International Education (MSc, PGDip, PGCert) - Online September 2024 entry

The International Education MSc gives students the opportunity to integrate and explore theory and practice in the field of International Education.

As this is an online course, you will have the flexibility to select modules of interest and of benefit to your future career, as well as interact online with students on education-related programmes in St Andrews and around the world.

Start date
September 2024
End date
Depends on your chosen qualification: MSc, PGDip or PGCert
Depends on your chosen qualification: MSc, PGDip or PGCert
International Education Institute

Choose your course

These flexible courses allow you to choose the path that best suits your ambitions. You can:

  • achieve either an MSc, PGDip or PGCert qualification, or study a single module
  • study 'on campus' in St Andrews or online
  • start in September or January.

MSc, PGDip or PGCert

You can enrol for one of three different types of qualifications:

Master of Science (MSc)

Typically a two and a half year-long part-time taught course. The MSc requires you to take eight modules over four semesters and complete a 15,000-word dissertation.

Course start date: September 2024

Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)

Typically a 24-month part-time taught course. The PGDip requires you to take eight modules over four semesters. Those on the PGDip do not undertake a dissertation.

Course start date: September 2024

Postgraduate Certificate (PGCert)

A flexible course that is typically taken part-time over one year. The PGCert requires you to take four modules of your choosing. Those on the PGCert do not undertake a dissertation.

Course start date: September 2024

Modular route

You may choose to study a single module rather than study for a whole qualification. Students may apply to study any of the modules offered. Please specify in your Personal Statement which module you would like to apply for.

In person or online

These programmes are delivered both in person at St Andrews and online. If you are interested in in-person teaching, see:

September or January

There are two different start dates you can choose from. This page has information for September entry. If you are interested in starting in January, see:

Find out more about our International Education courses.

Entry requirements

Typically, you should have one of the following:

  • A 2.1 Honours degree or 3.3 to 4.0 Grade Point Average (GPA) in any discipline. Applications are welcomed from all education systems. If you studied your first degree outside the UK, see the international entry requirements.
  • Significant professional or other relevant experience alongside evidence of prior alternative learning (such as professional qualifications or certifications). 

For more information about our academic entrance requirements in relation to the education system you studied in, email

Recognition of prior learning

Some students may be eligible for recognition of prior learning (RPL) based on their previous studies, such as DELTA. The International Education Institute considers applications for RPL on a case-by-case basis in line with the University's recognition of prior learning policy. To confirm the exact amount of credit you could be awarded, email your relevant transcript to

English language requirements

You will need to be proficient in the English language. Information about English language entry requirements for these programmes is available on the postgraduate English language requirements page.

Applicants who have not met the English language entry requirements at the point of application may be made offers that are conditional on these requirements being met before enrolment. Offer-holders may then use the University’s Academic English pre-sessional courses to meet the English language requirements.

The qualifications listed are indicative minimum requirements for entry. Obtaining the listed entry requirements will not guarantee you a place, as the University considers all aspects of every application including, where applicable, the personal statement, and supporting documents.

Application deadline

Thursday 8 August 2024. Applicants should apply as early as possible to be eligible for certain scholarships.

Application requirements

  • CV, this should include your personal details with a history of your education and employment (paid or voluntary) to date
  • personal statement
  • original signed reference (this may be professional or academic)
  • academic transcripts and degree certificates
  • evidence of English language proficiency (required if English is not your first language). If you have not yet taken an English language test, you can submit it at a later date. Any offer of a place would then be conditional on attaining evidence of your English language competence.

For more guidance, see supporting documents and references for postgraduate taught programmes.

Course details

International Education programmes are run by the International Education Institute.

This course is designed to be useful to experienced practitioners in the field of international education, as well as those considering working in this area.

You will study modules in the applied management and organisational behaviour aspects of leading an organisation as well as modules related to teaching and learning. Modules are taught by an interdisciplinary team from different parts of the University to provide input from a range of academic and practical backgrounds.


  • Choose three optional modules and a dissertation topic to explore your interests, in addition to the five compulsory modules.
  • Interact with students from a diverse range of nationalities and backgrounds.
  • Join the International Education Institute community of practitioners and scholars.
  • Discuss theoretical concepts and frameworks, and apply these through theoretical and practical assessments, in small groups and in writing. 
  • Access an optional and supplementary resource bank of material to support your learning and the development of your professional identity. 

The number of taught modules you will take depends on whether you are studying for the MSc, PGDip or PGCert degree:

  • students on the MSc and PGDip will take five compulsory modules plus three optional modules
  • students on the PGCert will take four modules of their choice

In modules, you interact online in a weekly written discussion forum, or similar activity, with IE's postgraduate students in St Andrews and around the world, providing the opportunity to learn from peers living and working in a wide variety of contexts.


The following modules are compulsory for those on the MSc and PGDip programmes. If you are studying for the PGCert, you can choose any four modules from this list or from the optional module list.

Action Research and Reflection for Education Practitioners: provides a learning experience in which you can reflect on concepts and theories you are studying in other modules and connect them with classroom practice. The module explores action research for classroom practitioners, providing a means for educational practitioners to understand their contexts and to plan systematic investigation in these contexts.

Education and Researching: teachers are increasingly expected to be evidence-informed or even evidence-led; consuming, creating, and sharing research. This module addresses how we evaluate the quality of research to decide what is rigorous and informative for our practice, how we can build on existing research when planning our own interventions, and how to design, pilot and reflect on the effectiveness of different data collection instruments. We consider a range of research contexts and values to help you actively engage with pedagogical research.

Leadership and Management in International Education: asks students to think critically about the purpose, importance and understanding of key concepts and theories of educational leadership in higher education. To this end, the module will begin by exploring what is educational leadership and the qualities of an effective leader in educational settings in the 21st century. It will then introduce and consider relevant theories and principles underlying practice in educational leadership. In order to demonstrate an awareness of the contextual nature of leadership, the module will examine the contributions from international leadership perspectives in a number of different global contexts. Students will be encouraged to analyse and discuss questions and issues arising from the study in-line with their own practice and experience in both written and verbal communications.

Organisational Development in International Education: you will learn about key theories of organisational development as well as their practical application to an educational setting. In addition, students will explore organisation diagnosis, leading change, and organisation culture. Students will be given the opportunity to reflect and critically apply the organisation development interventions to international settings.

Trends and Policies in International Education: aims to raise awareness and enable reflection of the key trends and policies in international education. It provides students with the opportunity to examine the impact that these trends and policies have on standing pedagogical structures and the dialogues they create within the field of intercultural pedagogy. Against this backdrop, the module will encourage students to assess the impact that the decisions they make as leaders, or may go on to make as potential leaders within the field of international education have on the stakeholders within their context of work.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for September 2024 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Those on the MSc and PGDip programmes will choose three modules from the following list. If you are studying for the PGCert, you can choose any four modules from this list or from the compulsory module list.

Assessment and Evaluation in Education: considers the theory and practice of assessment in pedagogy. You will learn key concepts in both, how to design and improve tests for different purposes, and how to make productive use of assessment within teaching. We also consider some of the broader social impacts of assessment and testing and how teachers navigate tensions when promoting student learning within a measurement culture. The module provides opportunities to reflect on how different approaches such as mastery learning or active learning are reflected in assessment design, as well as critiquing aspects of assessment such as the use of time limits, group tasks, multiple-choice questions, and gamification.

English Medium Instruction: In recent years there has been a rapid increase in the teaching of academic subjects through English in countries where the majority of the population do not use English as a first language. This module explores this global trend from the standpoint of content and language teachers, as well as students. It considers the wide variety of English medium instruction contexts, evaluating theory in the fields of teaching and learning, language acquisition and intercultural communication in an attempt to address some of the practical challenges involved.

Language Teaching Methodology: explores the theories that inform teaching practice and analyses the implications these have in terms of ways of learning, material used, the teacher role and the learning spaces. This is essential for all those seeking to understand teaching environments more clearly and for those who have a chance to influence teaching environments. 

Online Programme Design: you will learn about key theories of learning and teaching as well as the principles that underpin online programme design. In addition to this you will learn about digital content creation, how to build a sense of community in online teaching and learning contexts, and about assessment and evaluation in the online world. You will be given the opportunity to identify and conceptualise these aspects of online teaching and learning within your own professional contexts.

Technology for Teaching: introduces you to the principle theories, concepts and practices of technology in language education. You will be able to critically consider the role and purpose of various modes of technology in education in a wide range of settings to identify and conceptualise problems within your own professional contexts.

Optional modules are subject to change each year and require a minimum number of participants to be offered; some may only allow limited numbers of students.

The modules listed here are indicative, and there is no guarantee they will run for September 2024 entry. Take a look at the most up-to-date modules in the module catalogue.

Only those on the MSc programme are required to submit a dissertation.

For the dissertation, you will choose a topic of interest to you and to your future career. You will read related literature and conduct independent research on your topic.

Student dissertations will be supervised by IE staff members. Supervisors will provide guidance throughout the research process, helping you to formulate a suitable research hypothesis. They will offer advice on relevant literature and how to plan your time effectively.


You will take a variety of taught modules over the length of the programme.

The modules are delivered in a variety of ways such as:

  • recorded lectures
  • recorded mini-lectures
  • online chatrooms
  • podcasts
  • guided writing
  • webinars
  • intensive feedback sessions on your work. 

The modules in this programme have varying methods of delivery and assessment. For more details about each module, including weekly contact hours, teaching methods and assessment, please see the latest module catalogue. Some elements may be subject to change for 2024 entry.

In each five-week module, you will integrate theory and practice by discussing and critiquing theoretical concepts and frameworks, and then applying them through a range of practical assessments.

Assessments will include: 

  • a variety of different types of written assignments
  • presentations
  • development of teaching plans
  • group work with students living in other parts of the world.

Read more about curriculum development at the University.

Undergraduates at the University of St Andrews must achieve at least 7.0 on the St Andrews 20-point grade scale to pass a module. To gain access to Honours-level modules, students must achieve the relevant requisites as specified in the policy on entry to Honours and in the relevant programme requirements.

To find out the classification equivalent of points, please see the common reporting scale.

The University’s Student Services team can help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities, long-term medical conditions or learning disabilities. More information can be found on the students with disabilities web page.








Single module


These are programme fees rather than annual fees, and generally they can also be paid in instalments.

Funding and scholarships

The University of St Andrews offers a number of scholarships and support packages to students each year.

15% Recent Graduate Discount

If you have graduated from the University within the last three academic years, you may be eligible for a 15% discount on postgraduate taught tuition fees. Terms and conditions apply.

Your future

International Education graduates are equipped with a range of skills and experiences which allow them to take on a variety of roles. The majority of International Education students work:

  • in managerial and administrative roles in international education organisations like schools, universities, and education-facing NGOs
  • in educational agencies
  • as educational policymakers
  • as International Officers
  • in education-related marketing roles.

Lecturers within the International Education Institute have a wealth of teaching, administrative and leadership experience in education, in a range of locations globally. They are active in using their international networks and experience to support and advise students on future career development. Current teaching staff have taught, or held educational leadership roles, in Australia, Bulgaria, China, Finland, France, Hong Kong, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Martinique, New Zealand, Nigeria, Poland, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA and Vietnam.

The University Careers Centre also offers one-to-one advice to all students on a taught postgraduate course and provides a programme of events to assist students in building their employability skills.

Meet us

Postgraduate virtual visiting days

We hold postgraduate virtual visiting days throughout the year to offer prospective postgraduate students a chance to experience the University's unique atmosphere and the quality of the teaching on offer. 

International Education virtual information sessions

If you are unable to visit St Andrews before you apply, the International Education Institute offers virtual information sessions to discuss the programmes.


Members of the International Education Institute and previous students have received the following awards and prizes:

British Council ELT Masters Dissertation Award

McCall MacBain Foundation Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence Awards 2020

In 2020, the International Educational Institute was the recipient of two McCall MacBain Foundation Outstanding Contribution to Teaching Excellence Awards:

  • Mark Carver was awarded for his work on assessment and feedback scholarship. 
  • Janie Brooks and Kerith George-Briant were awarded for a presentation entitled 'Developing Effective Online Engagement in the Context of Internationalisation' delivered at the British Council International Education Conference in 2019. 

University of St Andrews Golden Dandelion Awards

Kerry Tavakoli and Mark Carver were awarded a University of St Andrews Golden Dandelion Award for ET5524 and ET5624 English Medium Instruction in recognition of the considerable contribution to education for sustainable development that it makes.

University of St Andrews Teaching Excellence Awards 

  • Kirsty Duff was awarded one of five annual Teaching Excellence Awards in 2023 for her excellent teaching and curriculum development at the International Education Institute.
  • Lori Davis was awarded one of six annual Teaching Excellent Awards in 2022. Lori was recognised for the energy and enthusiasm she brings to her classes, her commitment to embedding sustainability within her teaching, as well as her work mentoring colleagues and contributing to University widening access programmes.
  • Paula Villegas Verdu was nominated for a Students' Association Excellence Award for outstanding commitment to inclusivity, for her work on the Online Programme Design module.
  • Kerry Tavakoli was awarded one of four annual Teaching Excellence Awards in 2018. Kerry was recognised for the positive impact her work has had on students through her teaching.

University of St Andrews Students' Association Teaching Excellence Awards

Lesley Thirkell was shortlisted in the category of outstanding academic mentorship, which acknowledges the way a member of teaching staff influences students' personal and academic development.

University of St Andrews Start-Up Challenge

Cameron Wren (MSc TESOL with a specialism in Technology for Teaching 2022-2023) won the Start-Up Challenge at the University's Entrepreneurship Centre with his business proposal for an online curriculum subscription service for online and offline English language teachers.

The Careers Centre offers one-to-one advice to all students as well as a programme of events to assist students to build their employability skills.

Contact us

+44 (0)1334 46 2255
International Education Institute

University of St Andrews 
Kennedy Gardens 
St Andrews 
KY16 9DJ

International Education Institute website