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Through critical thinking, students on this master’s degree will explore the relationship between learning environments and wider societal and cultural influences. The programme takes a broad approach to education including informal and formal education settings: including schools, early years and children and young people’s settings. 

  • This interdisciplinary course provides students with opportunities to critically engage with current education debates
  • Enhances students’ understanding of social science and education theory and make critical links to practice
  • The programme provides excellent preparation for doctoral level study as you gain the opportunity to follow your research interests and design and conduct an education research project
  • Provides excellent tutorial and supervisory support from expert scholars in the field

Why study Education, Culture and Society?

You will have the opportunity to study in a stimulating research-informed environment, taught by lecturers who are experts in their field.

The course is broad in its theoretical scope. Drawing on cross-cultural and global perspectives, you will have the opportunity, in theory and in practice, to critically reflect on your own working practices, framed within broader social, cultural and political circumstances.

Modules include exploring social justice and education issues including:

  • Children’s rights and citizenship;
  • Language literacies and culture;
  • Education and inequality;
  • Inclusion/Inclusive Education and SEN/D
  • Social class, culture and ideology.

The Education, Culture and Society degree has been specially designed for professionals working in education-related fields, for example: teachers; youth workers; those working in the public sector with families and children; and non-government organisations in both UK and abroad.

The programme is equally suitable for those who wish to dedicate time to either changing the focus of their career, or who are considering a career in academia.

With both full and part-time modes of study, the programme is suitable to those who wish to complete the course in one year and those who wish to combine studying with work over two years.

Why St Mary's?

  • Access to tutorial and supervisory support from expert scholars with extensive experience in teaching, research and consultancy.
  • Guest lectures, seminars and workshops sharing expertise from industry and academia sharing cutting edge research and practice.
  • Access to excellent learning resources, including a numerous study spaces, open access IT facilities and a café.
  • Networking and careers support with professional and personal development from dedicated careers service.

Upcoming open days and webinars

We'll be running events for you to find out more about Education, Culture and Society MA, PGDip, PGCert on the following dates:

  • Thursday 13th April 2023, 12pm

  • Monday 15th May 2023, 12pm

Course lead

Dr Fiona Cullen headshotDr Fiona Cullen
Senior Lecturer - Education Studies

Entry requirements

2:2 Previous degree

You are expected to have at least a second class honours degree from a recognised UK or overseas university.  

Additional requirement information

The degree should have an education or social science (sociology, education studies, psychology) component to ensure some working knowledge of the field.

If you do not have an honours degree you will need to have appropriate professional work experience, combined with evidence of capacity to study at master’s level.

You will be asked to attend an informal interview prior to acceptance.

International requirements

International students should check our country-specific pages for equivalents. If English is not your first language you will need to achieve an IELTS score of 6.5 overall with no less than 6.0 in any section (or equivalent).

We now accept IELTS Indicator test results as proof of your English language level.

Further information

For more information about entry requirements please email

Course content

Please note: elective modules offered are subject to change based on student interest and staff availability.


  •  Core
  •  Core
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional
  •  Optional

Please note: it is possible that a module listed on the website will not be able to run due to reasons beyond our control. For more information please refer to our course information disclaimer.

Career opportunities

This course will be of interest to those currently teaching in a school or college (ranging from Early Years through to Further Education), but will be interesting to those currently working with, or intending to work with, children and young people in non-formal educational settings such as Children's Services, Youth Work and NGOs.

It will appeal to a broad range of professionals seeking to develop new skills and insights in order to develop their professional practice, and is an excellent qualification for enhancing your career potential.

It also provides excellent preparation for doctoral level study.

The Careers Service has more information on graduate careers and part-time work available during your course.

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How the degree is taught

Teaching and assessment

You'll be taught on our beautiful and historic campus located in Twickenham, London.

The teaching on this taught master's is carried out via lectures and seminars supplemented by individual tutorials and additional study days (for example, during half-term, and/or on one Saturday per semester).

These teaching methods provide opportunities for informal student presentations, critical reflection, discussion and formative feedback. 

Assessment is by coursework and individual oral presentations.

Modes of study

The course is suitable for both full-time students, and those currently in work and wishing to study part-time. Typical programme timetables for full-time and part-time students are available.

Teaching across modules takes a range of forms including  blended, in person and online where appropriate.

Course qualifications

Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits)

Students will successfully complete two taught modules.

Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits)

Students will successfully complete three optional modules and the core module 'Research Methods and Educational Enquiry.' 

Master's Degree (180 credits)

Students who successfully complete three optional modules, the core module 'Research Methods and Educational Enquiry' and the dissertation.


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Fees and funding

Tuition fees

September 2023

  • Home: £9,300
  • International: £16,350

The tuition fees listed are for the duration of the course. Students will be charged for the modules undertaken per academic year. Module prices are calculated as a percentage of credits against the total credits and cost of the degree. Please see clause 5.15.2 of the Tuition Fee Regulations for further information.

Tuition fees are subject to an inflationary increase each year, meaning if your course runs over more than one academic year you may pay an increased fee per module for each subsequent year of study. Tuition fee increases for returning students will be capped at the higher of 5% per annum or the rate of Consumer Price Index inflation in the United Kingdom.

Alumni discount

A 20% tuition fee discount is available for our alumni (undergraduate and PGCE) planning to study this Master's degree. Those studying for a PGDip of PGCert are not eligible for the discount.


Government-funded loans of over £11,000 are available to many home postgraduate students. Home and international students may also be eligible for external sources of funding.  International students should check their eligibility for our International Scholarship.

For more information, please look at our postgraduate funding page.

Additional costs

Your tuition fees will cover the cost of all mandatory elements of your programme. Additional costs could be incurred depending on optional modules chosen and other projects undertaken.

For further information about additional costs please see our additional costs webpage

Further information

Previous dissertations

  • Can education be the basis for conflict resolution in Greek and Turkish relations?
  • Disciplinary normalisation: a case study into Ofsted's role in turning around a failing School
  • Understanding the barriers and facilitators of learning inside and outside the classroom.