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Postgraduate Admissions

25 courses offered in the Faculty of Education

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The PhD is a research degree, the main purpose of which is to prepare a substantial piece of original research.

Our postgraduate students, from all over the world, make an important contribution to their respective fields and to the vitality of the Faculty's research culture. The Faculty has long-established relationships with both national and international agencies and institutions.

One of the great strengths of studying at Cambridge is the level of individual support you will receive from an expert in your field. The Faculty assigns all doctoral students a supervisor to guide them through their course. All doctoral students also participate in a guided programme that introduces them to the key questions and concerns of contemporary, world-leading educational research. Students are encouraged to play an active role in research seminars and engage in opportunities for acquiring transferable skills.

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The EdD is an innovative programme that harnesses the experience of excellent doctoral research at Cambridge to generate, develop and disseminate professional knowledge and support innovation that will have social, educational and practical impact. Participants in the EdD programme will design and implement substantial research projects.

One of the great strengths of studying at Cambridge is the level of individual support you will receive from an expert in your field. The Faculty assigns all doctoral students a supervisor to guide them through their studies. All doctoral students also undertake a programme of planned research training over the course of their EdD and have the opportunity throughout their studies to attend further research and transferable skills training.

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This thematic route provides an interdisciplinary exploration of contemporary arts education and cultural debates in the UK and abroad. The course facilitates innovative thinking and practice through crossing conceptual boundaries between the arts and education, as well as supporting the use of the arts as a method of inquiry. It includes contributions from specialists in a range of disciplines, including performing arts, drama, theatre, visual art, design and technology. This course recognises that artistic practices can serve as an essential research tool in our respective fields and therefore makes available studio and performance facilities.

The course is assessed through two essays and a dissertation, each oriented around students’ interests: 

  • a critical discussion of a key issue in arts, creativity, and education; 
  • an analysis of a peer-reviewed research paper; and
  • a dissertation based upon research carried out by the student

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This specialist master's route is aimed at applicants who already have knowledge of and interest in children's literature, and who want to develop expertise in the subject at master's level. In this route, students will meet old favourites in fiction, film, poetry and picturebooks and make exciting new acquaintances. They will be introduced to topical debates on the nature and social function of this controversial and multifaceted body of literature. They will also be provided with the tools for a critical assessment of texts written and marketed for a young audience.

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This PGCE-MEd course is aimed at applicants who already have knowledge of and interest in children's literature, and who want to develop expertise in the subject at master's level. In this route, students will meet old favourites in fiction, film, poetry and picturebooks and make exciting new acquaintances. They will be introduced to topical debates on the nature and social function of this controversial and multifaceted body of literature. They will also be provided with the tools for a critical assessment of texts written and marketed for a young audience.

This thematic course concentrates on a wide range of writing for children, including the "classics", texts for very young readers, international literature and literature for young adults. Close textual study and the history of children's literature are embedded within the course, on which students will also be expected to engage with some of the key debates in the field and to consider a range of theoretical perspectives – from Romanticism to reader-response theory; gender issues to posthumanism; historical studies to new historicism; sociocultural viewpoints to semiotics – as well as examining critically views of young readers and their reading choices.

The PGCE-MEd route will include two modules from the following possible list: Texts, Contexts and Childhood; Perspectives on Children's Literature; Visual Texts; and Texts and Readers. It is assessed through a dissertation on a topic of the student's own choosing, which may be either a purely literary study or a small empirical research project. 

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The MPhil in Education, Globalisation and International Development (EGID) focuses on a range of contemporary issues of globalisation and international development in the field of education, in order to interrogate the latest theoretically grounded, and empirical research with our students. Our programme explores the relationship between education and wider socio-economic processes, with a particular focus on countries in the Global South. The programme offers an opportunity to engage with these issues from different theoretical lenses and diverse empirical approaches. It will assist students in developing critical understanding of the challenges and priorities faced in the field of international education and development, these include, examining complex inequalities arising from the intersections between poverty, disability, gender, race and class; migration-both within and across nations; forced displacement; the impact of unprecedented and unexpected school closures; and re-scripting the role of families and communities in education. Through readings and discussions students will become more sensitive to ways in which unequal power relations between different countries shape international commitments, programme development and funding mechanisms in the field of education and international development

Students joining this course will:

  • Engage with cutting edge research being conducted by members of the teaching team who are involved closely in influencing international and national policy discourses and implementation
  • Benefit from a wide range of research centres at the faculty, including  REAL and PEDAL and research networks, such as CaNDER and CLAREC
  • Be involved in small group discussions with a select group of 25-30 students per year, who come from varied disciplinary and professional backgrounds
  • Benefit from inclusive, participatory and research-oriented pedagogy
  • Opportunities to deepen your scholarship with the support and personalised mentoring from one-to-one supervisions
  • Engage with invited scholars, particularly from the Global South, who lead public talks as part of our seminar series titled: “Politics of knowledge building in education and international development”
  • Benefit from the vast array of opportunities available in the Collegiate university
  • Connect with Alumni working across diverse fields and geographical spaces
  • Develop research skills which will enable you to continue to a PhD, if desired
  • Develop  transferable skills for employability across a range of organisations

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This route provides a broad-based view of educational leadership and improvement, both through the explicit and focused study of specific concepts and issues, and through their application in the conduct of individual, often change oriented, research projects. The teaching team draw on their research and experience to illustrate ideas, and occasionally welcome visiting academics from around the world to enrich the route still further. Participants come from the UK and overseas and  the course combines UK and international perspectives. Students are encouraged to share their diverse experiences and perceptions and to learn from each other as well as from the course content while also relating knowledge, principles and insights to their own contexts.

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This route provides a broad-based view of educational leadership and improvement, both through the explicit and focused study of specific concepts and issues, and through their application in the conduct of individual, often change oriented, research projects. The teaching team draw on their research and experience to illustrate ideas, and occasionally welcome visiting academics from around the world to enrich the route still further. Participants come from the UK and overseas and  the course combines UK and international perspectives. Students are encouraged to share their diverse experiences and perceptions and to learn from each other as well as from the course content while also relating knowledge, principles and insights to their own contexts.

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How are education systems around the world governed, with what kind of knowledge's in what kinds of place? This pathway explores these profoundly important questions and the nature of the consequences of social justice.

Students joining this course will:

  • benefit from teaching by internationally renowned Faculty staff who are actively involved in cutting-edge research and policy advice in the area of knowledge production in the contemporary global world of education, its political nature, diverse settings and issues of social justice;
  • closely engage with the work of the Faculty’s Education, Knowledge, Power, Politics research cluster;
  • join a select group of no more than 25 to 30 students per year;
  • experience a teaching approach that promotes active, participatory, inclusive and research-oriented pedagogy;
  • enjoy personalised support and mentoring through one-to-one supervision;
  • connect with a friendly and vibrant community from across the world;
  • benefit from access to research groups and networks across the University of Cambridge; and
  • develop skills for employability across a range of organisations concerned with research, policy and practice.

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The Mathematics Education route is for anyone with a research or professional interest in mathematics education at any level of education (primary, secondary, or tertiary), wanting to undertake advanced study in a world-class setting. The Mathematics Education route is taught by a specialist team, and its student cohort is drawn primarily from UK-based professionals who continue in their full-time posts while taking the course part-time

The Mathematics Education route develops students' understanding of a number of important issues in the field of mathematics education. Students learn to interpret and critically engage with ideas and debates in mathematics education research in three ways:

  • through taught sessions in mathematics education;
  • through work on course assignments under the supervision of a member of the teaching team; and
  • through participation in seminars led by students on the route and in project workshops.

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The PGCE-MEd Mathematics Education route is for anyone with a research or professional interest in mathematics education at any level of education (primary, secondary, or tertiary), wanting to undertake advanced study in a world-class setting. The Mathematics Education route is taught by a specialist team, and its student cohort is drawn primarily from UK-based professionals who continue in their full-time posts while taking the course part-time.

The Mathematics Education course develops students' understanding of a number of important issues in the field of mathematics education. Students learn to interpret and critically engage with ideas and debates in mathematics education research in three ways:

  • through taught sessions in mathematics education;
  • through work on course assignments under the supervision of a member of the teaching team; and
  • through participation in seminars led by students on the route and in project workshops.

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The part-time Primary Education route is intended for education professionals, policy makers and researchers at any stage of their career. Many students have relevant international experience and interests. We aim to fuse research and theoretical understanding about primary or elementary education with current priorities in policy and practice.

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The part-time Primary Education route is intended for education professionals, policymakers and researchers at any stage of their career. Many students have relevant international experience and interests. We aim to fuse research and theoretical understandings about primary or elementary education with current priorities in policy and practice.

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This pathway in Research in Second Language Education course adopts a broad definition of the term "second language education". It considers issues relating to the teaching and learning of languages in schools and communities as well as issues relating to the teaching of English as a second, foreign, or additional language across the world. A special feature of the course is its broad-based training which enables students to combine linguistic and social analysis in their research..

The course aims to combine in-depth critical understanding of the main currents of conceptual thinking in second language education with practical training in conducting L2 empirical research.

The main aims of the course are as follows:

  • to examine the theoretical frameworks used in the study of education and its constituent disciplines;
  • provide training in research methods appropriate to education;
  • advance students’ capacity for professional reflection and judgment;
  • cater for a range of specialists interested within the field of education or one of its constituent disciplines.

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This PGCE-MEd course adopts a broad definition of the term "second language education". It considers issues relating to the teaching and learning of languages in schools and communities as well as issues relating to the teaching of English as a second, foreign, or additional language across the world. A special feature of the course is its broad-based training which enables students to combine linguistic and social analysis in their research.

The course aims to combine in-depth critical understanding of the main currents of conceptual thinking in second language education with practical training in conducting L2 empirical research.

The educational aims are:

to examine the theoretical frameworks used in the study of education and its constituent disciplines;

provide training in research methods appropriate to education;

advance students’ capacity for professional reflection and judgment;

cater for a range of specialists interested within the field of education or one of its constituent disciplines.

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This course offers a flexible blended learning method for full or part-time practitioners in educational contexts. The course seeks to locate practitioner enquiry in the wider educational research context. Students will explore educational literature in relation to practice, engage with examples of practitioner research in educational settings in the UK and beyond, consider the links between research, policy and practice, and take part in their own enquiry work to transform an element of their practice. Students will be supported through working in a community of enquiry.

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This course offers a flexible blended learning method for full or part-time practitioners in educational contexts. The course seeks to locate practitioner enquiry in the wider educational research context. Students will explore educational literature in relation to practice, engage with examples of practitioner research in educational settings in the UK and beyond, consider the links between research, policy and practice, and take part in their own enquiry work to transform an element of their practice. Students will be supported through working in a community of enquiry.

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The Faculty of Education's PPD programme can be used as part of a progression route to the Cambridge part-time master's (MEd) or as a qualification in its own right. The programme offers flexible opportunities to gain highly regarded qualifications through both part-time and online modes of study which enable students to update and upgrade their skills, advance their careers and support development of practice in various work settings, often working with children or young people in educational or training environments.

There are various taught courses available in the programme through both face-to-face and online taught sessions where students can gain the 90 credits required for the Postgraduate Advanced Certificate in Educational Studies (PACES) award. Alternatively, students can study on an individual research basis. Participants work either in a small group or individually with a supervisor to design and undertake a small-scale project aimed at researching or developing practice. Central to the research option is a belief in the importance of empowering students to link theory, research and practice effectively in their place of work.

Please note that as a PPD student you will be a member of the Faculty of Education with access to all Faculty services such as library membership and IT support. You will not, however, have College membership, as this is a "non-member" award. Use of some central University facilities may be restricted (for example sports clubs). If you continue to our master's programme, you will at that point be admitted to the central University, through the College system, as a full member of the University.

Applicants for the programme will be asked to attend an admissions interview.

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A one-year, part-time practice-based and professionally relevant course in assessment and examinations, grounded in current research and theory, led by tutors from Cambridge Assessment and the Faculty of Education.

Principles of assessment

  • Purposes of assessment
  • Validity and quality of forms of assessment
  • Standard-setting, consistency and reliability

Validation of assessment

  • Evidence in public examinations, including external examining and awarding
  • Validation of assessment practices

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The Child and Adolescent Psychotherapeutic Counselling Programme at the Faculty of Education is accredited by the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association (U.P.C.A.) and leads to registration with the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy (U.K.C.P.).

The course specialises in the aims, processes and skills of working therapeutically with children and young people through an emphasis on working through play and with the arts. Other significant strands include child and adolescent development, clinical skills, professional issues, ethics and child safe-guarding, child mental health, developing children's emotional well-being, working with children's contexts, networks and families, multi agency work, working in a school setting, and working with groups. This programme enables participants to become effective and ethical psychotherapeutic counsellors.

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Course overview:
A 30-hour PAES course that aims to explore psychotherapeutic counselling with children and adolescents and develop the skills and theoretical base for such work. Course members will be encouraged to consider how these skills apply in their own work setting, through the idea of ‘embedded counselling’. There is an emphasis on the therapeutic relationship and the relational processes involved in using counselling skills with children and young people.

Consideration will also be given to specific areas including;

  • counselling in schools and other settings
  • safeguarding and child protection
  • working with diversity
  • practical and ethical issues
  • working with parents and adults around the child
  • students' own work setting

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This route provides a broad-based view of educational leadership and improvement, both through the explicit and focused study of specific concepts and issues, and through their application in the conduct of individual, often change oriented, research projects. The teaching team draw on their research and experience to illustrate ideas, and occasionally welcome visiting academics from around the world to enrich the route still further. Participants come from the UK and overseas and  the course combines UK and international perspectives. Students are encouraged to share their diverse experiences and perceptions and to learn from each other as well as from the course content while also relating knowledge, principles and insights to their own contexts. 

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The PACES-MEd Mathematics Education route is for anyone with a research or professional interest in mathematics education at any level of education (primary, secondary, or tertiary), wanting to undertake advanced study in a world-class setting. The Mathematics Education route is taught by a specialist team, and its student cohort is drawn primarily from UK-based professionals most of whom continue in their full-time posts while taking the course part-time

The Mathematics Education course develops students' understanding of a number of important issues in the field of mathematics education. Students learn to interpret and critically engage with ideas and debates in mathematics education research in three ways:

  • taught sessions in mathematics education;
  • work on course assignments under the supervision of a member of the teaching team; and
  • participation in seminars led by students on the route and in project workshops.

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The part-time Primary Education route is intended for education professionals, policymakers and researchers at any stage of their career. Many students have relevant international experience and interests. We aim to fuse research and theoretical understandings about primary or elementary education with current priorities in policy and practice.

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1 course also advertised in the Faculty of Education

From the Institute of Continuing Education

The Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Creative Writing is a nine-month part-time Master’s level programme resulting in 60 credits FHEQ (Framework for Higher Education Qualifications) at Level 7.  

The programme is structured around three modules, and results in a 10,000 word portfolio of work. Each of the modules invites participants to engage in prior reading and research, class-based activities and independent, post-session work in response to key themes. Each module is designed with a focus on a different area of teaching creative writing, but each will work towards the same objective: that students will finish the module with enhanced knowledge of relevant existing pedagogical theory, acquired new practical skills for teaching/assessment/planning, and developed reflective awareness and innovation in their own teaching practice.

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