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Higher Professional Education

MSc / PGDip / PGCert

Department of Psychology, Health and Professional Development

Nurse and midwife students who successfully complete the course (all levels) are eligible for Nursing and Midwifery Council (NMC) recognition, currently as a teacher.

The Higher Professional Education programme builds on the knowledge and skills, whilst challenging the attitudes, of those currently involved in professional education in the context of health and social care. It offers the opportunity to understand the nature of professional education in health and social care, its context, and your role within it. It aids the development of your knowledge, skills and expertise as an educational practitioner, curriculum developer and strategic planner in your chosen area.

This programme is open to applicants who are currently practising in a health or social care setting within the UK. Starting in September, it is is designed for a wide range of health and social care professionals who are involved in education, training or facilitation for all or part of their role.

The programme will provide a framework for you to:
  • appraise critically your role and that of others within health and social care education
  • develop a greater depth of understanding of the nature of professional education
  • develop your knowledge, skills and experience as education practitioners.

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Available start dates

September 2018 / January 2019 / September 2019

Teaching location

Headington Campus / Headington Campus, Marston Road site

Course length

  • Full time: MSc: 12 months
  • Part time: MSc: up to 3 years. For PGDip and PGCert, please contact the Programme Administrator.

UCAS Postgraduate code


For full application details, please see the 'How to apply / Entry requirements' section.

  • You will have access to state-of-the-art clinical skills simulation suites and resources. 
  • We support multi and interprofessional learning and teaching and offer excellent opportunities for shared learning.
  • You will benefit from the fact that our lecturers are experienced in their specialist practice areas  and maintain excellent practice links with colleagues, organisations and institutions at national and international levels.
  • We have a strong research profile, with experienced researchers working in established areas of interprofessional education and collaborative practice.
  • In the Research Excellence Framework  (REF) 2014, 98% of our research in Allied Health Professions, Dentistry, Nursing and Pharmacy was rated as internationally recognised, with 82% being world leading or internationally excellent. 
  • We have an excellent track record of high levels of student satisfaction, low student attrition rates and high employability.
This course’s taught modules explore a wide range of educational issues, including the nature of professional education, local, national and international factors impacting on curriculum development, and facilitating inter-professional learning and quality enhancement in education.

Practice-based modules provide the opportunity to apply teaching and facilitation strategies in a range of learning environments. In these modules you will be encouraged to engage in educational activities at two institutions and you will receive support in doing this.

As the course progresses, increasing emphasis is placed on the support of learning through practice to ensure you feel confident in your role in a more formal classroom setting as well as in the practice environment.  This approach encourages the development of creative and innovative facilitators of learning with a strong sense of self-awareness and a commitment to personal development.

The final award depends upon the number of modules you take. A PGCert requires the successful completion of three modules and the PGDip requires the successful completion of six modules. The MSc requires the successful completion of nine modules, which must include Advanced Research Design and a Dissertation.

Nurses and Midwives
Nurses and Midwives who wish to meet the NMC standards to support learning and assessment in practice (NMC 2008) for teacher status will need to pass the compulsory modules: Teaching in Higher Professional Education and Creating Frameworks for Learning.

Creating Frameworks for Learning explores models of curricula, together with local, national and international policies and strategies, and the manner in which they impact on curriculum design, assessment, quality management and evaluation.

Teaching in Higher Professional Education offers an intensive, practice-based opportunity to explore and develop your practice as an educator in your own place of work and also in another educational institution.

For the PGDip you may choose from other relevant modules from across the postgraduate health and social care course portfolio, for example there are relevant modules in work-based learning, leadership and research.

Please note: as courses are reviewed regularly as part of our quality assurance framework, the module lists you choose from may vary.

Teaching and learning

The course team is committed to embedding the principles of adult learning into their own practice as educators. By this we mean valuing, and drawing on your experience as course members. Encouraging them to be engaged in the learning process. As well as developing a partnership with you  based on self-awareness, negotiation and mutual respect.

There is a strong commitment to participative teaching methods and student-centred learning, which is achieved through mutual respect and negotiation. Reflection is used at many levels and provides a valuable strategy for examining and integrating theory and practice. It will also allow for monitoring and evaluating individual learning. There is also strong emphasis on acknowledging the rights, roles and expectations of people who use health and social care services as well as those whom you support in your learning.

You are expected to explore your own practice, recognising potentially discriminatory practices. Reflecting on them and incorporating change where appropriate.

Assessment is based on coursework. Throughout the course the assessments are designed to help you focus on the areas most appropriate to your field of work.  The emphasis on self-assessment promotes reflection and self-awareness in analysing academic and professional abilities.

Programme changes

On rare occasions we may need to make changes to our course programmes after they have been published on the website. For more information, please visit our Changes to programmes page.

Tuition fees

Home/EU - full time fee: 2017/18: £1,000 per single module 2018/19: £1,000 per single module

Home/EU - part time fee: 2017/18: £1,000 per single module 2018/19: £1,000 per single module

Where part time fees are quoted this is for the first year only. Fees will increase by approximately 2% each year.

Please be aware that some courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. Specific additional costs for this course, if any, are detailed in the 'This course in detail' window above.

Questions about fees?
Contact Student Finance on:
+44 (0)1865 483088

Funding and scholarships

A limited number of scholarships are offered by Oxford Brookes University. Applicants who have been offered a full-time place on this master’s course are eligible to apply for the following scholarship:

John Henry Brookes Scholarship

The John Henry Brookes Scholarship is awarded to home and EU applicants for academic excellence. Each scholarship will be paid towards the tuition fee for a taught master's degree. The awards do not include a maintenance grant. For further details, email shscspgscholarship@brookes.ac.uk.


If you are a UK applicant, you may be eligible for funding or sponsorship to undertake the course through your local strategic health authority, your employer or another source. Please contact the Programme Administrator for more details.

Self-funding applicants are also welcome to apply.

All applicants will be required to provide details of their funding arrangements prior to enrolment on the course.

For general sources of financial support, see funding for Postgraduate students from the UK and EU

Entry requirements

You must:
  • be a registered health or social care professional, with a registration acceptable to the relevant United Kingdom professional body
  • have an honours degree or a professional qualification equivalent to a first degree, or be able to produce evidence of the ability to study at your proposed level of entry if requested
  • have a minimum of two years' professional practice experience
  • be employed or have access to a health care setting that will enable achievement of the learning outcomes, ie hold a post which includes a significant role as a teacher/facilitator in a health or social care setting. We recognise that the range of educational roles is wide and this may include formal and informal teaching of groups or facilitating the learning of individuals on a regular, ongoing basis.

Please also see the university's general entry requirements.

English language requirements

If your first language is not English you must demonstrate that your level of English is appropriate for study at postgraduate level - IELTS 6.5-7.0 overall, or equivalent.

Please also see the university's standard English language requirements

This course is not available to students classed as International for fees purposes.

Preparation courses for International and EU students

We offer a range of courses to help you to meet the entry requirements for this course and also familiarise you with university life. You may also be able to apply for one student visa to cover both courses.

  • Take our Pre-Master's course to help you to meet both the English language and academic entry requirements for your master's course.
  • If you need to improve your English language, we have pre-sessional English language courses available to help you to meet the English language requirements of your chosen master’s.

If you are studying outside the UK, for more details about your specific country entry requirements, translated information, local contacts and programmes within your country, please have a look at our country pages.

How to apply

You apply for this course through UCAS Postgraduate.

Through UCAS Postgraduate, you should use the UKPASS portal to make your application, which will then be forwarded directly to our Admissions Office. You should send supporting documentation to us directly using the email addresses on the UKPASS application form.

Applications received electronically through UCAS Postgraduate will be forwarded directly to the Admissions Office. Supporting documentation should be forwarded using the email addresses indicated on the UCAS Postgraduate application form. Applications are dealt with on a first come, first served basis, so please act early to avoid disappointment.

Terms and Conditions of Enrolment

When you accept our offer, you agree to the Terms and Conditions of Enrolment. You should therefore read those conditions before accepting the offer.

How this course helps you develop

Personal and professional development:
  • opportunities to develop postgraduate attributes for example digital literacy, communication and teamworking
  • networking and working collaboratively with colleagues from a range of professions and specialities.


Graduates are employed in a range of education roles within health and social care services and academic organisations.

Free language courses for students - the Open Module

Free language courses are available to full-time undergraduate and postgraduate students on many of our courses, and can be taken as a credit on some courses.

Please note that the free language courses are not available if you are:

  • studying at a Brookes partner college
  • studying on any of our teacher education courses or postgraduate education courses.

How Brookes supports postgraduate students

There is a range of support mechanisms for students, such as academic advisers, who will facilitate your academic development, and student support co-ordinators, who provide a drop-in service for queries about any aspect of student life, covering both academic and personal welfare.

The university’s support services include Upgrade, which provides advice on study skills such as planning and writing essays, assignments and dissertations, research, or preparing for an exam. They also give advice on statistics and maths. There is a dedicated Student Disability and Dyslexia Service, which provides support for students with disabilities including sensory and mobility impairments, dyslexia and other specific learning difficulties, mental health problems and medical conditions. Here, staff offer advice and support on a range of issues, including physical access, funding, alternative assessment arrangements and liaison with teaching staff to ensure that they are aware of your requirements.

Supporting your learning

From academic advisers and support co-ordinators to specialist subject librarians and other learning support staff, we want to ensure that you get the best out of your studies.

Personal support services

We want your time at Brookes to be as enjoyable and successful as possible. That's why we provide all the facilities you need to be relaxed, happy and healthy throughout your studies.