The details
Location: Online Mode of study: Part-time Qualification: MSc Indicative duration: 2 years
Start date: Awarding body: University of Essex Delivered by: Kaplan Open Learning For queries: Call +44 (0) 1206 489 358
Impact scholarship - Essex online

Digital technology is emerging at all levels of education. The MSc Digital Education teaches you how to integrate these technologies into an educational setting  – ensuring you enhance your work-based practice and skills.  

From teaching philosophies and theories, to the future of digital learning, you’ll explore exciting topics that give you a solid understanding of modern technology within teaching and learning. What’s more, the course explores how various AI technologies can be used in education.  

At the end of the course, you’ll be given the opportunity to demonstrate your knowledge in an in-depth dissertation on a relevant topic of your choice. 

Why we’re great

  • Connect with likeminded students all over the world via discussion forums, seminars and collaborative tasks. 
  • 9 in 10 students said their studies fit with their future plans (based on 2021 survey of active students with University of Essex Online). 
  • Receive a qualification from a top 30 UK university (Complete University Guide 2025). 

The MSc Digital Education is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 180 credits.

Consider the historical, philosophical and cultural context of modern education in this immersive module. You’ll explore and refine your knowledge of the key concepts, values and benefits of education practice – so that upon completion, you’ll have a strong understanding of how these can be applied to real-world contexts. They’ll also underpin your learning throughout the rest of your studies.   

Ready to develop your ability as a reflective professional practitioner? This exciting module will help you broaden your skill set to incorporate various innovative ideas to teaching. You’ll begin to identify learner needs and develop your understanding of planning with an adaptive approach to maximise learner outcomes and provide learner-centred support. 

Discover inclusive practice in education, and explore how understandings around neurodivergence in education have progressed, in this thought-provoking module. You’ll look at how blended learning and online education affect neurodivergence – focusing particularly on autism, dyslexia and ADHD – while considering the impact digital learning methods may have on cognitive overload. 

In this insightful module, you’ll examine the role of research and academic literature in an educational context. As the first research module within the course, this is an ideal opportunity to begin considering the possibilities ahead of you, as you engage in research to produce a literature review in a relevant area of your choice. 

Discover the role of online learning artefacts in learning and teaching, in this innovative module. Using mainstream office programs and web-based software, you’ll deepen your understanding and create digital learning artefacts such as podcasts, videocasts and quizzes to explore the emerging field of multimodal pedagogy. You’ll also showcase and develop your own multimodal literacy, as well as your commitment to inclusivity and equitable learning. 

This inspiring module examines the role and potential of AI in improving education, through personalised and adaptive learning and teaching. You’ll explore the potential of intelligent tutoring systems, natural language processing and machine learning, while considering the ethical and privacy concerns surrounding AI.  

Gain key knowledge of research paradigms and methods in this insightful module. You’ll develop your research skills and explore the purpose of academic literature reviews, as you learn how to propose and conduct a research project in an educational context of your choice. You’ll also strengthen your understanding of applications, limitations and ethical considerations relating to research. 

This defining module allows you to demonstrate the knowledge you’ve gained throughout your studies. With the guidance of an allocated superviser, you’ll investigate a specific area of your professional practice, using appropriate, valid and reliable research methods and approaches. On completion, you’ll have developed key organisational, communication and research skills that will benefit your career. 

Teaching methods 

Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.  

Our courses are delivered through a virtual learning environment (VLE) instead of a traditional campus. This means you’ll have access to your study materials 24/7, including:  

  • multimedia lecturecasts made up of written content, short videos, animation, audio recordings, infographics, short tests and mini-assignments 
  • discussion forums for you to chat about the course content with fellow students 
  • live seminars and Q&A sessions with your tutors 
  • a comprehensive eLibrary of textbooks and academic journals  
  • support from academic staff and your dedicated Student Support team 



You’ll be assessed through a series of assignments. This can be by engaging in discussion forums throughout your modules, completing reflective journal entries, delivering live presentations or by submitting longer written pieces. 

We’re committed to providing frequent and transparent feedback in the following ways: 

  • our assessment criteria are designed to be simple and transparent 
  • you’ll always be aware of your current provisional grade, right from the start of the programme 
  • you’ll be able to view your marks clearly in your gradebook whenever you log into the learning platform 
  • there’s a 7-day turnaround for marking and feedback of assessed work 
  • you’ll have regular contact with your Student Support team, with whom you can discuss any concerns as soon as they arise 


Online learning experience 

Your learning experience will be fully supported by high-quality learning materials and resources, delivered via our state-of-the-art virtual learning environment (VLE).  

On average, your learning experience will include the following: 

  • directed learning (40%) this includes participating in tutor-led discussions and seminars, completing interactive exercises on the VLE, and watching videos and lecturecasts. You’ll also be able to book appointments with your module tutor during their office hours, which can be found on the VLE 
  • self-directed learning (30%) – including undertaking wider reading and research in your area of study to develop your understanding of the subject area 
  • assessment (30%) time spent preparing and completing assignments and activities that contribute towards your overall assessment 

Typically, you’ll need to dedicate a minimum 15-20 hours of study per module, per week. 


Study duration 

Our MSc Digital Education has an indicative study duration of 2 years, which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability.  

It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.  

Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.  

All our courses have regular start dates throughout the year.  

On successful completion of your degree, you’ll be invited to attend a graduation ceremony at the University of Essex’s Colchester campus. 


Academic staff 

A quality teaching experience is at the heart of everything we do.  

The dedicated tutors who teach our course modules are subject matter experts, experienced academics and leading industry thought leaders. They play a vital role in ensuring the latest theories and areas of study are covered in our courses, and are proud to provide a high level of academic support. 

You can find more information on our key academic staff and their experience here. 


Quality and assurance  

We’re proud to provide a first-class education to students anywhere in the world and adhere to the strictest quality standards 

The University of Essex Online has been evaluated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) and we’re registered in the Approved (fee cap) category with the Office for Students (OfS) 

All our degrees are delivered by Kaplan Open Learning, a world-leading education provider with over 15 years’ experience. 

On completion of this course, you’ll have gained the knowledge and practical skills needed to secure a successful, digitally centred role within education. This could be in management, research, the implementation of new technologies within education, or even as an education adviser. Alternatively, you may continue in your current role with greater insight into digital education.  

Gaining a postgraduate qualification with the University of Essex Online also puts you in good stead for your career prospects. Results from our 2021 student survey showed: 

  • 92% of students said their course helped develop their research skills 
  • 89% of students say their studies fit with their future plans 
  • Almost 60% said their studies had a positive effect on their career 
  • 25% of students saw their salaries increase by up to 10% 

We know many people from non-traditional backgrounds would succeed on our courses. That’s why we offer two different entry routes, taking into account your prior work experience and relevant qualifications. You will also need to meet our English language requirements. 

Additionally, you will need to pass your first assignment set within the two-week induction period of the course in order to continue with your studies. 


Academic entry route

In order to satisfy the academic entry route requirements for our MSc Digital Education, you must have the following qualifications as a minimum: 

  • an undergraduate degree from an approved institution, equivalent to a UK Honours degree; or a relevant professional qualification 


Work experience entry route

In order to satisfy the work experience entry route requirements, you must meet the following criteria:

  • at least two years of education work experience

English language requirements

As our courses are delivered in English, a high proficiency is required in this language. If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to an IELTS (Academic) score of 6.5. Don’t worry if you don’t hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification – we offer a free online English test to assess your proficiency.  

You don’t need to prove your English ability if you are a national of, or have completed a qualification equivalent to a UK degree in, any of these countries. 

Full tuition fee:

£12,167 UK / £12,428 International (2023-24) Δ 

£12,471 UK / £13,049 International (2024-25) Δ 

  • Designated for postgraduate student loans in England. 
  • Simple monthly payment plan available, enabling you to spread the cost over the duration of your studies. 
  • Full payment discount of 5% if you pay upfront. 
  • Partial scholarship available for international students residing in specific regions outside of the UK. 
  • Alumni discount of 10% of the tuition fee available if you are a previous graduate with the University of Essex or University of Essex Online. 
  • 10% anniversary scholarship available for students who enrol before 31 July 2024.
  • 20% impact scholarship available for our July and October 2024 intakes.


Please note that a maximum of two discounts or scholarships can be applied. Find out more information about our discounts and scholarships here. 

Our course fees are fully inclusive – all teaching materials and required reading are included, and there are no hidden charges for assessments or resits. We also charge the same fee for domestic and international students. 

We want to give everyone the opportunity to experience a University of Essex Online course. We think you’ll love it, but if within the first 21 days you decide it’s not for you, you’ll receive a full refund. 

Δ All tuition fees shown are net of any applicable sales tax payable by you in your country of residence. Where we are required to add sales tax at the local statutory rate, this will be added to the tuition fees shown and confirmed during the payment process. 

Subject specialists, industry authorities and experienced academics: the tutors who teach modules on our MSc Digital Education are true experts in the field. 

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