This is the first and only distance learning MA Character Education programme in the world – focusing on the theory and practice of human flourishing.  The programme adopts a broad understanding of character – encompassing aspects of wellbeing, ethics, citizenship and social and emotional education.

This distance learning MA Programme will enable you to develop your knowledge and expertise in the field of character education, learning alongside professionals who are interested in human flourishing from around the world in a dynamic online learning community. The Programme will cover a range of topics, including: theories of flourishing; researching character education; the history and politics of character education; leadership in character education; and, running character interventions in schools.

The programme is run by The Jubilee Centre for Character and Virtues based at the University of Newcastle. 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 programme 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. 


There are 3 postgraduate awards associated with the MA in Character Education:

  • PGCert (3 modules, 60 credits over 12 months)
  • PGDip (6 modules, 120 credits over 24 months)
  • MA (6 modules and a dissertation, 180 credits over 3 years)

Institutional Accreditation 

University of Newcastle is accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission (DETC), Since , University of Newcastle has been continually accredited by the DETC Higher Learning Commission and its predecessor.

MA in Character Education

Course Level:

Postgraduate, Continuing professional development, Distance learning, Taught




CODE P1054

How long it takes:

3 Year 

Study Mode:

Distance learning/ Campus

Course cost

Price: US$22,500

Entry requirements

Find out more about


Newcastle Law School

Year One


Theories of Character, Virtue and Flourishing (20 credits)

The Theories of Character, Virtue and Flourishing module will explain how key theories from the fields of psychology, philosophy and education, inform planning, administration, policy and professional practice – including a critical awareness of current problems and/or new insights in the field. 


Research Methods in Character Education (20 credits)

This module will teach you how to evaluate educational research from theoretical and methodological perspectives, in order to contribute to character education through the demonstration of original thinking in teaching and learning.  The various research methods available to researchers will be discussed; alongside this, the ethical implications and challenges associated with researching character in education are explained, with a strong focus on issues of reliability and validity in research.


History and Politics of Character Education (20 credits)

This module will start with a consideration of the historical development of character education where you will gain an understanding how character education has been delivered in and out of schools and what form this schooling has taken. The politics of character education (both in the UK and internationally) will be examined during the second half of the module and an in depth investigation of current character education policy in the UK will be used as a case study to consider how the subject is shaped by government priorities. Comparisons will be made with other countries who have adopted character as a central plank of their educational policy.


Year Two

Character Education Interventions in Schools and Organisations (20 credits)

Exploring the practical implications of character education, this module will draw and build on the theory learnt in previous modules.  You will learn about how character education can be implemented in various educational settings, including schools and community organisations; this will give you the ability to analyse data, synthesise information and apply critical thinking to develop your own relevant interventions and tools to create a culture and ethos designed to enhance good character.


Character Education Leadership in Schools and Organisations (20 credits)

This module will examine the role of leaders in developing character education in schools and other organisations.  It will cover positive organisational theory, and both leadership theory and practice, with a specific focus on making decisions that bring about change in schools. Throughout the module the challenges of implementing and leading character education programmes will be examined and critically debated.


The Virtuous Practitioner (20 credits)

The responsibilities of teachers and other educators working with children and young people will be examined throughout this module; this is framed around the fundamental question- what does it mean to be a virtuous professional?  Drawing on research (both theoretical and empirical) into the character virtues of teachers (as well as other professionals), this module will consider what their moral responsibilities are, and considers the role of both initial and continuing professional development (CPD) in teacher education.


Year Three

In year three, you will complete a 15,000 word dissertation on a topic related to character education which is likely to have been covered in one of the taught modules. 

Considering postgraduate study, but unsure whether you meet the entry requirements for a Masters-level degree? Postgraduate admissions guidelines vary by course and university, but can be quite flexible.

Your existing qualifications will be important, but you don’t necessarily need a great Bachelors degree to apply for a Masters. Your personal circumstances and experience may also be considered during the admissions process.

This guide explains the typical entry requirements for a Masters, which include:

      • An undergraduate degree in a relevant subject – Depending on the programme and institution, you may need a 2.1 in your Bachelors, but this isn’t always the case
      • Language proficiency – If English isn’t your first language, you’ll need to display a certain ability level, usually through a language test
      • Professional experience – Some postgraduate programmes may require you to have some professional experience (this is usually the case for PGCEs and Masters in Social Work)
      • Entrance exams – These are only required in certain subject areas and qualifications, including some MBAs

Tuition fees for UK/EU students 2020/21

MSc:  Full-time £9,900. Part-time £4,950
Postgraduate Diploma:  Full-time £6,660. Part-time £3,300


Tuition fees for International students 2020/21

MSc: Full time £23,310
Postgraduate Diploma: Full-time £15,540


You’ll show your progress through a combination of written essays, problem-solving assignments and presentations.

All students take our core modules, but please note that the availability of optional modules is subject to demand.

The MA in 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.