University of Chester

Programme Specification
Teaching and Learning MA
2014 - 2015

Master of Arts

Teaching and Learning

Teaching and Learning

University of Chester

University of Chester

Chester, Riverside and Partner Schools

Continuing Professional Development

Part-time

Residential and Open,

3 years

6 Years

Variable

X100

No

17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Education & Children's Services Academic and Professional Programmes

National Framework for Higher Education Qualifications

University of Chester

PG Awards Assessment Board

Sunday 1st May 2011

The MA in Teaching and Learning programme aims to provide a coherent, personalised and progressive framework for the professional learning and career development of teachers. The programme is focused on supporting teachers in developing their practice to enable all children and young people to reach their potential. It aims to build on teachers’ previous training and experience through a progressive professional learning framework. Participants will develop and demonstrate professional standards and skills at Masters Level in critical reflection and systematic enquiry. It will enable them to select, critically engage with, evaluate and apply to their practice the research, literature and policy frameworks for pedagogical practice, curriculum development, collaborative working and leadership. Learning activities will include a mix of strategies combining elements such as lectures, group discussions and learning conversations through the use of  a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), action research/work related enquiries, workshops, presentations, practical tasks, individual tutorials and focused work-based practice, as appropriate for each individual module. Learning activities are designed to encourage critical engagement with literature, theory and research and analysis of and reflection on professional practice


Knowledge and Understanding

  • Harness insights into subject knowledge;
  • Critically review the ways in which research methodology supports professional enquiry;
  • Apply critical considerations when undertaking research;
  • Make effectual use of professional learning to assess impact on practice;
  • Application, reflection and modification of practiceinformed by practice-based and professional expertise.



Thinking or Cognitive Skills
Intellectual and cognitive skills will be developed through subject specific modules and those designed with subject and practice-based content specifically for the programme. Intellectual and cognitive skills will be developed through analysis and reflection on the school-based and school-related learning experiences which are central to the programme. Exemplar learning outcomes include the ability to:
  • Contextualise their role within the school and review critically their own perspective on their practice;
  • Analyse critically the current knowledge base underpinning specific areas of their teaching and, as a consequence of this analysis, demonstrate further development of school-based (tacit) knowledge;
  • Evaluate critically approaches, methodologies and practicesused in schools and identify how these might be enhanced;
  • review critically published literature and demonstrate how current working practices might be informed and enhanced by relevant Research and/or contemporary developments in evidence-based practice;
  • Demonstrate logical thought, interpretation and application in school-based/related settings;
  • Make critical use of research evidence;
  • Formulate valid conclusions that link theory to practice;
  • Think independently about essential issues, concepts and ideas.




Practical Skills
  • Professional school-based skills and processes are central to the programme;
  • Refine the kinaesthetic skills required of a teacher to teach cross-curricular.




Key Skills
Communication
  • Write to academic standards required atlevel 7;
  • Engage in meaningful debate and critical discussion;
  • Read critically;
  • Synthesise written and oral information;
  • Maintain a learning journal;
  • Application of Number.
Information Literacy and Technology
  • Use the University’s VLE to access information;
  • Use electronic research skills
  • Access data bases for research and information
  • Use the University’s e portfolio to maintain a professional learning journal
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving
Improving own learning and performance
  • Critically reflect on own professional practice and those of the school in which they work;
  • Develop new pedagogical and leadership skills;
  • Use initiative and manage own learning;
  • Make independent use of supervision.
Working with others
  • Due to the school-based nature of the programme, students routinely work with other members of their school in various ways;
  • Engage in group presentations and disseminations;
  • Work with professional colleagues to share ideas, research and good practice.
Problem solving
  • Generate and apply new knowledge;
  • Analyse complex concepts.



Transferable Professional Skills
One of the primary aims of this programme is to enable students to develop and demonstrate their application of a range of transferable professional skills through school-based or school-related learning. Examples include:
  • Curriculum innovation;
  • Leadership and management;
  • Research;
  • Decision making.



The qualifications offered are in line with QAA (2001) The Framework for Higher Education Qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland (FHEQ) and are compliant with the Integrated Qualifications Framework for the Schools Workforce.

The programme is at Level 7 of the FHEQ and the IQF and leads to a Master of Arts (Education) degree. It has Postgraduate Certificates (PG Cert) and Postgraduate Diplomas (PG Dip) as exit points. Participants may exit with credit for single modules. Modules are at 20 Credit Accumulation Transfer (CAT) points and 10 European Credit Transfer (ECT) points or 40 CAT points and 20 ECT points; the dissertation is at 60 CAT and 30 ECT points.

The programme is structured to allow flexibility for participants particularly those who will want to import credits from previous study. Each of the following modules is optional except the dissertation. Each term two options will be available to allow for some flexibility for those bringing in accreditation for prior learning.  Each module is at Level 7 (M) and is 20 credits except the Dissertation which is 60 credits. 

  1. Professional Development Review
  2. Research Design
  3. Practitioner Enquiry
  4. Critical Practice 
  5. Coaching
  6. Teaching, learning and assessment
  7. Curriculum development
  8. Inclusive practice
  9. Collaboration & Leadership
  10. Understanding development and learning
  11. Dissertation

 Typically the delivery structure will be  

TERM 1 Professional Development Review    or         Teaching, Learning and Assessment 

TERM 2 Coaching or Curriculum Development or Understanding development and Learning 

TERM 3 Inclusive Practice                               or         Collaboration and Leadership 

If a module is particularly popular we will offer a repeat in another term. 

In Year 3 participants will study the dissertation module. This is the only core module in this programme.

Exit awards are:

PG Cert  in Teaching and Learning at 60 credits (all modules optional)

PG Dip in Teaching and Learning at 120 credits (all modules optional).

The APL rules for the University of Chester for Postgraduate Study apply.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
CD7023 7 Professional Induction 20 Optional
CD7032 7 Research design 20 Optional
CD7033 7 Practitioner enquiry 20 Optional
CD7036 7 Critical Practice Single 20 Optional
CD7201 7 Professional Development Review 20 Optional
CD7202 7 Coaching Principles, Processes and Skills 20 Optional
CD7203 7 Teaching, Learning and Assessment 20 Optional
CD7204 7 Curriculum Development 20 Optional
CD7205 7 Inclusive Practice 20 Optional
CD7206 7 Collaboration and Leadership 20 Optional
CD7207 7 Understanding Child Development and Learning 20 Optional
CD7208 7 Dissertation 60 Comp

The MA in Teaching and Learningis a Masters level qualification.
To receive the award ofMasters in Teaching and Learning the student must achieve:180CAT points at Level 7.
The University of Chester permitsthe following interim exit awards:
for a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning: 120 CAT points at Level 7.
for a Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching and Learning: 60 CAT points at Level 7.

Participants must have a first degree and be working in a school or other learning environment.

Qualifications at Masters level are awarded to students who have demonstrated:             

  1. a systematic understanding of knowledge, and a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights, much of which is at the forefront of their academic discipline, field of study, or area of professional practice;          
  2. a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to their own research or advanced scholarship;        
  3. originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in their discipline;         
  4. conceptual understanding that enables the student:         
  •           To evaluate critically current research and advanced scholarship in the discipline;
  •           To evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate to propose new hypotheses.

Typically, holders of the qualification will be able to:

  • Deal with the complex issues both systematically and creatively, making sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non specialist audiences;
  • Demonstrate self-direction and originality in tackling and solving problems, and act autonomously in planning and implementing tasks at a professional or equivalent level;
  • Continue to advance their knowledge and understanding, and to develop new skills to a high level.

And will have the qualities and transferable skills necessary for teacher employment requiring:

  • The exercise of initiative and responsibility;
  • Decision–making in complex and unpredictable situations; 
  • The independent learning ability required for continuing professional development.

The programme will be delivered at either a University of Chester campus or, where viable, off-campus in a school. Learning activities will include a mix of strategies combining elements such as lectures, group discussions and learning conversations through the use of  a Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), action research/work related enquiries, workshops, presentations, practical tasks, individual tutorials and focused work-based practice, as appropriate for each individual module. Learning activities are designed to encourage critical engagement with literature, theory and research and analysis of and reflection on professional practice

MA in Teaching and Learning works within the framework of the University’s Teaching and Learning Strategy which defines four strategic aims:

  • To develop successful learners;
  • To design inclusive curricula;
  • To promote excellence in teaching practice;
  • To build institutional capacity for change.

The programme also reflects the Learning and Teaching Strategy for the Faculty of Education and Children’s Services which commits to pedagogical principles that:

  • Promote professional engagement and reflective practice;
  • Encourage independent and autonomous learning;
  • Support continuing professional development.

And to principles of teaching that:

  • Value students’ professional experience and prior learning;
  • Support diversity and personalised learning;
  • Encourage dynamic and participative learning;
  • Promote collaborative learning;
  • Encourage Internet and web-based approaches;
  • Support reflective and practitioner enquiry.

The main method of teaching is:

  • Blended learning; a combination of on-line and face-to-face contact.


The assessments within the programme are generally designed to focus on a work-based product or process that is part of the normal work and development of the participant and is integral to a range of professional practice. The participant will produce for each module a critical commentary through writing or another presentational format that includes engagement with, evaluation and application of relevant literature and theory. The critical commentary will report on a small-scale empirical investigation with clear conclusions leading from a systematic collection and analysis of data or it will develop a conceptual argument in relation to their developing practice.

A number of different assessment formats are completed by participants, planned through negotiation of the learning contract, in order to enable them to demonstrate the required range of professional and subject based knowledge and skills. 

There are eight assessment methods. Assessment tasks are selected from these eight by the tutor to best assess the learning outcomes for the module.  All assessments are linked to the University’s level 7 assessment and marking criteria.

All programme modules will use one of the following eight assessment methods (A to H):

Assessment method A

Assessment task:

An essay.

Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CAT points)

Module learning outcomes to be addressed:

100% of the marks will be awarded for the essay.

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, resubmission will be of the whole assignment.

Assessment method B

Assessment task:

A research report

Total words: 4000-5500 (20 CAT points).

Module learning outcomes to be addressed:

100% of the marks will be awarded for the report.

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, resubmission will be of the whole assignment.

Assessment method C

Assessment task

Part 1 An annotated portfolio - 3000 words (notional).

Part 2 A critical commentary - 2000 words (+-10%).

5000 words (20 CAT points)

Module learning outcomes to be addressed:

100% of the marks will be awarded together for the two parts.

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, both parts 1 and 2 will be resubmitted.

Assessment method D

Assessment tasks

Part 1 Sketchbook - 3000 words (notional).

Part 2 Dialogical assessment - 2000 words (notional)

5000 words (20 CAT points)

Module learning outcomes to be addressed:

50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted.

Assessment method E

Assessment tasks

Part 1 Presentation plus viva – 3000 words (notional).

Part 2 Annotated portfolio – 2000 words (notional.)

5000 words (20 CAT points)

Module learning outcomes to be addressed:

50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted.

Assessment method F

Assessment tasks

Part 1 An exhibition – 3000 words (notional).

Part 2 Annotated portfolio – 2000 words (notional).

5000 words (20 CAT points)

Module learning outcomes to be addressed:

50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted.

Assessment method G

Assessment tasks

Part 1 Performance – 3000 words (notional).

Part 2 Video – 2000 words (notional).

5000 words (20 CAT points)

50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted.

Assessment method H

Assessment task: 

Part 1

A presentation of a review of an academic paper (from a peer reviewed journal)  exploring the relationship between learning and development (notional 2000 words)          

Part 2

A position paper challenging an aspect of contemporary education and society. (3000 words).

5000 words (20 CAT points)

50% of the marks will be awarded for each of the two parts.

 Module learning outcomes to be addressed 1-4. 

Re-assessment

Where an overall grade of 40% has not been achieved, whichever part or parts have failed will be resubmitted.

The Dissertation

15000 Wordage does not include bibiographies, appendices or abstract.

Marking

All assessed work is graded according to a percentage scale 0-100% using the University’s level 7 grading criteria linked to the QAA requirements for level 7.

Feedback to students is typed using a standard pro-forma. Feedback is given against the module learning outcomes and the M level criteria. Areas for improvement and development are presented as targets. Feedback on the work is intended to identify strengths and points of development. All students complete an assignment front cover sheet on which they describe how they have addressed previously identified targets.

Work is submitted and assessed electronically.  For dissertations, students can receive feedback on plans or on a first draft, but tutor feedback will not be provided for the ‘Implications’ or ‘Conclusion’ chapters.

A distinction grade is awarded for work marked at 70% + and a fail is awarded for work marked at below 40%. Work between 20% and 39% can be resubmitted.

All work is first marked by the module tutor. 25% of work is moderated unless the number of submitted assignments is fewer than 6, in which case, all work is moderated.

Where there is disparity between the first and second moderator, a third marker adjudicates. All dissertations are double marked by the supervisor and then by another marker. A third marker marks anonymously and blind without the previous markers’ feedback comments. All work which attracts a distinction or fail grade is second marked. A representative sample of work is sent to an external examiner and includes all fails and distinctions.

Participants who engage in the MA in Teaching & Learning programme will become reflective practitioners and critical thinkers who can articulate their views with confidence and conviction.  They will have expert knowledge of the political arena of education. They will have read widely and engaged with theoretical frameworks which have challenged their values, beliefs and understanding.  They will have become confident researchers, finding solutions to challenges in their professional setting and practice. Their professional integrity will have been affirmed and they will have become sufficiently professionally secure to confront and manage change and to lead others, should they choose.

The programme aims to further improve teacher quality to raise standards in education, narrow gaps in attainment and give children better life chances. The intention to provide masters qualifications to teachers was first identified in 'Being the best for our children' (DCSF, 2008).

The University of Chester is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.

None.

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