MSc / PgDip / PgCert Blended and Online Education

Postgraduate, Distance Learning

Aimed at education professionals, this flexible course develops your knowledge and skills in blended and online teaching, boosting your career prospects in diverse learning environments.

  • Napier code:


  • Course type:

    Distance Learning

  • Award:

    MSc / PgDip / PgCert

  • Location:

    Distance learning

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Course introduction

Please note: There is no September 2017 intake for this course.

If you are working in a University, College or have an education role, this course will enhance your blended and online teaching and learning skills, meeting your individual developmental and professional needs and allowing you to explore current and emerging issues in education.

This is an online distance learning course meaning you can study at a pace and place that suits you. Building upon the strengths of Edinburgh Napier’s reputation in applied education, the MSc BOE provides a creative combination of theoretical grounding, conceptual understanding, tailored application and original research related to blended and online learning, teaching and assessment.

You’ll have the opportunity to develop, implement and evaluate blended and online learning, teaching and assessment approaches, tools and resources within your own work. You’ll be doing this working alongside fellow education professionals from a wide range of subject areas and contexts, as well as internationally.

For a flavour of the kind of projects you can be supported in undertaking on the MSc BOE, past examples include:

  • Redesigning of a large undergraduate course to incorporate online collaborative opportunities for students via a social networking site.
  • Design and development of an online taster course for teaching staff new to the institutional Virtual Learning Environment (VLE).
  • Evaluative study of student and staff perceptions of technology enhanced teaching and learning approaches in Higher Education.

The MSc BOE has also supported several programme participants in authoring papers based on their projects for publication in peer reviewed journals or for presentation at international conferences.

Academic Support Advisor Kendall Richards.

The duration of this distance learning course is determined by the exit qualification you study for (PgCert, PgDip or MSc). It is taught part-time and entirely online so you can study independently in your own time. You’ll use a range of online tools and resources and get the opportunity to interact with internationally renowned experts in this field.

The MSc is recognised by the Staff and Educational Development Association (SEDA). All three exit awards carry individual professional accreditation from SEDA in Embedding Learning Technologies. In addition, for participants who are working within higher education roles in the UK, the PgCert Blended and Online Education offers a higher education pathway route that leads to Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).

You’ll develop the core skills, versatility, competence and confidence to teach effectively in online environments. You’ll also gain research, communication and presentation skills to compliment your existing knowledge and experience.

Subjects include


  • Introduction to Blended and Online Education
  • Supporting the Blended and Online Student Experience
  • Curriculum Design and Development for Blended and Online Learning


  • Emerging Digital Technologies in Blended and Online Education
  • Educational Research Methods and Practice
  • Customised Study in Blended and Online Education


  • Research in Blended and Online Education including a digital dissertation

Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information on this is available in our disclaimer.

Enhanced opportunities for promotion as your improved understanding and skills lead to increased job satisfaction and improved student engagement.

You’ll be better equipped for modern roles in education and prepared to work in diverse online blended environments. You may find work in areas of:

  • tertiary and university education
  • local and national education projects
  • teaching blended and online learning
  • industrial training

Professional development

The programme aims to:

  • Provide professionally and vocationally oriented development and a postgraduate learning opportunity in emergent learning technologies.
  • Create a rich and varied experience that enables participants to contribute effectively to teaching, learning, assessment and policy / decision-making in blended and online education.
  • Model an adaptive, learner-driven approach.
  • Provide opportunities for inclusive design of the learning environment and to undertake teaching practice supported by collaborative online activities.
  • Develop participants’ ability to research and to evaluate research.
  • Develop participants’ ability to deal systematically and creatively with current and emergent pedagogical, technological, institutional and sector-wide issues.

MSc BOE participants are engaged with individual and collaborative projects throughout their time on the programme that are directly relevant to their own professional practice. The programme has already had a real impact on the individuals themselves as well as on the institutions they work at. See our case studies.

The entry requirement for this course is a Bachelor (Honours) Degree at 2:2 or above in any discipline.

Due to the nature of this course, applicants will already need to be working in a substantive teaching and learning, course and development, consultancy or other appropriate role within tertiary or professional education.

English language requirements

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English, or your undergraduate degree was taught and examined in English (within two years of starting your postgraduate course). Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

Our entry requirements indicate the minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

International students

If your qualifications aren't listed above, visit our country pages to get entry requirements for your country.

Please note that non-EU international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:

BN Nursing/MN Nursing (Adult, Child, Mental Health or Learning Disability)

BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery

Admissions policies

We are committed to being as accessible as possible to anyone who wants to achieve higher education.

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures and how decisions are made.

Tuition fees
Students from 2016/17 2017/18
All students - Taught modules *£570 *£570
All students - Dissertation module £350 £350
Fees for modules are calculated according to the number of credits (multiples of 20). The rate shown in the table is for 20 credits*.
This course comprises of 180 credits from taught modules and a dissertation. The total fee you will pay is dependant upon the exit award you wish to achieve.

Frequently Asked Questions about Fees
Information of Bursaries and Scholarships

Excellent. What I’ve learned, and implemented as a result of the programme has been worth its weight in gold: to me, my team and the University.

Maureen Andrews

Current BOE student

Working with the other individuals was the best thing about this course. I have been able to deepen my L&D knowledge and feed my passion for education.

Martin Caine

former BOE student

Frequently asked questions

What support will be available to me?
Your primary point of contact will be your module leader. However, you will also be assigned a personal development tutor (PDT)  as well as support from tutors who are also active participants in programme activities. You’ll have access to an excellent range of distance-learning facilities and resources – from a huge collection of free, online academic materials, to a personal email account, access to our VLE, and CPD activities. The collaborative nature of the programme and the high visibility online of your tutors mean you should never feel you are on your own.

What if I have holidays planned?
You may have holidays planned during the trimester. That’s not a problem as long as your module tutor is informed early on about these dates in order to accommodate for group work activities and submission deadlines. We know that mature adult learners are busy people and that life can sometimes be a struggle! If you have unexpected issues which arise while you are studying, Edinburgh Napier University’s Mitigating Circumstances policy may mean they can be taken into consideration. Contact your module tutor as soon as possible in this event in order that we can support you appropriately in your new circumstances.

How many credits is each module worth?
Each module is worth 20 credits. 

How many hours do I need to set aside to complete each module?
Each module is worth 20 credits, which means you may need to allow up to 200 hours to study the module in the 15 week trimester. As our programme is designed to be as flexible as possible in practice most module activities are highly integrated and you should find that you can complete the module activities in less than the notional hours of study. You will also find that some times are busier than others depending on the nature and scale of the assignment you and your peers are engaged with.

When does Trimester 1 commence?
The MSc BOE is a part-time programme beginning with the first core module in Trimester 1 which commences in September of each new academic year. The second core module follows in Trimester 2 after which there is a break of studies during Trimester 3 during the summer, before the third core module that completes the Pg Cert stage of the programme is undertaken. 

What are the three exits qualifications?
• Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert): 60 credits
• Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip): PGCert plus 60 credits
• Masters of Science (MSc): PGDip plus a 60 credit dissertation

Where I can find out about fees?
Check out our fees and funding pages.

I want to apply but I don’t currently work in an education environment?
Due to the nature of this course, applicants will already need to be working in a substantive teaching and learning, course and development, consultancy or other appropriate role within tertiary or professional education.

Do I need a computer?

Yes due to the fully online nature of this course you will need access to a computer with internet.

On top of the fees what other purchases will I need to make?
You may find it helpful to purchase one or two of the core texts we use throughout the programme, however, we ensure that all readings and other relevant literature are made available online within the virtual learning environment via Edinburgh Napier library's e-Library and e-journal resources. 
In addition to the course fees, and any hard copy books you might wish to purchase, you will need access to the internet and appropriate hardware and software in order to participate effectively in this fully online programme. 

How many credits do I need?
• Post Graduate Certificate (PGCert): 60 credits
• Post Graduate Diploma (PGDip): PGCert plus 60 credits
• Masters of Science (MSc): PGDip plus a 60 credit dissertation

Can I access the library?
Yes, you will be given access to Edinburgh Napier's library's e-Library and e-journal resources. Hard copies of relevant books can also be mailed to you through the library's postal loan service.

How can I find out more information?
Contact the programme administrator.

It has helped me in my academic and professional practice, to see a whole new set of possibilities for technology enhanced teaching and learning, that I can apply within my workplace.

Greg Walters

Current BOE student