A case study of an integrated curriculum academic advising model in a masters of public health course; how academic advising is tapered and shaped to fit alongside a taught masters course curriculum.

Alison McCamley (Sheffield Hallam University)
jane fearon (Sheffield Hallam University)

Wednesday, March 31, 2021 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Session Outline

This session aims to explore taught post graduate academic advising in the case of one course, a Masters in Public Health at a post 92 UK institution. The Masters in Public Health course is 18 months long full time and three years part-time.

Historically the UK had a traditional pastoral model (Grey & Locthie, 2016) this has remained a strong element of masters provision in UK higher education with course leaders providing much of the academic advising role (McCamley 2018) across the five areas of provision “pastoral issues, student success, academic skill development, employability, and the creation of personal development plans” (Grey & Locthie, 2016) with little recognition and less institutional support than the undergraduate courses (Macleod, Barnes & Huttly, 2019, UKCGE, 2018).

The paper explores how an integrated curriculum model (Thomas, 2006), which aims to integrate advising into the curriculum provides a framing for advising on this course support student success. The paper explore the integration of advising across the courses spiral curriculumn. In outlining how in this instance academic advising is tapered and shaped to fit alongside and within such a masters curriculumn there is also a focus on students success for a very diverse and heterogenous set of students all entering a mutli-disciplinary area from different discipline, cultural and educational backgrounds. This example of a course level application hopes to highlight experiences, issues and ideas might resonate with other higher education staff involved in advising at post graduate taught masters level and masters course leaders. In doing this the paper connects practice to an identified model, and aims to illuminate how such experiences, issues and ideas might be applied to other courses and contexts.


Grey, D., & Locthie, D. (2016). Comparing personal tutoring in the UK and academic advising in the US. Academic Advising Today, 39(3).

McCamley, A. (2018) A narrative inquiry into course leaders of taught postgraduate master’s courses experience of their role in a Post 92 university. Unpublished dissertation, Teaching and Learning in Higher Education of The University of Sheffield

Macleod, G., Barnes, T., & Huttly, S. R. (2019). Teaching at Master's level: between a rock and a hard place. Teaching in Higher Education, 24(4), 493-509.

Thomas, L. (2006). Widening participation and the increased need for personal tutoring. In L. Thomas & P. Hixenbaugh (Eds.), Personal tutoring in higher education (pp. 21-31). Stoke-on-Trent, UK: Trentham Books.

UKGCE. 2018. National Survey of PGT Programme Directors and Administrators

This session addresses the following competencies of the UKAT Professional Framework for Advising and Tutoring
I5 - The characteristics, needs, and experiences of major and emerging student populations
R3 - Motivate, encourage, and support students to recognize their potential, meet challenges, and respect individuality
R5 - Promote student understanding of the logic and purpose of the curriculum