MA Adult Literacy and Learning for Global Change


Attendance
Full Time
Award
Degree of Master of Arts



This Master’s is designed for those working in adult education and basic literacy – whether in policy, planning and evaluation roles or as teachers, NGO activists and literacy facilitators. Whilst many of our students will be working in countries of the global South, in Asia, Africa and South America, the course is also appropriate for those in the UK, US or Europe who are interested in developing a new perspective on their work.

Although approaches to adult literacy teaching and learning and curriculum development will be explored - including functional literacy, REFLECT and Freire – you should be aware that this is not a hands-on ‘teacher training’ course. This course will however provide you with critical insights and research skills for taking forward and developing innovative adult literacy and lifelong learning programmes, or for doing doctoral level research in this area.

Overview

The MA Adult Literacy and Learning for Global Change is designed for those working in adult education and basic literacy – whether in policy, planning and evaluation roles or as teachers, NGO activists and literacy facilitators. Whilst many of our students will be working in countries of the global South, in Asia, Africa and South America, the course is also appropriate for those in the UK, US or Europe who are interested in developing a new perspective on their work. If you have a real interest in the field of adult literacy and lifelong learning, even if you have not had much first-hand experience, we can consider your application.

Although approaches to adult literacy teaching and learning and curriculum development will be explored – including functional literacy, REFLECT and Freire – you should be aware that this is not a hands-on ‘teacher training’ course. This course will however provide you with critical insights and research skills for taking forward and developing innovative adult literacy and lifelong learning programmes, or for doing doctoral level research in this area.

2nd year learners studyingThis course provides:

  • an excellent base for a career in adult literacy and development, with non-governmental organisations, international development agencies or national Governments
  • a unique introduction to researching adult literacy and development, combining in-depth understanding of literacy theory and research methodology with practical experience of conducting literacy research
  • individualised  support from internationally recognised researchers in this field, with access to a wide range of materials and literacy networks in developing countries

If you have any queries about the suitability of this course for you, please contact the course director, Anna Robinson-Pant, who will be happy to answer your questions: A.Robinson-Pant@uea.ac.uk.

Programme Structure

You will follow a core programme introducing the changing theoretical understanding and policy approaches in the areas of adult literacy, international development and lifelong learning. In parallel, you will choose specialist topics relevant to your own needs and interests through designing their own individual research project. You will receive one-to-one supervision for this element of the course. Those coming from professional roles in adult literacy, lifelong learning and development programmes will have the opportunity to work on a dissertation which contributes to their organisation’s work and enhances their professional development.

There are three specialist modules on the topic of adult literacy, lifelong learning and international development, which aim to introduce the changing theoretical concepts and policy approaches within the fields of adult literacy and lifelong learning, provide an understanding of how adult education policy and programmes relate to international development policy objectives and explore the relationship between adult literacy/numeracy, lifelong learning and social change (including gender relations). The specialist modules are led by Prof. Anna Robinson-Pant and Prof. Alan Rogers, both leading researchers in the field of adult literacy and development. Details of these modules can be found on the Course Profile tab.

The course also consists of a module on educational research methods and on approaches to critical reading. These provide an introduction to the tools and theoretical frameworks for conducting your own literacy research study, which forms the basis of your dissertation. All students should also choose an additional optional module from a range of subjects available on the other full-time Masters courses in the School of Education and Lifelong Learning (including MA Education: Learning, Pedagogy and Assessment or from the MA Mathematics Education or a specialist module on quantitative research methods) or a module from within Language and Communication Studies or the School of International Development. Specialist sessions and tailor-made support with academic writing are also offered to all students.

Course teachers and additional resources

Anna Robinson-Pant worked as a literacy trainer, planner and researcher in Nepal over many years. She was awarded the UNESCO International Award for Literacy Research in 2001 for her book, Why eat green cucumber at the time of dying? Exploring the link between women’s literacy and development. She has since published widely in this area, including an edited book, Women, literacy and development: alternative perspectives. She has conducted research and policy work for a range of organisations, including NGOs, DFID and UNESCO. Alan Rogers has written widely on adult learning and teaching, especially in developing countries, including: Teaching Adults, Learning for Development and Non-formal Education: flexible schooling or participatory education? He has worked in many countries in Asia and Africa as a consultant and trainer, especially in adult literacy. His current projects include an ethnographic approach to literacy training called LETTER in India, Ethiopia and Uganda, and a project in Afghanistan on skills training and literacy.

Where possible, colleagues from the UEA Literacy and Development Group (LDG) also contribute to the MA sessions. Students are encouraged to attend the public seminar series on Education and Development and the LDG informal reading group sessions.

Experiences of former students

Saffiatou Savage-Sidibeh has now returned to the Gambia, where she works as the Principal Education Officer and Head of the Government’s Non-formal Education Unit, of the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education:

“On my return home to the Gambia, I was almost immediately engaged as a member of a taskforce for the development of the African Gender Development Index (AGDI) 2011, Gambian version. My attainment of the Master’s degree has greatly boosted my morale and built my confidence to face challenges and perform assignments effectively. The course indeed built my capacity in asking questions, in critically analysing statements based on evidence/facts and in making concrete judgments.”

Elena Tsangaridi writes from Cyprus:

“I feel that the MA course helped me to see the world differently! Before that I didn’t know much about the developing world and their educational systems but now I feel more confident to start searching more and more things about these educational programmes. It helped me also to understand in some points the educational system here in Cyprus, especially for adults and why all these programmes such as night schools or teaching adult foreigners the Greek language is important. It helped me to see another part of my country, like immigrants for example, from a different glance!”

Ahmmardouh Mjaya, researcher at the Centre for Language Studies, Chancellor College, University of Malawi, reflects on what he learned:

“This course has helped me re-examine my own perceptions and assumptions about literacy and development such that if I were given another chance to oversee an adult literacy initiative I would be more cautious when dealing with the adult learners than I was some two years ago. These studies have made me realise that literacy is very complex. Professionally, this course has helped me become recognised as someone who has some expertise in this field, such that colleagues in the faculty now come to me to ask about any issues concerning adult literacy.” Eleni Konidari came to the MA course with experience of teaching adults in Greece: “One of my best choices was the decision to come to the University of East Anglia and do this MA. It opened a whole new world to me and changed what I had been thinking before about adult literacy! I gained a brand new understanding of literacy and a new way of thinking in general. What makes the adult literacy Master’s in UEA really worth doing is the passion and the commitment of the course directors. However, personally not only have I learnt much from my professors but also from my classmates, some of whom had long-established working experience in the literacy field. Today I am happy to be still at UEA as the stimulus and the skills I gained during my Master’s led me to a PhD funded by the University.”

Course Modules

Disclaimer

Whilst the University will make every effort to offer the modules listed, changes may sometimes be made arising from the annual monitoring, review and update of modules and regular (five-yearly) review of course programmes. Where this activity leads to significant (but not minor) changes to programmes and their constituent modules, there will normally be prior consultation of students and others. It is also possible that the University may not be able to offer a module for reasons outside of its control, such as the illness of a member of staff or sabbatical leave. Where this is the case, the University will endeavour to inform students.

Entry Requirements

  • Degree Subject Educational Studies or Social Science
  • Degree Classification UK 2.1 or equivalent
  • Special Entry Requirements Relevant teaching experience desirable

Entry Requirement

Applicants should normally have a good first degree from a recognised higher education institution. The University will also take into account the employment experience of applicants where relevant and applications are actively encouraged from those who want to return to academic study.

It is normal for undergraduate students to apply for entry to postgraduate programmes in their final year of study. Applicants who have not yet been awarded a degree may be offered a place conditional on their attaining a particular class of degree.

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

We welcome applications from students whose first language is not English. To ensure such students benefit from postgraduate study, we require evidence of proficiency in English. Our usual entry requirements are as follows:

  • IELTS: 6.5 (minimum 6.0 in all components)
  • PTE (Pearson): 62 (minimum 55 in all components)

Test dates should be within two years of the course start date.

Other tests, including Cambridge English exams and the Trinity Integrated Skills in English are also accepted by the university. The full list of accepted tests can be found here: Accepted English Language Tests

INTO UEA also run pre-sessional courses which can be taken prior to the start of your course. For further information and to see if you qualify please contact intopre-sessional@uea.ac.uk

Fees and Funding

Fees for the academic year 2016/17 are: 

  • UK/EU Students: £7,150 
  • International Students: £14,500

International applicants from outside the EU may need to pay a deposit.

​Living Expenses

We estimate living expenses at £800 per month.

Scholarships and Funding

50% Final Year Undergraduate Continuation Scholarships

Current final year UEA undergraduate students who gain a 1st class degree and progress onto a postgraduate course in September 2015 will receive a 50% fee reduction scholarship. Those who do not gain a 1st class degree will still be eligible for the 10% UEA Alumni Scholarship outlined below. Terms and conditions apply. 

UEA Alumni 10% Scholarships

A scholarship of a 10% fee reduction is available to UEA Alumni looking to return for postgraduate study at UEA in September 2015. Terms and conditions apply.

Please note no other scholarships are available for this course.

How to Apply

Applications for Postgraduate Taught programmes at the University of East Anglia should be made directly to the University.

You can apply online.

Further Information

To request further information & to be kept up to date with news & events please use our online enquiry form.

If you would like to discuss your individual circumstances prior to applying please do contact us:

Postgraduate Admissions Office
Tel: +44 (0)1603 591515
Email: admissions@uea.ac.uk

International candidates are also encouraged to access the International Students section of our website.

    Next Steps

    Need to know more? Take a look at these pages to discover more about Postgraduate opportunities at UEA…

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries:
    admissions@uea.ac.uk or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515