Higher Education MA
Why choose this course
Our Higher Education MA has been built with practising university teachers in mind.
It encourages you to construct your own developmental pathway through a choice of optional modules, allowing you to graduate as a more confident university teacher with the skills and knowledge to shape professional practice.
What you will study
Through online delivery of content, our Higher Education MA offers you the flexibility to create a programme that suits your professional development needs in the field of university teaching, and is offered on a part-time basis over three to five years.
The programme allows you to construct your own developmental pathway through a choice of optional modules. You will do this by engaging with the explicit pedagogic framework that underpins the programme, emphasising the connections between concepts, theory and practice, teaching and research, disciplinary methods, and teachers and students.
On the programme you will analyse issues relating to your everyday teaching practice, share practice and explore solutions with your fellow participants and tutors. Your experience on the MA can provide evidence to support application for Senior Fellowship of the HEA.
You will be registered initially for the MA in Higher Education (180 credits). However, you can choose to step-off at Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) Level.
As part of induction to the programme, you will have a discussion with a personal tutor to help you make the appropriate choices for your professional learning journey based on your previous teaching and learning experience in the higher education context and your developmental aspirations.
A personal tutor will work with you to develop a personalised plan to ensure you get the most from the programme by developing your professional knowledge and skills.
As we recognise that you will be working within your own higher education institutions while you study, the programme is offered as part-time registration. It is anticipated that the Diploma would be completed within two years of registration and the Dissertation would normally be completed within an additional year.
You will be registered initially for the MA in Higher Education (180 credits). However, you can choose to step off at Postgraduate Certificate (60 credits) or the Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) level.
You can decide to study for a general MA in Higher Education or a MA in Higher Education with a specialist pathway. Specialist pathways are only available for the MA in Higher Education (not at the award of Diploma).
If you decide, a pathway is right for you, you will need to take 60 credits from the specialist modules and conduct research within the Research Dissertation module on an area relating to the pathway. The following are the three specialist pathways available:
- Academic Leadership
- Technology Enhanced Learning
- Veterinary Education
For example, if you decide to take the Academic Leadership pathway, you will be awarded MA in Higher Education (Academic Leadership).
- Postgraduate Certificate: This is built around the compulsory module of Teaching in Your Own Discipline. You will choose three optional modules that help builds your own professional pathway and suits your needs.
- Postgraduate Diploma: This is based on your personal/professional development plan; you will choose three further modules that fulfil your personal and professional aims and which strengthens your activities, knowledge and professional values in your career. You will also do the compulsory module of Researching in Higher Education, which aims to help you to start thinking about how to investigate and explore issues that intrigues and challenges you in the Higher Education landscape.
- Masters: For the MA, you will have to conduct a piece of independent research as part of the compulsory Research Dissertation module. This allows you to investigate an issue that you have personally selected that will contribute to your growing understanding of your professional practice.
The programme will be delivered online so you can access the materials from your place of work, home or elsewhere. All materials will be available through the University’s virtual learning environment (SurreyLearn).
Each participant will also have their own personal tutor from the Department of Higher Education.
MEDLAND Emma (Higher Ed.)
Terms and conditions
When you accept an offer of a place at the University of Surrey, you are agreeing to comply with our policies and regulations, and our terms and conditions. These terms and conditions are provided in two stages: first when we make an offer and second when students who have accepted their offers register to study at the University. View our offer terms and conditions and our generic registration terms and conditions (PDF) as a guide as to what to expect.
Please note: our offer terms and conditions will be available in the September of the calendar year prior to the year in which you begin your studies. Our registration terms and conditions will vary to take into account specifics of your course.
This online prospectus has been prepared and published in advance of the academic year to which it applies. The University of Surrey has used its reasonable efforts to ensure that the information is accurate at the time of publishing, but changes (for example to course content or additional costs) may occur given the interval between publishing and commencement of the course. It is therefore very important to check this website for any updates before you apply for a course with us. Read more.
Modules listed are indicative, reflecting the information available at the time of publication. Please note that modules may be subject to teaching availability, student demand and/or class size caps.
The University operates a credit framework for all taught programmes based on a 15-credit tariff. Modules can be either 15, 30, 45 or 60 credits, and additionally for some masters dissertations, 90 credits.
The structure of our programmes follows clear educational aims that are tailored to each programme. These are all outlined in the programme specifications which include further details such as the learning outcomes:
Year 1 (part-time)
Optional modules for Year 1 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7
Choose 6 from the 10 listed optional modules
Year 2 (part-time)
Optional modules for Year 2 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7
Choose 6 from the 10 listed optional modules
Year 3 (part-time)
Optional modules for Year 3 (part-time) - FHEQ Level 7
Choose 6 from the 10 listed optional modules
Course timetables are normally available one month before the start of the semester. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week (Monday–Friday). Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities. Part-time classes are normally scheduled on one or two days per week, details of which can be obtained from the course administrators. View our Timetabling Policy (PDF).
Learning and disability
We have two services, Academic Skills and Development and the Disability and Neurodiversity Service which can help develop your learning.
Academic Skills and Development
Academic Skills and Development is a learning space in the Library where our learning development team is based. It comprises dedicated Student Learning Advisers and Information Skills Librarians who can help you develop your academic and research skills, including writing, presenting, revision and critical thinking.
Find out more about the study support available.
Disability and Neurodiversity Service
The University’s Disability and Neurodiversity Service supports students with disabilities, long-term health conditions, specific learning differences (such as dyslexia and dyspraxia) and other neurodiverse conditions (including autism spectrum and attention deficit disorder).
If you tell us about any conditions and register with us, we can give you appropriate support during your studies.
We can arrange exam and learning support adjustments, give advice on applications for the Disabled Students' Allowance, and test you for dyslexia and dyspraxia. We can also offer regular study skills and mentoring support.
English language support
Our English Language Support Programme (ELSP) provides tailored English language support during your studies. It is particularly valuable to students who speak English as a second or additional language, but native speakers are also welcome.
It is essential for applicants to be academic staff (tutors and lecturers) or academic-related staff working at a Higher Education Institute as they will need access to students and teaching peers in order to undertake some of the activities within the modules, such as teaching observations and classroom based action research projects.
View entry requirements by country
English language requirements
IELTS Academic: 6.5 overall with 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in each other element.
View the other English language qualifications that we accept.
If you do not currently meet the level required for your programme, we offer intensive pre-sessional English language courses, designed to take you to the level of English ability and skill required for your studies here.
The University of Surrey recognises that many students enter their higher education course with valuable knowledge and skills developed through a range of professional, vocational and community contexts. If this applies to you, a process called recognition of prior learning (RPL) may allow you to enter your course at a point appropriate to your previous learning and experience, or to join the start of a course without the formal entry requirements. This means that you may be exempt from certain elements of study in the course for which you have applied and be awarded credit based on your previous qualifications/experience. There are restrictions on RPL for some courses and fees may be payable for certain claims.
Please see the code of practice for recognition of prior learning and prior credit: taught programmes (PDF) for further information. Please email Admissions with any queries.
- These fees apply to students commencing study in the academic year 2019-20 only. Fees for new starters are reviewed annually.
- If you are on an unstructured self-paced part-time course, the fee shown is per 15 credits for the 2019-20 academic year. The fee payable in subsequent years will be reviewed annually.