This paper examines how one higher education institute (HEI) in the Northwest of England has devised and developed an innovative Master of Arts (MA) in Education practice with a curriculum designed to meet the needs of newly and recently qualified teachers. The research considers that in the early stages of initial teacher education (ITE), learning to teach may involve an apprenticeship model where the teacher educator must model learning, teaching and assessment strategies and inspire their mentees to find out those that will work for them through models of reflection and policy in practice. Later, successful teachers must be able to choose and critically evaluate strategies and pedagogies for themselves, a defining factor in the design of the programme and curriculum. Emerging from a course review, we consider evidence based practice and practitioner research through a progression route (MA) from ITE. Furthermore we determine that the research focus of early career teachers in this context enables research at a personal level for professional development of emerging and focused targets for context dependent research. This paper concludes that the current programme does indeed meet serving teachers’ needs, and represents the move from reflection on practice to research informed practice evident through a consideration of the contemporary issues facing beginning teachers and their foci of study. This research also informs how we develop our recruitment strategy and next steps for the future to encourage a more sustained approach to research as teachers. It highlights clear steps for taking this research further and tracking beginning teachers’ research journey over time.