Higher Education MA

Postgraduate ( distance learning, full-time)

Distance learning, Cambridge

September 2018

Intermediate awards: PG Cert, PG Dip

Course duration: 1 year full-time, 2 years part-time.

Overview

The aim of our MA in Higher Education is to equip students with research skills and substantive knowledge for the study of higher education. You will enhance your ability to facilitate and lead the development of expert knowledge within your specific area of higher education including academic practice.

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Full description

Careers

Graduates from a wide range of backgrounds, including tutors, lecturers and academics from different disciplines and educational contexts will benefit from the provision of specialist knowledge and research methods training. Our course actively seeks to support the professional development, employability and career progression of managers, administrators and academic-related, professional staff (e.g. learning technologists, academic developers). The offering of a range of specialised research skills is tailored to enhance the expertise of these professionals as well as those aspiring to progress to higher levels of management in the areas of higher education policy, widening participation and access in higher education institutions. Invited lecturers from external higher education and policy institutions will highlight possible pathways for future employment within specialist organisations or universities in a number of countries.  The design of authentic course assessment tasks underlines the importance of developing specialised research and professional skills applicable in the workplace. Equally, the research skills element of the course will equip participants with necessary skills for progression to doctoral or independent research. 

Modules & assessment

  • National and International Perspectives on Higher Education Policy
    This module examines policy and policy-making as distinct processes of implementation and change. Students will consider the approaches of different countries to important debates in the field including the purpose and nature of universities, funding, internationalisation, access and widening participation, management, quality, and regulation processes. Utilising policy analysis methods as well as key concepts and theoretical frameworks students will critically examine comparative evidence to enhance their knowledge and understanding of higher education principles, processes and practices drawing on individual national case studies. The module covers the following broad areas of higher education policy, policy-making and change; Access, recruitment and widening participation, Quality assurance and regimes of (de)regulation in higher education, Management and change at institutional, national and international level, Tiers of higher education provision, rankings and their implications for governments and universities, Higher education financing and shifting patterns of funding and Internationalisation, global competition and cross-border flow of students and researchers.
  • Universities as Contemporary Learning and Teaching Environments
    This module examines the historical development of research in teaching-learning with a view to identify key contributions that influenced how we conceptualise teaching-learning in the university sector. Several theoretical traditions are presented (e.g. communities of practice, student approaches to learning, actor network theory) and emphasis is placed on the role of assessment and feedback as well as the wide-scale implementation of technological media in higher education and their impact on new modalities of learning. Students will be offered the means to enhance their critical understanding and use of relevant theory by supporting critical and systematic reflection on the changing nature of teaching-learning in higher education, on the changing management landscape, and on the relationships between them in national and international contexts.
  • Special Research Methods in Higher Education
    This module provides an overview of the methods and methodologies applied to research in higher education. In doing so, it provides links between higher education and educational and social research in general without losing its particular focus and applicability on higher education settings. The meanings and associations between methods are discussed and their position in wider epistemological paradigms is considered. Students will be given an overview of the development of these methods and methodologies in higher education and will develop applied research skills on methods relevant to their practice or interests. Conclusions will be drawn on the methodological opportunities and challenges of the presented research methods and their supplementarity to wider educational and social research will be critically examined.
  • Postgraduate Major Study
    This module supports students in the preparation and submission of their Master's Major project and involves a dissertation of 14,000 words or the equivalent. The Major Project enables students to demonstrate the ability to raise significant and meaningful questions in relation to their specialism which may involve working at the current limits of theoretical and / or research understanding. It will involve the ability to develop solutions to ethical dilemmas likely to arise in their research or professional practice. The project enables students to expand or redefine existing knowledge, to develop new approaches to changing workplace situations and / or to contribute to the development of best practice. It asks the student to communicate these processes in a clear and elegant fashion and to evaluate their work from the perspective of an autonomous reflective learner. Students' research topics must be negotiated with their appointed supervisor. An application for ethical approval and ethics discussion paper must then be submitted. The project may take the form of a written dissertation, a formal presentation and full research paper, an exhibition, a performance, an artefact or the development of software, or other written, aural or visual material. The project may be formed from a combination of these modes but will normally include a written component.

Assessment

You will be assessed in a number of ways, from systematic literature reviews to reflective accounts on your professional practice, to ensure you're learning effectively. Other forms of assessment may include presentations, critical analyses of existing research, producing a dissemination poster and a research project. Each module comprises of one summative assessment and one core formative assessment. The assessment of the modules places emphasis on authenticity of the assessment tasks. Assessment are designed to strengthen your ability to conduct research in higher education settings. 

Where you'll study

Your faculty

The Faculty of Health, Social Care & Education is the largest provider of health, social care and education courses in the East of England, with over 6,000 students from more than 20 countries.

With 95% of our students finding full-time employment within six months of graduating, you can be sure that our courses have been designed with your career in mind. We’ve been educating nurses, midwives and social workers for over 25 years.

At the cutting edge of research, we offer a range of internationally recognised undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses taught by friendly, supportive and experienced staff. With over 150 research students across our three doctoral programmes (PhD; DProf and EdD), we provide the multi-disciplinary perspective and potential for academic debate that reflects our position as a leader in practitioner-focused and practice-led research studies.

Designed to enhance your learning experience, our facilities include state-of-the-art simulated skills laboratories that mirror real-life clinical situations and UK hospital wards. Our students also benefit from our Early Childhood Research and Resource Centre; a space in which they can experiment with equipment and play activities.

You’ll study in an exciting, modern faculty which has strong links with regional, national and international organisations, including healthcare trusts, social services, local and regional authorities, schools and academic institutions.

Your enthusiasm. Our passion. Your best foot forward.

Where can I study?

Distance learning
Person using laptop

Study at a time that suits you, using our Virtual Learning Environment.

More about distance learning

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Normally applicants should have a first degree with honours at a minimum classification of 2:2 or equivalent. Exceptional entry is offered to professionals with extensive professional experience. Arrangements also exist to incorporate Accredited Prior Learning (APL). If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.5 (Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students, distance learning (total cost)

£6,700

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year)

£8,100

UK & EU students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)

£4,050

International students, 2018/19 (per year)

£13,100

International students, 2018/19 (per year, part-time)

£6,550

How do I pay my fees?

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

International students

You must pay your fees up-front, in full or in instalments. You will also be asked for a deposit or sponsorship letter for undergraduate courses. Details will be in your offer letter.

Paying your fees
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Funding for UK & EU students

It’s important to decide how to fund your course before applying. Use our funding guide for postgraduate students to learn more about the following:

  • The Government’s new £10k Masters loan
  • Applying for our scholarships
  • Additional funding options and support
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Funding for international students

We've a number of scholarships, as well as some fee discounts for early payment.

Entry requirements

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