The education industry is a thriving and rapidly evolving industry offering lucrative opportunities to educators and working professionals looking to grow their careers in this field. Just like every other industry, the education field also offers degree programmes that can expand one’s career and skill set. Various universities in the UK offer degrees in education such as a Master or Education (MEd) and a Master of Arts in Education (MA Education). In fact, some of the best universities in the UK also offer an online Master's Degree in Education to help working professionals’ transition smoothly into this field.
Studying a Master's Degree in Education through distance learning is advantageous to a working teacher or educator as it allows for a flexible study plan where students study at their own pace. The University of Dundee for example offers a Master of Education which can be studied online without attending the campus and the programme can be completed in an approximate duration of just 36 months. Although the terms Master of Education degree and a Master of Art in Education degree are often used interchangeably, there are noteworthy differences between these qualifications. Students looking to establish themselves in the education industry need to be aware about these differences to choose the right programme.
Master of Education (MEd)
The Master of Education degree is one the covers concepts relevant to the overall education industry. The programmes touches on topics that go beyond just the classroom, offering insights into non-teaching roles and skills within the education industry such as leadership skills, research skills and curriculum management. Aspiring professionals looking to assume the role of Principal, Education or Teaching Consultants and curriculum managers can study an MEd to grasp an understanding of the overall education field. Some universities often require students to hold work experience in this industry, whilst others don't. Students can expect to specialise in areas such as educational leadership, international education, inclusive education etc. Students holding a Master of Education can also practice teaching or opt for other education related roles.
Master of Arts in Education (MA in Education)
A Master of Arts in Education degree uses a much more focused approach to the field of teaching. This programme offers a more hands on expertise on classroom based studies and focuses on concepts useful in shaping the classroom environment. The MA in Education is subject specific and can be specialised in areas such as Maths, English, Science, etc. Professionals looking to work as a teacher in a classroom setting can enrol onto this programme. Candidates who do not hold a prior work experience as teacher but are looking forward to join an institution can also benefit from this programme. The programme covers various teaching and learning styles, historical references in the education industry and offers an interesting opportunity to conduct research on education related concepts.
Although the programmes differ in terms of learning outcomes and the content covered in each, the overall degrees hold the same value and offer a solid foundation to flourish a promising career in the education field. As a working professional looking to establish a career as an educator, it is your responsibility as a candidate to identify the right programme for you keeping in mind your career goals.