Search our site
Search our site

Learning and Teaching in Higher Education PgCert

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Distance learning 1 year Online course with synchronous and asynchronous activities January 2020
September 2020

Choose Kingston's Learning and Teaching in Higher Education PgCert

If you wish to learn to how to teach actively and create an involving and engaging environment to support students in their learning journey, but are professionally busy or unable to come to London for a residential course, then this course could be for you.

Our course is designed for those already employed by institutions that deliver higher or further education. It is specifically aimed at those who teach and:

  • have fewer than three years' full-time teaching experience; or
  • are involved in supporting learning (such as librarians, learning technologists, academic developers, skills advisers, technicians).

This course would also benefit anyone in these roles who wishes to strengthen or refresh their understanding and knowledge of learning and teaching.

Key features

  • This course promotes learning and teaching that actively involves students, which is essential for their success. This course supports forms of teaching that encourage students to take centre stage in their learning.
  • The course is designed and run by academics who are experts and active researchers, both in higher education studies and online learning.
  • The course will help you think about teaching in active ways – involving your students and encouraging them to reflect, independently and with others.
  • You will experience active learning and study different teaching methods, learning ways to facilitate active learning and involve your students fully and responsibly.
  • You will be encouraged to think about educational issues in fruitful and inquisitive ways, both on your own and in collaboration with other students.
  • You will examine educational practices such as lecturing, small group work, assessment and feedback.
  • You will be encouraged to reflect on your own experience as a learner to enhance your practice as a teacher. Throughout the course, we help you reflect, ask (yourself and others), find solutions, share and compare thoughts.
  • Kingston University is a large London-based institution which prides itself on its innovative approaches to learning and teaching to a diverse student body, in a number of specialisms, including educational studies.

Both your personal tutor and local mentor will offer you help and support. Your personal tutor will be a member of the course team who will support you throughout the course. Mentors are experienced academics in the further/higher education institute in which you undertake your teaching. Your mentor will:

  • help you understand the principles of active learning and what they mean for your teaching practice;
  • provide advice and guidance on general aspects of teaching in your subject area, helping you embed general teaching principles;
  • support and manage all aspects of teaching observation (including relevant documentation) integrated into the course;
  • offer general support as a colleague, including regular meetings; and
  • act as link with the course tutors.

What will you study?

The course comprises two modules (each lasting 19 weeks) that contextualise your teaching experiences within the wider issues of for instance classroom teaching, curriculum design, learning environment, student learning. Within each module, you will critically examine, reflect upon and develop your professional practice in teaching and supporting learning in higher and further education.

Given the interactive nature of the course, it is important that, from the beginning, you see the teachers as facilitators on the course, but not the primary source of knowledge. Independent reading and reflection on, for instance, books, online journals, internet articles, and collaboration with your colleagues and mentor will all contribute to your learning. Your success on the course will be achieved by making full use of all these resources and integrating them in ways which show that your teaching is aligned with the principles of active learning.

Course structure

There are two modules, each lasting 19 weeks – 16 weeks of structured learning and three weeks of assessment preparation.

Module Start dates (one-year course)
Active Learning in Teaching Practice February 2019
Active Learning in Curriculum Design September 2019


  • In this module you will focus on how students learn and what can be done to help them do this effectively and efficiently. You will examine your practice in relation to a range of ideas and practice drawn from different subject disciplines and scholarship in the field of learning and teaching.

  • In this module you will consider active learning in terms of curriculum design and development, assessment and feedback, quality assurance and enhancement. In particular, you will critically explore the influence of external factors eg Higher Education Academy, Quality Assurance Agency, on your practice.


The learning process

While on this course, you will be part of a community of practice, to support your learning. You will take part in a range of online activities, both individually and collaboratively as part of a group. Some online activities take place synchronously (in real time, such as video conferencing). Others are asynchronous (not in real time, such as posting and responding to discussions in an online forum). Synchronous sessions take place regularly, every two or three weeks. Details are provided at the start of each module. The course is preceded by a one-week induction to familiarise you with the learning environment and iron out any technical issues.

Each module is built around a series of activities that encourage you to read, watch, research, discuss, practice and reflect on teaching and learning issues in higher education. You will have the assistance of your mentor, course colleagues and tutor.

You will share your own ideas and thoughts with others, through a number of plan-do-reflect cycles, informed by feedback from your mentor, peers and tutor. This peer-feedback device will give you the opportunity to critically reflect and feedback on your peers' work. Providing balanced and constructive critique of others' work is fundamental to your development as a teacher. We firmly believe that people learn better and refine their skills by sharing thoughts, ideas and concepts with one another.

To achieve success on this course, you should read widely, reflect, collaborate with peers, and engage with your mentor and tutor. You will integrate your new knowledge in ways which show your teaching is aligned with the principles of active learning and professional values. At the end of each module, there is an assessment, which focus on providing evidence based reflections on your teaching practice (help and guidance to prepare for assessment is provided throughout each module).

You will have the opportunity to study a foreign language, free of charge, during your time at the University as part of the Kingston Language Scheme. Options currently include: Arabic, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian and Spanish.

We aim to ensure that all courses and modules advertised are delivered. However in some cases courses and modules may not be offered. For more information about why, and when you can expect to be notified, read our Changes to Academic Provision.

Regulations governing this course are available here

Details of term dates for this course can be found here

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5083
Email us


This is a distance learning course.

Contact us

Tel: +44 (0)20 8417 5083
Email us


This is a distance learning course.

Favourite this course

Did you find what you are looking for?

This field is required.


Thank you for your feedback.

Find a course

Course finder


Find us on Facebook

Postgraduate study
Site menu