Moray House School of Education and Sport

Programme Structure

This programme can be studied full time or part time. You will study a number of compulsory and option courses and complete a dissertation to be awarded an MSc in Comparative Education and International Development (CEID).

Video: Welcome to the CEID programme at Moray House from Programme Director Dr Will Smith.
Dr Will Smith, Programme Director of the MSc Comparative Education and International Development programme (CEID) at Moray House School of Education and Sport welcomes prospective students.

The MSc CEID programme explores the topics and debates in the field of Comparative and International Education with the opportunity to develop individual interests within an array of subfields including International Development, Policy and Politics, and Higher Education. Grounded in a social justice perspective, the MSc CEID programme draws from multiple disciplines including sociology, anthropology, human geography, and political science.

The overarching objective of the MSc CEID programme is to develop students as critical and reflexive researchers and practitioners equipped with the mindsets, skills and confidence to engage with some of the largest challenges in education and international development. Students will be exposed to multiple perspectives, encouraging them to develop a sensitivity towards and understanding of diversity, while engaging in collaborative, reflective practice.

Required courses in comparative education and education and international development set the groundwork, ensuring all students are aware of and can critically reflect on the primary theories, concepts, and discourses in comparative education and international development, including their underlying assumptions and shortcomings. With this baseline knowledge students are then free to explore their interests through a diverse range of option courses that further examine the politics of education, key actors and discourses in the field, and the complexity, challenges, and validity issues in making cross-national or cross-cultural comparisons. 


The Master's degree programme (a total of 180 credits) is divided into two semesters with a dissertation following at the end of the year. It is made up of taught core and option SCQF Level 11 courses totalling 120 credits. The dissertation carries 60 credits.

The first 120 credits make up a Postgraduate Diploma and include a combination of taught core and option SCQF Level 11 courses. Assuming an average mark of 50% or more is achieved across the taught courses, students can continue to the final 60 credit dissertation.

Semester 1

In Semester 1 (September - December), students will complete three core courses and up to one option course for a total of 50 or 70 credits:

Semester 2

In Semester 2 (January - April), students will complete one core course and two or three option courses for a total of 50 or 70 credits:


Students must select option courses totaling 60 credits following the directions below. Note that option course availability and content may change from year to year.

Choose 40-60 Credits from List A:

List A: Foundational Option Courses

Choose 0 – 20 Credits from List B:

List B: Supplemental Option Courses

In place of the option course from list B students may choose an available course from the Moray House School of Education and Sport as well as throughout the University of Edinburgh. The chosen course must be at level 11 and be approved by the programme director.


The Dissertation (April - August) is worth 60 credits. The MSc CEID programme takes a capstone approach to the dissertation providing students a choice in how they demonstrate their ability to critical reflect on, synthesize, and apply knowledge they have gained through the programme through the completion of an independent research-based study. Students are permitted to choose between two options: a traditional dissertation or a placement-based dissertation.