Course specification and structure
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PMLEATEA - MA Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Master of Arts Level Masters
Possible interim awards Postgraduate Diploma, Postgraduate Certificate, Advanced Diploma in Professional Development
Total credits for course 180
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Sciences and Professions
Subject Area Education
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Part-time 2 YEARS 6 YEARS
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The MALTHE course is a part-time professional development course aimed at enhancing educational thinking and practice, professionalism and confidence for those who are concurrently employed in teaching and/or the support of learning in HE.

It directly supports the University’s mission to provide “high quality, inspirational teaching”, and “quality research and scholarship that enriches the educational experience of our students”, as part of the University’s investment in the professional development of our staff, in fulfilment of the strategic priority regarding “quality in our enablers” (London Metropolitan University: Strategic Plan 2015-2020)

The course provides grounding and development in the scholarship of teaching and learning, through engagement with pedagogical theory, literature and research, and promotes a critical reflective practice approach - affording participants opportunities to apply theoretical frameworks and new methods to, and to review and enhance, their practice in learning design and facilitation, assessment and feedback and curriculum development – including use of technologies for these purposes.

The course incorporates the accredited PGCert LTHE - accreditation by the Higher Education Academy (HEA), now integrated within Advance HE - as a coherent programme that both offers an exit award - with eligibility for recognition as HEA Fellow (FHEA) - and provides a firm foundation for those who wish to continue to the full MA programme or PG Diploma. The first module of the PGCert enables recognition as Associate Fellow HEA (AFHEA), especially for staff in learning support roles (such as library, career development and technical staff).

The course adopts a learning-centred, interactive and discussion-based approach, using a variety of individual and collaborative activities and creative methods, both face-to-face and online, to enable participants to engage with both the theoretical content and the focus on critical reflective practice. The VLE is used to provide learning guidance and resources, and to support learning, assessment and feedback processes. Course participants are encouraged to actively engage with online communities of practice and in-house networks for sharing innovative practice.

In keeping with the University’s Learning, Teaching and Assessment Framework (2018), the course offers considerable scope for personalisation of learning, including choice of topics and formats within module assignments, which are intended as opportunities to design, develop or evaluate participants’ educational practice and digital capabilities, and, on the MA programme, choice of modules, the focus of which may be tailored around their particular pedagogical interests or professional development needs.

Course aims

The course leading to the Master’s award provides an integrated and supported programme that enables participants to:
• take a lead in the development of the teaching in their fields
• critically engage with theories of learning and teaching in higher education
• conduct action and other research in learning and teaching in higher education

The PGCert programme addresses these aims at the level of the subject, developing practitioners who are able to take a role in the development of learning and teaching within their subject area - informed by theory, scholarship, reflection and published research into learning and teaching in higher education and their own specialist knowledge, and through engagement in action or other research related to their practice.

Other modules focus on more specific areas (elearning; HE theory, research and policy; specialist topics) so that the full MA develops practitioners who will gain a wider view of the learning and teaching context and process. Participants are expected to engage with contemporary debates and approaches regarding the development of learning and teaching, both within their subject and generally, and, through the dissertation/project, to enhance knowledge of the processes of learning and teaching and the context of higher education.

Course learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding
On completing the course, participants will be expected to demonstrate a critical awareness of:
1. Contemporary theories/models of learning, teaching, assessment & curriculum development in higher education
2. Theory and educational principles underpinning current debates about higher education policy and practice
3. Application of research to developing their understanding of learning and teaching in higher education and improving their practice in order to enhance the student learning experience
Cognitive/intellectual skills
On completing the course participants will be expected to be able to:
4. Review and critically evaluate learning, teaching and assessment activities generally and within their own subject/field
5. Evaluate learning materials with reference to current research and developments in the subject/field
6. Critically appraise processes and outcomes of teaching and learning in relation to self, students and teaching context
7. Undertake research and other scholarly activity which exhibits a high degree of reflection on the interrelationship between theory, subject-specific knowledge and practice

Practical and transferable skills
Skills developed include being able to:
8. Create and develop teaching, learning and assessment activities on the basis of critical analysis and review
9. Sustain a curiosity to drive critical inquiry about student learning and the teaching process
10. Develop and evaluate learning materials through critical application of scholarship
11. Undertake critical educational/action research
12. Communicate and interact professionally

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference

see Appendix

Principle QAA benchmark statements

“Characteristics Statement: Master’s Degrees” (September 2015)

Assessment strategy

The course includes variety of formative and summative assessment methods, with a focus on the development and improvement of educational practice, including portfolios, presentations, secondary and primary research papers, and individual and group projects. All modules include formative assessment activities (some contributory) such as portfolio tasks, project/assignment proposals, or presentations of draft topics/designs, for the purpose of providing developmental feedback (oral, written, online, individual or group) in support of the final overall assessment and achievement of learning outcomes. Equal care is given to providing feedback on the final product, especially considering that all assignments carry direct or indirect implications for learning and teaching practice. The course/module team works closely in devising and revising our assessment practice, undertaking scrupulous second marking, with double/parallel marking of the MA dissertations/projects.
Assessment is thus work-related and extends participants' current engagement in the teaching/learning in their subject/field. Self and peer-assessment is commonly used to enhance own learning, critical evaluation and understanding of assessment criteria. Project-based assessments require the application of scholarship, critical reflection, policy guidelines and research knowledge to one's own practice. All Dissertations/Projects require research ethics approval based on the University’s research ethics form.
The volume and timing of assignments has been carefully planned to facilitate engagement by course participants who are fitting part-time study into their busy professional lives as lectures or learning support staff.

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

This course is a type of work-based learning programme in that it entails ongoing critical reflection on practice in teaching/learning support, application of theory and new methods, and evaluation of one’s practice.

Course specific regulations

Refer to Course Handbook for Course Structure diagram

Modules required for interim awards

• MALTHE award: 2 taught core modules, 4 options and the Dissertation/Project (core)
• PGDip LTHE: 1 taught core (ED7143 OR ED7137) plus 5 other modules
• HEA-accredited version of PGCert LTHE: ED7143, ED7135, ED7136 are all core

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

All modules include reflective learning activities, which are built into the assessment tasks (e.g. teaching observations, reflective commentaries, peer reviews or self-evaluation sections). The Dissertation/Project requires submission of a “graduation statement” that comments on the nature of the professional development acquired throughout the MA course and future professional aspirations.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

UK Professional Standards Framework for teaching in higher education (UKPSF) – for HEA-accredited PGCert modules and ED7140

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

All participants on the course are employed within HE on entry; on completion of the course participants are expected to continue to develop careers within teaching/learning support in Higher Education.

Career opportunities

After you graduate, you'll use your newfound abilities to help your students learn more effectively and achieve success in their own lives.

Our graduates have gone on to leadership roles, further research and publication in the field of learning and teaching in higher education.

Their places of work include the University of Surrey, University College London, London Metropolitan University and Camden Council. Job titles they now hold include research coordinator, senior economics lecturer, senior pharmacology lecturer and lecturing roles in many other subjects.

Entry requirements

You will be required to:

  • be currently teaching in a higher education institution

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2013/14 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 01 Sep 2013 Last validation date 03 Sep 2013  
JACS codes 100461 (higher education): 100%
Route code LEATEA

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 07 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
ED7137 Theoretical Perspectives on Learning and Teachi... Core 20        
ED7143 Facilitating Student Learning Core 20        
ED7P43 Learning and Teaching Dissertation / Project Core 60        
ED7135 Managing the Assessment and Feedback Process Option 20        
ED7136 Curriculum Evaluation and Development Option 20        
ED7139 Applying Learning Technologies Option 20        
ED7140 Web-based Learning and Teaching Option 20        
ED7142 Negotiated Study Module Option 20        

Stage 1 Level 07 January start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
ED7137 Theoretical Perspectives on Learning and Teachi... Core 20        
ED7143 Facilitating Student Learning Core 20        
ED7P43 Learning and Teaching Dissertation / Project Core 60        
ED7135 Managing the Assessment and Feedback Process Option 20        
ED7136 Curriculum Evaluation and Development Option 20        
ED7139 Applying Learning Technologies Option 20        
ED7140 Web-based Learning and Teaching Option 20        
ED7142 Negotiated Study Module Option 20