Critical Enquiry MEd

What is special about this course?

The Master of Education: Critical Enquiry is a three-year, part-time online programme for professionals working in education settings. Participants build on their skills in reflective practice to critically engage with educational theory, research, policy and complex professional issues.

The programme utilises a collaborative approach to online learning, with learning activities designed to develop teacher agency, support professional dialogue and develop critical enquiry to inform practice. Participants choose the focus of their work on each module to fit with their professional interests and responsibilities. The collaborative learning activities support participants to work together on practice and develop creative responses to professional issues.

The Into Headship programme is offered as a postgraduate certificate in second year of the MEd Critical Enquiry and can be studied as a stand-alone qualification. Applicants for the Into Headship programme must be sponsored by their local authority.

Special features

  • The course is fully online allowing you to fit your studies around your personal and professional commitments
  • You will have the opportunity to develop your professional skills
  • Specifically you will use theory to reflect on practice; critically reflect and engage with a range of professional issues and develop your collaborative skills and work as an effective member of a team
  • You will carry out educational enquiries and research in your workplace
  • Aligned with the General Teaching Council of Scotland (GTCS) standard for career-long professional learning
  • There are face-to-face events in November and June when you will have the opportunity to meet fellow students and share the outcomes of your enquiries

Entry requirements

  • Honours or ordinary degree with relevant practice experience
  • You must be employed full or part-time within an education setting


*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scottish domiciled and EU students)

Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.

A limited number of additional funded places are also available. For further information, please contact the programme leader, Helen Coker:


  • Introduction to Critical Enquiry
  • Policy and Practice
  • Collaborative Enquiry


  • School based research approaches
  • Critical reflection and enquiry
  • Teacher Agency and professional practice


To achieve the award of MEd you must submit a proposal for and complete an educational enquiry project.

How will I study my course?

  • Part time (structured)

You will study through supported online learning via the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE). Activities and reading are supported with online seminars enabling discussion with tutors and peers. There are face-to-face events in November and June when you will have the opportunity to meet fellow students and share the outcomes of your enquiries.

How long will my course last?

Part time (structured): 3 years

Where can I study my course?

Start date

  • August


The following fees apply to this taught postgraduate course :

Rest of UK
(inc EU)
Per module (20 credits) £560 £650
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,680 £1,950
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,360 £3,900
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £5,000 £5,850


Rest of UK
(inc EU)
Per module (20 credits) £520 £650
Postgraduate certificate (3 modules, 60 credits) £1,560 £1,950
Postgraduate diploma (6 modules, 120 credits) £3,120 £3,900
Masters degree (6 modules + dissertation) £4,680 £5,850

Fees are payable in advance each academic year unless otherwise agreed.

Enquiries from employers for multiple student registrations are welcome and special fee arrangements may apply.


From 2017, eligible Scotland domiciled students studying full time for any taught postgraduate course up to full Masters level can access loans up to 10,000 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £5,500 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. EU students studying full time can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5500.

Part-time students undertaking any taught postgraduate course over two years up to Masters level who meet the residency eligibility can apply for a for a tuition fee loan up to £2,750 per year.

Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.

Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company

You may also be able to apply for a government Professional and Career Development Loan

External scholarships and financial support may be available. Contact the relevant university partner college for more information.

What can I do on completion of my course?

The programme provides teachers working in Scotland with direct links to the professional standard structure they work within (GTCS, 2012) and will provide individual participants with evidence to support the process of professional update that they engage in to record their professional learning

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

Committing to studying when working full time with a family can be very demanding. However, after successfully completing year one of the MEd, I already feel that I have a better understanding of aspects of my professional practice. I have gained so much already, not least a new job, that I know it was the right decision for me.

Hayley studies part time on our MEd Critical Enquiry while working full time in education in Moray.

There is something very rewarding about further study especially if it improves the way in which you work. I really enjoyed the collaborative enquiry element and have found a newly kindled enthusiasm in school which is impacting very positively both on a personal and professional level.

Elfine George, MEd Critical Enquiry student, Inverness College UHI.

Apply for Critical Enquiry MEd

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2018

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI). UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.

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