Master of Education in Educational Studies

Blended or Online Cohorts

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Educational professionals at all levels can be change agents who support robust learning communities and empower a culture of informed practice. The course-based Master of Education in Educational Studies (MES) invites you to explore the challenges and opportunities associated with leading educational improvement and develop your research skills, while focusing on and integrating your area(s) of educational interest.

Note: Students who have completed a Graduate Certificate in Educational Studies (GCES) or a Graduate Certificate in School Leadership (GCSL) may be able to ladder those courses into the MES program. Click here for more information.

Study part-time; work full-time.
Online or blended delivery options.
Graduate in two years.
Course-based program.
Highly qualified, supportive instructors.
Cohort of peers with varied experiences and interests.


Who enrolls in the MES?
MES students have a wide range of professional experiences in education: a typical cohort has educational practitioners from K-12 and higher education classrooms, administration, and leadership; some with the required two years of experience and some with considerably more years. This diversity supports rich learning conversations, where students routinely share experiences, ask tough questions, and collaboratively build new insights about educational improvement.

MES students also have a wide range of professional educational interests: to ensure a personally relevant learning experience, students integrate their own areas of interest in educational leadership and/or school improvement into their coursework. If you choose to join us, you will enjoy a rigorous synthesis of study, discourse, educational research applications, and reflections on implications for professional practice as you build knowledge in your area of educational interest.
What if I'm not interested in formal leadership?

Educational improvement is the result of influence at every level of practice: for instance, the teacher who inventively increases student engagement is no less a leader in educational improvement than is the principal who ignites a renewed school-wide commitment to informed practice. So, whether you are already in leadership, have aspirations of formal leadership, or want to lead educational change from within the classroom, the MES is designed with educational professionals like you in mind. The MES provides you with opportunities to integrate your areas of educational interest into your coursework as you:

  • explore emergent, evidence-based research findings in educational improvement
  • consider the challenges and opportunities implicit in research findings
  • discuss the implications for practice and future research
  • plan and execute research to inform educational improvement
Can I really work full-time and succeed in the MES?

Yes. The program is structured to allow you to work full-time and study part-time.

The only full-time study takes place during the first three weeks of July. Our graduates tell us that the open discussions, deep thinking, and new insights are invigorating and worth the investment of time during the summer. There's something quite wonderful about spending three weeks with a group of people similarly interested in and committed to being educational practitioners-actively involved in the art, science, inquiry, and reflection that is professional practice.

During your online studies, you can expect about 10 hours per week of coursework, so you do need to set aside weekly study time. Our graduates tell us that the support of family, friends, and colleagues is helpful. Let your circle of people know what getting an M.Ed. means to you and let them know, specifically, how they can support you. Talk with your educational leader(s) to determine whether accommodations can be made to support your studies. Lastly, keep your instructors in the loop; if you encounter scheduling difficulties let them know sooner rather than later so that you can collaboratively determine a solution. To optimize your learning experience, we endeavour to accommodate regional K-12 schedules.

Do these courses count toward the TQS?
Yes. If you are an Alberta K-12 educator, each MES course can be applied as 0.125 years of education toward your TQS (the full certificate is 1.25 years).
What's the difference between the blended and online cohorts?

In the blended cohort, the summer courses are taken in-person on the U of A campus. You'll spend your mornings and afternoons in a classroom, working with your instructors and fellow students in large and small groups.

In the online cohort, the summer courses are taken online, using the Zoom platform in eClass. You'll also spend mornings and afternoons working with your instructors and fellow students, you'll just be in the Zoom setting.

For both cohorts, all of the remaining courses are online, some with synchronous Zoom sessions. Electives may have different requirements.

Can I stay on-campus for the Summer courses?

Some students stay with friends or family members over the three-week period. If you require paid accommodation, a number of options are available, including nearby hotels and Bed & Breakfasts. Should you wish to stay on campus--only steps away from your classes, there are two options:

Is this program offered in other locations?
Pending sufficient enrolment, MES summer courses may be offered in a variety of locations in the province and beyond, with additional courses provided online (or fully online for a specific location's cohort).

Our Partnerships

Fort Vermilion School District

Fort Vermilion School District Logo

Our partnership with the Fort Vermilion School Division (FVSD) provides staff with opportunities including the MES program with a focus on literacy and numeracy as well as the Graduate Certificate in School Leadership which meets the academic requirements for LQS certification with Alberta Education. Both programs were developed to meet FVSD's identified needs.

Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Educational Authority (KTCEA)


Our partnership with the Kee Tas Kee Now Tribal Council Educational Authority (KTCEA) provided staff with the opportunity to complete the MES program in the areas of Indigenous teacher education, leadership, and school improvement. To optimize the learning experience, students in this cohort were taught primarily by Indigenous faculty, focusing on Indigenous pedagogies and research methodologies.

Maple Leaf Schools

Maple Leaf Schools Logo

Our partnership with the Maple Leaf Educational Systems World School Program provides their staff with the opportunity to complete the MES program with a focus on leadership and international education. This partnership includes collaboration between the Maple Leaf staff and University of Alberta instructors and ensures that teachers are able to complete the program without leaving China as they continue to work.