BERA Masters Dissertation Award

Every year BERA recognises academic excellence and rigour in research by a Master of Education student. This underscores BERA’s commitment to developing capacity, advancing quality and methodological originality within the field of educational research. 

Eligibility Criteria

  • Nominators/proposers and the person/s being nominated should be fully paid up members of BERA at the time of nominations.
  • The institution at which the student submitted their dissertation should have confirmed the degree awarded by 31st December 2018; i.e this award is awarded to education students who have completed their masters in the previous year (2018).


  • £500
  • A 1,000 word double page spread of their paper to be featured in Research Intelligence.
  • A complimentary registration at BERA Conference 2018.
  • A BERA Blog


Nominations will be scored by a BERA selection panel. The panel’s judgement will be framed by the following criteria:

  • Research quality, including rigour, transparency and validity
  • New area of research
  • Methodological originality
  • Significant conceptual or theoretical contribution to its field
  • (Potential) impact for policy-makers, practitioners and other research users

The 2018 competition is now closed. The 2019 competition will open Summer 2018.


2017 Award

The 2017 Winner of the BERA Masters Dissertation Award is Jonathan S James (UCL Institute of Education ) for his dissertation: Civil disorder, domestic terrorism, and education policy







The abstract for his dissertation is below:

“This dissertation seeks to identify the ways in which occurrences of Islamic terrorism and outbreaks of civil disorder have impacted on approaches to migrant incorporation and education policy in England and France. Since 2001, England and France have experienced outbreaks of rioting in which young people of immigrant origin have been implicated. Both have also been the target of Islamic terrorist attacks committed by their own citizens. The two countries have had similar experiences of immigration since the Second World War, but are considered to have taken divergent approaches to migrant incorporation. Whilst Britain has tended towards a ‘multicultural race relations’ model, France has tended towards an assimilationist Republican model. Through the analysis of policy discourse, policy documents, and secondary sources, this dissertation seeks to establish whether, given the common challenges faced by the two countries, these distinct approaches to migrant incorporation have been maintained. It finds that the policy traditions continue to frame political discourse and feed into the policy response. At the same time, commonalities in the challenges faced, as well as processes at super-national level appear to have led to convergence in some areas.”


Many congratulations to Jonathan and keep an eye on the BERA Blog and Research Intelligence for summaries of his research.