The M.Ed. in Higher Education is designed for academics teaching in higher education and graduates with appropriate experience who wish to pursue a career in HE. The Higher Education strand is intended to support academics who are new to teaching in higher education and more experienced colleagues who wish to consolidate, develop and enrich their own practice. We welcome applications from colleagues at different stages of the academic career, either within Trinity or from other higher education institutions and also from professionals in other further education settings with an interest in teaching and learning in higher education.

Course contact

Course Strand Leader: Dr John Walsh | Email

Who is this course for?

The course is open to academic staff at all levels within the higher education system, as well as appropriately qualified professionals who aim to pursue an academic career. Postdoctoral or contract researchers who have a strong interest in developing expertise in the theory and practice of education are welcome to apply.

See more details on the main courses website


The Higher Education course follows a growing trend within higher education institutions to provide academics with a structured, professional and research informed approach to enhance their work as educators. The course will be particularly attractive to those who wish to earn formal recognition for a more studied approach to their teaching. It will also be attractive to academic staff, who wish to deepen their critical understanding of the policies, philosophy and sociology of higher education.

This course supports teaching and learning activity both in Trinity College and more widely across the higher education sector. We offer an opportunity for colleagues to learn from each other in an environment of reflection, peer review and shared analysis.

The taught component contains four modules, with each module containing approximately 25 hours of contact time. Teaching and learning sessions take place over a 12-week semester and are scheduled on Tuesday evenings from 6pm to 8pm.

Students will be involved in practice focused workshops and seminars that address both critical and theoretical studies of pedagogy and practice in higher education. Typically, students take the four course modules over two years, along with a fifth module in research methods in year one. The third year is usually devoted to the completion of a dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor. The course is designed with an exit point on completion of the four taught modules. Students exiting at this point can be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Course Modules

Module 1 - Traditions, Power and Context

Module 2 – Designing curriculum, assessment and supervision in higher education

Module 3 – Reflecting on practice in learning and teaching

Module 4 – Linking teaching and research within and beyond the disciplines


The third year is devoted to the completion of a dissertation under the guidance of a supervisor. The dissertation is 20,000 words in length and may explore any of the themes covered by the course. The project may be carried out using a variety of research approaches and is intended to facilitate publication of the work in the form of one or more research papers.

Strategies for Academic Practice

Participants will be involved in practice focused workshops and seminars, interactive learning environments and the use of blended learning methodologies. The course employs a variety of innovative approaches, including problem based learning and micro-teaching sessions.

The integration of theory and practice is emphasised in the content of the modules and in the assessment. The course is informed by reflection on practice, structured peer review among participants and regular formative assessment. Each of the four modules is individually assessed. A wide variety of assessment methods are employed, including presentations, essays, case studies, teaching portfolios, blogs and reviews of micro-teaching and participants are encouraged to contribute to the design of their assignments.