Dissertation: MA Higher Education - UELT8990

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Module delivery information

This module is not currently running in 2024 to 2025.


The subject matter of the dissertation will be individually negotiated with the Programme Director. The production of the dissertation will be supported through individual tutorial supervisions by a member of the programme team with expertise in the student's chosen research area. This will include guidance on the initial framing of the research question and the development of a research proposal which will additionally be considered by the UELT Ethics Committee. MA candidates will be expected to produce a piece of work, between 12,000 – 15,000 words in length using appropriate methodologies and resources.


Contact hours

• An initial two-hour briefing for all students, presenting the steps needed to undertake the research, from selecting an area for research and framing a research question through to the production of the dissertation. This briefing will include details of the ethical considerations when developing the proposal
• Personal tutorial meetings: 8 hours, mutually agreed, either face-to-face or by email/Skype. The tutor will provide individual guidance on appropriate literature, advise on the design of the project and provide formative feedback on work in progress.

Method of assessment

Dissertation (12,000-15,000)

Indicative reading

Individual advice and guidance on relevant readings will be provided by individual supervisors, according to the nature of the proposed research.

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
• Demonstrate an awareness of the difficulties involved in formulating a feasible research question and ways of addressing these difficulties;
• Demonstrate an understanding of the need to engage critically and systematically with a variety of theoretical perspectives in the field of Higher Education;
• Demonstrate the ability to describe, evaluate and apply different approaches involved in collecting, analysing and presenting research findings in the field of Higher Education;
• Evaluate critically the implications of different perspectives for their proposed research area;
• Demonstrate familiarity with the literature, theories and methodology relevant to their research topic;
• Demonstrate capability in general research skills, including bibliographic and IT skills;
• Gather, organise and synthesise data and information from a variety of sources;
• Analyse and present an analysis to others, developing reasoned arguments based on critical judgement;
• Reflect on their own learning and to make use of constructive feedback from staff and peers to enhance their skills;
• Identify and formulate a feasible and appropriate research question;
• Plan and carry out a research project, including the exercise of critical reflection to evaluate progress and adjust as appropriate;
• Apply concepts, theories and methods used in the study of Higher Education;
• Demonstrate effective self-managed learning skills, including (but not confined to) an audit of personal strengths and weaknesses; time management; setting and reviewing appropriate timescales for each phase of the research; exercising initiative in pursuing specific lines of inquiry;
• Demonstrate communication skills: effective communication in speech and writing; capacity to retrieve and present information using appropriate tools; capacity to organise information coherently and clearly.


  1. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  2. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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