Postgraduate study

Education MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

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 and project work. You will complete compulsory courses and choose from a range of option courses, totalling 120 credits. Should 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.


Students 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 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
  • Conceptualising research

Option courses:

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

  • Child and Adolescent Development
  • Children and Technology
  • Comparative Analysis in Education
  • Designing, Delivering and Evaluating Training
  • Developmental Disabilities: A Psychological Approach
  • Gifted and Talented Youth
  • International Perspectives on Education and Training
  • Learners, Learning and Teaching
  • Philosophical Foundations of Educational Theory, Policy and Practice
  • Qualitative Data Research
  • Quantitative Data Analysis with SPSS
  • The Curriculum: Context, Change and Development
  • The Nature of Enquiry

This broad programme can open up a similarly diverse range of career options. 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 school teaching, educational policy and administration, 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.

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.

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

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS: total 7.0 (at least 6.5 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 23 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: total 67 (at least 61 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections)

  • 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, PTE Academic 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 may incur additional costs for fieldwork, if taking Environmental Education options.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScEducation (Comparative Education and International Development)1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Comparative Education and International Development)2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Comparative Education and International Development)3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Child and Adolescent Psychology)1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Child and Adolescent Psychology)2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Child and Adolescent Psychology)3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEducation2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation Research1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEducation Research2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation Research3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Early Childhood Practice and Froebel)1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Early Childhood Practice and Froebel)2 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Early Childhood Practice and Froebel)3 YearsPart-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Philosophy of Education)1 YearFull-timeTuition fees
MScEducation (Philosophy of Education)3 YearsPart-timeTuition 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, and your residency 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 2020/21 are shown below.

Round Application deadline Places awarded by
1 30 September 2019 25 November 2019
2 15 October 2019 10 December 2019
3 15 November 2019 10 January 2020
4 16 December 2019 10 February 2020
5 15 January 2020 11 March 2020
6 17 February 2020 06 April 2020
7 29 May 2020 03 July 2020
8 15 July 2020 12 August 2020

You must submit one reference with your application.

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