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Course content

The Higher Education Management MBA will develop your understanding of the key concepts in the academic literature and in the field of professional practice relevant to higher education management. It will increase your capacity for critical reflection on your own professional practice, drawing on a range of theoretical and practice-based perspectives.

About this degree

This programme will give you insights into new areas of management, enabling you to effect a change of career orientation and to become part of a senior higher education management network.

All students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (90 credits) and either four optional modules (60 credits) and a report (30 credits), or two optional modules (30 credits) and a dissertation (60 credits).

Core modules

  • Higher Education Institutions as Organisations: Their Strategic Management
  • The Management of Teaching and Research in Higher Education
  • The Management of Financial Resources in Higher Education (Part 1)
  • The Management of Financial Resources in Higher Education (Part 2)

Optional modules

  • An Independent Study in Higher Education Management
  • Institutional Governance in Higher Education
  • Internationalisation in Higher Education
  • Managing the Physical University: Space and Place in Higher Education
  • Managing People in Higher Education Institutions
  • Managing Knowledge Exchange and Engagement in Higher Education
  • Managing the Student Experience
  • Marketing in Higher Education


All students submit either a 10,000-word report on successful completion of a consultancy project in a Higher Education Institution, or a 20,000-word dissertation on a topic relevant to the programme.

Teaching and learning

Teaching methods include lectures, tutor and student-led seminars and discussions, critical engagement and discussion of relevant literature and syndicate group work. Assessment is by presentations, essays, the successful completion of a consultancy project in an HEI, or a dissertation on a topic relevant to the programme.

Further information on modules and degree structure is available on the department website: Higher Education Management MBA


Graduates of this programme are currently working across a broad range of areas. Some are working as university pro vice-chancellors, while others have jobs as heads of university administration. Graduates can also be found working as directors of policy in national higher education organisations.

Recent career destinations for this degree

  • Head of Department, University of Bedfordshire
  • Director of Studies, MRC National Institute for Medical Research
  • Institute Manager, UCL
  • Senior Lecturer, Sotheby's Institute of Art
  • Deputy Director of Student and Academic Services, University of Northampton


The MBA will give you a holistic and strategic understanding of how universities are managed, linking together the key aspects and enabling you to fill in any gaps in your knowledge and experience.

Being on the programme signals that you are on course for a senior management and leadership role in higher education.

Careers data is taken from the ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey undertaken by HESA looking at the destinations of UK and EU students in the 2013–2015 graduating cohorts six months after graduation.

Why study this degree at UCL?

You can gain a professional Master's while working full-time in higher education.

The intensive, one week per term format allows you to manage your programme to suit your job and other commitments.

This is a specialist MBA that will give you an advantage in your career.

Many participants have gained promotion or been offered new roles whilst still on the programme.

You learn from leading professionals and experts in key aspects of higher education management and leadership.

The contributors to our MBA are among the best in their field, leaders of universities and the top academics on the topics covered.

Research Excellence Framework (REF)

The Research Excellence Framework, or REF, is the system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The 2014 REF was carried out by the UK's higher education funding bodies, and the results used to allocate research funding from 2015/16.

The following REF score was awarded to the department: Education, Practice & Society

78% rated 4* (‘world-leading’) or 3* (‘internationally excellent’)

Learn more about the scope of UCL's research, and browse case studies, on our Research Impact website.

Visit the Higher Education Management (MBA) page on the University College London website for more details!





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