The MSc Education (Open Pathway) allows you to design your own programme of study based on your areas of interest, rather than tying you in to one subject area. You, therefore, have the opportunity to select units from across the different specialist pathways as well as from our wider bank of optional units (subject to availability and timetabling constraints). For example, if your interests span both educational policy and the use of technology in education, you might combine units from the Leadership and Policy Pathway with units from the Learning, Technology and Society Pathway.

A diverse range of students take the open pathway, attracted by the freedom that it offers. Students are often international, from a range of countries beyond Europe, having recently completed their undergraduate studies. Many of these students have some experience of teaching, volunteering, or other work experience in schools or education more broadly.

Other students are mature and returning to education after a longer period of work, bringing a wider wealth of experiences, yet wish to formalise their learning. This diversity in backgrounds and experiences creates a rich learning environment and sharing of ideas among students and academics alike.

After completing the MSc, most students want to work in education in some form. But here too there is a range in students' goals and aspirations. Other students want to use the master's year to develop their skills as educational researchers to go on to study for a PhD with us or elsewhere.

Programme structure

The single core unit is Introduction to Educational Inquiry (20 credits) which provides an introduction to the variety of methods used to conduct research in education. You will then choose a number of optional units (100 credits) from across the different specialised MSc Education pathways and from our wider bank of optional units (subject to availability and timetabling constraints). Visit the Open Pathway Programme Catalogue to see the wide range of optional units you can pick from. You will finish your master's by completing a supervised research Dissertation (60 credits) project in an educational area you are interested in.

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent). Non-traditional qualifications/routes will also be considered.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£11,030 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£5,515 per year
UK: part-time (three years)
£3,677 per year
Overseas: full-time
£25,200 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount. 

Bristol Master's Scholarship 

£2,000 scholarships available for UK students from underrepresented groups applying for full-time master's programmes. Find out more about the Bristol Master's Scholarships and check your eligibility to apply

Funding for 2023/24

Further information on funding for prospective UK and international postgraduate students.

Career prospects

We offer academic and personal development opportunities to equip you for the intellectual, social and personal challenges you will encounter during your career.

Our overarching goal is to enable our education graduates to display the following characteristics:

  • equipped to demonstrate impact, excellence and distinctiveness in your chosen field;
  • visionary, imaginative, innovative, reflective and creative;
  • high ideals and values, including a strong sense of social justice;
  • highly employable throughout the world;
  • adaptable, with the potential to be a leader in work and in the community.