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 2022
September 2022
Location Online

2021/22 entry

If you are planning to join this course in the academic year 2021/22 (i.e. between August 2021 and July 2022), please view the information about changes to courses for 2021/22 due to Covid-19.

 

Continuing students

Students who are continuing their studies with Kingston University in 2021/22 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 2021/22. 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 centre stage 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

2022/23 fees for this course

Home 2022/23

  • PGCert part time distance learning £2,700

International 2022/23

  • PGCert part time distance learning £3,150

2021/22 fees for this course

Home 2021/22

  • PGCert part time distance learning £2,600

International 2021/22

  • PGCert part time distance learning £3,000

Additional costs

Depending on the programme of study, there may be extra costs that are not covered by tuition fees which students will need to consider when planning their studies. Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching, assessment and operating University facilities such as the library, access to shared IT equipment and other support services. Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

Where a course has additional expenses, we make every effort to highlight them. These may include optional field trips, materials (e.g. art, design, engineering), security checks such as DBS, uniforms, specialist clothing or professional memberships.

Textbooks

Our libraries are a valuable resource with an extensive collection of books and journals as well as first-class facilities and IT equipment. You may prefer to buy your own copy of key textbooks, this can cost between £50 and £250 per year.

Computer equipment

There are open-access networked computers available across the University, plus laptops available to loan. You may find it useful to have your own PC, laptop or tablet which you can use around campus and in halls of residence. Free WiFi is available on each of the campuses. You may wish to purchase your own computer, which can cost from £100 to £3,000 depending on your course requirements.

Photocopying and printing

In the majority of cases written coursework can be submitted online. There may be instances when you will be required to submit work in a printed format. Printing, binding and photocopying costs are not included in your tuition fees, this may cost up to £100 per year.

Travel

Travel costs are not included in your tuition fees but we do have a free intersite bus service which links the campuses, Surbiton train station, Kingston upon Thames train station, Norbiton train station and halls of residence.

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 2021/22 due to Covid-19

Course information (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Composition of the course

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. number of modules or credits in a year, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Unless government advice instructs otherwise, Study Abroad programmes will take place in 2021/22. The safety of all our students is paramount, therefore, as per normal practice, all Study Abroad activities must also be approved by the University's insurers to ensure that students are adequately protected during their period abroad. We will provide updates as the pandemic situation stabilises and/or further government advice is released.

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 in response to feedback from students and other key stakeholders. Any such changes made to the composition of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

Modules

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, we do not anticipate having to make any further changes to module titles and summaries or to the availability of modules in response to issues arising from 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, module summaries and/or availability of modules will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

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 in 2021/22, e.g. moving those modules which can be delivered more effectively to the first teaching block and moving back those – such as practical modules and placements – which may be more difficult to deliver due to some ongoing restrictions.

In some cases, it may be necessary to delay placement modules which may then impact the length of the course. In these circumstances the University will guide students through the appropriate options available to ensure students are able to make informed choices.

Entry requirements (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We have not changed entry requirements as a direct result of the pandemic.

Entry requirements for international students

We have not changed entry requirements for international students as a direct result of the pandemic.

Teaching (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Changes to the way the course will be delivered

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to steadily increase the proportion of on-campus teaching. We will continue to provide a proportion of online learning, as experience has shown that this enriches and supports the student learning experience.

If the pandemic affects teaching and learning activities in 2021/22 more than we currently anticipate, the proportion of online learning will increase. However, unless a lockdown is enforced, we will ensure that all courses provide a reasonable percentage of their teaching and learning activities on campus.

Should your circumstances prevent your attendance at on-campus sessions, you should still be able to engage with your course remotely in a way that allows you to progress. Where this is not possible, for example on courses with high practical content, your course team will be able to advise you on the options available 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 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 in 2021/22 the University will aim to deliver the course fully online once more. 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, 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. Students will be supported in these situations to ensure they are able to make the right choices for their particular circumstances.

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 learning and teaching hours, placements and guided independent study hours were not and will not be made as a direct result of the pandemic.

‘Scheduled learning and teaching' includes teaching delivered online, either live or recorded/on demand.

Timetable

Your individualised timetable for teaching block 1 (i.e. up to December 2021) should be available by the end of August. Timetables for teaching block 2 (i.e. from January 2022) will not be available until the autumn. We make every effort to ensure timetables are as student-friendly as possible.

In 2020/21 it was agreed that scheduled learning and teaching could take place on any day of the week between 9am and 9pm, to maximise the time available for teaching in order to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing. This meant we sometimes had to use Wednesday afternoons and enrichment week for additional teaching slots. If we need to accommodate smaller group sizes and social distancing in 2021/22 we expect to adopt a similar approach. Timetables for part-time students will depend on the modules selected.

Assessment (changes for 2021/22 entry)

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and, therefore, do not anticipate having to make any further changes to the course, i.e. to the overall methods of assessments, in response to issues arising from the pandemic. However, if this becomes necessary, the changes will be highlighted to students via email before enrolment.

Changes are made to modules, including how they are assessed, as part of normal enhancement processes to keep our modules up to date with current developments in that subject area and in response to feedback received from students and other key stakeholders. Any changes to the overall methods of assessment for Year 1 of the course will be highlighted to students by email before enrolment.

If social distancing or lockdown restrictions are in place in 2021/22, online alternative options to formal on-campus examinations, including practical examinations, will be made available to students where possible.

Staff (changes for 2021/22 entry)

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

Staff are engaged in Continuous Professional Development activities to develop their teaching expertise, as part of the normal enhancement processes, to ensure that course teams have the required breadth of expertise.

Fees, funding and additional costs (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Tuition fees

There will be no changes to published tuition fees for 2021/22.

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

As we transition from the pandemic restrictions, we expect to be able to increase student access to on-campus facilities. Students will therefore have access to University computers and library facilities.

If, due to an increase in social distancing requirements or the enforcing of a lockdown, it becomes necessary to significantly increase the proportion of teaching delivered 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 might be restricted if social distancing requirements are enforced.

The University is committed to supporting students who are unable to access suitable technology to ensure equity of access in a blended delivery mode.

Funding

There will be no changes to any existing University funding arrangements for 2021/22. 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 2021/22.

Work placements and field trips (changes for 2021/22 entry)

We are anticipating that placements (including work and clinical placements) and field trips included as part of the course will go ahead in 2021/22. However, to ensure students gain maximum value from placement activities, it may be necessary to reschedule them to later in the year, when any impacts from the pandemic restrictions are minimised.

Any proposed changes to placements or field trips would go through the University's agreed processes where the impact of the change will be carefully considered.

In the interests of the health and wellbeing of our students, all placement arrangements must be approved by the University's insurers and the appropriate risk assessments 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.

Award, qualification and accreditation (changes for 2021/22 entry)

Qualification

No changes will be made to the qualification awarded, e.g. BSc (Hons), MSc, etc., as a direct 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 by email before enrolment.

Accreditation

The experience of delivering courses in 2020/21 under the various Covid-19 restrictions has enabled us to better prepare and plan the delivery of our courses in 2021/22. We are confident the course can be delivered as planned and in accordance with any professional body requirements. We do not anticipate making any further changes to courses in response to any issues arising from the pandemic and which would put at risk any professional body accreditation status.

Additional (changes for 2021/22 entry)

International students should maintain awareness of the UK government's and their home country's government's 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.