• For Entry: September
  • Duration: 36 months
  • School: Education & Social Work
  • Study Mode: Part Time+Distance Learning

Develop a deeper knowledge of educational theory and research, with this course which is for people working, or interested in working, in any educational sector or discipline.

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

This course is essential for all professionals working in an educational setting who wish to enhance their professional learning and improve their career progression prospects. 

You can tailor the educational experience to suit your individual experience, needs and interests, and you can study entirely at a distance via our virtual learning environment.

There are both workplace-based and non-workplace-based routes through the course, so you don’t have to be currently employed in an educational setting before applying.

This course was the first in Scotland to be recognised by the International Baccalaureate as meeting the professional development requirements of the:

  • Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research
  • Certificate in Leadership Practice
  • Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research

Professional Recognition

The course is fully recognised by the General Teaching Council for Scotland (GTCS) as a professional learning course for leaders.

Flexible degree pathways

Most students study part-time completing one module per semester.  In exceptional circumstances, and with the permission of the Programme Director, students may undertake more than one module per semester.

The course provides flexible entry and exit routes at Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and Masters Levels for the following pathway:

  • MEd Leading Learning and Teaching

In addition, there are other pathway specialisations available. These are dependent on the modules chosen, as detailed below.

  • MEd Inclusive Education
  • MEd Nursery and Early Education
  • MEd International Education
  • MEd Educational Leadership

These award pathways aim to build on your initial training and professionalism which you have developed throughout your work experience.


International Baccalaureate

The course is accredited by the International Baccalaureate Organisation. On completion participants can register for an IB Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research, Certificate in Leadership Practice or Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research.


International Baccalaureate

The programme is recognised by the International Baccalaureate as meeting the professional development requirements of,

  • Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research
  • Certificate in Leadership Practice
  • Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research

IBO recognition

The Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning offers students the opportunity to examine the principles and practices associated with one of the three IB Programmes (Primary Years, Middle Years and Diploma Programmes).

The Leadership certificates provides participants with an understanding of Leadership within an IB setting as well as giving opportunities to develop future practice. The courses that lead to the certificates shape experienced educators into reflective practitioners and teacher researchers.

These certificates afford the opportunity of pursuing a career in public, private or international schools across the world.

IB Certificate in Leadership Practice

The IB certificate in Leadership Practice is designed for educators and administrators who want to improve their leadership capabilities in an IB context. Participants develop and refine their capacity to play a role in guiding a school through IB authorization.

Programme Structure

Leadership, Change and Organisational Development 30 credits
Reflecting on Leadership in the IB 30 credits
Exit with a PG Certificate (60 Credits)

There are no prerequisites for teaching in an IB school to apply for this award. School/Education experience is required for any aspect of the MEd.

You can continue on from this to the Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research, see below.

IB Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research

The IB Advanced Certificate in Leadership Research provides a more profound understanding of leadership responsibilities and capabilities through rigorous investigative work. It includes research within IB leadership contexts as well as deep reflection on the students’ own leadership practice. Please obtain enrolment and registration forms from the university following your application to the MEd.

Programme Structure

Option 1Option 2
Leadership, Change and Organisational Development 30 credits Reflecting Upon Practice 30 credits
Reflecting on Leadership in the IB 30 credits Leadership, Change and Organisational Development 30 credits
*Option (links to Leadership) 30 credits
Research Methods 30 credits
Dissertation - focus on Leadership in IB 60 credits
Exit with MEd in a chosen named award (180 Credits) Register for the IB Certificate

There are no prerequisites for teaching in an IB school to apply for this award. School/Education experience is required for any aspect of the MEd. 

You can continue on from the Certificate in Leadership Practice, see Pathway 1 and Pathway 2, Option 1 or, if you have been teaching for at least three years in an IB school, you may choose to complete the MEd standard route via Pathway 2, Option 2.

IB Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research

With IB certification, you gain a rich learning experience, ongoing professional development and the flexibility to follow a learning model that best fits your career path. The IB Advanced Certificate in Teaching and Learning Research offers students the opportunity to supplement their existing IB experience with rigorous, systematic investigative work to further their knowledge and experience. Participants delve deeper into curriculum development, pedagogy and assessment through exploring relevant literature and their own IB practices.

Programme Structure

RUP 30 credits
*Option 1 30 credits
*Option 2 30 credits
Research Methods 30 credits
Exit with an MEd (180 Credits) Register for the IB Certificate

To apply for this award, you must have been teaching for at least three years within an IB school.

The advanced certificate can be applied for following full completing of the MEd. If you exit earlier, there are no options to gain an IB certificate.

There is no specific focus for study although it is expected the contextual information from your IB school will permeate and the dissertation will have an IB focus.

Length of programme:                            

Postgraduate Certificate 1 year (60 credits)

  • Each route on the MEd has an exit point at Certificate level
  • The IB Certificate in Leadership Practice is at Certificate level 

Postgraduate Diploma 2 years (120 credits)

  • The PGDip Childhood Practice finishes at Diploma level (to meet the requirements of the SSSC) although there is an option to continue on to the full MEd.

Master of Education 3 years (180 credits)

  • All routes on the MEd can progress to the full MEd Degree

Options are available to complete the course in a shorter time period for students who are not in full time employment.

Timeline for each module

20 weeks (with the exception of the Dissertation which is a double module)

Course structure

Postgraduate Certificate - 2 x 30 credit modules per year

Postgraduate Diploma - 2 x 30 credit modules per year

Master of Education - 1 x 60 credit module

DegreeLength of study, Distance learning (optional workshops are offered for some modules subject to student numbers)
MEd 1800 hours of part-time study ( 6 x 30M modules in total)
PGDiploma 1200 hours of part-time study (4 x 30M modules in total)
PGCertificate 600 hours of part-time study (2 x 30M modules in total)

"Changes within my practice have been widespread and are still developing."

Current student

"I have been empowered to take my teaching to the next level."

Current student

"The support is excellent.  My tutor is dedicated, efficient and friendly."

Current student

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

The University of Dundee has been given a Gold award – the highest possible rating – in the 2017 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

Read more about the Teaching Excellence Framework

TEF Gold - Teaching Excellence Framework

How you will be taught

The course can take 2 to 3 years depending on your own circumstances, with modules being delivered by blended and distance learning and supported by the use of our virtual learning environment. This means the course is available anywhere and anytime there is access to the internet. Study support is offered through our growing network of learning and study centres. 

Significant individual support is offered through:

  • Online study via our virtual learning environment
  • Study guides
  • Telephone or video conference tutorials
  • Face-to-face tutorials
  • Email
  • Written feedback

Recognition for prior learning (RPL) is available for this course. Claims for RPL must match to existing modules on the course with equivalent content and be at the required SCQF level and SCOTCAT credits. Claims can be made, in exceptional circumstances, for up to 50% of the course. If you have any questions about RPL please contact us (details at the bottom of page).


How you will be assessed

Individual modules have assessment tailored to the aims and content of each module. Most modules culminate with a written assignment based around content covered, or research completed, during the module.

Formative and summative assessments are designed to arise naturally from study and work. Most assessments focus directly on application in the workplace. Students are assessed on 4 x 30 credit modules plus a Dissertation (60 credits).

What you will study

You'll undertake two core and two optional modules, and 1 x 60 credit dissertation at the final stage of the course.

There is an extensive bank of modules available by distance learning or mixed-mode delivery. The Master of Education is characterised by progression through Certificate, Diploma to Masters with exit points at each level.

Core modules

  • Reflecting upon Practice
  • Research Methods for Professional Inquiry
  • Dissertation

Optional Modules

  • International Education
  • The Inclusive Educator
  • Innovation in Education
  • Leadership and Organisational Development
  • Wellbeing of Children and Young People
  • Mentoring
  • Teaching and Learning for Equity
  • Collaborative Working


Core Modules

Core Module 1: Reflecting Upon Practice (PD50189)

Credits: 30

The module aims to provide participants with a framework to enable them to reflect critically on their professional development and their current practice, and as a result enable them to formulate an appropriate professional development action plan.

The module will introduce participants to a professional development model that involves: reflecting on their personal and professional development; engaging with the debates and professional enquiries that have led them to their professional thinking, philosophies and views; reflection upon their current approaches and learning and teaching practice; a self-evaluation of professional development needs and directions.

Core Module 2: Research Methods for Professional Inquiry (PD50177)

Credits: 30

The purpose of this module is to introduce you to research methodology and methods. In the course of the module you will develop an appreciation of what is entailed in conducting research in a professional field. The module content will follow the stages of research, starting with the research problem/question through to the presentation of findings.  This module is also intended to prepare you to progress on to a small scale enquiry and to begin to think about the academic research process and the task of developing and conducting a research study.

Core Module 3:Dissertation (PD50206)

Credits: 60

The culmination of a Masters programme is a substantial piece of work which will contribute to the development and enhancement of professional knowledge and practice for the writer and others across a range of professional fields. Students are expected to show that they can exercise independent critical judgement and that they have command of the necessary research processes required to carry forward and report a systematic investigation, either empirical or philosophical. They are also required to show that they can apply what they have learned through their studies to set up a project which will inform research or will explore an aspect of practice. A study of this professional standing and worth must be well planned and resourced, engage with research and public theories, be critically reflective and explore the assumptions that underpin practice.

Optional Modules

International Education (PD50194)

Credits: 30

This module provides practitioners the opportunity to develop their professional knowledge and understanding, skills and attributes in relation to International Education. It provides a critical understanding of principal theories and concepts associated with International Education. Students explore this field by studying key concepts such as citizenship, intercultural awareness, multicultural education, international and comparative education. The focus of the course enables practitioners to develop a school/work-based initiative related to International Education by providing an overview and reflecting on their own international, national and institutional policy and practice context.

The Inclusive Educator (PD50205)

Credits: 30

Debate about inclusive education is a topic of interest to educationalists world-wide. The module provides opportunity to review the arguments for and against inclusive education in the light of current legislation and policy. It also considers the effects of other legislation which impact on social inclusion. The module develops an enquiry-based approach to teaching and learning and is consistent with current views on inclusive practice both nationally and internationally. It considers the importance of policy in relation to practice and provision, taking account of historical influences as well as the impact of current key legislation. The concept of inclusion is explored in terms of opportunities and challenges. A case study stimulates thinking around a range of factors, raising fundamental issues such as values, beliefs and principles for the participant. Throughout the module, the participants are required to reflect and justify their own professional beliefs and practices.

Wellbeing of Children and Young People (PD50218)

Credits: 30

Students on this module will consider social contexts, transition procedures and processes and the impact which they have upon children. In particular they will discuss and debate outcomes related to the emotional and cognitive wellbeing of the child. They will also analyse the implications of these contexts upon their role as a professional.   Students are asked to compile an audit which relates to children's wellbeing. Students will also critically analyse a range of government documents including children's rights, legislation, policy and curriculum framework. Following evaluation of their findings, students plan for development and change, relating ecological frameworks to the 21st century concept of the child as an active social agent.

Innovation in Education (PD50192)

Credits: 30

This module will allow participants to investigate the nature of curriculum and consider theoretical models of curriculum development. This will include consideration of what constitutes curriculum innovation backed up with reference to relevant theory, research and policy. Students will engage in critical analysis of the political, socio-economic and cultural factors that drive and influence educational reform. During the module students will evaluate recent examples of curriculum innovation and critically evaluate the effectiveness or potential effectiveness of these drawing on theory, research and policy. Ultimately there will be a consideration of implications for the student's future practice in light of a deeper understanding of the subject of curriculum innovation.

Leadership, change and Organisational Development (PD50175)

Credits: 30

This module aims to introduce participants to the concept of leadership and its role within strategic development, organisational learning and communities of practice. Participants will explore and critically appraise the significance of leadership, its relation to management and impact on organisational development. With reference to current literature and research, participants will examine theories of leadership and how leadership differs from management within organisations. It also asks participants to explore the key principles of vision and values, culture and climate. Participants will be asked to consider personal and professional values and the notion of a systems view in the context of guiding organisational change.

Mentoring (PD50230)

Credits: 30

This module aims to equip participants with knowledge, understanding and skills which will enable them to provide effective mentoring programmes within the workplace. Participants will explore the principles of effective mentoring and consider the components of a variety of mentoring models. They will critically evaluate and reflect upon key interactions, reviewing their strengths and areas for development in their use of mentoring skills and strategies. This module will enable participants to analyse and evidence outcomes of mentoring for mentors, for their mentees and for their professional settings.

Teaching and Learning for Equity (PD50237)

Credits: 30

This module aims to provide opportunities for participants to explore issues around attainment in schools, particularly in relation to the impact of poverty and inequity on learning. It will enhance critical thinking and analysis in the context of using data and evidence to examine factors linking poverty, deprivation and learning, the consequential impact on attainment in schools and the implications for learning and teaching.

Collaborative Working (PD50214)

Credits: 30

This module aims to educate students to develop a socio-political historical perspective on legislative and social policy developments related to inter-professional collaborative working and organisational change as well as compare and contrast: ethical and principled practice; theoretical perspectives; evidence-based research; practice models and frameworks and practice wisdom-based knowledge; uncertain, complex and diverse context in which agencies operate and in which harm may occur.


Most students studying for this course are already in full time employment. In addition a number of students either already hold senior management positions or have moved into senior management positions during their time studying on the course.

By engaging with this course you can influence your own Professional Learning journey and take control of your own Continual Professional Development (CPD). Because of this, you can greatly enhance your prospects for future career advancement.

The Master of Education course is for professionals with some teaching or educational experience. It is not an initial teaching course and will not qualify you to teach in Scotland. 

Degree and relevant work experience. Applicants should ideally be able to undertake work related to a programme specialism in their workplace setting or other appropriate agency.

 EU and International qualifications

English Language Requirement

IELTS Overall 6.5
Listening 5.5
Reading 5.5
Writing 6.0
Speaking 6.0

 Equivalent grades from other test providers


English Language Programmes

We offer Pre-Sessional and Foundation Programme(s) throughout the year. These are designed to prepare you for university study in the UK when you have not yet met the language requirements for direct entry onto a degree programme.

 Discover our English Language Programmes

The fees you pay will depend on your fee status. Your fee status is determined by us using the information you provide on your application.

 Find out more about fee status

Fee statusFees for students starting 2019-20
Scottish and EU students £2,300 per year of study (60 credits studied each year)
Rest of UK students £2,300 per year of study (60 credits studied each year)
International students (non-EU) £5,900 per year of study (60 credits studied each year)
Fee statusFees for students starting 2020-21
Scottish and EU students £2,415 per year of study (60 credits studied each year)
Rest of UK students £2,415 per year of study (60 credits studied each year)
International students (non-EU) £6,195 per year of study (60 credits studied each year)

Additional costs

You may incur additional costs in the course of your education at the University over and above tuition fees in an academic year.

Examples of additional costs:

One off costOngoing costIncidental cost
Graduation feeStudio feeField trips

*these are examples only and are not exhaustive.

Additional costs:

  • may be mandatory or optional expenses
  • may be one off, ongoing or incidental charges and certain costs may be payable annually for each year of your programme of study
  • vary depending on your programme of study
  • are payable by you and are non-refundable and non-transferable

Unfortunately, failure to pay additional costs may result in limitations on your student experience.

For additional costs specific to your course please speak to our Enquiry Team.

Deadline for applications - 31 July

You apply for this course via the UCAS Postgraduate website which is free of charge. You can check the progress of your application online and you can also make multiple applications.

You'll need to upload relevant documents as part of your application. Please read the how to apply page before you apply to find out about what you'll need.

  Degree Course code
Apply nowEducation (Leading Learning and Teaching) MEdP060284
Apply nowEducation (Inclusive Education) MEdP060282
Apply nowEducation (Nursery/Early Education) MEdP060285
Apply nowEducation (International Education) MEdP060283
Apply nowEducation (Educational Leadership) MEdP060590

Course Contact

School Administrator
Education and Social Work
+44 (0)1382 381122

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