Studying Student Affairs in the UK

Graduate programs from across the pond

July 5, 2015
Getting a degree in higher education from a UK student affairs graduate program

The higher education / student affairs graduate program directory from NASPA currently lists 294 programs...most of which are located in the United States. Until recently, there weren't really any student affairs graduate programs in the United Kingdom*...until now. Kingston University and Anglia Ruskin University are now taking applications for student affairs/higher education masters level courses (in the UK, a "program" is called a "course") that begin in September.

Research and Practice in Higher Education MA - Offered as an online program (with a two week on-campus requirement), Kingston University's higher education masters degree may not say that it's a student affairs program, but it sure does look like one. The course content covers a lot of relevant student affairs practitioner topics including critical thinking, technology-enhanced pedagogies, the internationalization of higher education, policy issues, professional identities, and interprofessional education.

Student Affairs in Higher Education MA - There's no question that Anglia Ruskin University is predicting the future scholar-practitioner needs of UK higher education. Their student affairs graduate program is campus-based and looks very similar to the US model for higher education administration masters programs (program participants even have an opportunity to do an internship in the US). Program content includes key issues and themes in student affairs, research on education, international perspectives in higher education, and professional enquiry in student affairs.

Here in the UK, student affairs or student services as it's more commonly known isn't as widespread/robust of a professional field as it is in the US. UK student services have fewer personnel and less operating budget than their counterparts in the US. However, with an evolving fee structure, removal of enrollment caps, and an increased focus on student success (and future employability), the need for enhanced student affairs structures and specialized student services practitioners in the UK is increasing.

*If you're wondering, here's a bit of info/context as to why I am writing/working in the United Kingdom.

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