Postgraduate study

Education MSc

Awards: MSc

Funding opportunities

Programme website: Education

After almost twenty years in an industry I knew inside out, it was great to be challenged and to learn new things. My interest is founded in the educational attainment of looked after children, but has grown to include all aspects of inclusive education, young people in care and social work. The programme offered a wide range of classes, from research methods and ethics to educational philosophy and the nature of inquiry. All stretched me academically, as a mature student, but provided a great base to draw on when writing my dissertation.

Colin Brough MSc Education 2012

The MSc Education is the flagship taught postgraduate degree of Moray House School of Education and Sport and one of its most popular programmes. It provides an ideal foundation for students who wish to work in education policy, research or practice, or who want to go on to doctoral-level study.

Gain a broad foundation on our general MSc Education, or specialise your degree by choosing a Pathway in a particular area relevant to your educational and professional aims.

Through strategically-designed compulsory courses and a wide range of options, paired with guidance from our staff and in a lively and supportive student community, you will take part in social and philosophical reflection on the nature, value and purposes of education.

You will learn through a combination of:

  • lectures
  • student-led seminars/presentations
  • practical skills training
  • project work

You will complete compulsory courses and choose from a range of option courses, totalling 120 credits. If you take up a specialist pathway, compulsory and option courses will reflect your specialism.

The Master's degree culminates in an independently researched dissertation for another 60 credits.


You may gain either a general MSc in Education or take up a specialist pathway:

  • MSc Education (Child and Adolescent Psychology)
  • MSc Education (Comparative Education and International Development)
  • MSc Education (Early Childhood Practice and Froebel)
  • MSc Education (Philosophy of Education)
  • MSc Education (Research)

Please note that courses, course content and pathways may change each year.

Compulsory and option courses

For a flavour of the taught courses you might take, the MSc Education general pathway includes four compulsory courses plus three option courses.

Compulsory courses:

  • Education Policy and the Politics of Education
  • The Philosophy of Education
  • Sources of Knowledge: Understanding and analysing research literature
  • Conceptualising research: Foundations, assumptions and praxis

Option courses:

Optional courses are subject to change each year but have previously included:

  • Autism and Developmental Disabilities
  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Children and Technology
  • Comparative Analysis in Education
  • Comparative Education and International Development
  • Designing, Delivering and Evaluating Training
  • Gifted and Talented Youth
  • Global Childhoods and Human Rights
  • Learners, Learning and Teaching
  • Pedagogy and Practice of Friedrich Froebel for the early years
  • Psychology of Learning and Teaching
  • Qualitative Data Research
  • Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS
  • Social Inequalities in Education Worldwide
  • The Anthropology of Education and Learning
  • The Curriculum: Context, Change and Development
  • The Nature of Enquiry

This broad programme can open up a similarly diverse range of career opportunities.

Past students have undertaken further study and doctoral research, while others have applied their knowledge and skills to a variety of education-related fields, from educational policy and administration and school teaching, to recruitment, charity-related educational research and political advisory roles.

You will graduate with a highly-regarded degree and transferable skills in areas such as communication and project management, which can be applied to roles in any field.

The following are examples of where our previous students have progressed to:

  • work in educational policy (at local, regional, national and international level)
  • work in educational administration (at local, regional, national and international level)
  • advisors to politicians on educational matters
  • international recruitment for higher education institutions in Scotland and for institutions or agencies around the world
  • returning to teaching - primary, secondary schools, physical education or within ‘additional support’ contexts
  • research work for charitable agencies related to education
  • doctoral research (PhD)
  • community education practitioners

  • Hear what our graduates have to say

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent, in a relevant discipline.

We may also consider your application if you have relevant employment or experience; please contact us to check before you apply.

Students from China

This degree is Band C.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

For 2021 entry we will accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT (including Special Home Edition): total 100 (at least 23 in each module). We do not accept TOEFL MyBest Score to meet our English language requirements
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 176 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.

Find out more about our language requirements:


You will need to pay this deposit within 28 days of receiving your offer of admission (either unconditional or conditional) for the MSc programme.

  • £1,500 (this contributes towards your tuition fees)

Additional programme costs

You may incur additional costs for fieldwork, if taking Environmental Education option courses.

Living costs

You will be responsible for covering living costs for the duration of your studies.

Tuition fees

Featured funding

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments.

The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on:

  • your programme
  • the duration of your studies
  • your tuition fee status.

Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ

Due to high demand, the School operates a number of selection deadlines.

We will make a small number of offers to the most outstanding candidates on an ongoing basis, but hold the majority of applications until the next published selection deadline when we will offer a proportion of the places available to applicants selected through a competitive process.

Deadlines for applicants applying to study in 2021-2022 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 14 October 2020 3 December 2020
2 9 December 2020 25 February 2021
3 17 February 2021 15 April 2021
4 21 April 2021 03 June 2021
5 9 June 2021 22 July 2021

Applicants are advised to apply for one programme only.

For example, you can apply on to the general route or one of the pathways but you should not apply to both of these, nor should you apply for more than one pathway.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • Moray House School of Education and Sport
  • Old Moray House
  • Holyrood Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 8AQ