Masters in Education: What, Where and How
Updated on Oct 24, 2018 - 10:01 a.m. IST by Shraya Singh
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Masters in Education- Education is essentially, the foundation of any career or professional venture, therefore, the importance of a qualification in education is unparalleled by any other. Although many instructors and mentors do not have formal qualifications in education, a masters in education is an essential for positions as educators in the world’s best universities and academic institutions. A MS in education focuses not only on the specific subject matter, but also focuses on themes including pedagogy, assessment, curriculum and the importance of education and research. All around the world, a masters in education is considered the benchmark for innovational educators and who know and understand the transformative power of education. 


Types of Masters in Education? 

Contrary to popular belief, there is a discernible difference between a masters in education and a masters in arts in education. Evidently, both types of postgraduate programs deal with various themes associated with pedagogy and educational influences but the major difference lies in the fact that a masters in education also has a secondary focus on the subject matter associated with the specialization. In this respect, a master of arts in education is a more general postgraduate degree which can be implemented in any domain of study whereas a masters in education in usually domain-specific. Therefore, the term ‘masters in education’ encompasses two types of degrees:

  • Master of Arts in Education (MA) 

  • Master of Education (MEd)

Most universities offer either of the two types of MS in education qualifications. In most professional settings, both qualifications carry equal weight and are considered equivalent. Some of the specializations for a masters in Education include:

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Education Policy and Management

Higher Education

Human Development and Psychology


Masters in Education: Eligibility

There a number of requirements that candidates need to meet in order to be eligible for a masters in education. Although most programs require applicants to have a bachelor’s qualification, there are some MS in education programs which do not require a bachelor’s qualification and instead place greater value on prior teaching experience and/or a teaching license. Therefore, the eligibility requirements vary with the university and program of application. Generally, the following eligibility requirements need to be met by prospective applicants:

  • Undergraduate qualification: Most masters in education programs require candidates to have completed a three-year or a four-year bachelor’s program. The top universities require applicants to have passed with at least 70% or 75% depending upon the undergraduate institution. There are some programs which do not have an undergraduate qualification requirement, for example, the M.Ed. program at Harvard University.

  • Teaching experience: Some MS in education programs require applicants to have a minimum amount of teaching experience prior to program application. For others, prior experience may not be a requisite but is always a valuable addition to any application.

  • Teaching license(optional):  A teaching license is generally not an eligibility requirement for a masters in education but is often a requirement for other credentials and qualifications in the same department. Even if it is not a requirement, it boosts a candidate’s application in the eyes of the admissions committee. 

  • English language proficiency requirement: All international applicants are required to provide proof of English language proficiency which can be satisfied by English language proficiency test scores from the following:

    • Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) iBT

    • International English Language Testing System (IELTS) Academic

    • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic

    • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE)

The minimum score requirements for some of the top universities for a masters in education are:


English Language Proficiency Test Scores for a Masters in Education

University

English Language Proficiency Test

IELTS Academic

TOEFL iBT

CAE

University College London




Harvard University

7.5

104

-

Stanford University

-

100

-

University of Cambridge

7.5

110

193

University of Oxford

7.5

110

191

The University of Melbourne

6.5

79

176

The University of Hong Kong

6.0

80

Grade C

University of California, Berkeley

7.0

90

-

University of Toronto

6.5

100

Grade B

Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

6.0

90

-

University of Auckland

6.5

90

-

Masters in Education: Admission Requirements

For admission to some of the best masters in education programs, there are number of admission requirements that applicants need to satisfy including various academic and professional documentation requirements, test scores and essays. Although sometimes requirements vary from university to university and program to program, the general admission requirements for a masters in education includes:

  • Statement of purpose (SOP): The statement of purpose or the SOP is a one or two page essay which focuses on the candidate’s motivation behind the specific program of application as well as the candidate’s expectation from the same. It also explains the candidate’s reasons behind selecting the particular program and university of application.

  • Program essays: Apart from the SOP, many programs for a masters in education require applicants to submit various essays as a part of the application process. These essays focus on a variety of topics relevant to education and training as well as insight into the candidate’s opinion regarding the same.

  • Letter of recommendation (LOR): All universities require either two or three letters of recommendation from prospective applications from a mix of both academic and professional referees.

  • GRE scores: Although it is usually not a selection criteria for prospective applicants in the education domain, GRE scores are still required to provide a standardized analysis of all applicants. These scores must be directly sent to the prospective university via ETS.

  • Academic transcripts: Applicants are required to submit official academic transcripts for any qualifications or credentials obtained prior to application for the MS in education program.

  • Resume or Curriculum Vitae: The applicant’s resume should be tailored to the specific program of application. It should focus on academic and professional highlights as well as other co-curricular and extra-curricular areas which could be relevant to the admissions committee while considering the application for admission. 

Best Masters in Education Programs

The top universities for a masters in education are spread around the world and offer a wide range of specializations and sub-domains. Various degrees in the domain of education are offered of which the master of education and master of arts in education qualifications are the most popular and most widely recognized. These programs also vary in duration, generally ranging from 1 - 2 years. Some of the top universities in the world according to the QS World Ranking as well as subject ranking in the domain of education and training are given below.


Top Universities for a Masters in Education 

University

Program

QS Rank

Program Duration

World

Subject

University College London

MA in Education

10

1

1 year

Harvard University

Masters in Education

3

2

1 year

Stanford University

MA: CTE

2

3

3 quarters

MA: STEP 

4 quarters

University of Cambridge

MPhil in Education

6

4

1 year

University of Oxford

MSc in Education 

5

5

1 year

MSc in Teacher Education

2 years

The University of Melbourne

Master of Education

39

6

2 years

The University of Hong Kong

Master of Education

25

7

1 year

University of California, Berkeley

MA in Education

27

8

2 years

University of Toronto

Master of Education

28

11

2 years

Master of Teaching 

2 years

Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

Master of Education

12

16

1 year

University of Auckland

MA in Education

85

17

1 year

Master of Education Practice

12 - 18 months

Master of Education

12 - 18 months

Masters in Education: Fees and Funding

The tuition fees for most masters in education programs vary with the country and the university of application. It also differs with the program of application in some case with variation in the tuition for a master of education and a master of arts in education program. Naturally, programs of longer duration also have higher tuition costs with a two-year program being significantly more expensive than a one-year or an 18 month program. In order to provide prospective masters in education applicants a better understanding of the average tuition fees for programs in different countries, given below are the annual tuition fees for some of the top programs in the domain of education. 


Tuition Fees for Top Masters in Education Programs

Country

University

Annual Tuition Fee

United States

Stanford University

$75,625 (inclusive of living expenses)

United Kingdom

University of Oxford

22,600

Australia

The University of Melbourne

AUD $35,372 

Hong Kong (China)

The University of Hong Kong

HKD $161,300

Canada

University of Toronto

CAD $36,433 - $36,788

Singapore

Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

SD $35,310

New Zealand

University of Auckland

NZD $32,392

Various scholarships and grants are available for applicants for some of the best masters in education programs. The added benefit of pursuing a masters in the domain of education is that there are a number of scholarships which are department specific to education and training in particular. Candidates can easily find a number of viable scholarship and funding options in the domain which are often university specific and can be located through the specific university’s scholarship database.

Some notable scholarships for a few of the top programs for a masters in education are given below.


Notable Scholarships for a Masters in Education

Scholarship/Fellowship

University 

IOE-ISH Centenary Taught Masters Scholarships

University College London

GSE Grant

Harvard University

STEP Tuition Fellowship

Stanford University

Chevening Scholarships

University of Oxford

Trinity College International Scholarships

The University of Melbourne

Anne Millar Graduate Student OSOTF Fellowship

University of Toronto

Pradap Kow Scholarship

Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

Nanyang Technical University, Singapore

The University of Hong Kong


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