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Mathematics Education

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The skills I gained throughout the year prepared me well for further research not only in Mathematics Education, but also in other fields. I would highly recommend the course to anyone with a background in mathematics looking to broaden their horizons

Key Facts
Route Co-ordinator: Julie Alderton
Part time students enrolled 2020-21: 16
Open to: 2 Yr MPhil part-time, PACES-MEd, PGCE-MEd  
Application Written task
2 Yr MPhil part-time deadline: 16 MAY 2022 PACES-MEd & PGCE-MEd deadline: 16 MAY 2022

This course is for anyone with a research or professional interest in mathematics education at any level of education (primary, secondary, or tertiary), wanting to undertake advanced study in a world-class setting. The course is designed to develop your knowledge of the field of mathematics education research and enable you to enhance your educational thinking and practice through critical reflection, study and research. The Mathematics Education course is taught by a specialist team, and its student cohort is drawn primarily from UK-based professionals, most of whom continue in their full-time posts while taking the course part-time.

Why choose us?

  • Join one of the few specialised masters courses in mathematics education in the UK and internationally
  • Benefit from teaching by a specialist team of Faculty staff who are actively involved in cutting edge research and policy advice
  • Join a select group of students with diverse backgrounds but a common interest in the study of mathematics teaching and learning at any level of education (primary, secondary or university)
  • Experience a teaching approach that promotes active, participatory, inclusive and research-orientated pedagogy
  • Enjoy personalised support and mentoring through one to one supervision
  • Engage with the work of the Faculty's   
  • Connect with a friendly and vibrant community of students from across the world
  • Benefit from access to research groups and networks across the University of Cambridge

What does this course offer?

You will develop an understanding of a number of important issues in the field of mathematics education and learn to interpret and critically engage with ideas and debates in mathematics education research in three ways:

  • through taught sessions in mathematics education;
  • through work on course assignments under the supervision of a member of the teaching team; and
  • through participation in seminars led by students on the course and in project workshops

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How is the course organised?

Students on the 2yr MPhil course complete the course part time over two years. For those who have completed the PGCE or PACES at the Faculty the course will be over one year. You will have one teaching session per week on a Wednesday afternoon from 2pm into early evening.

Example topics:

  • mainstream curricular topics including arithmetic, algebra, geometry, probability and statistics;
  • mathematical activities including problem solving, modelling, proving;
  • mathematics pedagogy and learning;
  • teacher knowledge, beliefs, and attitudes;
  • current policy issues, such as international comparisons, social justice, gender and mathematics education and use of resources in mathematics education.

In advance of sessions, students are expected to read pre-set material intended to provide a context or focus for discussion. Sessions are organised in ways that draw explicitly on important research literature in mathematics education and on students' diverse backgrounds and experiences. All students are expected to contribute to, and to learn from, the discussions and activities during the sessions.


Research Methods

Alongside these modules, you will benefit from Research Methods teaching.  It covers a broad range of social science research methods and is essential for Masters level understanding and critical engagement with the research literature in many specialist areas and in education more generally. Through this you will acquire the skills necessary for designing, conducting, analysing, interpreting and reporting a research study for thesis.

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Where do our students go?

Some have pursued doctoral studies in mathematics education and hold academic positions around the world; others have continued their careers as teachers of mathematics in primary or secondary schools, having developed new, research-informed perspectives into mathematics teaching and learning; while others have taken on mathematics education leadership positions in local or national contexts.

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What our students say

Read about our student experiences and feedback from those that attended the course at the Faculty of Education, Cambridge.

Quotes from our students.