International Master Programme Higher Education Research and Development (MAHE)


The programme was accredited by ZEvA, Hannover

The International Master Programme “Higher Education Research and Development” ran from 2004 to 2013. Student intake ended in 2009. The programme, which was offered by the International Centre for Higher Education Research Kassel together with the Department of Social Sciences at Kassel University, was international and interdisciplinary. A direct link to higher education research was guaranteed. It aimed to qualify students in two respects:

  • to become young researchers or doctoral candidates in the field of research on a broad range of issues in higher education; 

  • training for a variety of professions within or close to higher education institutions, management, internationalisation, research planning, evaluation and accreditation, curriculum design, institutional research, etc.


Master of Arts (M.A.) in Higher Education

Course Language

All modules were taught in English.

Programme Duration

The programme could be completed in one and a half years or in two years (4 semesters).


Programme participants were confronted with questions of knowledge production and curriculum design, primary functions of teaching and learning, career perspectives of graduates, governance structures and policies in higher education, quality management in universities and other institutions of higher education and evaluation of performance.

Participants had the opportunity to specialise in one or more of the above-mentioned fields as well as the developing of a broader profile by gaining an overview of several thematic fields. A strong emphasis was put on international comparison between different national higher education systems along with changes and developments in the field caused by processes of internationalisation and globalisation. 


A total of 13 one week modules were offered in the course of one year. Modules included theories and methods as well as problem solving in practical situations.

Overview of the offered modules (pdf)

Study Organisation and Assessment

During the first one or one and a half years, students were expected to be present for 13 one-week modules. The course timetable allowed students to set their own priorities (after consulting with an academic advisor and in compliance with the Examination Rules and Regulations) and to maintain a good balance between course attendance and time for independent preparation and research.
A practical work placement of 160 hours was obligatory, be it as a member of a research project team or as an assistant in one of the relevant units of university administration and related agencies.
During the last semester of the programme, students were expected to write their Master's thesis (50 pages) and defend it in a colloquium.

Forms of Assessment

The Master's degree programme implemented the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS). For the degree Master of Arts in Higher Education (M.A.), a total of 120 credits needed be earned. 
13 one-week modules, 6 credits each: 78 credits
160 hours of practical work placement: 12 credits
6 months Master's thesis including colloquium: 30 credits