Department of Education

Education MA: WP strand

Nationally, there is strong focus on improving access to university for under-represented groups. In response, the Department of Education at the University of Sussex offers a ‘strand’ for the part-time Education MA course specifically to support the professional development needs of widening participation practitioners.

The Education MA is an innovative, highly flexible part or full-time degree course designed to run alongside - and complement - your professional role, enabling you to work and study at the same time.

Teaching focuses on one-to-one supervision with a tutor who has specialist expertise in Widening Participation (WP) practice. It also supports the development of research skills through a programme of seminars that also provide opportunities for the discussion and sharing of work.

Students enrolled on the WP Strand will also have opportunities to meet and discuss their research interests as a group.

Course structure

The duration of study for this course is normally a year for full-time, or two part-time. Modules of study include:

  • Critical Reflection on an aspect of WP practice (NB we can accredit prior professional learning - in the form of recent continuous professional development activity - for this module if applicable)
  • Research Methods (30 credits) - development and piloting of a research instrument in a WP context in the form of an oral presentation, supported by a poster
  • Dissertation (60 credits) - a more extended piece of research conducted in a WP setting.

Full details can be found in the Prospectus.

Previous student testimonial

The first cohort of Education MA WP students co-authored an article with their tutor, Dr Louise Gazeley, in which they reflected on how having the opportunity to conduct their research shaped their practices. 

Fay LoftyFay Lofty: 2014-16
“Working as a Widening Participation Officer, I was looking for a Masters level course to deepen my knowledge of the education sector and challenge myself academically. The MA in Education (WP Strand) fitted the bill to perfection. The course was well structured and the support from my supervisor was a constant source of guidance and inspiration. The facilities at Sussex are wonderful and, as a mature learner, I found a wealth of useful tools and resources offered by the library. The course has been extremely useful to me in my work as a practitioner - it has opened many doors leading to further research possibilities and given me a much greater understanding of the sector which I am able to use to benefit my team and the children and families we work with.”

Fay now works as Schools Liaison Programme Manager for the Sussex Learning Network

Admission requirements

  1. At least one year’s experience of working in a role with a WP focus
  2. At least a second-class undergraduate honours degree, or equivalent qualification
  3. A certificate of proficiency in English Language if English is not your first langauge (an overall IELTS score of 7.0 with at least 6.5 in each component, or Internet TOEFL with a score of at least 95 overall with at least 22 in Listening, 23 in Reading and 24 in Writing).

Students who can provide evidence of sustained critical reflection and/or CPD activity related to teaching and learning prior to registering for this course may be able to gain advanced standing.

If you feel you are a strong candidate but do not quite meet all the above criteria, you can contact Sussex Recruitment Services to discuss your particular

Contact us

If you would like to know more about this course - and how it might fit within your current work requirements - please contact the Strand Leader:
Dr Louise Gazeley, WP Strand Leader