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Research and Practice in Higher Education MA

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Part time 2 years Attendance is required at Kingston University for a total of two teaching weeks at different points during the course; the rest of the course is delivered online January 2017

Deadline for applications is 20 December 2016. We reserve the right to cancel the course starting in January 2017, should it not reach a minimum number of five students by that date.

Choose Kingston's Research and Practice in Higher Education MA

Higher education expands knowledge, broadens horizons, and contributes to society's wellbeing and welfare. This course aims to create inquisitive, critically aware and well-prepared higher education professionals. With the knowledge, skills and attitudes encouraged by this course, these professionals can make positive changes to the higher education of the future.

The course is primarily designed for those currently working in higher education or who have experience of working in the sector. However, if you have different, but relevant, professional experience, we will consider your eligibility on an individual basis.

Key features

  • The course offers critical understanding of key issues and trends in higher education. Covering higher education as a whole, it examines overlapping professional and inter-professional practices (eg teaching, research, administration, leadership and support).
  • You will gain understanding of a sector that is experiencing significant and ongoing change, and learn to reflect on this change in ways that can bring about meaningful innovation.
  • The course does not just rely on a theoretical understanding of higher education issues. Through interaction with a variety of scholars and professionals, you will be able to link theory to the range of practices within higher education.
  • You will benefit from the shared experience and expertise of professionals (both academic and academic-related) at the University and from the profession beyond.
  • You will develop important scholarly research skills, enabling you to work successfully in education-related contexts and in professional environments that rely on social sciences research. These skills will also be useful if you wish to continue your studies to doctoral level.
  • Your career opportunities may be enhanced through the knowledge and skills gained on this course. These skills are not only relevant to traditional higher education positions, but also roles such as consultant or researcher in higher education agencies, research councils and educational think tanks.

The course has several challenging and exciting aims, including:

  • helping you develop a critical and reflective understanding of higher education practices (both academic and academic-related);
  • sharpening your conceptual awareness and your ability to use critical thinking and reflection when studying key and emerging higher education practices;
  • helping you develop and apply relevant research methods to examine specific areas of higher education practice;
  • fostering your scholarly independence and professional judgement, helping you to work within complex higher education environments; and
  • enhancing your professional and career options, while offering personal intellectual satisfaction.

What will you study?

This course offers both breadth and depth of knowledge. As well as a broad study of higher education, you will be able to specialise in an area of your choice. Topics current in higher education include: marketisation, globalisation, internationalisation, the changing nature and scope of knowledge, and widening participation. You will consider these topics from professional and interprofessional viewpoints.

You will be encouraged to reflect on your professional expertise and experiences, and compare these with others. The course also provides opportunities to develop and demonstrate knowledge, understanding, skills and other attributes that are typical of the field of higher education studies (such as reflection, critical thinking and positioning).

Course structure

The MA is divided into three parts, each corresponding to a 60-credit exit point:

  • Certificate (upon completion of modules 1, 2)
  • Diploma (upon completion of modules 1, 2, 3, 4)
  • Master (upon completion of modules 1, 2, 3, 4, 5)

Students will complete modules 1, 2 and 3 in their first year of study.

  • The course is mostly delivered online. However, you will need to attend the University for two weeks of teaching. These weeks will be at the starts of modules 1 and 2. In these weeks, your classes will be Monday to Friday, normally between 10.00am and 5.00pm. Each week comprises intensive teaching, and may include visits within the London area. Activities are provided online for further study, engagement and assessment.
  • Module 3 is delivered completely online through regular tasks, activities and readings.
  • Modules 4 and 5 are entirely made of independent study relating to a specific topic/area in higher education. You will have regular access to supervisors – online, face-to-face, or a mixture, depending on your circumstances.


  • Includes a one-week intensive block delivered at Kingston Hill.

  • Includes a one- week intensive block delivered at Kingston Hill.

  • Module 3: Researching higher education
  • Module 4: Looking at specific practices: literature review
  • Module 5: Research dissertation

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

Key dates for 2016/17 entry

  • Module 1: 16 January – 23 April 2017 (coursework submission date)
  • Module 2: 03 April – 02 July 2017 (coursework submission date)
  • Module 3: 18 September – 17 December 2017 (coursework submission date)
  • Module 4: 15 January – 15 April 2018 (coursework submission date)
  • Module 5: 2 April – 16 December 2018 (coursework submission date)

Contact us

Janet Norry
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5645
Email us


This course is taught at Kingston Hill

View Kingston Hill on our Google Maps

Contact us

Janet Norry
Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5645
Email us


This course is taught at Kingston Hill

View Kingston Hill on our Google Maps
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