International Education (with Specialist Routes)

MA, 1 year. full-time

This is for you if... you want to enhance your understanding of contemporary issues in primary, secondary and post-compulsory education in international contexts.

Course Description

This course offers teachers, lecturers and educational leaders in schools, colleges and universities - as well as those with experience of, or an interest in, education in broader contexts - a valuable opportunity to reflect upon their own practice and to enhance their knowledge.

The MA in International Education is a rigorous qualification which provides you with several opportunities to undertake research in your particular area of interest, building on your knowledge in this specialised area.

You will study two core modules and you will then choose one of the three Routes and complete a dissertation.

You will be able to develop your knowledge and skills by applying your learning to real-life situations within your own educational setting - whether that's a school, college or university. The MA is a powerful vehicle for institutional improvement, as well as personal and professional development. You will develop an ability to reflect critically on theory in the areas of teaching and learning, as well as culture, power and educational leadership, and use it as a basis for understanding and improving practice.

You will develop research skills and you will be given training in the use of qualitative and quantitative research methods in educational contexts. You will be equipped with methodological knowledge and skills for your career in education or further research at doctoral level, should you wish to continue your studies.

Key Facts
Start date
September each year

+44 (0)116 229 7552

School of Education website

Why Leicester?

Our courses aim to develop leaders in education and so have been designed with your career prospects in mind.

You will be taught by academics who are at the forefront of research in education and who feed the latest developments into their teaching.

The School of Education at Leicester attracts students and academics from all over the world, allowing you to become part of an inclusive, diverse and professional international network.

Our range of modules allow you to study a course tailored to your interests.

Course Structure

  • Core modules

    Core modules

    • Contemporary Issues in International Education
    • Introduction to Educational Research Methods

    After completing these modules, you will choose one of the three Routes which consist of two specialist modules.


    You will undertake a dissertation in a subject of your choice, giving you the opportunity to delve deeper into an area that particularly interests you. You will be supervised by a member of staff with expertise in your chosen area who will guide and support you. We expect that your dissertation will take up to 450 hours of independent study.

    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

  • Route 1

    Leadership for Social Justice in Education

    This route considers how communities of learners are constructed to create enthusiastic learners, drawing in part on various studies carried out by tutors in the UK, Lebanon, Turkey and China. We will discusses the importance of the critical engagement of formal and informal leaders with other participants in constructing and sustaining the cultures of learning communities and how such communities interact with their contexts. This route will promote your knowledge and understanding of:

    • People, power and culture in particular contexts to meet the learning needs of all their members
    • Organisational cultures that engage or negate the development of learners and staff
    • Formal and informal leaders thinking critically about learning/teaching and their social interactions with each other in particular contexts
    • Student voice and teacher/support staff identity
    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.
  • Route 2


    This route will focus on issues of pedagogy, and as such will be of benefit if you are interested in deepening your understanding of the factors which influence the processes of learning and teaching. This route will cover issues including:

    • The nature of learning
    • The role of assessment in pedagogy
    • The role of the curriculum in shaping pedagogy
    • Contemporary advances in pedagogy, including the growing impact of ICT
    • The role of politics and culture in shaping pedagogy
    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.
  • Route 3

    Innovation and Reform

    This route will give you a greater understanding of contemporary theories of education, particularly with regard to critical pedagogy, and also the process of effectively leading educational change. It will provide a focus on innovation and reform concerned with helping schools to play an active role in creating and maintaining more humane and sustainable futures. This route will actively engage you in aspects of educational development such as:

    • Democratic citizenship
    • Critical literacy
    • Creative thinking
    • Sustainable development
    • Inclusion
    • The role of technology
    Modules shown represent choices available to current students. The range of modules available and the content of any individual module may change in future years.

Teaching and Assessment

Modules are delivered by a combination of face-to-face seminars, classes and workshops.

You will have the additional support of an online repository of relevant materials and the University Library to help with your independent study.

The course is continually assessed through a number of written assignments and presentations, as well as the 15,000-20,000 word dissertation at the end of the degree. An assignment of 4,000-5,000 words or equivalent is completed for each module, enabling you to develop your academic interests. There are no exams for this course.

Research Stories

Entry Requirements

  • 2:2 or above (or equivalent)
  • GPA 3 (US equivalent) or above
  • You should be a teacher or intending to work in the educational field.
  • Evidence of knowledge and understanding of educational systems.
  • Direct experience of working in education is not essential.
English Language Requirements

IELTS 6.5 or equivalent, with at least 6.0 in each component score. If your first language is not English, you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. If you do not yet meet our requirements, our English Language Teaching Unit (ELTU) offers a range of courses to help you to improve your English to the necessary standard.

International Qualifications

Find your country in this list to check equivalent qualifications, scholarships and additional requirements.

Countries list

Fees and Funding

Career Opportunities

The International Education MA will equip you with a wide knowledge of contemporary issues in education and in foundational research methods. Many of our graduates have secured initial teaching positions, gained promotion in their existing jobs, or moved on to more senior or challenging posts in the educational field.

Education CPD+ offers a range of professional development opportunities for practicing teachers.

Our PhD and EdD opportunities are very popular with those wishing to pursue a particular research interest at doctoral level.

We are committed to training and developing outstanding teachers. We are proud to be able to support the career progression of so many teachers through the courses we offer, many of whom started their journey with us as PGCE students.


Our Career Development Service is here to support you, with advice on interviews, CVs, work experience, volunteering and more. From Freshers’ Week to Graduation and beyond, they are here to help you reach your professional goals.

Course Qualification Duration Start Dates Availability
International Education MA 1 year full-time September each year Apply Now
International Education
1 year full-time
Start Dates
September each year

Not what you're looking for?