The Master of Arts in Academic Practice (MA AP) forms a substantial part of MMUís framework for Academic Practice Development (APD). This programme is designed to develop knowledgeable, skilled and reflective academic practitioners, able to adopt a scholarly and evidence based approach to their academic practice and to the enhancement of student learning.
As a participant on this programme you will be able to:
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The Master of Arts in Academic Practice is designed to develop knowledgeable, skilled and reflective academic practitioners, able to adopt a scholarly and evidence based approach to the theory and practice of, and their research into, teaching and learning for the enhancement of student learning.
On completion of the MA AP you will be able to:
Within the MA AP the Postgraduate Diploma in Academic Practice (60 credits) consists of two core and two option units. See MA AP Structure diagram
This unit provides participants with opportunities to engage with the pedagogy and principles that underpin collaborative learning, collaborative enquiry and enquiry based learning.
Through dialogical collaboration with a group of peers in a process of enquiry-based learning (EBL), you will gain the knowledge necessary for practical implementation of EBL as a curriculum strategy for increasing both student acquisition of enquiry based skills and student autonomy. Cooperating with your peers you will design inter-disciplinary research agendas, plan effectively, deal with dilemmas and tensions, appraise alternative arguments and surmount obstacles to progress. You will be encouraged to use your creativity to innovate and enhance knowledge in your chosen topic.
You will also engage with models and strategies to support critical reflective practice and the development of the professional self as a reasoned and critical practitioner in the context of contemporary higher education.
The overall aim of the Research Methods unit is to prepare participants for the production of a dissertation or equivalent piece of work in an area of academic practice. Many participants will be familiar with research methods in domains other than academic practice. To accommodate this heterogeneity of experience, this unit is delivered via blended learning, with the teaching materials being provided online to enable you to focus on areas where you have less experience. In class-based sessions you will be guided through the process of identifying and critiquing research epistemologies, philosophies and methodologies and formulating suitable research questions and a research proposal.
Working in collegiate groups with peers and tutors, you will also be able to explore each stage of the research process and engage in staged opportunities for peer presentations and feedback.
A suite of themed10 credit Academic Practice Development (APD) options build on the core units and further enable you to meet programme learning outcomes.
Offering choice in focussed topics of relevance to contemporary academic practice and institutional objectives, these options provide you with the opportunity to specialise in specific areas of interest and strategic relevance to the University and your Department.
The themed option areas are:
Options available differ from year to year and are offered subject to viability. Normally at least one option is available from each theme.
In addition, an Independent Study option is available for MA AP participants, providing the flexibility to choose to undertake work in a specialised area of professional interest.
On successful completion of the Diploma component of the MA AP you will produce a dissertation or an equivalent project or product resulting from your individual research and investigation into a key area of academic practice. This will provide a vehicle for dissemination of new perspectives and innovation in an area of relevance to your professional development, your department and the institution.
Drawing on learning from the core and option units studied, you will also be encouraged to take part in staged, formative presentations, engaging with a critical learning community of peers and tutors.
Individual supervisors will be identified and will support you through tutorials and where appropriate in the group seminars.
In order to respond flexibly to participants and to the requirements of Departments and Faculties, you also have the option of developing, as an alternative to the dissertation, a “product” that relates to your academic practice. Should this be preferred, you will negotiate parameters for assessment through the production of an initial draft proposal. Clear guidelines will then be provided having due consideration to learning outcomes, standards, equity and parity with other assessment methods.
In all cases initial proposals will be scrutinised by a panel of tutors. Following feedback from the panel, proposals will be amended by the participant and approved by the allocated supervisor.
Across all aspects of the programme assessment is aligned with both programme and unit learning outcomes. Assessment tasks are designed to provide participants with the opportunity to develop and enhance practice in their disciplinary context, and to promote critical reflection on their learning, practice and professional development.
The assessment strategy is also designed to incorporate a variety of formative and summative assessment tasks to demonstrate best practice and to promote academic and practice learning. In all instances formative elements are clearly aligned with the summative assessment and unit learning outcomes. They are also designed to enhance learning, prepare for the summative assessment and provide developmental feedback to support the completion of the summative assessment.
Within the programme assessment tasks may lead to products that are the outcome of both individual and collaborative research and problem solving activities. These include poster presentations, group presentations, and reflective commentaries.
Where appropriate participants individually, or within learning groups, are able to negotiate the focus of the task to be undertaken in line with the unit learning outcomes, and in the case of the Independent Study Unit, are able to negotiate learning outcomes within the overall objectives of the unit.
Discrete assessment tasks for each unit are outlined in the unit handbooks, where assessment hand in dates and the timing of marking and feedback are clearly indicated.
The MA AP runs over two years. Delivery of the Diploma begins in the January of each year, finishing in the December of the same year; the MA Dissertation element formally begins in the following January for a further 12 months.
Unit delivery includes classroom based sessions, online learning, independent study and group working and learning.
All face-to-face sessions are delivered in term time on Wednesday mornings in the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching on the All Saints Campus. These include an induction half day and ten half day face to face sessions for Collaborative Enquiry in the Winter term. Each option unit normally runs over four half days in the Spring term (two option units will therefore require 8 half days’ attendance). Research methods is delivered through a combination of online learning and four face to face sessions in the Autumn term. The dissertation requires attendance for four half days spread throughout the winter term in the following year.
Participants are advised to agree their participation with their line manager and negotiate appropriate study time to attend the compulsory sessions and complete the independent study required for each component of the programme.
The delivery of the programme is managed by a core programme team who ensure curriculum coherence. Tutorial support, and further expertise in pedagogy and the practice of learning and teaching, curriculum design, assessment, support for learning, inclusive practice, academic enterprise and learning technologies is also provided through the contribution to the programme of colleagues drawn from the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching and across the University.
Each participant is offered a personal (academic) tutor. Tutorials provide the opportunity for participants to discuss progress and their professional academic development.
The Programme Team also make any reasonable adjustments necessary to support the progression of disabled participants. As the delivery of this Programme is designed to reflect best practice in teaching and support for learning, sessions are delivered in compliance with DDA requirements.
Peer support is also fostered through collaborative and collegial approaches to learning and teaching and the establishment of cross-disciplinary learning sets, incorporating face-to-face and on-line discussion groups.
Regular updates and notices reach all participants via the VLE or staff email. There are also opportunities for online discussion and electronic feedback though the VLE.
Applicants will normally be graduates working in a teaching or support role with students on Higher Education programmes, and must also be able to demonstrate the following to the satisfaction of the Programme Leader:
In accordance with the University’s Scheme for the Admission of Students with Advanced Standing and for the Accreditation of Prior Learning (2005), participants may also make an (AP(E)L) claim for entry and/or advanced standing on the Programme. See Guidance on Accreditation of Prior Learning for the MA AP
Details of the fees for the MA AP are available from the Programme Administrator, Rick Lighten, Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching, Cavendish North.
The Programme is administered by the Academic Practice Development (APD) team within the Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).
Telephone: 0161 247 4615
Telephone: 0161 247 4675
Academic Practice Development
Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
Please send your completed application form along with the name of one referee to:
Centre for Excellence in Learning and Teaching
or email: email@example.com
Please do not return this form to Central Admissions.