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Higher Education Studies

The Discipline of Higher Education Studies is part of the School of Education and Cluster of Education and Development Studies (EDS). It is based on the Edgewood Campus, Pinetown. Some of its key roles are to promote Higher Education as a field of scholarship, to conduct institutional research and to assist with the academic professional development of university academics and administrators. As such, the formal academic programmes that are offered by the discipline are designed to prepare staff working in higher education institutions to deal with issues such as massification, diversification, calls to decolonise the curriculum as well as to engage in innovative pedagogical and assessment strategies among others. The programmes on offer are as follows:

 Post Graduate Diploma in Higher Education

An honours level equivalent programme, offered in the School of Education, College of Humanities. Students register for 8 x 16 credit modules. The programme aims to contribute to the professional development of higher education practitioners with a focus on teaching and learning.

Entry into the PGDipHE requires:

  • an Honours degree regarded as appropriate by the College of Humanities; or
  • admission to the status of that degree in terms of Rule GR7(a); or
  • evidence of a level of competence as defined in Rule GR7(b).


  • Higher education policy and context
  • Practice, reflection & portfolio development in higher education
  • Research in higher education


  • Designing & evaluating curricula in higher education
  • Teaching & learning in higher education
  • Assessing learning in higher education
  • Supervising research in higher education
  • Diversity & the student in higher education
  • Technology for higher education pedagogy
  • Elective module
Master of Education in Higher Education Teaching and Learning (MEd HE TL)A 192 credit masters level programme with the aim of enhancing the scholarship in teaching and learning in higher education. Master of Education in Higher Education Student & Professional Services (MEd HE SAPS)A 192 credit masters level programme with the aim of enhancing the co-curricular education and development of support and administrative services in higher education.

Entry into the Masters degrees requires:

  • Bachelor of Education Honours or an appropriate Honours degree or the status thereof; and
  • a record of academic work or academic and professional work of an acceptable standard.

Ideally, applicants will have been working in the higher education field for at least two years


  • Research discourses and methodology
  • Research proposal development and skills training
  • Discourses in higher education
  • African higher education in a global context


  • Pedagogies in higher education
  • Curriculum development & evaluation in higher education
  • Student development & learning: Theories & practices
  • Module from other programme related to education


  • Diversity in higher education
  • Governance, leadership & institutional development in higher education
  • Professional services in higher education
  • Student development & learning: Theories & practices
  • Student services in higher education

Master of Education in Higher Education

by Research

A research masters degree by full dissertation comprises a single 240 credit dissertation in an area of higher education. The dissertation is supervised by one of the academic staff members in the field. Students would engage substantively in a chosen higher education research focus area thereby contributing to the advancement of knowledge in the domain.

PhD in Higher Education

The PhD programme encourages participants to conduct research in higher education from various perspectives. Topics may include: aspects of teaching and learning; leadership and management; issues relating to education in disciplines; and institutional research. Students are assisted by attending regular cohort meetings (six weekends per year, spread over 3 years) as well as working with their supervisor.

Academic Staff