The Institute of Education offers a range of courses for education professionals, alongside the Initial Teacher Education programmes.

Free online courses

Teaching assistants can benefit from two free online courses. They have been designed by Professor Helen Bilton, who brings 35 years of experience in teacher training and education, in collaboration with the University’s Online Courses team.

The two courses are:

  • Supporting Successful Learning in Primary Schools
  • Supporting Successful Learning in Secondary Schools

Both courses are designed to help teaching assistants and support workers to work with pupils more effectively.

Topics include how to manage a classroom and the psychology behind student behaviour. Learners will also hear first-hand from children about how they explore a learning environment.

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Teaching Climate and Sustainability in Primary Schools

This free online course is for Primary teachers who are concerned about our planet and want to take action by embedding these vital topics into their teaching.

It will be particularly beneficial for those teachers who are leading climate and sustainability initiatives or looking for opportunities to build their confidence for such a role in the future.

The course is led by Institute of Education experts; Professor Helen Bilton, Professor of Outdoor Learning and Dr Catherine Foley, Associate Professor in Mathematics Education with support from Dr Peter Inness, Associate Professor in Meteorology.

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Understanding multilingual children’s language development

This free online course has been developed with teachers and Speech and Language Therapists (SLTs) in mind. It is ideal for those who are keen to learn and work collaboratively to transform working practices so multilingual children can reach their full potential.

The course explores how language development metrics, such as vocabulary and grammar, develop in multilingual children from birth to the end of primary school.

Drawing on case studies of real teachers and SLTs, participants will get to hear how professionals have engaged with multilingual children in their fields.

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PGCert National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination (SENCO)

On this programme, you will develop your SEND leadership profile and enhance the analytical skills you need to examine the evidence behind SEND provision in schools.

This programme is offered flexibly across the autumn and spring terms (October to April), with regular contact hours every two to three weeks.

Compulsory sessions are delivered online as live taught sessions, and there are options for guided and independent learning time to accommodate those who are working full-time. There are two additional optional study days scheduled to be held on campus or at distance via guided learning.

If you successfully complete the PGCert National Award for Special Educational Needs Coordination, you’ll receive the National Award qualification as well as a Postgraduate Certificate worth 60 master’s-level credits, which can count towards a master’s degree.

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MA Education

Develop your knowledge and understanding of education and educational research with our MA Education degree.

Designed to meet the needs of busy professionals, the course is offered both on a full-time and a part-time basis. Several modules are taught outside regular working hours to accommodate the needs of working students.

Alongside your core modules, you can choose from a range of optional modules which span various topics. You may also select modules to follow a specific pathway, tailoring your degree to your chosen specialism.

The available specialisms for 2023/4 academic year are:

  • MA Education (Early Years) – Explore research in child development and the wider context of families, communities and educational settings in which young children learn.
  • MA Education (Inclusive Education) – Explore what diversity means for education, and how to make teaching more inclusive by investigating inclusive teaching and learning for all pupils.
  • MA Education (Leadership and Management) – Develop your leadership skills by critically examining research-based models of leadership for change in education.
  • MA Education (Music Education) – Advance your practice as a creative music teacher by developing your creativity, musicianship and leadership through practical activities and music education research.
  • MA Education (Second Language Learning and Teaching) – Examine key issues related to the teaching and learning of second and foreign languages, and investigate how research influences classroom teaching and learning.

If you have studied a PGCE or Pg Cert with the University of Reading’s Institute of Education, you will have 60 Master’s level credits which will be accepted towards your MA – these credits are valid for up to five years from when you completed the qualification. This can allow you to get your Master’s in as little as two calendar years.

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The University of Reading Doctorate in Education (EdD) is a part-time programme designed to offer high‑quality research training and career development for professionals employed in a broad range of areas related to education.

By providing a detailed understanding of research techniques and enabling students to relate theoretical concepts to their professional field, the programme aims to support students to critically reflect on their professional contexts as well as explore and understand the research and values that inform practice.

Students typically complete the programme in 4–5 years.

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