Learning and Teaching in Higher Education PgCert

Why choose this course?

This course is ideally suited for those who wish to develop their teaching in line with the current demands and opportunities in higher education teaching and learning. The course is fully delivered online, making it especially appealing for busy in-service teachers who are pressed for time.

Our course is designed for those already employed by institutions that deliver higher or further education. It is 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. Our tutors are educationalists and specialise in online learning, in addition to being active researchers in higher education studies.

After successful completion of the course, you will gain the PGCert Award (60 credits at level 7) and the coursework itself is closely aligned with the required materials and evidence for applying for recognition Fellowship of HEA (at Fellowship level).

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Online 1 year Online course February 2021
Location Online

2020/21 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021), please view the information about changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2020/21 should refer to their Course Handbook for information about specific changes that have been, or may be, made to their course or modules being delivered in 2020/21. Course Handbooks are located within the Canvas Course page.

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • 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 centrestage in their learning.
  • 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 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.

What you will study

The course comprises two modules each lasting 19 weeks (16 weeks of structured learning and three weeks of assessment preparation) that contextualise your teaching experiences within the wider issues, such as 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 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. 

Modules

Core modules

Active Learning in Teaching Practice

30 credits

This module offers participants the opportunity to examine, reflect upon and develop their professional practice in teaching and supporting learning in HE. The main focus will be on how students learn and participants will examine their practice in relation to a range of ideas drawn from different subject disciplines and scholarship in the field of learning and teaching.

Active Learning in Curriculum Design

30 credits

This module offers participants the opportunity to examine, reflect upon and develop their practice in three broad areas - curriculum design and development, assessment and feedback and quality assurance and quality enhancement.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

The minimum entry qualifications for the course are:

  • a professionally relevant first degree or equivalent qualification;
  • 70 hours teaching per annum; and
  • a mentor approved by the course team.

The mentor should be an experienced academic in the higher education institution in which you undertake your teaching (somebody who has been teaching for more than three years in higher education and is recognised by the institution for their teaching practice).

Mentors will:

  • assist you with understanding the principles of active learning and what this means for your practice;
  • provide advice and guidance on general aspects of teaching in the participants' subject area; they will help with embedding general pedagogic principles into a participants' discipline of specialisation;
  • support and manage all aspects (including relevant documentation) of teaching observation integrated into the course;
  • offer general support as a colleague, including regular meetings; and
  • act as link with the course tutors.

International

All non-UK applicants must meet our English language requirement, which is Academic IELTS of 6.5 overall, with no element below 5.5. Make sure you read our full guidance about English language requirements, which includes details of other qualifications we consider.

Applicants who do not meet the English language requirements could be eligible to join our pre-sessional English language course.

Applicants from a recognised majority English speaking countries (MESCs) do not need to meet these requirements.

Teaching and assessment

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).

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Your workload

17% of your time is spent in timetabled teaching and learning activity.

  • Scheduled teaching and learning: 100 hours
  • Guided independent study: 500 hours

Contact hours may vary depending on your modules (repeat for each year, if part time).

How you will be assessed

The approximate percentage for how you will be assessed on this course is as follows:

  • 100% coursework

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Who teaches this course?

The course is taught by a core team of educationalists who specialise in different aspects of higher education studies. Specialisms include academic identities, critical thinking, curriculum design, the link between teaching and research, the quality of digital learning and ways to empower you to think critically and reflectively through technology. 

Each member of the team is therefore a research practitioner, that is to say, somebody who embeds research into his or her practice, whilst researching this very practice. In addition to these, a number of academic and academic-related staff (from Kingston University, London and externally) will be involved in the teaching and supervisory activities to give you a varied and fulfilling learning experience.

Current research in this area

  • Critical thinking/Critical pedagogy
  • Links between teaching and research
  • Technology enhanced pedagogies/Technology enhanced learning
  • Learning design

Course fees and funding

2020/21 fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • PgCert distance learning  £2,500

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • PgCert distance learning £2,850

After you graduate

This course has been designed to be a practical, work-based course in learning, teaching and assessment in higher education. As such, it prepares you for working as a teacher and/or facilitator in higher or further education.

The award of a Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education is recognised by most universities in the UK, and increasingly internationally, as necessary qualifications for teaching in higher education institutions.
 
Additionally the course thoroughly prepares you for every success in applying for the status of Fellow of the Higher Education Academy with the Higher Education Academy, a status recognised by most universities in the UK, and increasingly internationally, as necessary/desirable recognition for teaching in higher education institutions.

Accreditation

The course is designed around the Higher Education Academy UK Professional Standard Framework (HEA UKPSF). The participants who successfully complete the course will have a portfolio of coursework closely aligned to requirements for recognition of Fellowship of the HEA (FHEA), and should they wish they can apply with HEA directly for FHEA recognition.

Changes to courses for 2020/21 due to Covid-19

Changes detailed here are for students joining this course in the academic year 2020/21 (i.e. between August 2020 and July 2021).

Course information (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Composition of the course

We do not anticipate making any changes to the composition of the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Modules

We do not anticipate making any changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to modules as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area and to provide a high quality student experience. Any such changes made to module titles and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Length of course

We expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through and graduate from the course without delay.

In exceptional circumstances the sequence of learning and teaching activities may be changed, e.g. re-sequencing those modules that can be delivered more effectively under the current restrictions with those which would be more difficult to deliver, such as practical modules and placements.

Entry requirements (changes for 2020/21 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a result of the pandemic. However, the range of accepted alternatives have increased as has the way in which we select students, which now includes virtual interviews and online portfolios.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a result of the pandemic. However, in response to the pandemic, we now accept a much broader list of English language exams for entry to the course; the level of these exams remain the same.

Teaching (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

Due to the current pandemic the course's teaching and learning activities will be delivered through both online and on-campus methods (blended learning) in 2020/21. In order to provide all students with a comparable on-campus experience, the University has committed to ensuring that all courses provide at least 30% of their teaching and learning activities on-campus.

While physical distancing measures remain in place, you will receive your learning and teaching via a blend of on-campus and on-line activities. Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you will still be able to engage with your course in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, support will be available to consider what options are open to you.

Changes to teaching in the event of a further lockdown or adjustments in government advice

The University will continue to closely monitor government announcements and advice in relation to the current pandemic and, where required, will take any necessary action in order to comply with such advice.

In the event that a further lockdown is enforced the University will aim to deliver the course fully online. This may require some additional changes being made to planned teaching and learning activities, including assessments. The majority of our courses are prepared to be delivered fully online if the situation requires it. Where the quality of the student experience may be compromised significantly, or the course is unable to be delivered fully online, the University may need to suspend the delivery of that course until a time that it can be delivered appropriately. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

In the event that the current social distancing restrictions are fully lifted and the University is able to resume normal delivery of teaching and learning activities, courses will assess whether it is in the students' interest to resume normal delivery. In some cases it may be better to continue and complete modules under the planned blended delivery mode.

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for Year 1

Changes to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours will not be made as a result of the pandemic. However, it is possible that some adjustments might be made at module level, e.g. a few more scheduled activities, in order to help ensure student engagement with blended learning.

Any changes made to the overall breakdown of scheduled teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

'Scheduled teaching' includes teaching that is online either live or recorded / on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. from September 2020 to December 2020) should be available by the end of August 2020. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2021) will not be available until the autumn. Whilst we make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm. To accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing, we will need to maximise the time available for teaching. This means, we may have to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Changes can be made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area. Due to the current restrictions in place, i.e. social distancing, it is anticipated that many formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be replaced with alternative assessments which can be completed online. These changes will be considered and approved through the University's processes to ensure that student assessments will be able to demonstrate they have achieved the expected learning outcomes. The approval process will also assess whether the change impacts the status of any professional body accreditation the course benefits from.

Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Staff (changes for 2020/21 entry)

No changes are expected to the general level of experience or status of staff involved in delivering the course.

As a result of the social distancing restrictions in place, on-campus teaching activities may need to be split into smaller groups which may require the support of teaching assistants and student mentors, who will be managed by experienced staff.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2020/21.

Additional costs (e.g. field trips, materials, equipment, etc.)

As a result of the blended delivery of courses in 2020/21, where a significant proportion of the teaching will be done online, students will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online teaching and learning activities. Students who are able to travel will have access to computers on campus, however, it should be noted that access to on-campus facilities will be restricted due to social distancing requirements.

The University is considering how best to provide support to students who do not have access to suitable hardware and software requirements and access to the internet. Identifying students who require this type of support is an important milestone for the University in our journey to ensure equity of access while we continue to deliver our blended approach. Information about the support that will be available will be provided to students during the induction period.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2020/21. Currently there are no indications from the UK government that there will be any changes to government funding arrangements.

Fees and funding for international students

There will be no changes to published tuition fees or funding arrangements specifically relating to international students for 2020/21.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead as planned. However, to ensure students are able to gain maximum value from these activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year when current restrictions have been lifted. We acknowledge that this year it may be more difficult for students to secure appropriate placements. In those situations, students will be guided and supported through the various options that will be available to them, including switching courses or interrupting their studies until a time when they can complete their placement.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered. Students will be advised of any changes that may become necessary and appropriate support will be available to students to guide them through the various options that may be available to them.

In the interest of the health and wellbeing of our students, the University will ensure that appropriate risk assessments are made before students are sent on a placement.

Courses which require placements or field trips to be completed in order to pass relevant modules will have contingency plans in place in the event that a placement or field trip cannot be completed due to another lockdown or more stringent social distancing measures.

Voluntary placements or field trips may be rescheduled, or, as a last resort, cancelled if it becomes difficult to deliver them and doing so is in the interest of the health and safety of our staff and students.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2020/21 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. MSc, as a result of the pandemic.

Changes can be made to courses, including the qualification awarded (although very rare), as part of normal enhancement processes in order to keep our courses up to date with current developments in that subject area. Any changes made to the qualification awarded for the course will be highlighted to students during the induction period.

Additional (changes for 2020/21 entry)

International students

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government advice on possible travel restrictions. The University will closely monitor advice and guidance published by the UK government and assess its impact on our international students. Appropriate advice and guidance will be provided as and when required.

Students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities

The University will ensure students who are unable to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities are able to effectively engage with their studies remotely. For certain courses an inability to attend on-campus learning and teaching activities may not be in the students best interest, as it may impede their chances of succeeding in the course or lead to them receiving a poor learning experience. In such cases students will be advised and guided through the various options available to them, such as deferring their studies until they can engage fully with the course.