Education, Technology and Society

Addressing the 'why' as well as the 'how' of technology and education, offering an opportunity to combine academic research with hands on experience


This programme is taught at the Graduate School of Education (GSOE) within the University of Bristol - international centre of excellence in teaching, research and educational technology. The tutors on the course are world class academics with excellent research records in the field of education, technology and society. The programme also boasts a collaboration with Futurelab, an internationally recognised organisation dedicated to "transforming learning and making it more relevant and engaging to 21st century learners through the use of innovative practice and technology".

The programme aims to:

  • broaden students’ knowledge and experience of a wide range of technologically mediated learning environments and of designing and developing such environments for teaching, learning and communications (including distance learning environments);
  • enable students to research and evaluate the use of ICT in educational and other contexts;
  • through the integration of concepts from educational research, psychology and neuroscience;
  • provide students with a range of strategies for managing the introduction of ICT into educational settings;
  • develop students’ interest in and knowledge and understanding of wider social and theoretical debates which impact on the use of ICT in education.

This programme is offered on both a full-time and part-time basis.


EDUCM5801 Teaching & Learning with ICT

This unit will provide an introduction to key theories and methodologies relevant to teaching and learning with ICT. The emphasis will be on linking theory and practice through practical engagement with and critical reflection on a range of ICT environments. Emphasis will be on the development and evaluation of the whole learning environment to include a focus on the teacher/lecturer, a range of technological tools (both new and old) and a focus on learning. Case studies of innovative teaching and learning initiatives will provide a focus for critical evaluation. Students will be introduced to relevant research methods appropriate for evaluating the use of ICT for learning.


  • to introduce students to key theories in the fields of psychology, cognitive science and education of relevance to the use of ICT in educational settings;
  • to provide students with experience of a wide range of technologically mediated learning environments and of evaluating such environments for teaching and learning;
  • to enable students to research the use of ICT in educational and other contexts;
  • to relate practical uses of ICT in educational settings to appropriate theories of learning and teaching.

This is a core unit for MSc Education, Technology & Society

EDUCM5803 ICT & Society: Contexts, Policies & Practices

This unit will provide a critical introduction to debates about the relationship between ICT and Society. It assumes that we cannot understand ICT without reference to the concept of 'society', a term that requires careful theoretical reflection. The unit therefore explores economic, social and cultural theories about ICT, and encourages students to analyse debates about ICT from a variety of perspectives. The unit explores these in a variety of contexts, policies and practices. This allows for case studies at a variety of scales, involves the discussion and analysis of policy documents, and the study of the practices surrounding the use and management of ICT in specific sites. The underlying assumption is that the meaning of all of the terms in the unit title cannot be taken for granted and that they should be subject to critical inquiry using a wide-ranging literature.


  • To introduce the main economic, social and cultural theories relating to ICT;
  • To provide students with an understanding of the economic and social contexts in which ICT is used in society;
  • To provide students with conceptual and methodological tools to understand policies surrounding ICT and their use in education and other settings;
  • To enable students to analyse specific uses of ICT practices in education and other settings in the light of the perspectives introduced in the unit.

This is a core unit for MSc Education, Technology & Society

EDUCM5810 New Media Representation and Digital Literacies

'The Information Age' has heralded a proliferation of new forms of digital communication and new textual genres. As these texts tend to be multimodal, multilinear and interactive they pose significant challenges for analysis and raise many questions about what it means to be literate in the 21st Century. This unit encourages and argues for an eclectic approach to the analysis of such texts drawing on semiotics, discourse analysis, literary theory and film studies as well as studies of new media and new literacies.

This unit will:

  • introduce students to a range of different approaches to the analysis of digital texts and communication;
  • provide an understanding of multimodality theories, non linear structures and interactive texts;
  • provide students with the knowledge and skills required to reflect upon issues of literacy in the 21st century.


  • To introduce students to key theories and literature from a variety of disciplinary fields that enable them to develop a critical understanding of the role of ICT within communication and representation in educational settings and within literacy practices;
  • To introduce students to a wide range of digital texts and communication environments
  • To introduce students to the different aesthetic and communicative conventions involved in the production of multi-media texts
EDUCM5811 Digital Design for Mind, Brain & Education

This unit will introduce students to the principles of effective user-based design. It will include issues of Human Computer Interaction (HCI) as well as providing opportunities to apply concepts encountered elsewhere on the course, such as learning principles and theory. It will also draw upon insights from non-educational contexts such as gaming. Through critical analysis of existing products and case studies that provide insights into design processes, the unit offers engagement with the many interacting factors that contribute to effective and innovative applications of technology within educational contexts.

The unit will:

  • Introduce students to the processes of designing effective computer-based learning environments such as virtual learning environments and web-based resources;
  • Provide students with an understanding of pedagogical issues influencing the successful design, development and implementation of technology intended to support learning;
  • Provide students with the knowledge and skills required to design, develop and evaluate computer-based learning environments.


  • To develop an awareness of how current models of learning can support the design of technology aimed at supporting learning.
  • To develop a critical awareness of the many, complex and interacting factors influencing effective design of technology aimed at supporting learning.

This is a core unit for the MSc Education, Technology & Society.

EDUCM5805 Research Methods & ICT

In this unit students engage critically with the processes involved in researching ICT in education. Students are introduced to the various components of the research process (e.g. identifying a research area within ICT in educational settings, focusing upon a question/hypothesis, developing a sound and ethical methodology, selecting appropriate methods of data collection and analysis, and drawing evidence-based conclusions) as well undertaking small-scale research themselves. Within this unit, an overview of the philosophies underpinning the dominant methods of data collection and analysis, and the differing views of social reality they give rise to, will be studied in relation to new technologies and the social world in general. New technologies are rapidly becoming an integral element of research - both as an object of a researcher's interest and as a tool used by the researcher. This unit introduces students to the methodological and theoretical questions raised by researching on and also with technologies.


  • to introduce the main philosophical and methodological positions used within social science research with special reference to research on ICT;
  • to provide students with the tools to assess and make judgements about the strengths and limitations of research on ICT, the appropriateness of the techniques employed and how these relate to research coherence, quality, rigour and value;
  • to facilitate students understanding of the research process, including the use of ICT within the research process;
  • to interrogate the ethical issues involved in conducting research on and with ICT;
  • to enable students to conduct research small-scale research in educational contexts.

This is a core unit for the MSc Education, Technology & Society.

EDUCM5809 Learning, Community and Identity in Digital Spaces

This unit builds on the theoretical perspectives of Teaching and Learning with ICT to review, analyse and critique current research and practice in the use of digital technologies that support learning. Major national and international research and evaluations will be reviewed. Innovation in policy and practice will guide the selection of themes in any year. Models of evaluation, assessment and the national and international evidence bases will be considered.


  • To expose students to the range of evidence informing policy and practice in teaching and learning with ICT
  • To develop an understanding of the issues involved in collecting and using evidence to inform policy and practice
  • To offer an overview of the current evidence base, nationally and internationally
  • To offer an overview of the major themes in research and practice in teaching and learning with ICT



Once you have completed all of your taught units, you will then progress to the dissertation stage. Following discussions with academic staff, you will be allocated a dissertation supervisor who will support you in planning and carrying out a research project. Once this is complete, you will produce a 15,000-word dissertation. 


Programme Units:



You must take all of the units in this list;

  • EDUCM5801 - Teaching and Learning with ICT (20 credits)
  • EDUCM5803 - ICT and Society: Contexts, Policies and Practices (20 credits)
  • EDUCM5805 - Research Methods and ICT  (20 credits)
  • EDUCM5811 - Digital Design for Mind, Brain and Education (20 credits)

Optional Units:

Then choose 40 credits from the list below:

  • EDUCM5810 - New Media Representation and Digital Literacies (20 credits)
  • EDUCM5809 - Learning, Community and Identity in Digital Spaces (20 credits)
  • EDUCM5807 - Supervised Individual Study (20 credits)

Or any other Masters-level units across the School

EDUCM1901 Dissertation (60 credits)




Students on the MSc Education Technology & Society programme will need to refer to various handbooks during their studies; these examples for the academic year 2013/14 are offered here to provide further background to the programme.


We ask former students to tell us about how their experience of the University of Bristol’s Graduate School of Education has made an impact on their lives, and how they have used their studies to make an impact on education in their schools, universities, workplaces and societies.

Find out what they said on our 100 stories site, produced to celebrate a century of education studies at the University.

100 Stories - search term: 'Technology'

Applications for this programme should be submitted via the online application system, which you can find through the Postgraduate Programme Finder.

The MSc Education, Techonology & Society Postgraduate Programme Finder  for this programme outlines the entry requirements for this programme.

Additional Information for Applicants

Applicants for this programme must have a minimum of one year's teaching experience. Applicants who do not meet this requirement are not eligible for entry to the programme.

In order to gain entry to the programme, you must provide the following:

  • Transcript of your undergraduate degree results (for students who have already completed their undergraduate degree, this should show final results. Current undergraduate students should provide an interim transcript or letter from your institution, outlining your results so far.)
  • For applicants whose first language is not English; proof of proficiency in English. Further details of our requirements can be found in Profile E.
  • Personal statement, which should address the following questions
  • Why do you want to undertake this programme?
  • What previous experience do you have of using ICT/technology? We are particularly interested in your experience in using technology in an educational setting.

All applicants must show evidence of meeting the entry requirements for the programme by providing the documents above. If you are unable to provide these documents at the time of applying, a conditional offer of a place on the programme may be made.

We aim to respond to all applications within 21 days of submission.



Tuition Fees

The tuition fees for the academic year 2015/16 for our Masters programmes are as follows:

Home & European Union (EU)  
Full time £5800
Part time (over two years) £2900
Part time (over 2-5 years) £650 per 20 credit module
Overseas (non-EU)  
Full time £14,500

NB for the MEd Psychology of Education (BPS) programme, the full time Home fee will be £6100.

The full-time fee listed in the table above is the full cost of the programme. Further information about part-time study is available.

All tuition fees rise incrementally each year, so if you study for longer than one academic year, you can expect to pay a higher fee in your second year than in your first. The annual rise is normally around 5%.

Other Expenses

When planning to study at Bristol, it is important that you consider other costs which you will incur during your studies, such as accommodation (including utility bills), travel, books, insurance and socialising. Your offer letter will provide general guidance about the cost of living in Bristol. Please be aware that the cost of living in the UK is quite high in comparison to other countries, and you should plan accordingly.

Scholarships and Financial Assistance

The Graduate School of Education does not offer any funding directly to students on Masters programmes, but support is available elsewhere within the University.

Fees & Funding offers a variety of advice and resources to potential and current students who are looking for funding to cover tuition fees and living expenses. Financial Help for Postgraduates is particularly useful for Masters students.

You might also find the following resources useful when looking for postgraduate funding: