MA Education (Wales)

The national MA Education (Wales) is a truly transformative and sector leading programme for educational professionals in Wales, from early career teachers to senior leaders.

The educational landscape in Wales is changing rapidly. Teaching not only requires the mastery of a complex set of skills to guide, motivate, and facilitate student learning, but also the ability to enquire into professional practice in order to improve it. The MA Education (Wales), which has been collaboratively developed by seven universities in Wales, through direct engagement with a variety of key stakeholders including Welsh Government, will ensure that all education professionals in Wales have the same high-quality opportunity to enhance their professional knowledge, engage with research, and to improve their professional practice.

In addition to the general MA Education (Wales) (X3PG) there are additional pathways for the MA for students to study areas of specific interest to them and their professional development. These include:

Prospective students are encouraged to contact Dr Megan Hicks, Programme Director for the MA ( or Dr Andrew Davies, Head of Department ( for more information about the course and to sign up for one of our online open evenings (these will take place in March, April, June, July).

Admission deadlines for 2023-24 entry will be:

  • 12 May
  • 14 July
  • 31 August.

National MA Education (Wales) - Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) signifies the process of recognising learning achieved by an individual before entry to the MA. It enables Universities to make exemptions for modules or subject areas that applicants have already ‘completed’, either through formal education or through professional experience and development. Successful candidates will therefore not be required to repeat or complete learning that they are recognised as having already achieved. Potential applicants should, in the first instance, contact the Postgraduate Admissions Team for further advice.

The National MA Education (Wales) has been designed to recognise that many students will already have qualifications and/or professional experience that means they can demonstrate that they have achieved the modules comprising Year 1 of the programme, so that they do not need to repeat content. Recognition of Prior Learning will not apply to year 2 modules or the Dissertation, all of which must be completed by all students.

Applicants who hold recognised qualifications (e.g. PGCE) and/or significant professional experience may apply for these to be formally recognised to offset some or all of the 60 credits of modules which comprise year 1 of the programme. To be eligible for consideration, applicants must provide appropriate academic and/or professional evidence that they meet the Learning Outcomes for the modules, listed below and in the RPL form.

Key information for RPL:

If you have a PGCE worth 60 credits at FHEQ Level 7 achieved normally in the last 5 years, you do not need to map your professional learning to the Learning Outcomes on the form, and should submit your transcript (if you do not have this, you should be able to request a new one from your University).

If you have QTS without a PGCE, your PGCE was achieved more than 5 years ago, or your PGCE consists of fewer than 60 Level 7 credits, you will need to submit your transcript for any elements of credit that you wish to include, and you will need to map your professional and/or experiential learning to the Learning Outcomes below to the value of the credits missing (e.g. if your PGCE gives you 40 Level 7 credits, you will only need to demonstrate experiential learning worth 20 credits). You should map to the module(s) with the Learning Outcomes you feel best demonstrate your professional and/or experiential learning.

Where you can only provide evidence against some of the Learning Outcomes, you will enrol on any modules in Year One as necessary to complete the necessary Learning Outcomes to progress to Year Two of the programme.

Application Process for RPL

Complete the RPL form as part of your application and submit to the Postgraduate Admissions team.  Applicants will need to provide evidence to support their RPL application form.

It is the responsibility of the applicant to submit evidence in support of their claim for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL).

RPL applications will be assessed individually. Applicants must demonstrate that relevant learning experience has been gained as outlined below.

 There are two types of RPL: 

  1. Applicants hold credits or an approved qualification (e.g. PGCE) (Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPcL) or Credit Transfer).
  2. Applicants have significant, extensive and relevant professional experience and development that can be effectively evidenced. (Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPeL)).

Applicants may also use a combination of methods 1 and 2, above.

Processing RPL Applications

Due to the nature of the process, applications for RPL may take longer to complete than standard applications.

Fees and Charges

There will be no charge for RPeL applications to the National MA Education (Wales).

Modules Considered for RPL (Year 1)

1. Pedagogy and Practice 

Module Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  1. Critically demonstrate an understanding of the importance of supporting and enhancing the achievement of all learners in their care.
  2. Critically evaluate the effectiveness of a range of learning and teaching strategies by drawing on classroom-based evidence and research evidence
  3. Critically select and apply the most appropriate learning and teaching strategies in order to enhance the attainment of a group of learners.
  4. Engage with critical dialogues about pedagogy and practice and evidence and share their professional practice. 

2. Evidence-Informed Practice  

Module Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse and synthesise relevant empirical evidence, including education literature and policy documents.
  2. Critically analyse and synthesise local, national and school experience data in order to gain insights into children’s achievement, progress and motivation in the process of learning, in order to inform decision-making.
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of curriculum, pedagogy, assessment and inclusive practice appropriate to their specific Areas of Learning and Experience.
  4. Reflect critically upon the manner in which the learning environment and resources can be structured to support effective learning.
  5. Critically analyse and evaluate their own values and beliefs concerning teaching and learning in order to develop as a reflective practitioner.

3. Collaborative and Professional Practice

Module Intended Learning Outcomes

By the end of the module the student should be able to:

  1. Critically analyse and reflect on schools as learning organisations.
  2. Critically evaluate a learning culture that promotes continuous Improvement to support the curriculum.
  3. Apply theoretical models relating to collect and critically analyse data in relation to school improvement.
  4. Critically reflect on characteristics of collaborative and professional practice.
  5. Evaluate critically methods for raising standards and improving pedagogy that will enhance the quality of learning and teaching across an organisation.

Support with completing the RPL

Applicants who wish to make an RPL application are encouraged to contact the relevant programme Admissions Tutor for an informal discussion prior to submitting an application.

Types of evidence might include:

1.Current / previous roles

2. Responsibilities

3. Record of Professional Learning

4. Evidence from Performance Management

5. Evidence from Enquiry Projects

6. Links to the 5 Professional Standards for Teaching and School Leadership.

National MA Education (Wales) - funding eligibility, allocation, process and terms and conditions

In May 2020 a new Masters in Education qualification was approved for teaching from September 2021.  It is delivered in partnership by seven Welsh Universities and is specific to the Welsh Education system.

The seven HEI partners committed to the programme are:

Aberystwyth University

University of South Wales

Bangor University

University of Wales Trinity St David

Cardiff Metropolitan University

Wrexham Glyndwr University

Swansea University


The National Masters in Education Programmes are available to all practitioners however some students may be eligible for funding support.

To be eligible for funding you must:

  1. Be an early career stage practitioner i.e., an individual in years 3-6 of practice as a teacher at the start of the programme, or
  • ITE partner school staff
  • Teaching Assistants who meet the academic entry requirements for the programme
  • School Improvement Partners/regional consortia staff/Estyn staff/LA staff/Middle tier
  • ALNCO (including FE)
  • Applicants on the fringe of years 3-6 criteria but at the discretion of the university and in exceptional circumstances.
  1. All candidates must meet the academic entry requirements of the HEI. There are limited Welsh Government funded places available from September 2023.
  2. Work in a Welsh maintained school (or in the case of ALN Pathway this could include a Welsh FE institution).
  3. Educated to degree level or equivalent.
  4. Registered with the EWC (which must be maintained throughout the course of the programme).
  5. Employed on a minimum of 0.4 FTE contract; this can include supply teachers who are on long term contracts either with a Local Authority, school or an agency.
  6. Accepted/Enrolled on this specific MA in Education offered by the 7 partnership HEIs.
  7. Candidates should have, where possible, the support of their Head teacher (or equivalent such as Principal, MD, CEO or Head of Service).
  8. Where someone has already achieved a subject specific Masters, they may still be eligible to apply for the funding towards this programme
  9. No other Masters in Education qualifications offered by the HEIs are eligible for this funding.

Academic eligibility will be defined by the HEIs including any credit equivalence values. All candidates must meet the academic entry requirements of the HEI.

This is a part-time programme only.

Please note non-Welsh Government funded students are able to access the Masters Programme but will not be able to access the specific funding identified here.

Specific conditions of funding - all years

All prospective candidates for support must acknowledge and agree to the following conditions of funding:

  • In accepting this grant offer teachers are required to continue to work in Wales, either within the maintained education system or further education sector for a minimum of 2 years after completing the programme.
  • Candidates in receipt of this funding are unable to make an application for further post graduate finance support through the SLC, other than DSA support where applicable.

Process to access funding

The grant will be established between the Welsh Government and the participating HEIs.  Individuals will not apply to the Welsh Government or Student Loans Company for support.

Applying for funding

Complete the application process for the chosen MA programme. Your funding eligibility will be determined by a funding panel.

There is one set of funding criteria for all Nation MA Education programmes.

FAQs: funding and admissions

FAQs - MA Education

For further queries please contact the Programme Director.

Frequently Asked Questions


Am I eligible for funding?


Please see funding criteria

The funding eligibility criteria states that I must be in year 3 to 6 of practice at the start of the course, what does this mean?

This means you must be in years 3-6 of teaching following successful completion of your NQT induction when the course is due to start (not when you apply)


Do I need to be registered with the EWC?

Yes, to be eligible for funding you must be registered with the EWC in the category of school teacher. This must be maintained for the duration of the course.

Why is the funding only available for teachers in years 3-6 of practice?


The funding for this programme is offered by the Welsh Government as part of the Early Career Teacher Package


Following completion of my NQT induction, I spent a period of time working overseas / took a career break, does this count?


Time spent employed as a teacher outside of the UK or time taken as a career break will not be counted as years of practice

Am I required to have a teaching contract for a minimum period of time, e.g. an academic term / year? What happens if my contract ends part way through the programme?


Eligibility will be conferred at the beginning of the programme. At that point you will need to hold a contract of at least one term.

I am employed as a teacher in a number of schools and my contracts total more than 0.4FTE. Am I eligible for funding?


Yes, as long as your contracts total 0.4FTE or higher, you are eligible to apply for funding

I am a part time and/or supply teacher, can I apply for funding?


Yes, as long as your contracts total 0.4FTE or higher, you are eligible to apply for funding

Do I need to commit to working in Wales after I have completed the MA Education?


In accepting this funding teachers are required to continue to work in Wales, within the maintained education system for a minimum of 2 years after completing the programme.


Is there a residency requirement before the course starts?

In order to be eligible for funding you must be resident in Wales for 3 years prior to start of course and remain so for the duration of the programme.


I would like to self-fund; how much are the fees?



I have previously undertaken masters level study, am I eligible for funding for this programme?


If you have previously studied a subject specific masters programme, then you are still eligible to apply for funding (subject to meeting all other criteria). Please note that if you have previously undertaken a funded MEd then you will not be eligible to apply for funding for the National MA


My application for funding was unsuccessful, what are my options?

If your application for funding is not successful, you may still be able to take up a place on the course as a self-funded student.

My application for funding was unsuccessful, how can I appeal against the decision?


Applicants who are not satisfied with the decision of the National MA Education (Wales) Funding Award Panel should contact the Chair of the Panel in the first instance.


Who decides on funding allocation?


Upon receipt of your application, the Admissions team at your chosen institution will ensure that you meet the eligibility criteria. The National MA Education (Wales) Funding Award Panel will then assess all eligible applications to determine the outcome and award funding to those who are successful.  The Panel consists of representatives from each Partner University and reports to the National Management Board (which has membership from the Welsh Government), to ensure clear accountability and oversight.


How many funded places are available?


There are 500 funded places across the National MA Education (Wales) partnership


Am I eligible for a student loan?


If you are awarded Welsh Government funding for the National MA Education (Wales) then you must not also apply for postgraduate finance support through the Student Loans Company (SLC). Students who are not in receipt of Welsh Government funding may apply to the SLC.


Student Profile - Andrew Morel

I chose the Masters in Education (Wales) because I was looking for a new challenge and way to ensure research continued to inform my teaching and leadership in the school. As we move towards the new curriculum and Schools as Learning Organisation I identified my own professional development need to engage more broadly with educational thought. The idea of University staff and teachers across both primary and secondary sector across Wales collaborating together sounded exciting and I wanted to be part of it. I chose Aber University because it is where I did my PGCE so I knew the department and the quality of teaching I would receive. As one of the 7 partner universities in the Masters of Education (Wales) I also knew they would be at the forefront of educational thought in Wales, which is heading in an exciting direction. The most rewarding element of the course so far has certainly been the National Conference Days which see experts and lecturers from across Wales explaining their latest research and sharing their knowledge with us. The course is designed well so that assignments are due after school holidays and lots of the work is related to what I am doing day to day in school which all makes it easier to achieve.

Andrew Morel, MA Education (Wales) student

Andrew has been teaching at Ysgol Uwchradd Llanidloes High School since September 2017 after moving from teaching in Cardiff. He teaches History and Government & Politics from KS3 to A-Level, and has been a pastoral leader at the school for a number of years as Head of Year.  

Student Profile - Meg McFarlane, MA Education (Wales)

With so much happening in education in Wales at the moment and having been teaching for 15 years I felt that it was a perfect time for a challenge and start the MA. The course has really helped me to pause from my day-to-day teaching and reflect critically on what I’m doing in the classroom, identifying what is really important - ultimately I am confident that this will actually reduce my workload! The course is directly related to my practice and has been really useful in helping to plan for the New Curriculum. Having the chance to discuss different ideas and perspectives with colleagues from across the country during the ‘National Saturdays’ and hear from international experts has been refreshing and exciting.

Meg McFarlane, MA Education (Wales)

Meg is from Milford Haven and is currently Leader of Learning for Modern Languages in Haverfordwest High. Meg moved back to Pembrokeshire 10 years ago, following a period of teaching Drama in Manchester.