menu icon
Coronavirus (COVID-19) Latest news
Professional Practice in Higher Education MA

Professional Practice in Higher Education MA

Different course options

Part time | Newton Park Campus | 3 years | 11-OCT-21

Study mode

Part time


3 years

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MA - Master of Arts

Subject areas

Higher Education (General)

Course type


Course Summary

This flexible Master’s course is designed to support your continued professional development through a range of module options, and offers both intermediate qualifications and external (HEA) accredited status (for those with suitable teaching practice in HE only). You'll choose modules based on your role and interests, and study over a three to five year period.

As a staff member or research student, the PPHE programme will help you meet the key challenges of working in the rapidly changing world of higher education, while gaining credit and postgraduate qualifications for your professional development.

These challenges – of teaching, supporting student learning, employability, sustainability, new technologies, team management, enterprise, quality assurance and external accountability – range across the whole business of higher education, and can rarely be addressed in isolation. They raise many questions about how best to enhance teaching and research within particular contexts, and about how managers and administrators can improve the effectiveness and efficiency of current practices, not least in terms of addressing students’ needs and aspirations, enriching their learning experiences, and raising the enduring value of their learning outcomes.


By sharing ideas, knowledge and expertise about our professional practices, we can deepen our understanding of the challenges we face, and realise opportunities to make improvements through innovations and the adoption of best practices.

The PPHE programme will help you evidence your commitment to professional development, and enhance the quality of your work, as well as the development of higher education in your workplace.

Career development

The PPHE programme is designed to support the development of both academic and professional staff, teaching, managing or supporting HE students, at a time when evidence of professional development is increasingly expected of all staff, not least for new appointments and promotions.

Some of the modules are accredited with the Higher Education Academy and there is the opportunity, if a participant’s professional practice entails appropriate responsibilities, to gain Associate/Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (A/FHEA), a nationally transferable professional status.

New academic staff at Bath Spa will take a core selection of the modules to gain a specific PGCHE qualification and FHEA status as part of their contract, but are welcome to continue with the PPHE programme to gain higher qualifications, as are those who have gained HEA fellowships through PRO-SPACE or similar recognition schemes.

In this course, students can also exit with PGCert and PGDip awards.


Dissertation (60 Credits) - Core
Research and the Professional Part 1 (15 Credits)
Research Methods in Social Science (30 Credits)
Research and the Professional Part 2 (15 Credits)

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


International fees
Course fees for non-UK/ international students

To be confirmed

Average for all Postgrad courses (per year)


Entry requirements

You must be working, or a research student, in a Higher Education Institution (including HE in FE) during your part time study on this course. Activities and assessment are based on your current HE professional practice. This includes both academic and professional services staff. You’ll normally be required to possess an undergraduate degree awarded by a UK higher education institution, or an equivalent qualification from overseas. Applicants who do not possess an undergraduate degree, or equivalent professional qualification, but who have at least two years of work experience relevant to the programme are also welcome to apply, and will be invited to attend an admissions interview. If you already hold a qualification such as a PGCert in HE (learning and teaching or academic practice), or a fellowship of the Higher Education Academy, the course can build on this towards a higher qualification. This course is consequently suitable primarily for those living and working in the UK, able to travel to Bath regularly for part time study alongside their work in HE.

University information

Bath Spa University is a great choice for those seeking to combine high quality tuition with a unique lived experience. The university has a 150 year heritage of delivering outstanding higher education, and is based in the magnificent World Heritage city of Bath, where students experience ancient Roman heritage alongside Georgian elegance and contemporary city living. The university’s specialist facilities include brand new buildings,...more