The postgraduate student experience of study support: a phenomenographic analysis

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This study seeks to examine variation in the study support experiences of a group of students on a taught master's programme in the United Kingdom. Whilst this offers a very specific UK focus, the article draws upon related work in Australian, American and African contexts on study support, academic development and academic literacy. A phenomenographic analysis is used in order to ascertain the variation in perceptions of study support within the postgraduate student group under study, and the resulting ‘outcome space’ is analysed with respect to current thinking about learner development. This study concludes with an examination of how the tensions and conflicts that arise through a lack of shared meanings and aspirations can serve as an indicator of the need for a common understanding of both the range of student profiles in higher education, and of what we mean by study support.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)225-238
JournalStudies in Higher Education
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • postgraduate
  • study support
  • phenomenography
  • higher education
  • academic literacy


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