makers.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Critically evaluate educational outcomes as an interaction between policy makers, schools, parents and students;
  • Critically evaluate teacher professionalism and autonomy in students’ engagement and achievement;
  • Critically evaluate the role of school governance in educational performance and innovation;
  • Critically evaluate schooling effects on individuals, society and economy.

Education as an International Issue

This module will examine key educational issues, themes and perspectives internationally. It will encourage analysis of your own and other national contexts from an international and comparative perspective. You will develop an understanding of important theories and debates, such as: the relationship between education and national development; effects of globalisation; how ideology and culture influence education provision; models of education management.

Learning outcomes

At the end of the module you should be able to:

  • demonstrate a critical understanding of the causes underlying the key debates surrounding education as an international issue;
  • demonstrate a theoretical understanding of the relationships between education and society, the economy and politics;
  • apply and contextualise such debates and relationships;
  • critically analyse and evaluate significant problems facing education in difficult circumstances internationally;
  • critically analyse and evaluate the implications of key international issues for schools, curriculum and classrooms and the relationships between the different levels.

Alternative Approaches to Education

Formal schooling, and its resistance to efforts to bring about social justice, continues to be a source of great frustration to many individuals and groups seeking an alternative and more productive form of organised learning. Formal schooling has been characterised as being large scale, hierarchical, prescriptive, and as having a high degree of conformity and disciplinarianism. Alternative education, however, has been characterised as having some or all of the opposite characteristics.

This module will critically examine the purpose of education, and the relationship between education’s capacity to bring about social change; focusing specifically on approaches to learning that challenge, in one way or another, mainstream forms of educational provision and practice - including radical education, critical pedagogy, home schooling, and deschooling.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the formal school processes that create the demand for alternative education;
  • Draw upon existing literature and key debates to evidence and support arguments about the role and purpose of alternative education;
  • Critically assess a range of different modes of alternative schooling;
  • Demonstrate a critical understanding of the key concerns associated with alternative schooling in relation to social justice.

Cross Cultural Issues in SEND

This module will enable you to gain an understanding of trends and trajectories in the development of SEND and inclusive education, as well as serve as a survey of disability studies and education from an international perspective. You will be supported to undertake critical analysis of cross-cultural dimensions of SEND and inclusive education, with particular attention to your own context. You will also engage in critical reflection on the positive and negative impact of cross-cultural dimensions, in your own contexts and those of others, and on professional identity and praxis. The potential of ‘interventions’ that have a cross-cultural basis (eg in disability studies, philosophy and the arts) to stimulate inclusive policy and practice will be examined.

  • Comparative analysis of trends and trajectories in SEND and inclusive education
  • Analysis of cross-cultural dimensions of SEND and inclusive education
  • Critical reflection of the relationship between cross-cultural issues and the development of SEND professional identify and practice
  • Analysis of the impact of cross-cultural ‘interventions’ (from disability studies, philosophy and the arts) on policy and practice in respect of SEND and inclusive education.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • demonstrate comparative knowledge and understanding of different trends and trajectories in the development of SEND and inclusive education
  • demonstrate an understanding cross-cultural dimensions of SEND and inclusive education, including those in students’ own contexts
  • critically analyse the relationship between cross-cultural issues and the development of students’ professional identity and practice
  • critically analyse and evaluate the potential impact of cross-cultural ‘interventions’ on policy and practice in respect of SEND and inclusive education

Disability and Inclusive Development

The way in which disability is perceived has changed dramatically over the past forty years, with a growing awareness of the need for governments to promote disability rights and societies to become more inclusive of disabled people. The 2006 UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) has had a particularly galvanising effect on the international disability rights movement. It has also highlighted the need for all development planning to take account of disability issues, as well as raising the profile on disability as an important topic within the field of international development studies.

This module aims to explore historical and current debates around the various perceptions of disability, and to consider their impact on international policy and practice, particularly in the areas of education, health, livelihoods and conflict recovery. The role of disabled people themselves, as well as the organisations that represent them, in shaping these debates and promoting disability rights will be critically examined. The factors that continue to lead to the economic and social exclusion of disabled people will be explored. In particular, the impact of conflicts and disasters on disabled people’s lives, in both the short-term and long-term, will be considered. The module will also examine debates around how to conduct research on disability, with particular reference to ‘participatory’ and ‘emancipatory’ methodologies. You will be expected to participate in an individual or group case study, exploring disability policy and/or practice in a country of your own choice.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Understand and critically evaluate a range of disability theories and models, and their implications for policy and practice.
  • Understand how experiences of disability may vary according to a range of social and biological factors, including gender.
  • Understand the factors that lead to economic and social exclusion for disabled people living in the majority world.
  • Understand the impact of conflicts and disasters on disabled people’s lives, and critically evaluate inclusive and participatory approaches to meeting the needs of disabled people in post-conflict and post-disaster interventions.
  • Critically evaluate the impact of international agreements on the lives of disabled people, with particular reference to the CRPD.
  • Understand and critically evaluate the impact and limitations of disabled people’s organisations in representing and supporting disabled people.
  • Critically evaluate the impact and limitations of social policies and interventions designed to support disabled people in developing countries, particularly in the areas of education, health and livelihoods.
  • Understand and critically examine current debates around how to conduct research on disability in developing countries.

Education, Observation and Evaluation

This module will draw on global perspectives to develop your ability to conduct systematic and informative observation and evaluation of practice in a range of English school settings. It will develop familiarity with the organisation, culture and practices of English schools, both for international students unfamiliar with the English system and for students looking to better understand practice in phases of education and settings different to their own. You will design, implement and review multiple methods for collecting data in schools; develop critical awareness of how different observation and evaluation approaches shape our understanding of practice; reflect on the role of theory in instrument design and data analysis; conduct mixed or multiple methods analysis of data on a topic of professional or personal interest; develop understanding of how researchers and school leaders can collect and use evidence from practice for school review and improvement.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate and apply in-depth knowledge of a range of methods used to gather data in schools around the world (including observation, focus groups, document analysis and interviews)
  • Understand ways in which data is analysed to evaluate practice in schools
  • Understand the importance of context and culture for education observation and evaluation
  • Reflect critically on the effectiveness of a range of data collection methods

Education for Social Justice

This module critically interrogates the question “What was, what is, and what should be the relationship between education and social justice?”

Social justice is often one of a government’s popular mantras, but opinions are divided on the role schools should play. Introducing students to key aspects and perspectives about social justice and education, this module will 1) critically consider what is meant by the concept of social justice, 2) explore key theoretical and philosophical ideas around issues of inequality and social justice, 3) explore the way social scientists conceive, measure, and explain educational inequity, and 4) explore the barriers involved in trying to enact socially just practices in education policy.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Draw upon key research, policy and contemporary thought to provide an overview of inequalities in education that exist and persist – both historically and presently.
  • Outline the key critiques and defences of current levels of education inequity in a specific context from a social justice perspective.
  • Critically evaluate and assess the impact of key current government policies on reducing educational inequalities.
  • Outline the difficulties involved in trying to enact socially just practices in education policy, identifying what else could be done to help bring about social justice via the education system.

Inclusion: Individual and Group Differences

The module will consider the broad inclusive-specialist dimension of educational practice. Key areas of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and educational placement will be broadly mapped. You will be presented with analyses and evidence in relation to different SEND groupings (as conceptualised in many educational systems), e.g. Autism, dyslexia, hearing impairment / deafness, MSI, PMLD, SLD, vision impairment. The analyses will form introductions to key aspects of these different groups (in relation to curriculum, pedagogy and assessment), which also provides examples of broader inclusion debates, dilemmas, positions and solutions.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Demonstrate a coherent and critical understanding of key debates around inclusive education and special educational needs in relation to curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and educational placement.
  • Show critical awareness and application of inclusion debates to different specific SEND groupings.
  • Demonstrate understanding of the definitions and history of several example SEND groupings.
  • Demonstrate how different SENDs are associated with individuals’ learning and development (and how the causal direction of these associations is debated).

Social, Emotional and Behavioural Difficulties: Identification, Assessment & Provision

This module will introduce you to a range of issues related to social, emotional and behavioural difficulties (SEBD). It will examine national and local policies in relation to definitions, legislation and guidance documents. The interactions of key psychological and social perspectives will be explored in the context of understanding and providing explanations for SEBD. You will be provided with a series of frameworks governing interventions and will have opportunities to apply these to case studies based on needs assessments of children and young people with SEBD. Forms of provision and schooling will be covered and evidence of good practice will be discussed. The module will raise ethical issues, which you will need to understand and address when working with children and young people with SEBD.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Show a critical understanding of the theoretical models of the causal, developmental and interactional nature of EBD;
  • Show a critical interrogation, developed awareness, knowledge and understanding of identification, assessment and provision for children and young people with SEBD;
  • Critically understand the management of interventions and needs assessment in work with children and young people with SEBD;
  • Show an ability to critically assess and understand professional perspectives on the management of ethical issues related to SEBD.

Special Educational Needs of Children with Autism

This module aims to provide knowledge of the main characteristics of autism and of the continuum of educational provision. You will be made aware of the educational needs of pupils with autism and the way these will vary according to individual differences and the particular pattern of skills and abilities. The continuum of educational provision and the issue of inclusion will be discussed. The understanding and management of challenging behaviours in autism will also be covered in this module.

Language, Discourse and Society

This module will provide an introduction to sociolinguistics, the study of the interrelationship between language and society. Specifically, it is concerned with sociolinguistics and its relevnace to language learning and teaching. Topics will include multilingualism (code-switching, bilingualism, politics of language), discourses and identities (with specific reference to ethnicity and gender), literacy in its social context.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Understand the pivotal role language plays in human social organisation' identity key areas in the interaction between language and society;
  • Have an extended knowledge of core research in sociolingustic research methods in the analysis of some primary data;
  • Understand potential applications of sociolinguistic knowledge in education.

Leadership for School Improvement

Leadership and teamwork have been consistently identified in research studies and OFSTED reports as among the key factors that contribute to school improvement. This module will focus on the qualities and skills that will enable you to play a more effective part – as members of management teams – in the leadership of your school or area of responsibility. The module will also examine the needs, demands, and aspirations of the various stake holders in your own school; the culture in your school; the vision for the future development of your school; and planning and managing change.

Learning outcome

At the end of the module you should be able to: 

• Compare and critically analyse both the meaning of and the approaches to leadership that have been covered in the module and the recommended reading and practice in your own area of responsibility, school or country.

• Compare and critically analyse both the meaning of and approaches to teamwork that have been covered in the module and the recommended reading and practice in your own area of responsibility, school or country.

• Critically analyse the literature on development planning and show how this can be (or has been) transferred to your own area of responsibility, school or country.  Emphasise monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of planning.

• Critically analyse the literature on school improvement and school effectiveness and show how this can be (or has been) transferred to your own area of responsibility, school or country.  Emphasise the impact of school improvement initiatives.

• Critically analyse the literature on change and show how this can be (or has been) transferred to your own area of responsibility, school or country.  Emphasise initiating, implementing, monitoring and reviewing the impact of change.

Personal and Professional Skills in Education Management

This module aims to develop those personal skills which will enable women and men to attain and sustain an effective managerial role in a school, college or education office. It will explore career planning, self-appraisal, decision-making, assertiveness, conduct of meetings and interviews, teacher stress and networking. The political underpinning of such skill-based ideologies is however also critically examined.

Understanding School Improvement

This module will provide you with a rigorous, theoretically and evidence informed, view of effects of teaching and school organisation on students’ learning. It will enable you to judge the extent to which claims for preferring one approach to another can currently be justified by available evidence whilst also providing a basis for developing your own practise and supporting the development of others and the institution in which you work. The module review effects of teaching on a range of outcomes including attainment, inclusion and aspirations.

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module you should be able to:

  • Critically analyse school and classroom effects on a range of outcomes;
  • Critically evaluate the use of school, teacher and pupil performance monitoring systems;
  • Evaluate the significance for professional practice of theories of cognitive and affective change in schools;
  • Critically review processes for teachers' and students' self-review.

 

The modules listed on our website may occasionally be subject to change. For example, as you will appreciate, key members of staff may leave the University and this might necessitate a review of the modules that are offered. Where a module is no longer available, we will let you know as soon as we can and help you make other choices.