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. Prospective students are encouraged to contact Dr Andrew Davies for further information.

Overview

Why study Education (Wales) at Aberystwyth University?

  • The course is 3 years part-time. There is no full-time option.
  • The programme consists of 200 hours of study per 20 credit module, of which 22 will be contact hours. Learning will be a blend of online and face-to-face. Activities will be a combination of lectures, seminars, group activities and individual activities.
  • Students on this course will join students on the same course at 6 other HEIs.

Course Details

Course Duration

The MA Education (Wales) is a part-time Masters over three years.

Entry Requirements

Candidates must hold Qualified Teacher Status and be currently employed in the compulsory education sector in the UK. 

Course Fees

Welsh Government funding for this course is available to support teachers in years 3-6 of their careers. All teachers, regardless of length of experience, are welcome to apply for the MA as self-funded candidates.

Additional Costs

Access to your own digital device/the appropriate IT kit will be essential during your time studying at Aberystwyth University.

You may face additional costs while at university, including (but not limited to):

  • Travel to and from campus
  • Printing, photocopying, binding, stationery and equipment costs (e.g. USB sticks)
  • Purchase of books or texts
  • Gowns for graduation ceremonies.

Learning and Teaching

Modules typically include

  • Advance Research and Enquiry Skills
  • Additional Learning Needs
  • Excellence in Practice
  • Curriculum Design and Realisation
  • Evidence-Informed Practice.

 

National MA Education (Wales) - Recognition of prior learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) 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 complete learning that they are recognised as already achieving.  Potential applicants should, in the first instance, contact the Postgraduate Admissions Team for further advice.

Eligibility to Apply for RPL

Candidates must meet the academic entry criteria for the National MA Education (Wales).

Candidates applying for RPcL must hold a PGCE (normally achieved within the last 5 years).

Candidates applying for RPeL must evidence that they meet the Learning Outcomes set out below.

Candidates who have less than 60 credits for the Recognition of Prior Learning, will only be able to commence the programme from September 2022, and will pursue modules equal to the remaining credit balance in Year 1 of the programme.

Application Process for RPL

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.

Recognition of Prior Certificated Learning (RPcL or Credit Transfer)

Prospective students holding a Postgraduate Certificate in Higher Education (PGCE ITE) are permitted to apply for recognition of prior learning (RPL) and exemption of up to 60 credits in Year 1 of the National Programme.  Candidates will be required to submit their transcript to be considered for RPcL.  Candidates who obtained a PGCE prior to 2019 will also be required to submit their QTS Learning Outcomes with their official transcript, in order for prior learning to be mapped against the modules for the National MA. 

Candidates who do not have the full 60 credits of RPcL, may also apply for recognition of their professional learning and experience for the remaining credit balance.  See ‘Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning’, below.  If approved, students will therefore commence the programme in Year 2.

Candidates who have less than 60 credits of RPcL (and/or RPeL) will be required to undertake modules in Year 1 to a value which totals 60 credits when combined with an RPL.  Applicants who require this will only be able to commence the programme in September 2022.

Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPeL)

Applicants who wish to make an RPeL application are encouraged to contact the relevant University Admissions Office for further advice.

Applicants must complete a National MA Supplementary Form (need link) which includes a section mapping to the relevant Learning Outcomes (see below), requiring applicants to demonstrate how and when they have achieved these Learning Outcomes through their professional practice and development.  Applicants must also submit a supporting portfolio of evidence, detailing qualifications and/or credits achieved, CPD and/or experience (further guidance on what to include is included can be found in the example at the end of this document.

The local Academic Admissions Lead for the National MA Education (Wales) and/or other appropriate role within each partner institution will make an initial assessment to determine if the applicant has sufficient relevant qualifications and/or experience to submit an application for consideration of RPL.   They will provide advice and guidance to the applicant (within specified boundaries) on their application and portfolio of supporting evidence. The local Academic Admissions Lead or other role holder will ensure that applicants are fully aware of the requirements for consideration of RPL prior to application and that they understand that an application does not guarantee that exemption will be granted.

On submission of the application, the local Academic Admissions Lead for the National MA Education (Wales)  will determine if the evidence provided demonstrates that an applicant has met the learning outcomes of the relevant modules for which exemption is sought and make an RPL recommendation to relevant body of the Partner Institution (e.g. Matriculation Panel).   The application and portfolio of evidence will not be a formal assessment and will not be marked as a standard assessment but may be returned to the applicant for further development where the decision-making body feels it does not fully meet the standards required.

Where applicants do not evidence that they have achieved the Learning Outcomes, they may be required to undertake the module(s) in full and pay relevant tuition fees.

RPL will not apply to year 2 modules or the Dissertation, all of which must be completed.

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)

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. 


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.

 


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.

 Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPeL)

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

Applicants must complete a National MA Supplementary evidence (RPeL) which includes a section mapping to the relevant Learning Outcomes (see below), requiring applicants to demonstrate how and when they have achieved these Learning Outcomes through their professional practice and development.  Applicants must also submit a supporting portfolio of evidence, detailing qualifications and/or credits achieved, CPD and/or experience (see example below)

Example

A student chooses to RPL 40 credits at L7 PGCE and RPeL 20 credits based on the Modules Considered for RPL (Year 1) (aligned to the Learning Outcomes detailed on the PGCE transcript).

(1000-1500 words suggested)

Pedagogy and Practice 

Module Intended Learning Outcomes

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

 

Response and Evidence*

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.

 

 

*Response and Evidence

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

https://hwb.gov.wales/api/storage/19bc948b-8a3f-41e0-944a-7bf2cadf7d18/professional-standards-for-teaching-and-leadership-interactive-pdf-for-pc.pdf

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

  1. The purpose of the award
  2. Eligibility for Funding

In May 2020 a new National MA in Education (Wales) was approved for teaching from September 2021.  It will be delivered in partnership by seven Welsh Universities and is specific to the Welsh Education system.

The seven HEI partners committed to delivering 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

 


It has been agreed that Welsh Government will

  • support individuals in their early career stage (years 3-6 of practice as a teacher following completion of induction) to be able to access the Masters from 2021 (covering the course costs);
  • A maximum of 500 students across Wales will be able to access the Grant in 2021.
  • Students will be able to access the Top up loan where suitable post 2022.

The information below sets out the criteria that will be required for eligibility to access funding for the Programme. Academic eligibility will be defined by the Universities including any credit equivalence values.

All candidates must meet the academic entry requirements of the programme.

Up to 500 Candidates across Wales may be eligible for the full grant contributions, which will be identified by the University partnership based on the criteria outlined below.

 Candidates are eligible for funding if they:

  • Have been resident in Wales for 3 years prior to start of programme
  • Are educated to degree level or equivalent;
  • Holder of qualified teacher status (QTS)
  • Are registered with the Education Workforce Council (EWC) in the category of School Teacher.
  • NQT induction MUST have been completed prior to start of course. (EWC registration must be maintained for the duration of the programme)
  • Are employed by a maintained school in Wales as a teacher
  • Are 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.
  • Are in year 3 to year 6 of practice (following completion of induction) at the start of the MA course.
  • Have been offered a place on the National MA Education (Wales) by one of the 7 partnership HEIs which are: -

 

 

   Aberystwyth University

University of Wales Trinity St David

   Bangor University

University of South Wales

   Cardiff Metropolitan University

   Swansea University

Wrexham Glyndwr Universit

Where possible, have the support of their Headteacher (or other relevant senior colleague/manager)

Where someone has already achieved a subject specific Masters they are still eligible to apply for the funding towards this programme (funded MEd not applicable)

 

For clarity, Welsh Government confirm that for this Programme:

  • No other Masters in Education qualifications offered by the HEIs are eligible for this funding.
  • In accepting any funding offer, applicants are required to continue to work within the maintained education system in Wales for a minimum of 2 years after completing the programme.
  • Applicants in receipt of this funding must not make an application for further postgraduate finance support through the Student Loans Company.
  • Applicants must maintain registration with EWC in category of school teacher for duration of programme.
  • Applicants must be in years 3 to 6 of teaching practice. This practice must have been undertaken at a maintained school in the UK. 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

 

Specific conditions of funding:

All applicants for funding must acknowledge and agree to the following condition of funding: 

Process 

 

  • Applicants will complete the individual HEI partner’s standard application process of the institution to which they are applying. In addition, they must complete and submit this supplementary funding application form.
  • Applicants can apply for funding alongside their application for a place on the programme but applications for the funded places will only be considered once an offer of a place has been made
  • Applicants for funding will need to complete the supplementary application form, including a statement of support or reference, normally from their Headteacher or other relevant senior colleague/manager, or other relevant person. This should be on School headed paper and uploaded along with your application for funding. Your chosen University will provide further details on how the supplementary form can be obtained. Please note that we will be unable to consider applications without the supplementary application form.
  • Applications for funding will be reviewed in two rounds. To be considered in the first round, applications (for a place on the course and the completed supplementary funding application form) must be received by the 16 July 2021. To be considered for the second round, applications must be received by 17 September 2021
  • Decisions for funding will be made by the National MA Education (Wales) Funding Award Panel and candidates will be advised of the outcome of their funding application. Candidates who are unsuccessful in the application for funding may take up their place as self-funding learners if they wish to do so.
  • Applicants who meet the eligibility criteria for funding but for whom a funded place at their chosen institution is not available may be considered for funding at another institution within the partnership.
  • Successful candidates will have their tuition fees paid to the relevant University. They will not be paid the scholarship funding directly
  • A list of successful candidates will be provided in a report to the Welsh Government and National MA Education (Wales) National Management Board.

National MA Education (Wales) Funding Award Panel 

Funding will be awarded by the National MA Education (Wales) Funding Award Panel. 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.

Applications will be determined based on the established criteria prioritised by remaining funding eligibility years

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.

Process to access funding

The funding will be established will be provided by the Welsh Government and is administered by the participating Universities. Applicants will not apply to the Welsh Government or Student Loans Company for support.

 

 

 

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?

 

£6,500

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.