MA Digital Technology, Communications and Education: MA DTCE

University of Manchester, Manchester Institute of Education, MA Digital Technologies and Communication in Education.

These pages provide an introductory overview to core and optional units on the MA DTCE. Students can also select from other units from across the Manchester Institute of Education, these are just a few of the options with links to more information and suggested pre-course readings.


EDUC70141 Educational Technology and Communication (Core)

Educational Technology and Communication is the foundation of the programme and is a double weighted unit (30 credits). It explores learning as an interaction with an environment, and the roles that technologies, assumptions about teaching and learning, and forms of organisation. The unit also covers:


  • basic pedagogical theories and how these are influenced or affected by technology; the nature of reflective practice and its importance for the professional development of educators
  • different types of educational technology, and what influence each type can and does have over teaching
  • the role of communication in organisational, community and public life, and communicative approaches to decision making and teaching
  • how ICT and distance learning change the way we organise and think about education
  • the history of the Internet and how this has affected communication, both online and face-to-face
  • Appropriate Technology, and what this means for education in the developed world, for those with disabilities, etc.


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EDUC70511: Multimedia Design and Development (Optional)

This unit explores the potential of multimedia learning. It will help you:


  • develop an advanced knowledge and understanding of the role of (digital) multimedia in teaching and learning;
  • analyse and critically reflect on relevant research and theory in the field;
  • develop relevant skills in the design of multimedia learning materials;
  • understand and respond to concerns relevant to multimedia learning including accessibility, the appropriate use of multimedia materials in diverse learning context, pedagogical approaches with multimedia


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EDUC70061 Language Learning and Technology (Core TESOL pathway)

This semester 1 course unit is core for those on the TESOL pathway and an option for all others. The unit explores a range of technologies (software/ apps, video material, generic tools such as the Internet, word processing etc) used in language teaching and learning with reference to both classroom practice and self-access application.


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EDUC71221 Big Data and Machine Learning Design for Education (Optional)

This unit explores the way educational technology tools are designed to capture increasingly large and varied data and the analytics and machine learning approaches are designed to analyse it.



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EDUC60491: Theories of Teaching and Learning (Optional)

Though the unit EDUC70410 covers some basic information on the theories of teaching and learning, this unit will go into more detail about major schools of thought on learning theory, key ideas underpinning theories of teaching and learning and how all of these apply to the debates which arise about teaching and learning in a variety of different institutional, policy and cultural contexts.



EDUC61632: Introduction to Educational Video Production (Optional)

This very popular unit, run by Michael O’Donoghue, combines theory and practice in the production or video for educational purpose. The unit explores:


  • the role of video-based material in teaching and learning
  • practical experience with cameras, microphones, and editing
  • storyboarding and shot selection
  • interviewing techniques
  • approaches to editing


EDUC71242 AI (Artificial Intelligence) Perspectives on Learning (Optional)

This unit explores the development of A.I. tools, theories and concepts that inform understandings of learning and developmental psychology and which in turn draws on these to develop new technologies. The unit explores the ethical considerations for use of A.I. in education and learning informed by work in philosophy of mind.



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EDUC70050 Teaching and Learning Online (Optional)

The experiential aspect of this course unit provides an opportunity for students to explore and reflect on a range of topics intrinsically related to technology use in virtual learning contexts:


  • technology and changing educational horizons
  • distance and distributed learning
  • computer-mediated communications and online learning
  • Web2 and its implications for collaborative learning
  • building online learning community
  • developing learner autonomy
  • technology and teacher training and development


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EDUC71212 Educating for Sustainability (Optional)

This unit explores one of the most significant questions in education today: How does education need to respond to the social and ecological challenges the world faces today? This is a question increasingly asked in all spheres of education from formal education to informal education and in community and professional contexts. In this unit you will have the opportunity to exlore and respond to this question. In doing so you will:


  • explore key ideas, terms and pedagogical approaches associated with educating for sustainability. These include explorations of interdisciplinary and intergenerational learning, service learning and place-based learning;
  • evaluate existing learning initiatives, activity/course/curriculum development and policy development relating to educating for sustainability;
  • develop learning initiatives for a learning context of your own choice


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EDUC61712 Digital, Media and Information Literacy (Optional)

This unit explores the ways in which education has responded to the spread of information and communications technologies through society, and the subsequent demands that both children and adults be prepared to study, work and live in a digital world. It will explore:

  • The history of digital, media and information literacy (DMIL) from the early days of ‘computer studies’ to the present time
  • Different models of DMIL including functional, phenomenographic and critical approaches
  • Questions of whether, and how, we can be taught to navigate information landscapes



Blended Learning in a Digital Age (Optional)

This unit explores diverse understandings of and the value of blended learning in a broad variety of learning contexts. The unit provides opportunities for participants to evaluate and design effective blends in ways appropriate to specific learning contexts.

EDUC60011 and EDUC60452 Engaging with Educational Research and Educational Research Methods (Core)

These two core units This 15 credit course in Semester 1 introduces students to research methods for educational contexts.

Engaging with Educational Research introduces expectations and practices around reading and reviewing educational research, and systematically processing and reporting on educational research. Assessment comprises a critical review of an article draft, a critical literature review and completion of study tasks.

Educational Research Methods helps students develop a research question and looks at data analysis techniques, helping you progress to your dissertation.


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EDUC75000 Dissertation (Core)

The dissertation is an opportunity for student to show all that you have learned through the taught section of the programme. Students can work closely with one of the DTCE team to explore a topic or problem of interest or design a tool or curriculum as a learning intervention.

There are different dissertation routes on the programme. You can go down an ’empirical research route’ where you do a research study with ‘participants’. You can go down a ‘literature-based route’ where you explore the literature as related to a topic of your choice. You can go down a ‘design and/or evaluation’ route where you can design and evaluate an intervention in a teaching setting such as a change of management practice, a new technological tool, a pedagogical approach using new media, etc. This can be done in conjunction with an outside organisation.


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