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Study higher education


The Higher Education Development Centre was established in 1978 and is now a world-leader in the study of higher education. It provides a research-based service to the University of Otago, has a vibrant international postgraduate community and close ties with scholars in many different countries.

We are unique in offering six different degree pathways, some of which are taught at a distance. Supervisors are always delighted to hear from prospective Master's and PhD students and Otago has very generous competitive PhD scholarships for outstanding applicants.

HEDC’s latest programme is the Master of Higher Education (MHEd). This qualification is seen as a professional requirement for higher education academics, many of whom may already hold a research PhD. The course takes a full year to complete and it is based on inquiry and research principles. Participants gain knowledge about teaching and learning, and expertise in higher education leadership and mentoring.

Find out more about the Master of Higher Education (MHEd).

HEDC also offers the following courses:

Please Contact Russell Butson, email for options for further study.

The postgraduate community at HEDC

HEDC has a diverse range of postgraduates spanning many disciplines, and indeed many institutions. In recent years we have had postgraduates who are staff at Otago University, lecturers from Polytechnics and teachers from industry training organisations. However, there is a common goal shared amongst all of the postgraduates, and that is an interest in teaching and research in higher education.

You can see the profiles of our current postgraduate students and their research topics on the Our People page.

How do I enrol?

  1. First you must be admitted to the programme.  Contact Russell Butson, email to discuss the programme and its requirements and suitability to your aims and academic background.
  2. To be formally admitted to the programme, you must enrol at University.  This is the formal enrolment process that all students must undertake.  Information can be obtained on the main University website enrolment page or by calling the University's infoline on 0800 80 80 98.

Tuition fees

The fees for each of our papers are included in the paper descriptions on the "HEDU" Papers page.

Further information

Outside of this website, more information on postgraduate courses can be found

Help for existing students

If you're already a postgraduate student and have a dissertation or thesis component to your programme, you can find study support and research support at HEDC's Student Learning Development.