Education with Special and Inclusive Needs - Liverpool John Moores University

Advanced Educational Practice – Religious Education

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: 
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £35 per credit
International full time annual tuition fee: 

Course type





School of Education

Study mode

Part Time

About your course

Aimed at current and future subject leaders and teachers in religious education, this Masters in Advanced Educational Practice: Religious Education programme from Liverpool John Moores University enhances teaching capability and builds on theoretical and practical knowledge. ​

  • Programme is part of the 3forRE Scheme supported by the Culham St Gabriel’s Trust
  • Study part time over three years on a course designed to support effective change in the classroom
  • Develop your subject knowledge and professional practice in religious education
  • Enjoy flexible course delivery and fit studying around your work commitments​

​Many recent developments demand a rethink of our approaches to teaching and learning at all levels. This programme offers the opportunity for practitioners to explore the research and policy bases of these approaches and to make informed decisions about pedagogy and curriculum changes in their professional context. It is an ideal springboard for those seeking to move to subject or curriculum leadership. ​

​Andrea Pratt, Subject Lead

​I have found the whole course offered private, personal and institutional benefit.​

​Timothy Short, MA AEP graduate ​

Introduction to the School

In the 2014 REF, LJMU's education-related research was ranked 4th in the UK's Post-92 Universities, with over 60% of work considered world leading or internationally excellent. ​

This research helps ensure our postgraduate courses are at the forefront of developments in the field and that you have an opportunity to study alongside leading experts.

Our School of Education has over 100 years’ experience delivering teacher education in partnership with Primary, Secondary and other education providers.

All of our professional Masters programmes for educators are designed to make study relevant to your professional requirements. We provide space and support for professional study that will impact on the learning outcomes of young people and on the effectiveness of team leadership in schools and colleges as they enact change.

While developing an up-to-date perspective on specialist areas and key skills in critical analysis and practitioner research, our programmes offer a wide scope for you to relate your learning to your own professional practice or areas of specific interest.​

Why study this course at LJMU?

This programme provides an opportunity for you to develop your teaching capabilities; your understanding of relevant recent theory, research and practice in religious education and your ability to contribute to the success of this subject area within your school or setting.​

Our approach to professional learning for teachers differs from many other postgraduate programmes in its focus on enhancing practice and, as such, our programme attracts professionals from a range of educational sectors. This mix of professionals results in a dynamic learning environment for all, where you learn from each other through the sharing of professional experiences. 

The programme team have strong links with schools, colleges, local authorities and other universities, ensuring that our curriculum and approach to professional development are relevant to the current needs of those teaching and leading religious education in primary and secondary schools.

​Successful completion of this programme will give you enhanced knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice around current research-based and curriculum initiatives in religious education and the ability to critically assess their impact on learners.​

Programme outline and structure

​We recognise that our students are busy professionals and have taken this into account in the design of our programmes and assessments. Study on this programme is on a part time basis, enabling you integrate your learning with your full time professional role.

​The course is delivered around school/college term times, with 20 credits being studied per term for the first two years.

During your first year you will study three compulsory (core) modules specialising in key current themes in religious education. Your second year will involve selection of two optional modules from an identified suite, and the core module in Researching Professional Practice. Your final year will involve 60 credits of research-based study through completion of the Dissertation or Professional Enquiry modules.

University-based study includes taught sessions scheduled late afternoon (4pm to 7pm) and occasional conference style days scheduled on Saturdays.

A blended learning approach ensures you can usually study at a time to suit you and all modules are supported by online study resources with additional guidance available through face-to-face or virtual tutorials.

To keep on top of your study you should be prepared to work between five and 10 hours per week (evenings and weekends). The practical applications of the course will involve the integration of study with your professional activity in school or college.​

​During your studies you will have access to LJMU learning resources including our libraries for independent study. You will be allocated a personal tutor to support your academic and professional development and will also receive guidance via email.

Taught sessions mostly take place at the IM Marsh campus, four miles outside Liverpool centre, although some sessions may take place in the city.

The IM Marsh campus has independent study spaces with IT facilities, a library with relevant stock and study spaces, access to student welfare and support, a gym and other sports facilities, a cafeteria and shop. The campus library, open 8am to 11pm, houses the main collections linked to this course and you will also have access to the 24 hour, city centre Aldham Robarts and Avril Robarts libraries.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core and option modules for further information on what you will study.​


Context and Purpose for Religious Education (core)

Provides opportunities to investigate and engage with current thinking and research relating to the nature of religious education and its role in the school curriculum, and encourages practitioners to develop critical reflective practice.

Curriculum and Practice in Religious Education (core)

This module develops understanding of curriculum and pedagogical issues in Religious Education through learning based on engagement with current educational theory, research, and policy and the implications for professional practice.

Controversial Issues in Religious Education (core)

This module investigates the teaching of controversial issues in Religious Education through learning based on engagement with current educational theory, research, policy and practice in relation to your own professional setting.


Researching Professional Practice (core)

This module provides an introduction to a range of research methods applicable to educational contexts, with a focus on practitioner enquiry, and to the development of a research project proposal and plan.

Approaches to Learning in the 21st Century (option)

This module develops critical professional practice in teaching and learning through analysis of engagement with and reflection on current educational theory, research, and practice in the context of your own professional setting.

Exploring Curriculum Change (option)

Explores key theoretical frameworks and concepts in curriculum models, drivers, innovation and the evaluation and curriculum change and their implications for professional practice.

Learning Through Assessment (option)

Provides a grounding in educational assessment practice in a time dominated by change and developing educational theories, policies and challenge.

Developing the Role of the Subject Leader (option)

Explores the characteristics of effective subject leadership through engagement with current educational theory, research, policy and practice to inform the organisation and management of learning in a range of professional settings and frameworks.

Professional Development for Leadership (option)

Provides professional development for leadership and management through learning based on engagement with current educational theory, research, policy and practice in Leadership and Management and its application within your professional setting.


Dissertation (option)

This module involves the development and implementation of a major research project relevant to your subject area with the support of an experienced academic tutor.

Professional Inquiry (option)

This module involves the development and implementation of several linked practice based research projects relevant to your subject area with the support of an experienced academic tutor.

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled ‘What you will study’ is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.

Please email​ if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

All assessments are closely linked to school and college-based practice and involve the completion of reports, small scale practice-based research projects, presentations, and critical reflections on professional practice.​

​As a practice-based programme, there is a strong emphasis on the application of ideas developed in the context of your own classroom, school or setting. ​

Staff research interests

Our staff offer a wide range of expertise.​

​Tutors contribute to the development of national initiatives and policy in curriculum development, school leadership and governance and initial teacher education.

Programme Team members are involved in national and regional CPD networks and significant educational research projects. Such activities directly inform teaching and learning on the programme, ensuring the curriculum reflects current practice and keeps you up-to-date with developments in the sector.

Tutors involved in the Advance Educational Practice pathways are engaged in curriculum development and in research into the professional development of teachers through practice based learning and have presented their research findings at national conferences over the last year.

Entry requirements (Home)

​Standard entry requirements for the MA Advanced Educational Practice pathways are:

  • An honours degree (or its equivalent) in any subject
  • Current employment as an educational practitioner

Applications are welcome from practitioners who may hold alternate qualifications, such as Certificate in Education (Post-16), with appropriate professional experience.

If your first language is not English, you will also need an IELTS score of 6.5 (minimum of Level 6 in reading and writing).

Entry requirements (International)

​Please note: this programme is not suitable for international students because, due to UK Visa restrictions, they are only allowed to study on a full time basis.​

Application and selection

​​Applications are invited from all working in the education sector. Each applicant will be considered on an individual basis in consultation with the Programme Leader and, as such, we welcome enquiries from potential applicants who do not meet standard criteria but who feel their professional experience would enable them to succeed on the programme.

Please note: A satisfactory Enhanced Disclosure from the Disclosure and Barring Service (formally the Criminal Records Bureau – CRB) is required for students needing to visit locations outside of their own workplace where there is access to children.    

Prior Learning

The programme is subject to the University's Principles, Policies, Regulations and Procedures for the Admission of Students to Postgraduate Programmes and will take account of University policy and guidelines for assessing accredited prior learning (RPL) and accreditation of prior experiential learning (RPEL).

In addition to an administrative fee, there is a minimum charge of £6 per RPEL credit to be paid before the agreed RPEL credits are added to the student's record. There is no maximum fee payable. (Fees are reviewed each year).​

Will I be interviewed?

​You may be interviewed face-to-face or over the telephone to further explore details of your application or your suitability for the programme.​

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

Our Advanced Educational Practice programmes offer excellent networking opportunities. You will be encouraged to join your relevant professional association for your subject, providing valuable links with teachers and others interested in their chosen area. You will also be able to network with recent alumni and local professional communities. ​

After completing this course you may progress to research-based study through engaging with our MPhil and PhD programmes.

In general, AEP graduates go on to take up leadership roles or other posts of responsibility in schools and colleges. Graduates from this course have secured roles in subject and curriculum leadership.

“I just wanted to let you know about a new job that I have secured as a direct result of the MA Advanced Educational Practice. I’ve undertaken a secondment within the college to be a Technical Researcher for a Government funded project that looks at the embedding of English & Maths in Apprenticeships. The secondment lasts for one year and I will be developing maths-based resources for teachers within the college to use and be involved in various case studies. The main reason why I was offered the position is that my dissertation subject was based around numeracy and I also undertook different pieces of research when completing my MA. At the end of the project the results will be published and other colleges will be able to use the resources developed."  

Martin O'Brien Programme Leader, Service Industries, Kingston College 

International study

Please note: this programme is not suitable for students who require a Tier 4 visa. Due to immigration requirements, Tier 4 international students must study on a full-time basis.

The University reserves the right to withdraw or make alterations to a course and facilities if necessary; this may be because such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University. Where this does happen, the University operates a policy of consultation, advice and support to all enrolled students affected by the proposed change to their course or module.
Further information on the terms and conditions of any offer made, our admissions policy and the complaints and appeals process.

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