The MA in Education and Social Justice at Lancaster University is a course intended primarily for working professionals worldwide with a strong interest in social justice and education. Students and tutors work together entirely online to explore a range of social justice issues.
The programme provides a thorough introduction to issues in social justice research, a solid grounding in research methods and writing skills, and extended opportunities from early in the programme to work with an expert academic supervisor.
From the start of the programme students are encouraged to engage with fundamental issues such as how education systems reproduce existing inequalities or might challenge them. Our aim is to stimulate and challenge, and to go beyond everyday common sense while also drawing on students’ experiences to keep the discussions grounded in concrete practices.
The same philosophy underpins our approach to research methods. A dedicated module introducing a variety of research approaches is complemented by an early opportunity for individual study, supervised on a one-to-one basis. Students are thereby encouraged at an early stage to apply the principles they have been discussing in a small tutor-supported project. So by the time students come to work on their research dissertation they will already have practical experience of research to draw upon.
The programme also provides an opportunity to take an elective module on a specialised topic. Examples of specialised modules include: Cultures, Globalisation and Education; and Policies, Ideologies and Interventions in Education. Students gain in-depth knowledge of topics that are of particular relevance to their personal interests and careers, and that may inform the topic of their research dissertation.
The MA in Education and Social Justice is a course with a strong research ethos. It will be of interest to anyone who wishes to gain research expertise as well as develop knowledge of social justice issues. Such research experience will be particularly useful for students who wish to learn how to intervene in education systems to promote social justice, and for those who wish to develop research-led policy agendas in their own institutions.