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Higher Education MA

Learn about the course below
January 2021
1 year full-time
2-3 years part-time
£7,560 (UK/EU) *
£7,560 (INT) *
Course leader
Dr Phil Barter

We’re planning to teach through a flexible combination of online and face to face learning for the first few months of the new academic year. If you’re thinking about starting with us in autumn 2020 or spring 2021, check back for more detail on arrangements for this course in July and August, and see our current plans for teaching and learning.

This course will now start in January 2021 as we've changed some of our teaching arrangements in response to the coronavirus outbreak. You'll get the same great learning experience with lots of support to do your best with this later start date.

The new MA Higher Education is intended to attract those interested in the study of Higher Education as its own field of study. The new range of modules on the new programme reflect the changing landscape of Higher Education

Why study MA Higher Education at Middlesex University?

This flexible and accessible course is designed to work around you. Aimed at academics and those supporting learning in Higher Education, and beyond including local Further Education Colleges, other higher education institutions, training providers and those with an interest in the sector. The course explores the literature in teaching, learning and assessment together, to help you critique and apply generic and subject specific pedagogies and carry out related research across a broad range of disciplines and roles.

If you have just completed your PGCert in Higher Education then you can progress onto the diploma level of this programme to continue your studies.

Course Highlights

  • Flexible course allowing participants throughout the UK and the world to study around their current work commitments
  • As a student of this course you'll receive a free electronic textbook for every module.

Find out more

Sign up now to receive more information about studying at Middlesex University London.

How will you study the MA Higher Education?

You can are enrol on this course with at least a good undergraduate degree of any discipline and a passion for learning more about Higher Education. If you have a Postgraduate Certificate of Higher Education or equivalent, you can join the second year with 60 credits recognised towards your Masters.

If you wish to step off the programme after you complete 60 credits or 120 credits you will be awarded a certificate or post graduate diploma in higher education.

Depending on your choice of modules and experience upon successful completion of the diploma level of the programme you will be ideally prepared to make an application HEA Senior fellowship status (D3).

  • Year 1 modules

    • The Philosophy and Policy of Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      To ground the study of higher education policy in a philosophical perspective.  In doing so the student will consider the importance of philosophical thought to contemporary higher education policy. This will offer a understanding of core issues in higher education policy and their development so as to explore key debates in national and international higher education policy. Students will examine contemporary policy frameworks in higher education, critically engaging with the different concepts that underlie policy creation Finally, the student will be able to critical assess policy and appreciation it philosophical roots in teaching and learning in higher education.

    • Pedagogy in Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to introduce students to theories that underpin learning and teaching in higher education. Students will be able to reflect on how to effectively facilitate learning in the context of modern higher education and within various subject disciplines. This will be done through the critical exploration, reflection on, and evaluation of a wide range of key contemporary learning theories, practices and methodologies that support the development of effective learning environments and enhance the student experience.

    • Psychology of Learning in Higher Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module is designed to explore various psychological theories and practical applications relevant to enhancing the experience of higher education. Different psychological perspectives and research on thinking, learning (including collaborative learning), cognitive and learning styles, motivation, positive psychology, emotional intelligence, resilience and development of self-identity and self-efficacy, and the role of social support and connectedness will be critically appraised in relation to applicability and impact on student retention, engagement and achievement.

    • Pedagogy and Practice in Higher Education Teaching and Learning (15 credits) - Compulsory

      The aim of this module is to apply their knowledge of pedagogic theory developed to the study and practice of innovative curriculum and assessment design that will provide dynamic learning, assessment and feedback experiences that are appropriate to participants’ subject discipline. Students will be able to reflect on how to effectively facilitate learning in the context of modern higher education and within various subject disciplines. This will be done through a practice-based project where participants will be able to explore the unique concerns and drivers of their practice within the context of their subject discipline and wider higher education.

  • Year 2 modules

    • Research Methods and Methodologies for Education (15 credits) - Compulsory

      This module will provide a critical overview of research methods and approaches used for researching various aspects of modern higher education. You will be able to evaluate the strengths and limitations of various methodologies in a range of higher education contexts.

    • Learning Technologies in Higher Education (15 credits) - Optional

      This module explores ways of integrating various learning technologies into the curriculum in order to promote student engagement and enhance the learning experience. Throughout the module a collaborative learning environment will be created in order to allow students to successfully design the implementation and evaluation of a technology enhanced learning solution/ project within their own professional context.

    • Language, Literacy in Higher Education (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to identify key themes relating to language and literacy in English-dominant and EMI (English Medium of Instruction) universities which impact on both staff and students, including multilingualism, widening participation and global Englishes, and will be relevant for staff with a particular interest in, or responsibility for, language and literacy. The module will critically assess relevant current research in these areas, and will enable students to appraise a range of approaches by different stakeholders within Higher Education to addressing the challenges relating to these. Students will work in groups on structured discussion tasks which will enable them to explore current research and apply this to challenges in their own setting.  The module will enable students to make informed decisions relating to their own context which enhance the literacy and communication needs of both staff and students, and to apply their learning to the design and implementation of relevant policies, and appropriate curriculum design and pedagogic interventions.

    • Contemporary issues in higher education (15 credits) - Optional

      This module aims to identify critical issues that drive higher education policy and practice. You will develop an understanding of contemporary higher education practice and critical evaluate specific aspects, as well as how societal and economic factors shape the core issues facing higher education.

    • Globalisation Issues in Higher Education (15 credits) - Optional

      This module is designed to critically investigate and broadly explore issues relating to the concept of globalisation and internationalisation. It will provide you with opportunities to consider the impact of developments that are changing the perspectives and realities of globalisation in higher education.

    • Peer and Team Coaching in Higher Education (15 credits) - Optional

      This module offers advanced level study of topics in Peer and Team coaching.  It offers students a blend of academic study, practical experience, and personal development in addition to an introduction to the language, purpose and process of peer and team coaching. The module is designed to measure a variety of learning outcomes and to facilitate students’ development of critical thinking, reflective learning and specialized listening and communication skills in support of personal, professional and collective development of HE Tutor learning, on the MA in Higher Education (or as a form of CPD).

    • Advanced Research Methods for Education (15 credits) - Optional

      This module is designed to provide a critical overview of the advanced methods and approaches used for research into topics areas related to education. You will be equipped to apply this advanced knowledge in the planning of a research proposal.

  • Year 3 module

    • Dissertation (60 credits) - Compulsory

      The dissertation is a compulsory model for those seeking to achieve the MA Higher education. It aims to enable you to display your ability to plan and conduct an ethical research project displaying mastery of complex and specialised area in reference to your own field of criticism and enquiry.

Please note that modules may become unavailable if there are low numbers.

You can find more information about this course in the programme specification. Optional modules are not offered on every course. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, or there are staffing changes which affect the teaching, it may not be offered. If an optional module will not run, we will advise you after the module selection period when numbers are confirmed, or at the earliest time that the programme team make the decision not to run the module, and help you choose an alternative module.

How will the MA Higher Education be taught?

The learning, teaching and assessment approaches used throughout your programme will encourage you to be actively involved in your learning and to co-operate with other participants. We aim to give you prompt feedback on your learning as well as opportunities to reflect upon and learn from that feedback.

Teaching on the programme will be in four blocks throughout the academic year to enable you to easily plan your studies around work and personal commitments. In each teaching block, you will receive sessions from two modules with relevant tasks to be completed between each teaching block and online support materials to help you keep on track with you studies.


Formative assessment is developmental in nature and designed to give you feedback on your performance and how it can be improved. As a result you will get detailed feedback on formative assessment but not a grade. Formative assessment is an important part of the learning process and has been shown to contribute to enhancement of learning and the raising of standards.

Summative assessment is designed to measure the extent to which you have achieved the intended learning outcomes of a module and therefore the appropriate grade to be awarded.

  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. How to apply
  1. UK & EU
  2. International
  3. Additional costs
  4. Scholarships and bursaries

How can the MA Higher Education support your career?

Completion of this degree will help you realise your ambitions of teaching within the Higher Education sector.

Other courses

Higher Education PGCert

Start: September 2020, January 2021

Duration: 1 years part-time

Code: PGX343

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