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MA Character Education

This Character Education programme from University of Birmingham is the first and only distance learning Character Education course in the world – focusing on the theory and practice of human flourishing.

Quick Facts

Part-Time Duration: 3 years
Starting in: September
Tuition Fee: £7,050 per year
Location: Online

The Character Education programme from University of Birmingham adopts a broad understanding of character – encompassing aspects of wellbeing, ethics, citizenship and social and emotional education.

The course is run by The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues based at the University of Birmingham. The Centre is widely acknowledged as one of the world’s foremost research and teaching centres specialising in the examination of how character and virtues impact on individuals and society. You will be taught by some of the best known names in character education, both in Britain and internationally.

The main features of the course are:

  • It is multi-disciplinary – it includes learning from the fields of education, philosophy, (positive) psychology, sociology, social sciences and theology
  • It is flexible – the learning is guided but students can work through it at their own pace
  • It is suitable for professionals seeking to transform their organisation or career, or individuals looking for a foundation for further postgraduate study such as a PhD
  • It utilises the latest technology to ensure an engaging and participatory online learning experience
  • It provides a supportive learning environment – all students have a dedicated personal tutor
  • It is focused on the contexts in which students work – the assignments and dissertations can be directed towards students’ personal and professional interests in the field
  • It is collaborative – students have the opportunity to work alongside and learn from fellow students from around the world
  • Most importantly it is practice focused – the learning contributes to making a difference. It helps students to play their part in transforming people, organisations and places.

Courses included:

  • Theories of Character, Virtue and Flourishing
  • Research Methods in Character Education
  • History and Politics of Character Education
  • Character Education Interventions in Schools and Organisations
  • Character Education Leadership in Schools and Organisations
  • The Virtuous Practitioner
  • Dissertation

“The transition from undergrad to postgrad can be a big step up in terms of workload and what is expected of you, but there is so much support available to you as a postgrad student, from academic writing support (if you’ve been out of education for a few years or just want a bit of extra help) to mental health and wellbeing services. The careers support is fantastic – the uni puts on employer fairs throughout the year and you have access to one on one support from the Careers Network team, who can help you develop your skills ready for your next step!”

Emma Sutton // PhD Psychology


The MA Character Education has been developed in response to the overwhelming interest in character education (and associated concerns such as wellbeing, social mobility and ethics) around the world. Completion of the Programme will ensure that you will further your understanding of this area and will gain the knowledge and experience to implement informed change in your own organisation.

Profiles of students on the Programme vary. Current students include headteachers, deputy headteachers and assistant headteachers who want to transform their school through character education; teachers who have taken character lead positions in their schools; recent graduates looking for further studies in education; individuals looking for foundational learning for a PhD; individuals running and working for charities and not for profit businesses; and parents looking to further their theoretical and / or practical enhanced knowledge about character.


  • We are keen to encourage applicants with a wide range of qualifications and prior learning experiences. Typically, successful applicants will hold an undergraduate degree at 2.1 level or above and have some relevant and related experience in the field of education; however, account will be given to equivalent professional qualifications and experience.

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