Study Higher Education

Explore, Critique & Contribute to the Study of Higher Education 

Higher Education (HE) studies at UNSW Sydney provide education professionals and academics with opportunities to study higher education at an advanced level with a leading global university.  Our exceptional suite of fully articulated postgraduate coursework programs focuses on building knowledge, developing practical skills, and investigating critical issues related to the governance, management and practice of HE.

Stephen Marshall

Led by Research That Counts 

Backed by UNSW Sydney’s School of Education’s top rating of 5 in the Excellence in Research for Australia (ERA) exercise, we encourage and enable our students to adopt a research-informed approach to their studies and development.  As a student of HE at UNSW’s School of Education you’ll explore, analyse and debate contemporary issues in theory and practice related to: the context of contemporary HE; organisation, governance and management of HE; learning and teaching in HE; curriculum, educational design, and assessment in HE; research and community engagement in HE; equity, diversity and inclusion in HE; quality assurance and improvement in HE; and educational leadership and change in HE.     

Flexible & Affordable 

We offer alternative delivery options, including online courses, intensive school holiday courses, workplace and evening classes to ensure your Higher Education study fits into your busy lifestyle. We also provide affordable study options with Commonwealth Supported Places and the opportunity to pay or defer fees through FEE-HELP for eligible students.    

Specialist Learning for Career Advancement 

Combined with studies of relevant research methodologies, our programs will equip you with the knowledge, skills and capabilities needed to effectively contribute throughout your career to the development and maintenance of quality HE systems and outcomes as practitioner, policy-maker or researcher.  

Higher Degree Research Options 

Suitably qualified graduates of our postgraduate coursework programs can be admitted to the Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) and Doctor of Education (EdD) degrees here at UNSW Sydney and elsewhere.  If you think you may be interested in pursuing a research degree and/or career in HE, we encourage you to speak to a member of our HE Research Community about how best to structure your MEdHE studies to ensure you meet the admission requirements for these doctoral degrees.   

Flexible and Affordable

Recognising that those working in higher education institutions have lives that are structured around a range of different personal and professional timetables, all of the courses in the HE stream of our postgraduate program are offered fully-online though a combination of synchronous and asynchronous engagement with teachers and fellow students.  Further, via Commonwealth Supported Places and the opportunity to pay or defer fees through FEE-HELP, we provide a range of affordable study options for students.  At present, if you are a member of the UNSW Sydney staff, you may also be eligible for a degree of fee remission to support your studies in HE as part of the university’s on-going commitment to the professional and career development of its staff. 

HE Research Community at UNSW Sydney

The HE Research Community at UNSW comprises academics with expertise in, and a passion for, the scholarship of higher education. We work together with our Higher Degree Research (HDR) students to develop critical understandings of the structures, systems, processes and practices of HE, and engage in empirical work into the experiences, perceptions, understandings and feelings of the HE community (students, staff, and other ‘stakeholders’). Our collective research interests embrace university and non-university, public and private HE, and lie in the broad areas of:

  • Governance, structure and organisation of HE
  • Educational leadership and management in HE
  • Quality assurance and improvement in HE
  • Policy implementation and change in HE
  • Teaching and learning in HE
  • Curricula, educational design and assessment in HE
  • Supporting learning in HE
  • Developing teaching in HE
  • Transitions into, through and out of HE
  • Doctoral supervision
  • Academic language and literacies
  • Issues of equity, diversity and social justice in HE

The present membership of the HE Research Community includes: 

  • Professor Stephen Marshall, Convenor
    • Research interests include:  HE governance, structure and organisation; educational leadership, management and change; quality assurance and improvement of HE learning, teaching and curricula; academic development; education focussed academic careers.
  • Dr Karen Maras
    • Research interests include: HE curriculum theory and practice
  • Professor Sue Starfield
    • Research interests include: Academic language and literacies, doctoral supervision; student learning; equity, diversity and social justice; academic identity; English medium instruction in HE
  • Dr Sally Baker
    • Research interests include:  Academic language and literacies; educational transitions; issues of equity, diversity and social justice in HE; CALD students; supports for learning

Our current doctoral students are researching across a diverse range of higher education-related topics, using varied and creative methodologies and Recent PhD Graduates in HE have included.


Study with Us

UNSW School of Education offers two specialist higher education programs. They focus on exploring, critiquing and contributing with impact to the study of higher education. 

Graduate Certificate in University & Learning & Teaching  

The Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching is designed to assist both new and experienced staff in higher education institutions to develop a scholarly approach to teaching, curriculum and educational design, assessment, and evaluation. 

Master of Education (Higher Education)

The one-year Master of Education (Higher Education) degree is designed to be taken as a stand-alone degree or as an extension to the Graduate Certificate in University Learning and Teaching.  The program enables academics and other educational professionals to develop their careers and professional practices by identifying and studying a particular area of higher education policy/practice in depth via (a) coursework and a small project, or (b) developing the research knowledge, skills and capabilities necessary to do so via independent, evidence-based scholarly research. 

Research is an integral aspect of the School of Education and we are ranked in the top three universities in Australia for specialist studies in education.  
The School of Education is home to several distinctive research teams comprising staff and local and international students. Our students experience training that enables them to carry out their own research programs and publish in leading academic journals. Our graduates are renowned for their advanced research skills as well as their ability to produce academic work worthy of an international audience. 

We offer the following postgraduate research programs: 

For more information about the research programs offered by the School of Education, please email the School of Education or phone: 02 9385 1977. 

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