Tertiary and Higher Education MEd

Course code X300

What is special about this course?

This MEd Tertiary and Higher Education is designed to support the professional development of individuals working in education and training at either tertiary or higher education level. The intention is to strengthen and enhance participants' understanding of educational issues while raising their professional profiles.

You will be encouraged to discuss and analyse information from a wide range of theoretical perspectives and apply them to your own professional practice. You will have the opportunity to focus your studies on an area of professional educational interest while developing research skills and an understanding of ethical principles in higher education.

The course can help you to make changes in your professional practice that can have a positive impact on you and on your learners.

The course also offers specialist modules for those working in a clinical practice and who teach, for example; nursing or dental students. Students who choose this option can exit with a PgCert Clinical Pedagogy or continue on to the full MEd Tertiary and Higher Education.

It is recommended that you attend the face-to-face induction offered at the beginning of the course.

Special features

  • The course is available to study part time, online through the university’s virtual learning environment (VLE), enabling you to fit your study around your personal and professional commitments
  • Option for a face-to-face induction which, although not compulsory, is highly recommended
  • Reflective learning is at the heart of this course allowing you to use your learning to enhance your professional practice
  • You can choose to study individual modules for continuing professional development (CPD), or work towards the PgCert, PgDip, or full masters degree
  • If you are member of staff, or a postgraduate research student of the University of the Highlands and Islands, and are practicing in relation to higher education learning and teaching, you will be eligible to use your work on the PgCert to achieve Associate Fellow or Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Entry requirements

  • 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in any subject. A third or ordinary degree will be considered with appropriate professional experience
  • Candidates with no formal qualifications, who can demonstrate a capability and engagement in appropriate CPD, will also be considered, in some cases with the completion of a bridging module
  • Candidates must be in employment in education or training


*Funding support notice*

Postgraduate Loans (SAAS) (Scottish domiciled and EU students)

Loans for tuition fees are available from SAAS for eligible Scotland domiciled and EU students, and loans for living costs for eligible Scottish students.


You will study the following core modules:

  • Teaching and learning in tertiary and higher education
  • Theory and practice of e-learning

You will also choose one option module which may include:

  • Research methods and techniques
  • Quantitative research and data analysis
  • Qualitative inquiry

Those working in a clinical practice and who teach (for example, nursing or dental students) may study the core Clinical Pedagogy modules below, and either exit at this point with a PgCert Clinical Pedagogy, or continue on to the full MEd Tertiary and Higher Education:

  • Teaching and learning in tertiary and higher education
  • Teaching and learning in the clinical environment
  • Assessment in the clinical environment


You will study the following core module:

  • Mixed methods and action research

You will also choose two option modules which may include:

  • Qualitative inquiry
  • Research methods and techniques
  • Developing potential through placement
  • Research supervision
  • Applying psychology to learning


To achieve the award of MEd Tertiary and Higher Education you must complete a research dissertation.



For more detailed information about the course modules, please see our Module descriptors document.

How will I study my course?

  • Part-time (unstructured)
  • Self-study using the university's virtual learning environment (VLE)
  • An online induction will take place prior to your first module. It is not compulsory but is highly recommended

How long will my course last?

  • Part-time: Flexible learning over 18 months to 5 years, depending on exit award

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides

Start date

  • September
  • February


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying part-time can apply for a tuition fee loan from SAAS. You must be intending to complete the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take for a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a one-year programme, you will be funded for a maximum of two years' part-time study. If your course does not have a full-time option, you must complete within three years. You can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £5,500, which will be paid pro-rata for each academic year of study. 

Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.

Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company.

What can I do on completion of my course?

On successful completion of this course you might like to consider a career in educational training or educational management.

Can I progress into further study?

This course can provide a strong base for those wishing to undertake to a Doctorate of Education (EdD) or PhD.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Tertiary and Higher Education MEd

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2023 or Jan/Feb 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.