Higher Education

Attend a course fair How to apply
Attend a course fair How to apply


The Master of Arts in Higher Education (MA HE) develops the theoretical and practical expertise of those in teaching, supporting learning and otherwise supporting student learning, directly or indirectly in a range of professional HE roles.

Participants develop a reflective, scholarly and evidence based expertise in Higher Education, whether from a teaching and learning or other professional perspective. It is aimed at all HE professional staff roles, including academic, academic related, administrative, governance, academic services, and other services including library and human resources.

The distinctive entry and progression routes through the programme allow those with teaching-focused practice and those whose practice is based in other, less student-facing aspects of HE, to achieve a masters award relevant to the common professional context of higher education.

Two alternative entry routes (one teaching focused, the other non-teaching focused) allow participants to play to their strengths, while the coherence of the programme lies in recognising the unifying features of Higher Education as a complex but integrated set of professional practices.

The MA will endow graduates with a significant postgraduate qualification, registering their expertise in their particular professional context, and providing a starting point for those wishing to progress to PhD study. 

Features and Benefits

One of the distinguishing features of the programme is that it brings together HE professionals with different roles and, as a result, participants learn about professional practice in Higher Education from a broader perspective. As the political, social, regulatory and economic context of HE changes rapidly, this varied perspective represents a rich professional development experience. Participants elect options and assignment tasks aligned to their professional practice and interest, resulting in a flexible and tailored programme.

Provision is highly flexible, with some option units delivered online, and others (FLEX unit and its variants) designed to adapt to students’ own study priorities.

Career Prospects

An increasing proportion of Higher Education staff hold PG Certificate awards, and this MA award allows participants to distinguish their academic profile. At the same time, it allows them to evaluate their professional roles in the broader context of HE, facilitating career development into higher education management and/or academic leadership.  For a number of participants, it will prepare the way for Doctoral study

Learn more about graduate careers

Entry requirements

Applicants will normally be graduates working in a teaching or support role in Higher Education, and must also be able to demonstrate the following to the satisfaction of the Programme Leader:

Applicants with a 60 credit M level higher education teaching qualification (e.g. PGCLTHE or PGC FE/HE) or equivalent will normally be eligible for entry to the MA HE at the PG Diploma stage.  Other applicants will normally be expected to enter the programme at PG Certificate stage.

Course details

Stage 1 (PG Certificate – 60 credits)

Participants study 30 core credits and 30 option credits.

 Core units for participants in teaching related roles:

  • Introduction to Learning, Teaching and Assessment (15 credits)
  • Developing Academic and Professional Practice (15 credits)

 Core units for participants in non-teaching related roles:

  • Higher Education Today (30 credits)

Stage 2 (PG Diploma – 60 credits. Direct entry at this point for participants holding existing and equivalent PGCert award)

Participants study 30 core credits and 30 option credits

Core units:

  • Researching Higher Education (30 credits)

Option units available as part of PG Certificate or PG Diploma:

  • Enhancing Learning, Teaching and Assessment with Technology
  • FLEX (Creativity for Learning)
  • FLEX (Professional Standards Framework)
  • Scholarship and Practice
  • Assessment in Higher Education
  • Education for Sustainable Development
  • Global Citizens Global Learners
  • Programme Leadership
  • Research Degree Supervision and Examination
  • Teaching and Learning Essentials for New Teachers

Stage 3 (MA Dissertation – 60 credits)

Participants complete a 60-credit dissertation unit.

Placements options

This is a work-based programme – it is open only to participants currently working in a Higher Education role, which allows them to relate their practice to their studies in a scholarly manner, and vice versa.

School of Teacher Education and Professional Development

Our School of Teacher Education and Professional Development was established over 100 years ago and specialises in training teachers and education professionals.

The department is home to three main areas in primary and secondary teacher education and professional development, and has partnerships with over 1,500 regional schools, colleges and educational organisations.

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Taught by experts

Your studies are supported by a team of committed and enthusiastic teachers and researchers, experts in their chosen field. We also work with external professionals, many of whom are Manchester Met alumni, to enhance your learning and appreciation of the wider subject.

Meet our expert staff


UK and EU students

Please contact the department for more information about the fees for this course.

Non-EU and Channel Island students

Please contact the department for more information about the fees for this course.

Additional Information

A Masters qualification typically comprises 180 credits, a PGDip 120 credits, a PGCert 60 credits, and an MFA 300 credits. Tuition fees will remain the same for each year of study provided the course is completed in the normal timeframe (no repeat years or breaks in study).

Part-time students may take a maximum of 90 credits each academic year.

Postgraduate Loan Scheme

Loans of up to £10,000 for many Postgraduate Courses

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Alumni Loyalty Discount

Rewarding our graduates

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How to apply

Participants can enrol onto the MA as graduates with an active role or professional interest in higher education.

The admissions regulations and entry requirements for the Master of Arts in Higher Education (MA HE) comply with the University’s policy, regulations and institutional Code of Practice on Recruitment and Admissions, and with the University’s Scheme for the Admission of Students with Advanced Standing following the Accreditation of Prior Learning. All applicants shall also be considered with regard to the University’s equal opportunities policy and such anti-discrimination legislation as may be in force.

Candidates must have a sufficient command of the language in which the course is taught to be able to meet the requirements of the course in every respect.

Further information and an application form are available here.


Programme Review
Our programmes undergo an annual review and major review (normally at 6 year intervals) to ensure an up-to-date curriculum supported by the latest online learning technology. For further information on when we may make changes to our programmes, please see the changes section of our Terms and Conditions.

Important Notice
This online prospectus provides an overview of our programmes of study and the University. We regularly update our online prospectus so that our published course information is accurate. Please check back to the online prospectus before making an application to us to access the most up to date information for your chosen course of study.

Confirmation of Regulator
The Higher Education Funding Council for England is the principal regulator for the University. To find out more about the regulator’s role please visit their website.