The MSc Education (Open Pathway) allows you to design your own programme of study based on your areas of interest, rather than choosing one subject area from our specialist pathways.

Units can be taken from across the different specialisms and from our bank of available optional units to build a tailored programme of study. 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. Many students have recently completed their undergraduate studies, with some experience of teaching, volunteering, or other work experience in schools or education more broadly. Others are returning to education after a longer period of work and wider experiences, looking to formalise their learning. Many of our students are international, from a range of countries around the world. This diversity creates a rich learning environment and encourages sharing of ideas among students and academics alike.

After completing the MSc, most students go on to work in education in some form. Some will use the master's year to develop their skills as educational researchers and go on to study for a PhD at Bristol or elsewhere.

Programme structure

In this open pathway, a single core unit provides an introduction to the variety of methods used to conduct research in education. You will then choose a number of optional units from across the different specialised MSc Education pathways and from our wider bank of optional units (subject to availability and timetabling constraints). You will finish your master's by completing a supervised research dissertation project in an educational area you are interested in.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Education (Open Pathway).

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or international equivalent in any discipline.

For applicants who are currently completing a degree, we understand that their final grade may be higher than the interim grades or module/unit grades they achieve during their studies.

We will consider applicants whose interim grades are currently slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements. We may make these applicants an aspirational offer. This offer would be at the standard level, so the applicant would need to achieve the standard entry requirements by the end of their degree. Specific module requirements may still apply.

We will consider applicants whose grades are slightly lower than the programme's entry requirements, if they have at least one of the following:

  • evidence of significant, relevant work experience;
  • a relevant postgraduate qualification.

If this is the case, applicants should include their CV (curriculum vitae / résumé) when they apply, showing details of their relevant work experience and/or qualifications.

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
£11,900 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£5,950 per year
UK: part-time (three years)
£3,967 per year
Overseas: full-time
£27,200 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.

Funding for 2024/25

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.