Manchester Metropolitan University


Teaching and Learning

2017 entry

Features and benefits of the course

  • The opportunity to discuss and debate practice with colleagues working in similar professional situations.
  • A philosophically principled approach which values experience as a source of learning and enquiry.
  • A structure which is easily tailored to individuals’ professional priorities and personal interests.
  • Flexibility, encouragement and support to use the focus and structures of the award to develop expertise in self-selected areas.
  • As part of the Manchester Met Faculty of Education postgraduate Professional Development Programme, MA Teaching and Learning students enjoy the benefits and features associated with belonging to a wider community of learners. 

About the course

Central to your experience of the MA Teaching and Learning will be the collaborative and collegiate working practices, facilitated by a supporting academic tutor, as part of a small group of students working within similar professional settings. In part, the content of the course will be emergent and fluid, depending largely on the issues, concerns and practice areas that students bring to the group in the form of critical instances that have occurred within their professional contexts. Exploration of these events or experiences will form the basis of analytical enquiry into the nature of teaching and learning and the efficacy of particular approaches.

Integral to this process of critical reflection is the synthesis of theory and practice. As part of the reflective process, students will be encouraged to draw on various conceptual and theoretical frameworks to both problematise and evaluate current practices, as well as to motivate and inspire practical innovation.  

Structure and commitment

Following enrolment, students attend an induction event. Induction includes a welcome and introduction, library and resources briefing, and academic student support session. Further details will be available on the Welcome Website following enrolment. Please note that as well as the beginning of the academic year, it is also possible to start this MA in January (or June by request).

A full Masters is 180 credits at level 7, and at MMU this is divided in to 4 x 30 credit taught units, plus a (60 credit) dissertation. 

Each 30 credit taught unit lasts four months (units start in October, February and June) and begins with a unit conference event from 6pm Friday evening to Sunday lunchtime. Unit conferences are non-residential (and we appreciate most students like to get back to their own beds/families if possible) but good value accommodation options are available close to the Brooks Building for those students coming from distance (information on these will be provided). 

Keynote speakers will normally be timetabled for Friday evenings and will introduce issues of broad relevance and at the forefront of thinking about education and education practices. On Saturday and Sunday (morning) students will largely be working in small, award-specific groups with specialist tutors. You should leave with ideas for the assignment you will be working on!

The unit conference is followed by (a minimum of) two further (evening) group seminars/tutorials, supported by a dedicated VLE resource, and individual tutorial contact with an award tutor to support assignment work. For students at distance participation in group seminars may be possible via Skype or similar. 

Every unit offers opportunities for formative assessment – feedback on a draft or plan, before final submission. 

The dissertation is supported by individual and group supervision, a dedicated electronic resource, and group events.  

All students are also invited to our ‘MMU Postgraduate Sessions’ – monthly evening sessions where staff and doctoral students present their ongoing research (sessions are also podcasted where possible).  

Unit conference dates for 2017/18 are: (please note these, it’s important that students can attend):

  • 6-8 October 2017 - Mapping the Territory and Research and Practice
  • 9-11 February 2018 - Specialist (Supported) Project and Research and Practice
  • 8-10 June 2018 - Shaping the Future

Accreditation of Prior Learning

Students with recent (within five years) PGCE normally enter the MA Teaching and Learning with advanced standing, that is, with 60 credits. This means you will complete two taught units (including Research and Practice) before progressing to Dissertation.

Other relevant and certificated level 7 (recent) qualifications may also allow advanced standing via accreditation of prior learning procedures and you should indicate on your application form if this might apply to you. 

Please note that if you intend to apply for a Postgraduate Loan, current information from the Student Loans Company indicates that the use of prior certificated learning as part of your MA is likely to make you ineligible for a loan [link to MMU postgraduate loans information]

In addition, it is possible with the agreement of your Award Tutor to incorporate recognition of prior experiential learning, that is, via relevant work experience that you may have. Further advice and guidance on this will be given by your Award Tutor after enrolment.  

Typical units of study may include

Year 1

Mapping the Territory: critical concepts and issues

This unit enables a critical exploration of practice through reflection on, and interrogation of, students’ experiences. As a result, key concepts and issues for discussion and exploration will be identified. The critical analysis of these will be informed by various theoretical and conceptual frameworks resulting in a deeper understanding of the professional landscape and the possibilities for learning and development therein. Typical content might include, but is not limited to, concepts of pupil achievement, learning theory, teacher and pupil identity and curriculum design.

The unit runs from October 2017 to February 2018, starting with the unit conference on 6-8 October 2017.    

Specialist Supported Project: Teaching and Learning

This unit supports students to undertake a project that has particular relevance to their professional practice.  Students identify and explore significant themes, issues or challenges, select a relevant focus for their project, and appropriate approach/tools/methods. Projects will be practice based, and in all cases enable students to develop and demonstrate specialist knowledge through the use of evidence, analysis, reflection and evaluation, as appropriate to their project. The unit provides an introduction to the nature of knowledge, knowledge generation for practice and enquiry/investigation approaches.

The unit runs from February to June 2018, starting with the unit conference on 9 - 11 February 2018.

Shaping the Future

The unit begins with a detailed analysis of the kinds of changes students are committed to. Students are expected to address challenges, tensions or contradictions, and professional dilemmas within their own practice, to think forward and develop possible ways of re-framing, re-imagining, or innovating for future practice. The unit seeks to develop students’ professional agency, identifying areas of their practice were change is needed and likely to effective. This provides opportunities to work at the leading edge of practice, to rethink services or approaches/interventions, to plan forward and/or to consider specific changes and new innovations.

The unit runs from June - October 2018 starting with the unit conference 8 - 10 June  2018.

Research and Practice

The unit aims to develop a greater understanding of the relevance of research to professional practice. Students examine different approaches to conducting research, particularly those suited to practitioner research focussed on the development of teaching and learning practices. The limitations and possibilities for generating knowledge that various methodological positions offer are also explored. In addition, the unit examines the ethical tensions and dilemmas inherent in the practitioner research process. As part of the unit assessment, students produce a research proposal (that can be taken forward to final dissertation) to demonstrate understanding and capacity to carry out a coherent and credible small research project.

The unit runs from February - June 2018 (for students with previous credits), and from October 2018 - February 2019 for students starting their MA from the very beginning in October 2017.

Dissertation: Teaching and Learning

This unit is designed to support and facilitate students in planning, conducting and evaluating a significant, practical and coherent (practitioner) research project. Participants finalise a research proposal for approval and for ethical clearance, and will then undertake the research project. Whilst undertaking the project students are offered tutorial support, this constitutes a blend of group tutorials as well as individual supervision. The entire process is supported by a suite of online resources as well as on-site activities that are aimed at enriching the students’ experience and improving the quality of the final dissertation.

The focus of the dissertation is self-selected. Students may choose to research any area of interest as long as it relates to teaching and learning. Whilst many MA in Teaching and Learning students choose to conduct Action Research or Narrative Enquiry projects, this is not a requirement of the course. The terms and content of the dissertation are negotiable, with supervisors working closely alongside students to ensure that areas of personal professional interest can be pursued in ways that satisfy the unit’s assessment criteria.

The unit runs from June 2018 - June 2019 (for students with previous credits) and from February 2019 for students starting their MA from the very beginning in October 2017.

Programme Review

Each programme of study that we offer undergoes an annual review to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. In addition, we undertake a major review of the programme, normally at 6-yearly intervals, but this can take place at a more frequent interval where required. Applicants should note that the programme currently provided may be subject to change as a result of the review process. We only make changes where we consider it necessary to do so or where we feel that certain changes are in the best interests of students and to enhance the quality of provision. Occasionally, we have to make changes for reasons outside our control. Where there are changes which may materially affect the current programme content and/or structure, offer holders will be informed.

Assessment details

Assessment is by coursework for each unit and a full assignment brief is available for each unit. Assessment tasks always allow you to pursue your own thinking and interests within the parameters of the unit and award. Formative feedback is available and built in for every unit. 

For taught units (30 credits) the assessment is 5000 words equivalent. The final (60 credit) dissertation is 12-14,000 words.

Teaching Staff

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject. Details of departmental staff can be found at:

Typical entry requirements

Standard Manchester Met entry requirements for taught postgraduate programmes apply.

You also need to have experience relevant to the award area (or taking up employment or similar related to the award area).

For Further Information

Tutor Contact: Dr Michaela J. Harrison

There’s further information for international students on our international website if you’re applying with non-UK qualifications.

How do I apply for this course?

The quickest and most efficient way to apply for this course is to apply online. This way, you can also track your application at each stage of the process.

Apply online now

Download our course application form. There are instructions on what to do next and who to send the form to in the Word document.

Career options after the course

The MA Teaching and Learning in the Faculty of Education at Manchester Met:

  • Demonstrates to employers a level of intellectual rigour, and the capacity for sustained and systematic engagement.
  • The course also brings students’ continued professional development into sharp focus - it offers channels to support your current priorities, targets and aspirations
  • Further, it encourages students to apply their new thinking in practice in systematic ways. As such, it creates opportunities for its participants to form creative and innovative modes of practice - and also the impetus for them to actually carry these forward. In this way, our students are able to build their reputations as systematic, evidence-driven innovators.
  • The MA Education is also a good option for practitioners to develop more critical and theoretical insights about practice.  If you are considering continuing with your studies on completion of your Masters by pursuing a research degree (MPhil, EdD or PhD) then you will find the MA Education a good foundation.

Confirmation of Regulator

The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University.

Important Notice

This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate and up to date. Please note that our programmes are subject to review and development on an ongoing basis. Changes may sometimes be necessary. For example, to comply with the requirements of professional or accrediting bodies or as a result of student feedback or external examiners’ reports. We also need to ensure that our courses are dynamic and current and that the content and structure maintain academic standards and enhance the quality of the student experience.

Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us.

The provision of education by the University is subject to terms and conditions of enrollment and contract. The current Terms and Conditions Applicable to the provision of the University’s Educational Services are available online. When a student enrolls with us, their study and registration at the University will be governed by various regulations, policies and procedures. It is important that applicants/students familiarize themselves with our Terms and Conditions and the Key Contract Documents referred to within. Applicants will be provided with access to an up to date version at offer stage. This can be found within the Information for Offer Holders document.