Institute of Education


Higher and Professional Education MA


The MA Higher and Professional Education will give students critical insights into the changing field of higher education; reflecting on contemporary developments and debates. It will introduce conceptual and analytical frameworks for understanding the role of higher education in society. It will develop student’s knowledge, skills and confidence to operate effectively and creatively in a diverse higher education sector.

Degree Information

This programme provides students with the opportunity to study for an interdisciplinary, interprofessional qualification, examining higher and professional education policies and practices in relation to their own personal and professional experience.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of two core modules (60 credits), two optional modules (60 credits), and either a) a dissertation (60 credits), or b) a report (30 credits) plus a further optional module (30 credits).

Core modules

The two core modules must both be completed in order to gain the named award.

Innovation and Change in Higher and Professional Education
Higher Education: Comparative and International Perspectives

In 2017/18 both core modules were timtabled 5-8pm to enable students working in higher education to attend with ICHE running in the Autumn Term and HE: CiP running in the Spring Term.

Optional modules

Recommended optional modules appear below, but optional modules can be selected from the wide range offered by various taught Masters programmes at the Institute of Education.

Comparative Education: Theories and Methods
Understanding Education Policy
Debates in the History of Education
Education and Technology: Key Issues and Debates
Learning and Teaching for Adults
Philosophy of Education: Values, Aims and Society
Sociology of Education
Understanding Education Research
Understanding Research

The module Learning and Teaching for Adults has the additional requirement of experience of teaching.


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching is delivered through interactive lectures, seminars, group discussions, case study analysis and online learning. In many modules there are opportunities for all students to participate on a variety of ways, including giving short presentations or seminar papers or leading group discussions.

Assessment is through coursework assignments of up to 5,000 words and a 20,000-word dissertation or 10,000-word report.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2018

Modes and duration
Full time: 1 year
Part time: 2 years
Flexible: up to 5 years

The programme is available part-time or flexible/modular to enable those working in higher education in London to maintain their professional role while completing their studies in evening classes.

Tuition Fees (2018/19)
£8,430 (FT) £4,340 (PT)
£18,240 (FT) £9,290 (PT)
Application deadlines
All applicants
Open: 16 October 2017
Close: 4 September 2018

Note on fees: The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Current Students website. Fees for flexible, modular study are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session.

Location: London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A minimum of a relevant second-class Bachelor's degree from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard and relevant professional experience of higher and professional education.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

Visa information

This programme is suitable for international students on a Tier 4 visa - study must be full-time, face-to-face, starting October or January.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)
Applications open on Friday, 23 February 2018. Deadline: 23:59 (UCT) Tuesday, 12 April 2018.
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)
Overseas students
Based on both academic merit and financial need
IOE Fulbright
Now closed for 2018/19
Overseas students

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas, for example one is a university governance and quality assurance manager, while another is a government policy adviser for education. Others have jobs as academic standards and quality officer, careers and professional development consultant, learning, teaching and quality manager, and qualifications manager and students’ union officer. Some go on to doctoral studies in the field of higher education.

Recent career destinations for this degree
  • Administrative Assistant, Vienna University for Economics and Business
  • Medical Consultant, St George's Hospital (NHS)
  • Programme Administrator, Institute of Education
  • International Partnerships Manager, City University London
  • PHD Education, Institute of Education, University of London (IOE)

The employability of students will be significantly enhanced by the development of complementary skills which will help them to efficiently connect theory, policy and practice in their day to day to jobs.

  • to enable participants to understand and analyse policies and practices in higher and professional education
  • to develop critical awareness of concepts, debates and issues in higher and professional education
  • to be able to conduct a small-scale inquiry, and include this in a sustained exposition (dissertation or report)
  • to develop frameworks and principles for action in professional settings

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The Department of Education, Practice and Society is a multidisciplinary department at UCL Institute of Education. The department has extensive expertise and experience in research, knowledge transfer and consultancy in the UK, Europe and Asia, working closely with transnational bodies, government departments, regional organisations, national institutes, and international organisations.

The Centre for Higher Education Studies brings together students, researchers, consultants and practitioners from around the world focusing on higher education with a distinctive programme of seminars and events

Programmes offered by the Centre for Higher Education Studies provide high level academic and professional education for those working in higher education.

Department: Education, Practice & Society

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Education, Practice & Society
78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Application and next steps


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

This programme is suited to all those with professional or voluntary experience of working in higher education and related fields; administrators and managers; researchers, teachers and professional staff such as learning support or widening participation officers; and policy-makers from universities, colleges, national organisations and professional bodies.

Application deadlines
All applicants
4 September 2018

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now
What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Higher and Professional Education at graduate level
  • why you want to study Higher and Professional Education at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

Degree last modified on 14 November 2017 at 15:03 by UCL Student Recruitment Marketing.

You may also be interested in: