MA Education (Academic Practice)

Year of entry


The MA in Education (Academic Practice) pathway encourages and supports rigorous and critical professional development, which aims to have significant impact on student outcomes. 

It enables staff to pursue their scholarly and research interests in Higher Education (HE) pedagogy, whilst retaining a practical focus, with modules on curriculum development, academic leadership and the wider context of higher education in society. 

The MA in Education (Academic Practice) pathway is one pathway within an MA Education programme that has been specifically designed for education professionals from a wide range of settings and phases. Students will benefit from interaction with the postgraduate community, with opportunities to attend conferences, study days, lectures and seminars on campus and at other locations.

The pathway will be of interest to all staff wishing to:

  • Enhance their teaching practice;
  • Further develop their academic career;
  • Deepen their scholarly understanding of higher education pedagogy. 

It may be of particular interest to academic staff who do not have a Master’s degree, or would like a practice-related Master’s degree in addition to an academic subject-based qualification they may already hold. 

It will also be of interest to academic staff who are considering undertaking a research degree with a focus on higher education pedagogy. 

Throughout the modules, reference will be made to the UK Professional Standards Framework and how this might be engaged with in order to address the descriptor statements for gaining either Senior or Principal Fellow status with the Higher Education Academy.

The pathway has three stages.

Stage 1: you will import 60 credits from your Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice (or equivalent qualification). 

Stage 2: three compulsory 20-credit modules, which you will normally study in your first year of registration.  You will study areas that are essential to successful academic practice, from the student perspective and in terms of your own career.  This will normally include aspects of curriculum design, leadership and change management, in the context of the changing nature of higher education in the UK.

Stage 3: you will attend research methods training and write your 60-credit dissertation, which will explore an area of your higher education professional practice using an appropriate educational research method.  You will normally complete Stage 3 in your second year of registration.  

The course is studied alongside your full-time or part-time employment.

It is intended that successful completion of the pathway will equip you with the skills and knowledge to enhance your teaching and improve student outcomes.  It is intended that your promotion prospects will be enhanced not only by the Master’s qualification itself, but also by your enhanced ability to understand and discuss contemporary issues in higher education, to lead and implement change and by your increased participation in research.

Within the wider MA Education community, we have a wide network of alumni who may continue with postgraduate study on our popular EdD programme or a PhD, contribute to Master’s programmes as associate staff and offer expert support to colleagues engaging in Master’s study and research.

Stage 2 modules will normally be delivered in three full days of teaching per module.  Teaching and additional support for Stage 3 modules may be delivered during the day, at evenings or at weekends. 

The course is normally delivered through group seminars and lectures, one-to-one tutorials, workshops and activities, enquiry and guided independent study. Online resources and facilities are available through the virtual learning environment. You will have full access to the University’s online resources and e-library as well as facilities on campus.

As well as taught sessions and workshops, there is personalised tutorial support, with writing days and postgraduate conferences to support your development and scholarship, organised within the wider MA in Education courses. Members of the postgraduate community meet for conferences and study weekends at various times during the year to provide peer support. 

The main programme is delivered on our Canterbury Campus. 

The pathway is led by Dr Susan Kenyon, Principal Lecturer and Senior Academic Developer within Learning and Teaching Enhancement, with support from senior members of academic staff in the Faculty of Education and elsewhere in the University. 

In Stage 2, assessment is normally through a 4,000-word assignment per 20-credit module.  The assignments are varied and flexible in nature and are designed to maximise the potential to examine, explore and enhance the participant’s existing professional practice, particularly in seeking to integrate the different aspects of academic practice.

In Stage 3, your 60-credit dissertation will explore an area of your higher education professional practice using an appropriate educational research method. The dissertation will be supervised by a suitably qualified member of academic staff at the University.  

Applications for this course can be completed online.   For further information, please read our guidance on how to apply online.

The pathway will normally only run with a minimum cohort of 15. 

Please contact us if you have any questions or for further details.

Tel: 01227 782519


Fact file


  • 2 years part-time

Entry requirements

    • Successful completion of an honours degree (2:2 or above) or evidence of other relevant study at level 6.
    • Successful completion of the Postgraduate Certificate in Academic Practice / Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching, or equivalent award from another university.



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Last edited: 18/09/2017 15:15:00