This is the first and only distance learning MA Character Education programme in the world – focusing on the theory and practice of human flourishing. The programme adopts a broad understanding of character – encompassing aspects of wellbeing, ethics, citizenship and social and emotional education.
The MA programme is taught by expert members of the Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues and gives students across the globe access to the latest research on character education. It equips them with the tools to enable them to subsume it into their own practice.
We are delighted to welcome students on to the programme from around the world and from a range of sectors, including education (both formal and non-formal), voluntary and business. We have designed the curriculum to be flexible to allow students to apply their learning to topics most relevant to their personal or employers’ interests and goals. This programme is aimed primarily at those looking to establish new, or enhance existing, knowledge and skills in the field of character education. Studying at a distance means students can learn from anywhere, such as at home or in the workplace, in the UK or overseas. You can apply for a place here.
Learning takes place on the Canvas Virtual Learning Environment (VLE). The modules last 9 to 11 weeks (4 or 5 units plus a reading week) and three are completed consecutively throughout each of the first two years. The final year consists of a dissertation based on a topic of interest. Each unit consists of a number of steps – including mini teaching films explaining key concepts, associated reading (mostly available through the University’s online library), optional synchronous seminars and interactive elements including discussion boards and quizzes. Assignments are normally due 4 to 5 weeks after completion of the final unit. Contact with the Programme Tutors and Module Leaders is maintained through the VLE, email, video and telephone calls. Assessment is through essays, an online presentation, a fieldwork report, a reflective report, a research proposal and a dissertation.
In exploring different aspects of character education, the Programme covers a range of topics. An outline of the core modules is provided within the drop down boxes below.
Further details of the programme and how to apply are available on the course page or in the programme brochure. To find out more please contact Paul Watts on P.M.Watts@bham.ac.uk / 0121 414 7631
Theories of Character, Virtue and Flourishing (20 credits)
The Theories of Character, Virtue and Flourishing module will explain how key theories from the fields of psychology, philosophy and education, inform planning, administration, policy and professional practice – including a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in the field.
Research Methods in Character Education (20 credits)
This module will teach you how to evaluate educational research from theoretical and methodological perspectives, in order to contribute to character education through the demonstration of original thinking in teaching and learning. The various research methods available to researchers will be discussed; alongside this, the ethical implications and challenges associated with researching character in education are explained, with a strong focus on issues of reliability and validity in research.
History and Politics of Character Education (20 credits)
This module will start with a consideration of the historical development of character education where you will gain an understanding how character education has been delivered in and out of schools and what form this schooling has taken. The politics of character education (both in the UK and internationally) will be examined during the second half of the module and an in depth investigation of current character education policy in the UK will be used as a case study to consider how the subject is shaped by government priorities. Comparisons will be made with other countries who have adopted character as a central plank of their educational policy.
Character Education Interventions in Schools and Organisations (20 credits)
Exploring the practical implications of character education, this module will draw and build on the theory learnt in previous modules. You will learn about how character education can be implemented in various educational settings, including schools and community organisations; this will give you the ability to analyse data, synthesise information and apply critical thinking to develop your own relevant interventions and tools to create a culture and ethos designed to enhance good character.
The Virtuous Practitioner (20 credits)
The responsibilities of teachers and other educators working with children and young people will be examined throughout this module; this is framed around the fundamental question- what does it mean to be a virtuous professional? Drawing on research (both theoretical and empirical) into the character virtues of teachers (as well as other professionals), this module will consider what their moral responsibilities are, and considers the role of both initial and continuing professional development (CPD) in teacher education.
Character Education Leadership in Schools and Organisations (20 credits)
This module will examine the role of leaders in developing character education in schools and other organisations. It will cover positive organisational theory, and both leadership theory and practice, with a specific focus on making decisions that bring about change in schools. Throughout the module the challenges of implementing and leading character education programmes will be examined and critically debated.
In year three, you will complete a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic related to character education which is likely to have been covered in one of the taught modules.