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Taught postgraduate

We offer two taught postgraduate programmes, a Masters in Childhood and Youth and a Masters in Education, both designed to improve your professional practice and take your career to the next level.


This MA  qualification will deepen your understanding of childhood and youth development, covering important aspects of theory, policy and practice. It will equip you with the critical tools to analyse policy, reflect on your own practice and help you develop professionally to meet the diverse and changing needs of children and young people.

Where will your MA in Childhood and Youth take you?

If you’re a graduate already working with children and young people this course can help you advance academically and professionally. The course will strengthen your ability to identify, record, assess and present information – skills highly valued by employers and valuable to students wishing to further their academic career to doctorate level. It can also help you cross over within the sector to new roles in professions such as early years provision, education, social work, nursing, healthcare, youth work, youth justice and the voluntary sector, including charities and NGOs. If you are not currently working with children and young people but would like to, and have a related degree, the MA can help you to move into the sector.

This qualification has three different exit points. Students completing Stage 1 gain a Postgraduate Certificate, those completing Stages 1 and 2 gain a Postgraduate Diploma, and those completing all three stages can gain an MA in Childhood & Youth.  

If you already have 60 postgraduate Level 7 credits from previous study in a related topic or discipline, you can apply for Credit Transfer to join the programme at Stage 2, reducing the time it will take you to complete the full degree. 

Learning that deepens knowledge and understanding

Within each module, and at every stage of the course, you will lead your own learning, exploring issues, making links and critically examining connections to your own contexts and practices. 

OU activities and tools include: 

  • Multimedia online learning materials including text, video and audio that can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 
  • Interactive, written and practical activities that secure your understanding and develop your thinking. 
  • One-to-one contact with a personal tutor. 
  • Community links between you and your peers, creating collaborative and diverse learning communities. 
  • Access to a wide range of case studies that link theory to practice, with subjects including: education, the family, the law, children’s rights, politicised childhoods, participation and voice, consumerist childhoods, ethnicity, religion, child criminology, child sexuality, and multi-cultural childhoods.  

Among the many skills you will learn will be the ability to plan, conduct, analyse and report on a small-scale investigation or literature review and research proposal, relative to a practitioner or professional setting to develop and enhance understanding of practice within that setting.   This capability will give you unlimited potential to progress both professionally and academically Alternatively, take a look at the course details for our MA in Education, if you want to improve your practice as an educational professional. 

Ready to study an MA in Childhood and Youth? Take a look at the complete course details


Studying an MA in Education enables you to engage with issues, concepts and debates that will enrich your knowledge and improve your professional practice. It will help you to develop habits of enquiry and questioning, enhancing your ability to engage with, and critically contribute to, how the profession enacts policies and standards.

The OU’s Masters in Education programme, with its three specialist pathways, is designed specifically for those wanting a flexible qualification  will work with  a range of professional interests and personal contexts. This personalisation creates strong learning communities and an innovative and exciting environment for transformative professional learning at masters level. 

This qualification has three different exit points. Students completing Stage 1 gain a Postgraduate Certificate, those completing Stages 1 and 2 gain a Postgraduate Diploma, and those completing all three stages can gain an MA in Education (MA Ed) or Master of Education (MEd).  

If you already have 60 postgraduate Level 7 credits from previous study in a related topic or discipline, you can apply for Credit Transfer to join the programme at Stage 2, reducing the time it will take you to complete the full degree. 

There is further optionality within our Masters in Education as there are four specialist routes: 

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Leadership and Management
  • Inclusive Practice
  • Applied Linguistics

So, you can choose areas of study that are relevant to your own professional interests and practice.

Where will your MA in Education take you?

There’s an increasing demand for creative, innovative education professionals who have highly developed skills and a deep understanding of learning. In many countries a masters degree is becoming essential for career advancement in education, training and professional development settings. This flexible MA enables you to acquire qualities and transferable skills that are highly prized by employers. It will strengthen your ability to identify, record, assess and present information – skills highly valued by employers and valuable to students wishing to further their academic careers to doctorate level. 

Learning that deepens knowledge and understanding

Within each module, and at every stage of the course, you will lead your own learning, exploring issues, making links and critically examining connections to your own contexts and practices. 

OU activities and tools include: 

  • Multimedia online learning materials including text, video and audio that can be accessed 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • Interactive, written and practical activities that secure your understanding and develop your thinking
  • One-to-one contact with a personal tutor
  • Community links between you and your peers, creating collaborative and diverse learning communities

 Among the many skills you will learn will be the ability to plan, conduct, analyse and report on a small-scale investigation or a literature review and research proposal relative to a practitioner or professional setting to develop and enhance your understanding of practice within that setting.   This capability will give you unlimited potential to progress both professionally and academically. Alternatively, take a look at the course details for our MA in Childhood & Youth, which may be more relevant if you are in a role such as early years provision, social work, youth work, nursing, healthcare, youth justice or the voluntary sector. 

Ready to study an MA in Education? Take a look at the complete course details.