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MA Social Justice and Education

Explore the making of a fair and just society and how education can help shape a better future.

Year of entry: 2021 (September)


1 year full-time

Start date

September 2021 (term dates)

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Evaluate and debate the fairness of educational practices.

This course is ideal if you have an interest in diversity, inclusion, equality and a fair and decent society. It's especially useful for current and future teachers as well as potential policy makers and researchers.

Educational policymakers, researchers and teachers recognise that social justice is fundamental to their work. This course will equip you to investigate the pedagogical and professional issues that relate to social justice.

Leading research

We were ranked in the top 10 by Times Higher Education for the proportion of our Education research designated 'world-leading' in the 2014 Research Excellence Framework.

Course content

You will take a total of 180 credits, including four core modules, two option modules, and a dissertation.

Core modules will introduce you to the tools and techniques you'll use throughout the course and in your career. You'll also choose option modules that will allow you to build a course that suits your interests and supports your career.

In the Summer term you'll continue to develop your research skills, while also working on your dissertation.


Core modules

Option modules

Choose two of the following modules:

Our modules may change to reflect the latest academic thinking and expertise of our staff.
Our course structures are changing in September 2023. Find out more about how this course may be affected.


  • Independent Study Module (Dissertation) for MA programmes in the Department of Education (60 credits)

Throughout the summer term, and beyond into early September, you will work on your dissertation. This will be based on a small scale research study and should be approximately 12,000 words in length. Previous studies have included an examination of global education; universities as sites of global citizenship and studying the media.

The York approach

Every course at York is built on a distinctive set of learning outcomes. These will give you a clear understanding of what you will be able to accomplish at the end of the course and help you explain what you can offer employers. Our academics identify the knowledge, skills, and experiences you'll need upon graduation and then design the course to get you there.

Students who complete this course will be able to:

  • Apply in-depth knowledge of the theories, principles, methodologies and approaches concerning social justice and education to support related education initiatives.
  • Contribute to consideration of education practice and policy by evaluating the interplay between key concepts in a range of contexts and from different perspectives.
  • Identify systemic barriers to equality and inclusiveness, giving attention to perspectives which differ from their own and continuing to reflect on their own practice in relation to inclusivity and diversity.
  • Collate, manage and critically analyse complex empirical data using appropriate software in order to support presented arguments.
  • Initiate and conduct independent, focussed research projects including thorough planning, rigorous ethics processes and the selection and application of appropriate principles, methodologies and approaches.
  • Communicate complex information and arguments clearly, confidently and in a professional manner, making use of oral, written and visual formats.
  • Contribute to debates about the nature of pedagogical initiatives in the field of social justice in education.

Fees and funding

Annual tuition fees for 2021/22

Study modeUK (home)International and EU
Full-time (1 year) £8,440£18,700

Students on a Student Visa (formerly Tier 4 Visa) are not currently permitted to study part-time at York.

Fees information

UK (home) or international fees? The level of fee that you will be asked to pay depends on whether you're classed as a UK (home) or international student. Check your fee status

Find out more information about tuition fees and how to pay them.

Additional costs

There are no mandatory additional fees, but we do recommend that you set aside some money for photocopying. Course books will be available from the Library and online reading packs are available for most modules, but you may wish to buy your own copies. Each book typically costs £20 to 40.

Funding information

Discover your funding options to help with tuition fees and living costs.

We'll confirm more funding opportunities for students joining us in 2021/22 throughout the year.

If you've successfully completed an undergraduate degree at York you could be eligible for a 10% Masters fee discount.

Living costs

You can use our living costs guide to help plan your budget. It covers additional costs that are not included in your tuition fee such as expenses for accommodation and study materials.

I think education is a brilliant way to challenge injustice and inequality. A lot of prejudice and discrimination comes from lack of education.
Megan, MA Social Justice and Education

Teaching and assessment

You’ll work with world‐leading academics who’ll challenge you to think independently and excel in all that you do. Our approach to teaching will provide you with the knowledge, opportunities, and support you need to grow and succeed in a global workplace.

Coronavirus (Covid-19): changes to courses

We've made some changes to the way our courses are delivered to minimise potential disruption from the ongoing global pandemic.

Teaching format

You will prepare for your modules with preliminary reading which you'll go on to discuss with tutors and fellow students. You'll be taught through a combination of methods, which may vary depending on your choice of modules. Common formats for teaching include:

  • tutor presentations
  • lectures
  • seminar discussions
  • individual and group practical activities
  • workshops
  • video demonstrations.

Teaching location

You will be based in the Department of Education on Campus West. 

About our campus

Our beautiful green campus offers a student-friendly setting in which to live and study, within easy reach of the action in the city centre. It's easy to get around campus - everything is within walking or pedalling distance, or you can always use the fast and frequent bus service.

Assessment and feedback

You'll be assessed in a variety of ways, the methods will depend on your choice of modules. Common methods of assessment include:

  • Assignments (4,000-5,000 words)
  • exams
  • lessons plans and commentary
  • series of blog posts
  • presentations (group and individual)

Most modules will involve short assessed tasks through the course of the term. These do not form part of your final mark, although you will be given feedback on your performance so you can prepare for the formal assessment.

Careers and skills

The wide choice of modules allows you to shape this course to suit your own aspirations, meaning that it's suitable for a wide range of careers. You'll also benefit from the University's careers team who offer a bespoke advice and support service.

Career opportunities

Our graduates work in a wide range of sectors, including:

  • education and higher education
  • journalism
  • information management
  • human resources
  • civil service
  • Non-governmental organisations and other international organisations.

Some graduates choose to continue their studies with research degrees in education and related topics.

Transferable skills

  • Analysis and evaluation of debates and initiatives
  • Communication and dissemination of research
  • Interpreting research
  • Using common techniques for analysis
I see myself in social policy or public policy in Slovakia. Maybe regional policy. I would like to deal with the everyday problems of people in Slovakia, and to help them. So studying Social Justice and finding the answer to what Social Justice is, and how to achieve it, will be essential to my future career.
Justine, MA Social Justice in Education

Entry requirements

Typical offer
Undergraduate degree 2:1 or equivalent
International pre-masters programme Pre-masters from our International Pathway College
Other international qualifications Equivalent qualifications from your country

English language

If English isn't your first language you may need to provide evidence of your English language ability. We accept the following qualifications:

Minimum requirement
IELTS 6.5, minimum 6.0 in each component
C1 Advanced and C2 Proficiency 176, minimum 169 in each component
Duolingo 110, minimum 100 in all other components
PTE Academic 61, minimum 55 in each component
TOEFL 87, minimum 21 in each component
Trinity ISE III Merit in all requirements

For more information see our postgraduate English language requirements.

If you've not met our English language requirements

You may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English language courses. These courses will provide you with the level of English needed to meet the conditions of your offer.

The length of course you need to take depends on your current English language test scores and how much you need to improve to reach our English language requirements.

After you've accepted your offer to study at York, we'll confirm which pre-sessional course you should apply to via You@York.


You can apply and send all your documentation electronically through our online system. You don’t need to complete your application all at once: you can start it, save it and finish it later.

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