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1 year full-time


Durham City

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Course details

In an increasingly connected world with a myriad of global study opportunities, it is more important than ever that educators develop teaching practices that are effective in intercultural learning environments. 

The MA in Intercultural Communication and Education develops your critical understanding of education and communication in the context of global movements of people and the internationalisation of education. It provides students, educators and policymakers with resources for reflecting on and responding to the growing need for effective intercultural communication in relation to education. 

Core modules such as Intercultural Communication consider communication in the context of  identity, stereotyping, prejudice and life transitions, including studying abroad, to give you a deeper awareness of cultural differences. Others, such as Intercultural and International Education, develop your critical understanding of the theories, approaches and practices of intercultural and international education. Our wide range of optional modules and the MA dissertation allow you to tailor the course to your individual interests and career path.

Through studying this course, you will develop a greater awareness of cultural differences and be better equipped to make informed decisions in relation to teaching and research in intercultural and international environments.

The course combines innovative teaching with exceptional support. You will gain valuable insight into education across the world as you study alongside students from different countries and backgrounds. To further enhance your experience, you will learn from world-class academics who are behind some of the leading research in the field.

With full-time and part-time study options, the MA is accessible to students from a wide range of backgrounds. It is likely to appeal to educational leaders and practitioners from around the world who are seeking substantive professional development and career opportunities, to those progressing from undergraduate study, as well as many other backgrounds.

Course structure

Students normally study two 30 credit and one 20 credit core taught modules, one 10 credit taught module, one 30 credit taught module, plus the 60 credit dissertation over one year.

Core modules:

Intercultural and International Education (30 credits) develops your critical understanding of the theories, approaches, and practices of intercultural and international education in the contemporary world. You will cover issues including: globalisation and internationalisation; global citizenship; critical education; intercultural/multicultural education; socialisation and the nature of identity; international education; citizenship, and social justice.

Intercultural Communication (30 credits) develops your critical understanding of the theories, approaches, concepts and practices of intercultural communication in the contemporary world, including engaging with people from other cultures and backgrounds. You will cover issues including: intercultural communication as embodied in communication, culture, context, globalisation and power; identity; stereotyping, prejudice; nonverbal communication, intercultural conflict; intercultural competence; and multilingualism.

Design and Methods in Education Research (20 credits) introduces key issues, terms and ideas in education research. It teaches a range of research skills including the evaluation of research techniques across different research contexts, and the ability to conduct a high-quality study. You will learn to recognise the different purposes of education research, understand key terms and vocabulary in education research, and develop a critical standpoint in relation to research in education.

The Dissertation (60 credits) is an opportunity to research and report on a topic of interest, under the guidance of a supervisor. Drawing on the research skills and techniques developed in core and optional modules the dissertation enables you to demonstrate your capacity for independent thought, critical thinking and analysis.

Mini modules (10 credits)

You must select one 10 credit module from a list of optional modules which may include:

  • Secondary Data in Education Research introduces secondary data use in multiple research designs, enabling you to critique these datasets and judge published research based on secondary data resources. This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding of using existing datasets in education research; to develop skills in research designs using secondary data resources, and to develop skills for analysing and interpreting findings from secondary data research.
  • Ethnographies of Education introduces you to the foundational characteristics of ethnography of education as a field of study, providing you with opportunities to discuss and reflect on a range of methodological and methodical  perspectives relevant to ethnography of education. The module introduces select key theories and conceptual frameworks and how they inform ethnographic research in different areas of study.
  • Measurement in Education Research aims to develop your critical understanding of what measurement in social science research means and how it can be implemented in education research. This module explores types of measurement tools and scales in research with a focus on questionnaire development. It considers validity and reliability of measurement tools used in research, and ethical issues related to measurement in research.
  • Interviews provides an overview of interviewing as a social research method with a focus on education. This module offers guidance on planning interviews, pre-interview tasks and post-interview tasks. It explores the processes of organising information; interpretations through coding; gathering data from planning through transcription to analysis, and considers the issues of ethics, positionality, and logistics.
  • Narrative Enquiry – Methodology and Methods explores the philosophical, empirical, and analytical debates and practices central to the field of narrative inquiry. Narrative inquiry is the umbrella term for approaches aimed at understanding the human dimensions of lived experience over time and in personal context. This module covers a broad range of approaches to and methods for developing and understanding educational and allied research centred on narrative accounts of lived experience.
  • Experiments in Education (15 credits) aims to enable you to appreciate and contribute to the debate about the role of experimentation in educational research; recognise and make choices from a range of experimental designs; identify threats to the validity of experimental features and understand strategies for minimising threats to the validity of experimental inferences; analyse, synthesise and interpret data from experimental research.
  • Systematic Reviews introduces you to established methodologies for creating evidence syntheses such as systematic reviews, iterative reviews, and scoping reviews with emphasis on finding and managing information. This module aims to develop knowledge and understanding in the design, conduct and reporting of systematic reviews for use in education and social science topic areas; to develop skills for conducting systematic reviews, and to develop skills for summarising review evidence.

In recent years, optional modules have included:

You must select one 30 credit module from a list of modules which may include:

  • Psychological Perspectives on Learning considers methodological approaches to the operationalization of learning (e.g., the assessment of learning ability) and reflects on the challenges to claims that certain educational interventions are causal to changes in learning outcomes. This module also critically reflects on prominent misconceptions related to learning, including the notion of learning styles, the fixedness of intelligence, and others.
  • Education Policy and Evaluation is concerned with the analysis of the process of education policymaking, and critical reflection on education policy reform, evaluation, and research. This module looks closely at attempts to evaluate education policy and provides you with an opportunity to develop skills in critically appraising the ways in which policy innovation has been evaluated in the UK and elsewhere. The relationship between policy, practice and research is also critically examined.
  • International Development and Education in a Global World aims to develop knowledge and understanding of key issues related to globalisation and international development and the challenges and opportunities these offer for education. For students interested in learning more about education as an international issue, this module offers an introduction to international development and comparative education. It considers why it is important to look beyond the nation state in the current context of globalisation and global inequalities and explores suitable research approaches and concepts for developing this perspective.
  • Language, Education and Power considers the multiple languages in circulation in a community, and their speakers. It explores questions such as: How are languages recognised and valued in communities? How are language and identity linked? What structural features support languages in the community and their speakers? How can education support non-mainstream languages, and what are the implications for those being educated? It also considers how languages are acknowledged in research.
  • The Case for Higher Education will introduce students to the changing context of global higher education landscape, including its competing purposes, value contexts, governance frameworks and the identities of key actors. It will enable students to appreciate critically the key issues within higher education and reflect on what matters in taking higher education forward.
  • Digital Technologies and Education: Critical Perspectives offers a theoretical and research-based perspective on the effects and impact of digital technologies on education practice. It does so by focusing on different themes related to critical understanding of digital education
  • Enhancing Teaching and Learning for Purposeful Productive Thought By the end of the module participants should have acquired a critical understanding of issues relating to teaching and learning for the fostering of productive purposeful thought in the classroom.


The MA Intercultural Communication and Education comprises three compulsory core modules designed to provide you with a critical understanding of key theories, research and issues as well as choice of two option modules tailored to your interests.

The taught modules introduce content which is further developed through the use of online resources, key reading, independent study and research. They enable you to cultivate initiative, originality and critical thinking.

The MA dissertation is a significant piece of independent research that brings together the theory, method and practice developed through the core and option modules. You will be supported in this by an individual supervisor, a dissertation coordinator and through specialist dissertation workshops.


The majority of the MA is assessed through coursework, and this takes a variety of forms depending on the modules studied. Assessment methods include written assignments, individual and group presentations, journal reviews and portfolio work. If you choose the Inclusive Pedagogies for Diverse Classrooms optional module, assessment will also include a lesson plan. 

The 15,000-word MA dissertation, carried out under the guidance of a supervisor, makes up one-third of your credits. 

Entry requirements

An honours degree at 2:1 (or equivalent). Significant relevant experience will also be considered. 

English language requirements

Fees and funding

Full Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £10,400 per year
EU students £22,500 per year
Island students £10,400 per year
International students £22,500 per year

Part Time Fees

Tuition fees
Home students £5,800 per year
EU students £12,400 per year
Island students £5,800 per year
International students £12,400 per year

The tuition fees shown are for one complete academic year of study, are set according to the academic year of entry, and remain the same throughout the duration of the programme for that cohort (unless otherwise stated).

Please also check costs for colleges and accommodation.

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to supporting the best students irrespective of financial circumstances and are delighted to offer a range of funding opportunities. 

Find out more about Scholarships and Bursaries

Career opportunities

School of Education

The consistently high ranking of the Department gives us a worldwide reputation for the quality of not only our teaching but the skills and knowledge of our postgraduate community. The delivery of the subject by the relevant experts on our academic team brings together world class research, innovative teaching and exceptional support.

Your time as a member of the Department’s student community places you in the strong position to pursue a successful career in a range of different sectors. Career opportunities in education are numerous and rewarding and include classroom teaching, educational leadership and management, administration and policy development.

Most of our PGCE graduates go directly into teaching. In keeping with career ambitions, MA graduates progress into a wide range of roles including educational research, publishing, education administration, policy making and management as well as jobs in the commercial or public sector.

For further information on career options please view our department pages

Department information

School of Education

The Department of Education offers a mix of teacher training and education research, set within a vibrant and engaged learning community of around fifty academic staff and 650 postgraduates. We are a leading educational research centre with strong international ties and numerous partner relationships with schools and colleges.

Our postgraduate courses are flexible and allow you to follow a particular interest. They include MAs in Education, Educational Leadership and Change, Intercultural Communication and Education and Research Methods. We also offer a range of PGCE qualifications at primary and secondary levels and in specific school subjects.

We provide the opportunity for learning from academic staff who are leading research and teaching experts in their fields. They underpin our Department’s commitment to conducting research that contributes to shaping educational practice and policy, develops educational research and methodologies, informs school improvements and supports the professional development of teachers around the world.

Our portfolio of research projects attracts interest and financial support from important bodies who have a key role in developing education in the UK. They include the Economic and Social Research Council, the Nuffield Foundation, the Sutton Trust, and the Education Endowment Foundation, as well as a range of other organisations and charities.

For more information see our department pages.


  • Top 100 in the QS World University Subject Rankings 2023
  • 5th in The Complete University Guide 2024
  • Top 10 in The Times and Sunday Times University Guide 2024


For a current list of staff, please see the School of Education pages

Research Excellence Framework

  • Ranked joint 1st nationally for Research Impact and 1st nationally for outputs (REF 2021)


The Department of Education is characterised by its diversity and vibrancy and the enthusiasm and commitment of its postgraduate community to improving the provision of education in the UK and across the globe.

The Department is located at Lower Mountjoy on the main University campus and is not far from the centre of Durham with its UNESCO World Heritage status and the beautiful cathedral.

Our facilities are modern and comprehensive and include a well-resourced library, study areas and the state-of-the-art Confluence Building which plays host to events such as seminars and lectures by guest speakers.


Find out more:

Apply for a postgraduate course (including PGCE International) via our online portal.  

Visit Us

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Join a Postgraduate Open Day
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 17:00
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Self-Guided Tours
  • Date: 01/09/2023 - 31/08/2024
  • Time: 09:00 - 16:00
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