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University of Otago
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Master of Higher Education (MHEd)

This course is available

On-Campus, Online

Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date

Expected Feb 2024


University of Otago


The Master of Higher Education (MHEd) degree comprises four advanced-level taught papers and a research dissertation. Graduates of the Master in Higher Education will have a thorough and rigorous understanding of the discipline of higher education. This will include advanced knowledge in leadership, policy analysis, teaching, learning and research. The programme is designed to act as a means of enhancing the knowledge and skills of those seeking or wishing to enhance their career in Higher Education or as a foundation for possible to a PhD programme.

The Master of Higher Education can be awarded with an endorsement in Educational Technology where students undertake study in the specialist area of educational technology within each of the four papers and the research project.

Programme requirements

Master of Higher Education (MHEd)


HEDU 501 Critical Reflection on Higher Education

HEDU 502 Learning Theory and Practice in Higher Education

HEDU 503 Research in Higher Education

HEDU 504 Academic Leadership in Higher Education

HEDU 590 Research Dissertation

Note: These papers are also available through Distance Learning.

Entry criteria

a. Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Convener of the Interdivisional Board of Studies in Higher Education.

b. Every applicant must:

i. be a graduate with an average grade of at least B+ in the 300-level requirements for the degree; or

ii. hold a postgraduate qualification at an equivalent standard; or

iii. have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Interdivisional Board of Studies; and

iv. normally be a tertiary teacher

English language requirements

  • IELTS Academic - Score of 6.5 in the academic module (with no individual band below 6.0). IELTS Online is also accepted.
  • Internet-based TOEFL - Score of 90 with a minimum writing score of 21
  • Paper-based TOEFL - score of 587 (TWE 4.5)
  • Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) & Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - Minimum of 176
  • Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic - Overall score of 58 with no communicative skills score below 50.
  • LanguageCert - International ESOL: C1 Expert (LRWS) with a high pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill OR C2 Mastery (LRWS) with a pass overall and no less than a pass in each skill
  • NZCEL - NZCEL 5 Academic endorsement
  • University of Otago Language Centre ‘English for Otago’, English for Postgraduate Academic Purposes (EPAP) - Grade C or higher
  • University of Auckland English Language Academy (ELA) pathway programmes - Successful completion of the English Pathway for Postgraduate Studies (EPPS) with a B Grade
  • University of Auckland Foundation Certificate in English for Academic Purposes (FCertEAP) - Successful completion of the certificate with a B Grade

Note: July commencement may be possible, although the duration of the qualification may be longer, or paper selection may be limited.

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