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University of Glasgow: Adult Education for Social Change (International Master)

Institution University of Glasgow View institution profile
Department School of Education View department profile
Study type Taught


Adult education has been recognised in Europe as a critical element in addressing challenges pertaining to employment, research and innovation, climate change and energy, education and combatting poverty. A concern about social inequality and a belief that adult educators can contribute to social change based on smart, sustainable and inclusive growth is the driving force behind the creation of the programme.

  • This programme has been designed to maximise the learning outcomes through both student and staff mobility and is innovative in the interconnectedness of the curriculum.
  • Its unique focus brings together the recognised strengths of all partners into a relevant degree which engages with and responds to key issues of our time, such as social inequality, migration and intercultural cooperation and collaboration.
  • A distinctive feature of this programme is the connection between theory and practice, gained through focused placements and mobility periods between the partner universities.
  • The programme aims to deliver a curriculum that enables people to work with adults effectively and competently in changing socially diverse contexts.
  • This Joint Masters Degree is awarded by a consortium comprising the University of Glasgow (Scotland), the University of Malta, Maynooth University (Ireland), Tallinn University (Estonia) and the Open University of Cyprus.
  • An array of academic conferences, workshops and other socio-cultural events involving all consortium partners will help to make your experience a truly rewarding one in terms of making lasting friendships and equipping you for a future professional career.

The programme is taught over 24 months and includes three mobility periods. It has been designed so that you benefit from the specific expertise of each of the partners and have a short credit-bearing placement built into each of the mobility periods.

Semester 1 courses will be delivered at the University of Glasgow. There is a pathway choice in semester 2 between the University of Malta (Critical issues, policy and curriculum) and Maynooth University (Community engagement and education). Semester 3 courses will be delivered Tallinn University. Open University of Cyprus courses will be delivered online with every partner.

You will also complete a research dissertation that will be supported by all institutions throughout your two years of study. You can choose to spend this semester at Glasgow, Malta, Maynooth or Tallinn, depending on the focus of your dissertation.

There is also the opportunity to attend a summer school in Penang at Universiti Sains Malaysia or undertake internships at UNESCO (UIL) Participatory Research in Asia (PRIA) or the German Institute for Adult Education (DIE) as part of the summer mobility period.

Year 1: Semester 1 (September - December)

University of Glasgow

  • Introduction to adult education for social change
  • International issues in adult education OR Psychology of adult learning
  • Practical aspects of adult education
  • Placement
  • Teaching adult education online.

Year 2: Semester 2 (January – May)

University of Malta (Pathway A) - Critical issues, policy and curriculum

  • Adult education and social difference
  • Adult education for sustainable development
  • Curriculum development
  • Placement
  • Research methods (online).


Maynooth University (Pathway B) - Community engagement and education

  • Advanced gender studies in adult and community education
  • Advanced theories in adult and community education
  • Placement
  • Power, politics and society: adult education in context
  • Research methods (online).

Summer mobility

Universiti Sains Malaysia - Summer School (June-July)

  • Peace studies
  • Sustainability.


Internship (limited places)

  • DIE (German Institute for Adult Education)
  • PRIA (Participatory Research in Asia)

Year 2: Semester 3 (September – January)

Tallinn University

  • Critical reflection in adult learning and education (online)
  • Placement
  • Research support and employability issues
  • Social and professional identity of adult educators
  • Theories of change in adult education.

Year 2: Semester 4 (February – August)

Glasgow, Malta, Maynooth OR Tallinn

  • Research dissertation

Graduates will be equipped with the academic knowledge, research skills, and practical employability skills through this jointly developed and delivered programme.

You will find employment teaching and facilitating change in schools, communities and workplaces, advocating through activism or influencing policy in international NGOs and governments, as well as undertaking research that uncovers new knowledge about how adult education can help eliminate social injustice.


University of Glasgow












The University of Glasgow’s School of Education is  an ambitious, major international research-led institution with traditional roots in Scottish higher education. We invest in the future of education through world-class research that advances knowledge and practice. Respected for contributions to policy and practice, our teaching and research benefits from strong partnerships with education communities.

Founded in 1451, the University of Glasgow is the fourth oldest university in the English-speaking world. The University has a history of changing the world and the School of Education is committed to nurturing the people who make it happen. 

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