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Meet Your Programme Lead - Irenie Lowry

Irenie Lowry, tells us more about her passion for teaching and how our online MA in Education – Leadership and Learning could transform your career.

academic irenie lowry

Can you tell us a little bit more about your professional and educational background? 

My academic background, both undergraduate and postgraduate, is in the field of linguistics, with my PhD research focusing specifically on language acquisition and syntax. While I was a postgraduate student, I began teaching on undergraduate linguistic programmes. As result of this, I decided that teaching was something that I would like to know more about and so I undertook a PGCE at Northumbria University.  


While I was completing these studies, I was asked to join the staff of the University as a lecturer on various teacher-educator programmes. Since then, my role has developed. I now design and deliver Continuing Professional Development (CPD) programmes for professionals in all education sectors, and I also manage the on-campus MA Education programmes at the University too.  

What is your particular area of academic expertise, and why are you passionate about it? 

My expertise lies in developing programmes which facilitate the development of teachers and their careers. Initially, when I joined Northumbria University, I was recruited specifically because of my linguistic academic background. I was responsible for the development and delivery of a teacher-education CPD programme in adult literacy in the post compulsory education sector. Now that I manage the MA courses, and because the sector is an ever-changing landscape, which places more and more demands on educators, I am passionate about ensuring that teachers - in all sectors - are offered a wide range of CPD opportunities. I want to enable them to progress their careers and develop as practitioners and personally, so that are equipped to deal with the demands of the sector.    

Outside of teaching and research, are you involved in any wider projects or partnerships within the Education industry at present?

This online programme aims to develop broad education skills, while offering specialist knowledge in the learning and leadership aspects of education, such as SEN. These are areas that we particularly excel in and not easily found anywhere else. It’s also flexible, which allows our students to balance their studies alongside their other commitments, whether work or personal. 

Why should people choose this Education Masters?  

Your modules will be packed with a range of different resources and ways to learn. There will be interactive online content for you to engage with and the opportunity for you to have live sessions with staff and meet your fellow students, and the chance to focus your wider learning with reading and associated tasks. 

What skills and knowledge can students expect to leave with after completing the course, and how will this transform their lives? 

Students can expect to leave as confident practitioners, who have high self-esteem and a clear understanding of the theory that underpins many aspects of education i.e. learning and leadership, and how that impacts on and supports their practice. They will be able to take their skills and learning into their organisations and make strong contributions to develop and improve its educational provision. They’ll also be able to demonstrate their ability to work at a higher professional level, potentially moving into higher management positions. 

What can new students expect when they come to study at Northumbria University, as a distance learning student in particular?

As you would expect, students sit at the heart of everything we do here at Northumbria. That is also true for our online students. From the moment you enrol, we want you to feel that you are an important part of our academic community. Our modules have been designed to facilitate this. You can expect interactive learning materials, developed by academic experts, live webinars and student-focused discussion forums. In addition, we have Student Success Team offering support – you will always have named contacts to answer your queries. 

What excites you most about teaching on the Education – Leadership and Learning MA programme

The most exciting part about teaching on any MA programme is working with the students and getting to know about them. It is exciting to listen to their ideas and how they make links between theory and their own practice. I enjoy seeing them develop personally and professionally. 


Find out more about our distance learning Education – Leadership and Learning MA today

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