Postgraduate Tips IV
Should I do an MA or an MEd?
Should I do an MA or an MEd?
The simple answer is ‘it doesn’t matter’ which you do so long as you do one of them (or an MSc or MBA).
The main difference between the two qualifications relates to the tutors and the university department you are enrolled in. So for example, if I were living close to a top university which only offered an MA and not an MEd, it wouldn’t stop me doing the MA if I were a teacher/educationalist.
For one thing, I’d know the quality of the programme would be high, the second thing I’d know is that if I did the MA I can still tailor the programme towards my professional interests. E.g. I’d choose modules which I could bend towards educational analysis/research and certainly my thesis could be in education. Examples would be MA in History, MA in sociology, MA in psychology, MA in childhood studies, MA in business and management.
If you do a British-style MA then you are looking at two years part-time or one-year full time. I would always recommend taking the part-time route thereby ensuring you stay in full time employment while you study. Not only does this help financially, it keeps you up to date with the professional changes occurring and means you can use your workplace (school) as site for research. It also allows you longer time to absorb the high-level knowledge you’ll be expected to become familiar with.
That said, most educationalists are going to choose an MEd and this is entirely understandable because it is a perfect fit with a career in education.
But even choosing an MEd still leaves many options open to you.
Which modules will you choose?
Which subject matter will you aim to specialise in?
And what will you research for your thesis?
These are all important questions because the direction of study on a Masters is chosen by the student, not the university department and certainly not the tutors.
Two students can do the same MA at the same university but come away with very different learning experiences based not on the quality of their respective studying but based on what they chose to study and research.
Therefore, you need to be clear why you are doing this level of study, what you hope to achieve during the journey, and where you hope to be in, say, five years after completing it.
I am certainly an advocate for doing postgraduate study for its own intellectual sake rather than solely for career/material advancement, but the reality is if you are doing an MA or similar then it must result in some advancement in your career. It will cost you time and money and therefore you should reasonably expect something in return
Since 2017, Dr Stephen Whitehead has answered over 10,500 Quora questions, mostly on education, relationships, sociology, life and living, and philosophy. To date, his answers have received over 3.5 million views increasing at the rate of 75,000 a month. He has over 1000 followers. For more info, head here.
PGCEi: WHAT’S IN A NAME?
The Warwick name opens doors.
Warwick’s PGCEi has been designed to be robust and rigorous - and, with a fully assessed teaching component plus 90 Masters credits, it has quickly gained respect amongst international schools.
Warwick offer more contact, more support, more advice and more credibility. A teaching placement and link tutor visit are compulsory elements of the course.
More than just a certificate, Warwick's PGCEi is a passport to employment at high-quality schools worldwide.