The Postgraduate Certificate & Master’s in Student Engagement in Higher Education: A professional development opportunity to critically examine and influence research, policy and practice.


  • Maria Moxey University of Winchester
  • Tom Lowe University of Winchester
  • Cathy Bovill
  • Colin Bryson
  • Mike Neary
  • Jill LeBihan
  • Maisha Islam
  • Paula Green
  • Jennifer Marie


Every member of staff within a higher education institution (HEI), whether professional services
or academic, holds the potential to contribute towards the student experience through the
engagement of students. Indeed, there has been a growth in universities recognising the
importance of student engagement as a priority area, with sector regulators endorsing such
practices too (Office for Students, 2020). This is manifested through strategies that highlight the
key role of student engagement, and numerous staff at HEIs tasked with meeting HE sector
regulations in relation to student engagement and enhancing the student experience. Yet, there
are virtually no student engagement professional development qualifications available for those
working in HE beyond discipline specific or teaching and learning focused programmes. The
University of Winchester, having recognised this gap therefore launched the Postgraduate
Certificate (PgCert) and Master’s (MA) in Student Engagement in Higher Education. This brings
together sector experts to look critically at student engagement research, policy and practice.
The University of Winchester validated the PgCert in 2018 and the MA was validated in 2019.
This case study will provide an overview of the blended approach taken to running the first MA
and PgCert in Student Engagement in Higher Education programme in the UK, through offering
our reflections on the academic programme three years on from its inception.