MSc Learning and Teaching

This is a part-time MSc programme for qualified teachers who are interested in developing their professional practice through engaging in educational research. The focus is on learning and teaching in schools (or other educational settings, as appropriate), and the programme is rooted in the participants’ own school or classroom experiences.

It particularly addresses the inter-relationship between general educational issues, e.g. motivation or assessment, and subject pedagogies, e.g. science or history, which reflects a longstanding research focus of the department.

Comments from students include:

  • I have found myself becoming increasingly reflective about my practice and thinking at the end of each lesson ‘what have the students learnt today?’ rather than ‘what have I taught them today?’
  • As a maths teacher, I never realised how important the language I use in the classroom is to the experience of the learners.
  • Since being on the course I have been promoted in school to be the second in the department.  This gives me a very real opportunity to make a difference to the students in my school and hopefully to disseminate some of the ideas from the course to other teachers.

For other comments, visit our students’ perspectives page.

The course content is made up of four generic topics:

• Teachers and Learners

• Curriculum, pedagogy and assessment

• Responding to pupils

• Schools, equity and achievement.

Each topic involves carrying out investigations in school, supported by appropriate reading and attendance at residential courses in Oxford. Throughout the course there is a strong emphasis on collaboration, culminating in a final research and development project in the final year. The university’s VLE (Weblearn) is used to support the school-based tasks and sustain critical discussion. Supervision of students’ work on assignments is mainly offered within small subject-specific support groups (see FAQs for details), with further individual guidance provided by a university supervisor.

The course is open to all qualified teachers who are currently working a school or college setting (at primary, secondary or sixth form level).  It requires attendance at four or five seminars over the year and engagement in online activities between each seminar.

Further, applicants who already have a Masters-level PGCE qualification can omit Part 1. Those with M level accreditation (worth at least 60 credits) start in Part 2 and complete one taught year before carrying out a Part 3 research and development project. Those with no previous M level accreditation are introduced to Masters level work in Part 1, then join those who are starting Part 2, before going on to complete the final project.

Students are initially registered for the Postgraduate Diploma in Learning and Teaching for Parts 1 and 2 and transferred onto the MSc Learning and Teaching for Part 3.

The MSc is directed by Dr Katharine Burn. A wide range of lecturers from across the Department teach on the course providing students with core generic and subject-specific teaching and supervision, with many from the subject pedagogies research group.

Some of the teaching and all of the supervision in Part 2 of the programme is offered on a subject-specific basis (in those subjects in which the department has particular expertise).  Those applicants to join the programme in Part 2 who are offered places but find that a particular subject group is already full will be given the option of joining a generic group or deferring their place until the following year when they can join the subject-specific group of their choice.

Please ensure that you read the MSc Learning and Teaching FAQs and notes of guidance provided by the Graduate Admissions Office before submitting your application.

Any enquiries about the course should be directed to the Professional Programmes Office:

University of Oxford
Department of Education
15 Norham Gardens
Oxford OX2 6PY
Tel: 01865 274021


Page last modified: September 1, 2017